Results 1-7of 7 Reviews
Riverview, New Brunswick
May 31, 2007
There has been a bridge on the site since 1889. Not the same bridge, of course. The current bridge is suspended by steel cables with some elasticity and the bridge’s anchors are designed to shift if they receive a heavy impact as they did during a powerful windstorm in November, 2006. At that time, a 46-ton Douglas fir fell across the bridge and failed to damage it. So when you’re crossing its 450 foot span across a deep gorge and the bridge is bouncing and swaying, worry not; it’s quite safe.
The site is more than just the bridge; there are interpreters, exhibits, and trails to follow. Before the bridge, we saw native artists, a turn of the century band, people in costume, a large gift shop, a restaurant and an outdoor grill. There are interesting historical accounts of how the bridge came to be there and the effort involved in getting the initial version across. Apparently, people from Vancouver were visiting around 1900, making the ferry ride to North Vancouver and then coming up to Capilano by horse-drawn wagon. Referred to as the "Capilano Tramps" for the 6-hour "tramp" to the site, they drew my admiration.
After crossing the bridge, you will find the Treetops adventure, a series of suspension bridges high in the trees. I wasn’t really aware of how high we had come—they go out over sloping land—until I looked down, but I felt totally secure. And if I can feel secure with a height it’s OK for elderly ladies and small children. There is also the Cliff Hanger Walk, a boardwalk that takes you around the edge of the gorge and under the suspension bridge.
Even with my initial caveat, it was really good fun, even with the rain. It would be absolutely glorious on a sunny day with time to sit under the trees and enjoy the site.
From journal Adventures in Lotusland: Vancouver
London, United Kingdom
May 29, 2007
The first indication that this isn’t quite a backcountry experience is the $25 USD entrance fee, somewhat steep for a place where some trails are under construction and off limits to visitors. Staff dressed in 1800s period costume hand out maps at the entrance. They look a little out of place once you get into the park, where displays are neatly signed, footpaths look newly bricked, and where the souvenir shop is manned by a giant (fake) stuffed bear sporting a bright red jacket and Mountie hat. I wonder how many years it will be until they have Donald Duck helping 5 year olds onto the bridge.
The history boards past the entrance talk about George Grant Mackay, the Scottish civil engineer who was responsible for the first Capilano Bridge. We skipped over some of them and walked on to admire the beautiful collection of totem poles, placed there in the 1930s.
From the Totem Park, you turn the corner to the bridge that stretches out across the sparkling Capilano River. According to one information board, the bridge is about the same width as two 747 planes placed wing tip to wing tip and at 300 feet (70m) high it probably isn’t ideal for vertigo sufferers. As soon as you step onto the bridge you can feel the sway caused by the many other pairs of feet walking back and forth. On the other side, the map indicates different areas of interest, the main draw being the Treetops Adventure, a series of walkways suspended some 100 feet (30m) above the forest floor. It’s great for kids but given its popularity, you don’t really feel that it puts you much closer to nature. You supposedly get a "squirrel’s eye view" of the forest but in the process you probably end up scaring away the squirrels and any other woodland creatures that might normally hang out in the trees.
Unfortunately the "Rainforest" area was closed but we found that the views from the Cliffhanger Walk and Canyon Lookout (back on the other side of the bridge) were by far the most interesting and spectacular. Along the Cliffhanger Walk you can see where an old log slide allowed loggers to drop fallen trees down into the river below.
Capilano is definitely a fun day trip, particularly for young families. Whilst we appreciated the views and the history lessons, I really hope that it doesn’t develop into a park so structured that the natural foundations eventually take second place to their efforts to increase tourist revenue.
From journal Birthday Weekend in Vancouver, B.C.
Los Gatos, California
February 5, 2005
From journal Visiting Vancouver
by Dundee Scotty
Dundee, United Kingdom
March 9, 2004
From journal Vibrant Vancouver
by Harry Potter
New York, New York
November 11, 2002
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is not hard to reach and was a natural next place to visit after Stanley Park. From Stanley Park, we drove over the famous Lions Gate Bridge and after about 10 minutes of driving north on Capilano Road, saw signs for parking. Cars park in a parking lot on the right, across the street from the entrance while buses and tour groups park in a parking lot on the left just before the entrance. Self-parking is self-pay via a machine in the parking lot which costs $3 CN and gives you a display ticket to put on your dashboard. We crossed the busy street and walked to the entrance where we were a bit surprised that tickets were $13.95 CN just to walk across the bridge. However our AAA card provided a small discount. Good thing it works in Canada too. Hours are 9am to 5pm in the winter and 8:30am to dusk in the summer.
After going through the turnstyle, we found ourselves in a strange, frontier-type setting where we wandered around looking at a constructed set of displays about the early adventures and stories of their heritage and artifacts. There was a place that invited you to take photos with the oversized murals of the early journeyers named the Tramps. More interesting was Totem Park, an area with over 25 colorful totem poles. However, since we had just come from Stanley Park, this was not as exciting as it would have been if these were the first totem poles we had seen that day.
As we continued walking, following our map, we came to the main tourist attraction, the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Our map doubled as a passport and challenged visitors to visit each of the main attractions and then have your passport/map stamped after completion of each visit. After stamping all six locations, the entrance to the bridge has an "I Made It" self-validation stamp. Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of several places to learn about some of the important facts of the bridge such as it was originally built in 1889, is 230 feet above the Capilano River, and 450 feet across. My favorite part of the visit was crossing the bridge at a heavy, fast-paced jog amidst the laughter of my friend waiting on the other side and to the amazement of fearful visitors who were clung to the ropes, gingerly making their way across.
From journal Visiting Vancouver, eh
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
December 30, 2000
From journal In the Shadow of Vancouver
December 28, 2000
From journal Vancouver, a city of many attractions