Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Holidays in Vancouver: Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Located a short drive outside of downtown Vancouver, Canada, you will find a world of deep canyons, giant douglas-fir trees, and a series of suspension bridges and pathways that are sure to test your fear of heights. And, if you visit between late November and January, you have the special opportunity to see the twinkling Canyon Lights display—perfect for getting in the holiday spirit. Where might you find this magical world you ask? It’s a place called Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

On our way to Taiwan, we had a 24 hour layover in Vancouver, and I was excited to find out that our layover would be just a few days after the special Canyon Lights event opened for the season. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is open year-round during the day, but during the Canyon Lights, the park is open late into the evening. We wanted to see the park during both the day and night, so we timed our visit to arrive just before sunset.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

When we arrived at the park, it was just starting to get dark enough for the lights to show. We had about 45 minutes of daylight, and enough time to make our way to the suspension bridge and treetop adventure before the sun officially went down for the day. As the skies became darker and the lights grew brighter, the more magical the atmosphere became. Soon enough, the skies were twinkling with lights in every direction we turned. Canyon Lights is surely a spectacular sight to behold.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

The star attraction at the park is the suspension bridge that sways over the Capilano River 230 feet below. The bridge stretches 450 feet across the canyon, and it was originally built all the way back in 1889. If you are scared of heights and leery about crossing the bridge, just remember that it can hold the weight of 96 full grown elephants…aka, a lot.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

The Treetops Adventure is a series of seven suspension bridges amongst the trees, and it offers a “squirrel’s eye view” of the coastal forest. These suspension bridges reach up to 110 feet above the forest floor and have an innovative design and they are the only ones of their kind in the world. Built in 2004, the bridges are attached to eight, 250 year old douglas-firs without any nails or bolts. The tree collar system is adjustable and moveable to allow for the continuous growth of the trees without damaging them.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

The Cliffwalk is one of the newest additions to the park. It is a series of walkways that jut out from the granite cliffs and are suspended over the Capilano River. The high and narrow paths stretch 700 feet along the cliffs and some portions are even made out of glass. We didn’t make it over to this portion of the park until after dark, so it was hard to fully grasp our surroundings.    But, this section of walkways offer views that will test anyone’s fear of heights—it was a long way down and felt even spookier than the suspension bridge!

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

In addition to the thrilling heighted adventures, the park also offers a story center, guided history and nature tours, kid activities, and more. During Canyon Lights, you can find carols by the holiday band, and you can decorate gingerbread cookies and holiday ornaments in the Winter Craft Tent.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

There are several cafes where you can find treats to eat and drink, such as coffees, hot chocolate, pastries, fudge, sandwiches, burgers, and ice cream. We ate dinner in Vancouver, so we just ordered some coffee in the park to help us stay warm on a chilly evening.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

The gift shops have lots of fun items for sale, as well. Normally, I don’t typically find anything of interest in these type of gift shops, but I really enjoyed the Trading Post. Inside the gift shop, you can find clothing, jewelry, toys, decorations, and First Nations designs. Specialty foods, such as maple syrup, smoked salmon, homemade fudge, and chocolates are for sale at the trading post, as well.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

If you don’t have a car during your stay in Vancouver, no need to worry—you can hop on the free shuttle that runs between downtown Vancouver and the park. Check the online schedule at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park website for current shuttle stops and times.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, Canada

The park is open varying hours depending on the season, but generally it opens between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and closes between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. During the Canyon Lights event the park hours are 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Adult admission to the park is $42.95 as of December 2017 (with discounts available for kids, seniors, students, families, etc.)—originally, this price seemed a bit steep to us, but it is such a beautiful park and we really enjoyed our experience. We would happily pay the admission fee again to visit during the summer, as well.

Our evening full of lights and swaying suspension bridges was such a great time. A visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park was a fun way to not only kick off our trip to Taiwan, but also our holiday season!

 

23 Comments
  • Mikkel
    Posted at 12:23h, 31 December Reply

    Aren’t layovers like that the best? I love seeing this during the holidays because I was there during September many years ago! It’s great to know there’s a free shuttle that takes you there and that the gift shop has things like food and clothing for all your holiday gifting needs!
    Mikkel recently posted…Secrets Sweet and Savory: What to Know Touring Paris by MouthMy Profile

  • Lauren
    Twitter:
    Posted at 12:51h, 31 December Reply

    I absolutely love this! I saw some of these pics on your Instagram feed and they look so beautiful, so it was great to read a bit more to the story. This is such a great idea for a layover. I’d love to travel to Vancouver – it’s part of my own country that I still haven’t visited and that needs to change in 2018!
    Lauren recently posted…New Year Travel Resolutions 2018My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 02:52h, 29 January Reply

      Thanks, Lauren! Glad to share more of the story–it’s such a neat spot! Isn’t it funny how it can almost be harder to visit spots in our own country versus somewhere halfway around the world?! We have the same feelings with spots in the US all the time! Hope you can make it to Vancouver soon 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Museum Adventures in the Emerald City: Seattle Museum MonthMy Profile

  • Mizhelle
    Posted at 07:36h, 01 January Reply

    That looks magical indeed! I love suspension bridges, but I’ve never seen one lit up at night.

  • Indrani
    Posted at 08:34h, 01 January Reply

    Whoa a bridge from 1889…. lit up so well! Indeed a mesmerizing sight to see. The close shots does assure me that it can carry 96 full grown elephants. It will be wise to plan flights with Vancouver as layover site.

  • Val Wheatley
    Posted at 12:39h, 01 January Reply

    What a fun adventure! I’d never heard of Capilano Suspension Bridge Park prior to reading your post but I so enjoyed learning about the area (I love that you described the weight limit in elephants) and your photos are absolutely stunning! I’m dying to spend some time in Vancouver and I’ll definitely have to make a side trip to visit this park. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

  • Kelly Ratcliff
    Posted at 12:54h, 01 January Reply

    This looks absolutely magical!

  • Cathy
    Posted at 02:27h, 02 January Reply

    I wouldn’t really mind a layover if this is the kind of majestic place is waiting for me! Your photos are absolutely stunning! You capture extremely well! I’ve never been to Vancouver but I know for sure it is as beautiful as your photos! Coffee is also mighty important here as the weather temperature is chilly! How was the coffee tho? I love caramel macchiato!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 02:43h, 29 January Reply

      Thanks, and agreed! It was a perfect layover adventure. We just drink black coffee, so that’s the only coffee we tried, but it was good! I think they had quite a few other options though–it looked like they did a good job from what we could see!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Museum Adventures in the Emerald City: Seattle Museum MonthMy Profile

  • Paige
    Posted at 17:31h, 02 January Reply

    Capilano has been high on my Canada list for a few years now (I just have to get back to Canada!) I had no idea that there were coffee shops and so much more than just one suspension bridge! That’s so cool! It looks so incredibly festive with all of the lights!

  • Megan Jerrard
    Twitter:
    Posted at 20:40h, 02 January Reply

    Oh wow I would love to visit during the lights display one year… The suspension bridge has been on my list for a while because it’s obviously such an incredible view, but the lights make it even more magical still! Clever idea to have rocked up before sunset so you get to experience both day and night. I love the idea of a “squirrels eye view”!! And that the tree collar system is done in an ecofriendly way which allows for the trees to grow. I can’t wait to get to Vancouver for this!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 02:37h, 29 January Reply

      I know what you mean–it has been on my list for a long time too and we were even more excited when we found out the lights would be there too! I loved the tree collar system too–so nice to see it done in a eco friendly way! Hope you can visit sometime soon!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Museum Adventures in the Emerald City: Seattle Museum MonthMy Profile

  • Jitaditya
    Posted at 22:26h, 02 January Reply

    Love these great wildernesses of Canada. The lighting looks cute but I would love to experience the wilderness in its primal form, without artifical lights. Spending a night under one of those giant trees will be a great experience!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 02:24h, 29 January Reply

      That would be a really neat experience, too! Lynn Canyon Park is another place near Vancouver that has a suspension bridge–I don’t think they do the light thing so that could be an option to look at sometime! We haven’t been there but it looks neat!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Museum Adventures in the Emerald City: Seattle Museum MonthMy Profile

  • Medha Verma
    Posted at 01:02h, 03 January Reply

    I love that bridge and would definitely love to go here but I would never have thought of doing it at night! Thanks for this information, the bridge and the park look absolutely stunning at night with that atmospheric lighting.

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