Holiday lights add a certain sparkle to the winter season, and nothing gets you in the holiday spirit more than walking through treetop suspension bridges guided only by the glow of hundreds of thousands of lights! Taylor and Elaine from Local Wanderer headed out to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in their hometown to show us around this local tradition.
During the month of December, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is transformed into a world of festive lights, and the park offers a unique time of day to visit: night time! Usually known for its 450 ft long suspension bridge, the park's “Canyon Lights” brings the feeling of wonder and excitement to the entire rainforest for the holiday season. Plus, it’s also home to the world’s tallest living Christmas tree-- it's a massive 153 feet tall!
The first thing you’ll notice is, of course, the bridge itself! Not only is it long, it’s also very, very high! 230 feet above a river, to be exact. If you put the Statue of Liberty in the canyon, the bridge would only be at her shoulder height! Don’t worry though - it’s completely safe, and it’s an amazing experience at dusk: to see the sun setting around nature, water rushing under your feet, and the twinkle of lights all down the bridge.
After you cross the suspension bridge, you’ll be able to walk through the rainforest and several beautiful lights displays - we loved the circular balls of light strewn over the pond: the reflection from the lights cast a gorgeous glow over the water. Then, it was time to go up even further! The Treetops Adventure course gives you a bird’s eye view into the West Coast Rainforest, with seven smaller suspension bridges attached to 250 year old Douglas Firs.
The best part? It’s all sustainable! The bridges connect to an “innovative tree collar system that is adjustable and moveable and has no nails or bolts penetrating into the Douglas-firs,” meaning that the trees (and you!) are safe.
Back on the other side of the suspension bridge is a slew of holiday activities, like decorating gingerbread men, making holiday cards, and singing carols! There’s also another tantalizing adventure course, though: the Cliffwalk! The trail juts out from the cliff on a suspended walkway, which kind of feels like you’re walking on air! In some places, all you’re walking on is glass (it’s very strong glass, though).
After all that adventuring, it was time to get some rest! We cozied up at the Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre, located in one of the most convenient locations in the city. With tons of transit options nearby, the hip Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood just a few blocks away, and a great view of downtown, it’s definitely the area to be in.
Canyon Lights runs until early January each year until 9pm, and is closed on Christmas Day. Partial proceeds are donated to the BC Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund, which is dedicated to fire and burn education in schools. The bonus? If you’re a BC resident, the price of admission gives you an all-access pass for an entire year!