Step into a world of winter magic at this suspension bridge in Vancouver! Dressed in twinkling lights and holiday ambiance, the Capilano Suspension Bridge in the winter is simply a Vancouver must. With a hanging cliff walk, eateries, and wildlife, the park is engorged in the cedar-scented majestic rainforest and serves as a tranquil escape from the city. There are so many things to do at the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Make sure you visit Capilano Bridge at Christmas for the Canyon Lights Festival.
You’ll find this magical place on the North Shore of Vancouver, just 10 minutes from downtown. Here’s why you need to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge in the winter.
Why Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge in the Winter?
Winter might just be the best month to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge! From day into night, the bridge and the surrounding park are dressed from head to toe in winter decor and vibrant fairy lights. Plus, there is the Canyon Lights Festival and many things to do at Capilano Suspension Bridge. It’s easily one of the top attractions in North Vancouver year-round, and especially in winter.
Take a Skywalk Through a Winter Wonderland
Imagine bridges navigating among snow dusted trees while hovering over a canyon. Now add festive decorations, twinkling lights, and the holiday spirit into the mix. Oh, and I can’t forget the tasty hot chocolate!
It’s a gorgeous walk both day and night. During the day, you can appreciate the contrast between the bright white snow and dark green cedar trees. Then, as the day turns to night, the place lights up. You’ll feel like you’ve just transcended into a Christmas fairy-tale. Since it’s often snowing at Capilano Suspension Bridge in the winter, it’s quite a magical winter destination in Vancouver!
Watch the Magic of the Canyon Lights Festival
Visiting the bridge during Christmastime is extra special! Here you can cross the lit-up suspension bridge as the canyon and Capilano River are illuminated with lights below. Then, stroll into the magical rainforest and walk above the trees. They are the eighth tallest Christmas trees in the world after all!
The Canyon Lights Festival sets the scene for some insanely beautiful photographs, making for an excellent Instagram spot near Vancouver. This is especially true when you walk under the light tunnel called “Arc de Lumina.” Magic!
The 2021/2022 Canyon Lights Festival is back! The park will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. from November 20, 2021 until January 23, 2022.
It has Rustic, Cabin Charm
The Capilano Bridge at Christmas (or winter in general) is perfect for capturing that cozy, wintertime charm. The pine trees are so tall and enchanting. Plus, the wooden pathways and treehouse-style places at the park embody the spirit of winter. Grab a hot chocolate and pack plaid and a cozy hat to complete the aesthetic.
There are Great Dining Options
There are more things to do at Capilano Suspension Bridge than just walk and take in all the beauty. You can also eat, drink, and unwind here! The park offers a unique Vancouver dining experience among the trees.
Visit the Cliff House Restaurant for a casual dining experience with beautiful cobblestones and a cedar, window-filled design. The place overlooks the Canyon Lookout with 76 seats, so it’s an ideal spot to gather away from the cold weather.
The restaurant focuses on local ingredients, fresh seafood products, British Columbia wines, and local artisan beers.
For another casual spot, there is the Logger’s Grill. It’s open year-round, serving locally roasted organic coffee, teas, and specialty beverages. They also serve up Angus beef burgers, Beyond Meat burgers, and gourmet regular and vegan hot dogs.
I definitely recommend stopping here to warm up with a good coffee or warm tea!
One other place you should go for food or drinks at the suspension bridge in Vancouver is The Cabin! It’s a traditional, old-timey cabin made with barked timber. Here you’ll find delicious hot chocolate and coffee as well as freshly baked goodies. I’m a big fan of their famous Beaver Balls! Plus, visit this part of the Capilano Bridge at Christmas for holiday treats too.
You can Enjoy Free History and Nature Tours with your Ticket
You can learn about the vibrant history of the area and all the historical details of the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Beyond just history, there’s a nature walk! Learn about the flora and fauna of the park and the ecology of the West Coast rainforest! Fun facts: rainforests aren’t just in the southern hemisphere!
Keep in mind that during the winter months when the Canyon Lights Festival is on the last tour is at 3 p.m. So, plan accordingly if you want to hop on one of these fun little tours.
How do you Get to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park?
There are a few ways to get to the park! If you are in downtown Vancouver, you can hop on the FREE shuttle bus (check the schedule here). Who doesn’t love a free ride!?
You can also arrive at the park by public transport. From downtown Vancouver, take the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay. Then, take the #236 bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. If you are coming from Phibbs Exchange, take bus #232. The #246 bus from downtown Vancouver stops at Granville Skytrain, Burrard Skytrain, and various bus stops on West Georgia Street.
If you prefer to drive, it’s just 15 minutes from downtown. Drive through the Stanley Park causeway and across Lions Gate Bridge. Then, take the North Vancouver exit to Marine Drive. Finally, take a left on Capilano Road for 1.6 km. Note: There is limited pay parking.
Quick Fun Facts About the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
- The first crossing on this suspension bridge in Vancouver was in 1889! Needless to say, the park (and the bridge) are historic!
- The park’s unique Treetops Adventure offers an incredible high-up view of the thriving rainforest with 1300-year-old old-growth Douglas-firs.
- Capilano Suspension Bridge park donates to a number of local and national charities like the North Shore Disability Resource Centre, North Shore Neighbourhood House, and the Ronald McDonald House.
- The gorgeous cliffwalk follows a granite cliff line along the Capilano River. There is a labyrinth-like series of narrow bridges, stairs, and platforms. Surprisingly, there are only 16 anchor points in the cliff to support the structure! (Don’t worry, it’s enough!)
FAQs: Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver
Hoping to head to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in the winter? Here are your most common questions answered!
The park is open rain or shine. It only adds to the magic if it’s snowing! However, I would suggest that you give them a call. During heavy snowfall, I have seen it close.
Personally, I think it is the most magical in winter when it’s all lit up and lightly drizzled with snow. However, summer is also a great time to visit if you want to explore more of the flora and fauna.
The Park is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. But you can still soak up all the festive spirit throughout the month of December when you visit the Canyon Lights Festival.
Yes, dogs on a leash are allowed in the park. However, they are not permitted by the Raptors Ridge area, Cliff House Restaurant, or in the gift store.
No. There is a limited availability paid parking lot for $6.00 for 3 hours. The machine takes credit or debit cards only. Alternatively, there is a free shuttle that picks up guests from various places in downtown Vancouver.
You can conveniently purchase a ticket online or in person. It’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance in case spaces fill up.
Yes, yes, yes! It’s such a dreamy and unique place. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the top attractions in the Vancouver area! It’s definitely one of my favourites. I don’t think you could be disappointed by this place. For maximum enjoyment, avoid peak times.
It will Become a Winter Holiday Tradition!
I couldn’t recommend visiting the Canyon Lights Festival and the Capilano Suspension Bridge in the winter enough! It’s simply a winter wonderland experience and easily one of the best things to do in winter in Vancouver!
A special thank you to Allison Kuhl for the most amazing photos. ❤ Let me know if you get to the suspension bridge during your travels. Capilano Bridge at Christmas can become a holiday traditional with the magical lights. If you are lucky, there will be a snowfall for a truly magical outdoor experience.
Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.