Monday, February 27, 2012

Capilano Park

Capilano Park, straddling both sides of the Capilano River canyon near Vancouver, is billed as "extreme nature" or something like that. For Dollie and I, who spend many a weekend on the various goat paths, cliffs, and mountains in southern Oregon; Capilano comes across tame and a little bit cheesy, just like fondue.   Actually fondue is quite a bit cheesy and Capilano still is a fun way to spend a frosty morning.
Dollie brings her Oregon brand of culture to Capilano Park
Dollie, on the Cliffwalk
There are three main attractions: The Cliffwalk, the Treetop Adventure, and the renown Capilano Suspension bridge dangling 230 feet above the Capilano River. As we started the Cliffwalk, a huge chunk of canyon wall broke off and tumbled into the river with a loud crack and roar, just like my dad stretching after a good night's sleep. Since the Cliffwalk is a spidery set of catwalks, seemingly frail and delicate, clinging precariously to the canyon cliffs, a landslide across the canyon was disconcerting, to say the least.

The precarious Cliffwalk

However, I am glad to report our side of the canyon stayed intact long enough for us to enjoy the Cliffwalk experience. The walk is exposed and high up there and would send any acrophobe into a panic attack similar to my wife finding a garter snake in the garden.  For us however, it compares to maybe hiking the cliffs on the Rogue River Trail, with one exception. There is a glass enclosed "diving board" jutting out into the airy void, causing me to utter a queasy "eeh" as I walked out to snap a few pictures. 

The Capilano Suspension Bridge spans the canyon and is, as mentioned, 230 feet above the river. I quickly found out there are stern-faced staff (not to mention, a stern-faced wife) posted nearby to tell certain tourists not to play on the bridge.
Capilano, himself
The Treetop Adventure

On the opposite and apparently landslide-prone side, a series of wooden catwalks and suspension bridges took us from tree to tree. Now this was cool and no one told me not to play on the bridges. It reminded me of the old computer game Myst or maybe the elf city in the Lord of the Rings. Gollum Dollie enjoyed the Treetop Adventure, also.

Hi, Mom!

The trails underneath the Treetop Adventure wound their way alongside the canyon rim in beautiful and pristine boardwalks in what was quite a change from our normal trail tread. Our feet and eyes were grateful. 

A small  creek on its way to the Capilano River

We enjoyed dangling on the various catwalks and bridges above the park but by this time we were cold (it was below freezing) so we headed back to the car, in search of warmer environs in Vancouver.


  1. I remember going there with you when I was fifteen or something...Don

  2. OK, the girls and I want to do this! They want to know why you didn't take them too ...