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Vancouver's Famous Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park in Canada

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The Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver

The Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver

Sightseeing in Vancouver, Canada

If walking along an expansive 100-year-old suspension bridge with breathtakingly beautiful views swinging high above a river captures one's interest, then the Capilano Suspension Bridge and park in Vancouver, Canada will be right up your alley! There is more to this park than just the suspension bridge.

The same day that my mother, niece, and I went back to revisit the Queen Elizabeth gardens in Vancouver, we started our sightseeing at this park. We had picked up a brochure in 1989—the time of our visit. It stated that they were then celebrating 100 years of the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The photo of the suspension bridge high over the water looked intriguing.

Totem Poles in the Park

The park has a number of totem poles. Available in the park are both totem and nature park tours. People can also watch a master Indian carver at work. One of the signs that I photographed had this written on it:

"Totem poles are largely of three types: (a) memorial poles, which stand in front of houses or villages, (b) mortuary poles (grave markers) and (c) house poles which were incorporated into the structure of the house. Groups of carvings on the poles frequently became family crests. These crests were inherited, gained by conquest or occasionally obtained as payment for services. The figures composing the crests were derived from history and folklore. They represented birds, fish, animals and spirits. Figures that were half-human and half-animal represented spirits capable of taking either form."

We were to see other totem poles in Vancouver. This was an interesting and colorful collection of them on the grounds of this beautifully landscaped park at the Capilano Bridge.

Capilano Suspension Bridge View

View looking down on the river from the Capilano suspension bridge

View looking down on the river from the Capilano suspension bridge

The Capilano Suspension Bridge

My mother took one look at that bridge and decided to stay on terra firma. I'll admit, the views are a bit daunting! The suspension bridge is 230 feet up from the Capilano River and sways 450 feet across the length of the Capilano Canyon.

We discovered that the Capilano River is the major source of fresh water for Vancouver.

Walking Across the Bridge

My niece and I decided to be brave and walk the length of the bridge. Thankfully, cedar planks offer secure footing. Additionally, there are railings to hang onto and a steel mesh screening that is about 3 to 4 feet in height to make sure that people do not step off the bridge by accident.

The bridge does sway! Personally, I was very happy to have the railing to hang onto as we joined many others who were crossing from one side of the canyon to the other.

Showing How This Bridge Sways!

Bridge Construction

The very first bridge was built using wood and hemp. Currently the bridge is anchored by 13 tons of concrete at both ends. The views are wonderful!

Since our visit, other suspended bridges have been added. Visitors can continue walking among the trees exploring more of the wooded area from an elevated perspective. The videos I have selected show more of that.

Each Video Shows Something Different

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is certainly the longest of its type that I have ever walked across. I was counting on that massive amount of concrete on both ends plus the steel cables to keep the bridge secure as were the many other thrill seekers walking the bridge that day along with us.

My pretty niece on the Capilano Suspension Bridge

My pretty niece on the Capilano Suspension Bridge

The long Capilano Suspension Bridge

The long Capilano Suspension Bridge

Dining in the Park

After my niece and I rejoined my mother, we decided to have lunch so we could enjoy the resplendent grounds a bit longer.

The weather was so lovely we decided to dine al fresco. Many umbrella tables are scattered throughout the grounds. The Bridge House Restaurant was chosen because they offered many food selections. I had a very good salad with chunks of Indian smoked salmon in the mix.

My beautiful niece with the amazingly bountiful hydrangeas in bloom on the grounds of the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

My beautiful niece with the amazingly bountiful hydrangeas in bloom on the grounds of the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Other Amenities in the Park

On the grounds was also a casual outdoor salmon barbeque place. Fresh salmon, readily available in the northwest, is served in many different ways.

There is a log cabin trading post on this site where local Indians offer totem poles, Indian jewelry and other carvings for sale. The Canyon House Galleria had souvenirs from around the world. Most of them were touristy doodads.

Experiencing walking across that impressive long swaying bridge and enjoying the adjacent park with totem poles was a nice start to our day of sightseeing in Vancouver. The natural setting of the magnificent trees with the rushing water of the Capilano River below the swaying suspension bridge certainly made a lasting impression on the three of us.

Would this author recommend seeing and experiencing the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park in Vancouver, Canada to others who have not yet been there? The answer is an affirmative "yes!"

Location of This Bridge and Park


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods