Vancouver: Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain & Lynn Canyon

January 16, 2020

One of the most popular attractions in Vancouver is the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.

We did a day trip, where we included also Grouse Mountain and Lynn Canyon Park.

In this blog post, I will share our experience visiting those three attractions.

They are very close to each other and I recommend doing them in one day.  

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park houses the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge which is a 137m long and 70m high wire cable suspension bridge.

The park is located in North Vancouver. It features guided tours of the rain forest, Raptors Ridge, Treetop Adventure, Cliffwalk, etc (more on those below).

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park gets really busy especially in the summer so try and do this attraction first thing in the morning.

There are free shuttle buses that bring tourists from downtown Vancouver to the park.

Find the closest stop to your hotel on their website. 

It is a short drive from downtown Vancouver (about 20mins).

 

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, forest

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

 

In the park, there is a large gift shop called the Trading Post Gift Shop which sells unique Canadian gifts and homemade fudge (yummy).

Also, there are places to get food – Dr. Wood’s Cabin (refreshments only, after the bridge), Cliff House Restaurant (full-service restaurant, beside the Cliffwalk).

If you’re looking for coffee they have the Capilano Coffee Company where they have coffee, baked goods, and sandwiches (before the bridge).

The park is not free, you need to pay an admission to get in. 

Capilano Suspension Bridge 

The bridge is really long and sways quite a bit. Somebody in our group was afraid of heights but they were able to go across the bridge.

And yes there are a lot of people trying to cross the bridge all the time. You’re going to cross the bridge twice – on the way there and on the way back.

There is no other way other than through that one bridge. I personally really like the bridge as I have never been on such a long suspension bridge before.

Here is a video of me walking over the bridge:

Capilano Suspension Bridge – Vancouver

 

Capilano Suspension Bridge, park, forest

Capilano Suspension Bridge

 

Raptors Ridge

I believe this attraction is seasonal (only in the summer). You get a chance to meet some legendary birds of prey.

The ones we saw were Barred Owl, North American Kestrel, and Saker Falcon. The birds were stunning and they told us a little bit about them.

It’s a very interesting thing to do especially if you are with kids. But keep in mind you’re not allowed to touch the birds.

Check the times before you explore the rest of the park so you know when they will bring the birds out and you don’t miss out on seeing them.

 

Raptors Ridge, birds of pray

Raptors Ridge

 

Treetop Adventure

Treetop Adventure is the place where your inner squirrel can come out!

Treetop Adventure is essentially a group of seven smaller suspension bridges that are in the trees.

Personally, that was my favorite experience. You get a different view of the forest from the treetops. 

Here are two videos:

Treetops Adventure – Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Treetops Adventure – Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Part 2

 

Treetop Adventure, trees, forest

Treetop Adventure

 

Cliffwalk

Cliffwalk is the newest addition to the park.

It is a suspended walkway on the side of a cliff. It is kind of hard to explain it, but you can see a picture below.

Also, from there you can take very nice pictures of the bridge.

The Cliffwalk is located on the visitor center’s side of the Capilano River, while almost everything else is located after you cross the bridge.

Here is a video from the Cliffwalk:

Cliffwalk – Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

 

Cliffwalk, cliff

Cliffwalk

 

Other things to see are the totem poles that tell the unique stories of the First Nations.

Also, if you get the park’s map, there are six different stamps that you can collect while you visit the park’s main attractions.

Once you collect all the stamps, go to Guest Services to collect your certificate!!

The stamp machines are hard to find, they are these metal, old looking things.

And lastly, check out these three stones that have water dripping on them and it shows the damage the water has done to the stone over different periods of time.

It is located close to the Cliffwalk.

 

stones, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

You can see how the water has eroded the stones

 

It would take you about 2 to 3 hours as the park is very spread out and there are so many people that sometimes you will have to wait for people to step away or there will be a line of people to get over the bridge. 

Grouse Mountain

To get to Grouse Mountain, you need to get on the Red Skyride which is a closed gondola and ride it to the peak.

There is another way to get to the top. It is called the Grouse Grind which is an almost 3 km steep, narrow trail to the peak.

A lot of the locals do the Grouse Grind as a workout exercise and some even have timed competitions. It is quite difficult to do and a lot of it has very steep stairs.

Needless to say, we chose to take the Red Skyride. Once you get to the top there are a bunch of activities that you can do, here are some of them.

 

Grouse Mountain, Vancouver

Grouse Mountain


World-famous Lumberjack Show

Honestly, I thought that would be more interesting for children, however, I’ve never seen a show like that before and we decided to give it a try.

It was actually pretty interesting and funny. There were two lumberjacks and they were competing in a few different games such as ax throwing, log rolling, 60-foot tree climb, etc.

The show took about 45 minutes; there are three shows per day.

Here are some videos of what the Lumberjack Show looks like:

Lumberjack Show – Ax Throwing

Lumberjack Show – Log Rolling

Lumberjack Show – Log Cutting Part 1

Lumberjack Show – Log Cutting Part 2

 

World-famous Lumberjack Show, Grouse Mountain

World-famous Lumberjack Show


Birds stuff

They have daily shows called Birds of Motion Demonstration. We saw just a little bit of it and it was pretty cool – they were showing off all these beautiful birds that would fly around.

There are three shows per day and the show lasts about 30 minutes. We only saw the last 10 mins.

Also, they have the Owl Interpretive Sessions which is usually a staff member holding an owl and telling the visitors more about it.

Here is a video of the owl that we saw:

Grouse Mountain – Owl Encounter

 

Owl Interpretive Sessions , birds, Vancouver

Owl Interpretive Sessions


The Eye of the Wind

The Eye of the Wind is a wind turbine, the only one in the world with an observation deck right where the blades are.

In order to get to it, you need to get on the Peak Chairlift which is included in the price of the Mountain Admission Ticket.

You just have to show it to them before boarding so keep your ticket on you the whole time. With that chairlift, you get to an even higher point.

This trail is a lot easier to walk up and down but as we were lazy, we went with the chairlift.

The Eye of the Wind has its own admission and you can buy a ticket on the spot.

Unfortunately, the day that we visited was very cloudy and there was so much mist around the turbine that there was no point to go inside.

But if you go on a nice, clear day, you will be able to see all of Vancouver.

Here is a video from us riding the chairlift:

Grouse Mountain – Second Lift

 

The Eye of the Wind, turbine

The Eye of the Wind

 

Grizzly Lookout and Habitat

There are two orphaned grizzly bears that live in an enclosure on the top of Grouse Mountain.

They were both found as cubs without a mother and were rescued. One of them is called Grinder (the smaller one) and Coola (the bigger one).

Here is a video of the two bears:

Grouse Mountain – Grizzly Bears

 

Grizzly Lookout and Habitat, bears

Grizzly Lookout and Habitat

 

In the Peak Chalet, you will find shopping, dining, and washrooms. It even has a movie theater, featuring nature-related movies.

It is located right beside the main gondola station (the Red Skyride). From there you can take some very nice pictures of Vancouver City.

Other things available to do are Heli-Tours, Mountain Ziplines, Tandem Paragliding, Guided Eco-Walk, Pollinator’s Garden, etc.

However, most of those you will need to pre-book ahead of time. More information you can find on their website.

 

Peak Chalet, Vancouver

View of Vancouver from Peak Chalet

 

We had lunch at the Rusty Rail BBQ and the food was really, really good. Just remember, it is outside so be mindful of the weather.

When we were there it was very cold and rainy. Remember that even in the summer the mountain gets really cold.

Make sure you bring warm clothes so you don’t freeze like I did. You will need at least a few hours to explore Grouse Mountain.

Especially if you want to watch a show or two. We did spend quite a lot of time here.  

Lynn Canyon Park and Bridge

We spent the least amount of time here as we were pretty tired at this point and the park was closing at 6 pm so we didn’t have a lot of time.

The good news is that Lynn Canyon Park is free. It is lesser-known and there are fewer visitors.

It also has a suspension bridge but a lot smaller. 

 

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, forest, trees, Vancouver

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

 

I find Lynn Canyon Park to be a lot closer to nature. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park has more attractions and places to eat.

Lynn Canyon Park is only trails and nature. There is not much else to do other than walk the trails which by the way are very long.

If you have time and are in the area, it is not a bad place to check out but it is not a must-see. We spent no more than an hour here as it was closing but you can spend all day exploring the trails. 

 

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, river

View of the river below Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

 

There you have it – Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Grouse Mountain, and Lynn Canyon Park.

Get ready for a full day of nature exploring!

Make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes and clothes.

Have a warm sweater or a rain jacket with you as well and don’t forget your water bottle.

In the comments below, let me know would you do the Grouse Grind? Do you like hiking and nature?

If you like nature, check out this blog post as well: Vancouver: 12 things to do in Stanley Park

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