Vancouver Suspension Bridge
There are two suspension bridges in Vancouver area that I am aware of. One is the Capilano, the other is Lynn Canyon. Capilano apparenly costs money to cross, and the distance of the suspension bridge is really long. As someone who is afraid of heights, but trying to face her fear so her son can experience the world, I decided we should go for the shorter, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
Lynn Canyon Park is located in North Vancouver and offers a multitude of trails that lead to hidden gems and well known natural attractions. When looking for a suspension bridge to cross in Vancouver, Lynn Canyon is going to be the one to go to if you’re looking for FREE. I, personally, love free. And at 50 meters long, I think I am definitely getting more than my money’s worth.
Built in 1912, this bridge now leads to many trails and loops hikers and tourists can enjoy. Locals prefer this bridge as a result of being free, but the trails are what really entice us. Tourists generally stick to the Suspension Bridge, 30 foot pool and check out the waterfalls. If you really want a great experience here, don’t forget to check out the Centennial trail, Baden Powell Trail, Rice Lake and even try the Valley Trail. Options are endless.
With a Cafe and Ecology Center in the main parking area, visitors are able to grab a snack and learn much about the park and how to safely navigate it. Do not neglect to look at the information boards scattered around the park. They are there to help you, and give you important information you should be aware of when exploring the park.
Lynn Canyon Park is a temperate rain forest, so wear appropriate clothing and proper footwear when venturing in. There are wooden paths to walk, but there are also many areas that would be very difficult to manage in flip flops… and you don’t want to ruin your UGGS or other fancy footwear. It most likely will be muddy in areas.
our RAD experience
Gregory and I got to Lynn Canyon Park in West Vancouver before 9AM and we were able to quickly find parking in the first parking area. There were already a lot of other visitors, so if you want to check out Lynn Canyon, I’d advise getting there early. When we left closer to lunch time there were so many people…in fact, we left because there were too many people.
Deciding not to join the other group of 5 over the suspension bridge instantly, Gregory and headed towards the second parking lot to find another trail head. This trail head is along a fence line and leads down to the Twin Falls Bridge. Great views, nice sturdy wooden bridge, and man oh man was I ever glad we chose to hit up this bridge first. Considering there are about 5 sections of stairs and several switchbacks, I’d much rather walk down than up a cliff side like this.
From the other side of this bridge Gregory and I explored a little. We could have taken a path that lead right to the suspension bridge,but instead we found a path that lead down a rather steep decline covered in rocks and roots (Gregory seen climbing up the incline below) to a beautiful little beach. The climb isn’t particularly easy, but the seclusion was very nice. Not to mention the many photo opportunities where there weren’t other people in the shot.
We weren’t the only ones who found this little area, there was a mini swimwear photo shoot happening, but I was more than willing to share the beautiful backdrop.
Lynn Canyon Trails
There are many trails and loops to take through Lynn Canyon. From the Lower Bridge Gregory and I walked towards the Suspension bridge hoping to get to the 30 ft pool. While it isn’t stroller friendly, the pathways are definitely kid friendly. Gregory loved that he got to walk on a ‘bridge’ a lot. Which was a wooden walkway made to ensure the natural vegetation isn’t disturbed and visitors can easily navigate during not so prime weather.
30 foot Pool
From the junction where the trails meet at the suspension bridge, we chose to head to the pool via the shortest, most direst route. The number of people walking the paths were getting larger and I hoped to get some good photos and quiet time there with Gregory. It took about 2o minutes to walk there and there was no privacy, but it was beautiful. The walk is easy and there are, again, many photo opportunities.
Taking the path slowly, keep an eye out along the water line for unmarked trails that take you to the shoreline. The water is raging and I guarantee you won’t regret sneaking down at least one of them. Gregory loved throwing rocks in to the water from the shore, and I simply basked in nature. With many areas having pockets of sun shining through the trees, you can warm up your body on a more chilly day here.
The pool itself isn’t a very big area, one I almost thought wasn’t the pool when we first arrived. The crowds here are rather intimidating and I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I wish I had. Some people don’t understand that we can all enjoy the park, and we can take turns taking photos and checking out the areas. There is no need to push a toddler and mom out of your way. Sheesh.
On a hot day I would have jumped into the pool of water. It looks so inviting if it weren’t so chilly. The water rushes quickly along the trail you walk, but there is decent wading areas for kids and a rock face to climb and get a good look in the pool and surrounding cove. I wish I was able to take a few more photos at this spot, but it only motivates me to come back again, no regrets in the end.
The Suspension Bridge
Heading back to the suspension bridge I chose to walk the same path we took to get to the pool versus taking the loop. We were tired and the loop was leading us right up a large set of stairs I wasn’t prepared to take on. Again, no regrets as we’ll return and explore further another day.
The suspension bridge is always busy. I’m thinking unless we show up just after dawn, there is a slim chance you can get on the bridge alone for a photo. Unless, that is, you have a hoard of family and friends blocking either entrance hoping to hold off other visitors for the ultimate photo op. If I had brought my own photo op squad I doubt I would have been so peeved.
The bridge was sturdy, and the waterfall you see is really neat. My pictures turned out blurry as a result of a slightly swaying bridge and a shaky hand. The impact the waterfall had on me though, it’s still imprinted in my mind. I think it is really special that I live in an area where I get access to so many waterfalls. I lurve waterfalls.
Being afraid of heights, this bridge wasn’t totally intimidating. Maybe I was concentrating more on my toddler and not dropping my phone over the edge than my fear of falling to my death, but I digress.
Headed back to the parking lot some time around noon, I need to warn you, there was no parking. We went in the middle of the week and there was no parking by lunch time. Before we even got to our car to open the doors there was another car waiting to take our spot. Get here early if visiting during the summer months. I really want this to stick with you, it’s why I’ve written about parking twice now. SERIOUSLY. GO EARLY.
Before You Go
I hope you enjoyed coming along our adventure to Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. It wasn’t as enjoyable at the main attractions as I had thought it would be. But if you’re willing to veer off to an unmarked (but already well travelled) path, you will be treated to a secluded utopia that more than makes up for the overcrowded attractions. I don’t want to sound like I am complaining, I did enjoy my visit to this FREE suspension bridge in Vancouver.
If you’re looking for more adventures in Vancouver area, check out Lighthouse Park in West Van. Gregory and I only managed half and we had a blast. Looking for another waterfall adventure? Try Cypress Falls which takes about 1.5 hours to complete. Or drive out to Squamish and check out the Shannnon Falls. Easily accessible from a parking lot, no need to take a hike up the Stawamus Chief unless you want to.