Whilst visiting Vancouver, Canada we decided to go on a day trip to Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Just across the famed green Lions Gate Bridge, which was originally owned by the Guinness family, you can easily catch a bus from central Vancouver to the mountain.
Once across the bridge, its a short drive to the base of the mountain. Now my top tip here is to not go to the suspension bridge park first. Head for the mountain, do the hiking trail, grab lunch at the top of the mountain and take in the views. Then take the cable car down to the base, and finally take the bus to the Suspension Bridge Park. We did this and it meant we had plenty of time for both. Plus after 4pm the bridge park does discounted tickets, which is worth the wait for.
The hiking at Grouse Mountain is fantastic. It is difficult though. The path is as above, a broken and rough path that loosely directs you up the mountain. As we started off, and read the hiking warning sign, we thought that was extreme but its actually fair. You do need plenty of water. It is worth bringing snacks incase you need an energy boost. And make sure you take a fully charged mobile. As once you are into the hike there is no easy way off. Its literally up or down.
We loved it, although it was tough going. It took us about 2hrs, with some breaks inbetween to take in the views. You really do feel enclosed within the forest, and its eerie silence means every noise is echoed. Each crack of a branch stops everyone in their tracks incase its a bear. Thankfully, we didn’t come across any but we did see plenty of signs on the trees that bears were around.
Once at the top of the mountain there is ski centre where you can pick up a pretty basic canteen lunch. Its some much needed hot food and drink so be thankful for it. After that we headed for the long queue to take the cable car back down the mountain. On the day we visited it was very foggy, so the cable car was enclosed within a cloud of dark grey fog. However, when it burst out of it the glorious site of Vancouver was brilliant to view. Once at the base of the mountain, we filled our water bottles and took the bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. We waited until after 4pm, as the ticket prices were dramatically reduced, but be warned there are a lot of other people with the same plan. So be in the first in the queue. We were and we got straight through into the park. We immediately headed for the cliff walk, before going on the star attraction. We assumed everyone would head to the main suspension bridge so thought the cliff walk would be empty. And we were correct, as we took our time walking along the cliffs and the bridges bolted onto the side.
Then it was on to the star attraction, the Capilano Suspension Bridge which was originally built in 1889. There is no hiding away from this, the bridge is high. Really high, and a little scary. But it can hold tons of weight, so there is really no chance of it falling down with some humans on it. It doesn’t stop you thinking about it though if you don’t like heights.
Its really a wonderful experience and a must visit attraction in Vancouver. I don’t like heights that much, but was able to do this and enjoy the experience. Honestly, I enjoyed it hahahaha… On the other side is a walkway of smaller bridges which take you through the forest whilst you learn about the natural habitat. Once finished with the park experience you can head back to the main section, grab a drink, listen to some live music, make new friends and relax until you catch the bus back to Central Vancouver.