Twinkle Lights and Teetering Heights: Christmas at the Capilano Suspension Bridge

Christmas is twinkling lights. It’s the universal part of the holidays that make, at least me, feel festive. The weather, food and traditions might be slightly or very different, but string up some twinkly lights and it’s immediately Christmassy.
In Australia you slip on your plugga’s and pile into the air-conditioned comfort of your car to cruise around checking out the decorated houses.

But in Vancouver, it’s decidedly chilly by the time December rolls around, and they seem take my twinkling lights theory to a whole new level. Coats, scarves, gloves and beanies firmly on, Mr M and I ventured out to experience the jolliest holiday destination in Canada. It’s a big call, but I’m making it.

All photos in this post were taken by Mr M. Check out his Flickr
Hundreds of thousands of little bulbs are strung between trees, over railings and down walkways at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. I’ve read quite a bit about the park, including a lot of great blogs with beautiful pictures, but nothing quite compares to visiting at night during Christmas time.

It’s home to the world’s tallest living Christmas tree, standing at a staggering 46.6 metres (153 feet), a suspension bridge that spans the raging Capilano River and both the Treetop and Cliff walks.

If you’re not steady on your feet or scared of heights, this might not be the best place for you. It’s perfect, however, if you like a tiny bit of adrenaline running through your veins.
The bridge is 140 metres long and is suspended 70 metres above the river, which makes for a bit of a shaky trip over the water.
The first bridge was built after Scottish civil engineer George Grant Mackay bought land on either side of the river in 1888. A year later a footbridge was suspended between the two canyon walls. It was made of hemp rope and cedar planks, which were swum across the river by a team of horses.

Since then, it’s been rebuilt, restored and reinforced quite a few times and today’s incarnation is anchored by cables encased by 13 tonnes of concrete on each side. Suffice to say, you’re safe even if it doesn’t quite feel like it as you bob and sway along the expanse.

The Cliffwalk follows the granite canyon wall and sometimes diverts out from it until you’re just standing over river with nothing but glass and steel between you. You might think it’s pointless at night, but you’re so very wrong. Coloured lights illuminate the rushing river below and sparkle through the trees along the walkway, making it seem like you’re floating in mid-air.

Then there’s the Treetops Adventure – letting you stroll amongst the rainforest canopy. This is where the lighting really dazzles as it reflects off a pond of almost-still water, creating a beautiful mirrored effect.

I could babble on forever, and I probably should considering all of the awesome photos Mr M managed to take. Especially since all of my amateur-hour photos turned out blurry as Uncle Paddy’s vision after a night down the local.

Suffice to say, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is the place to be. It’s got Christmas written all over it.


Vancouver vacation | Canada holidays | Capilano Suspension Bridge | vacation | holidays | Aussie | Expat | Aussie Expat in US | expat life
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36 thoughts on “Twinkle Lights and Teetering Heights: Christmas at the Capilano Suspension Bridge

  1. Oh how uniquely fun!! Although, I'm terrified of being on such a bridge with soooo many people. Just a few, ok. But that many, heck no! #CityTripping (

  2. It was so beautiful Sammie. I wish we'd gotten there a little bit earlier so that we'd had a bit more time with daylight but it was still lovely.
    There were a lot of people on that bridge at once and I was definitely holding on for dear life! Kudos to Mr M for getting such great pics!

  3. This looks incredible- I had never come across it before but how magical all lit up. Vancouver is somewhere that's definitely on my list and rather tempted to visit in December now! #citytripping

  4. The suspension bridge is amazing on its own, add twinkling loghts and it really does look magical. What a wonderful and fairly adventurous thing to do at Christmas time. Thanks for linking #citytripping

  5. These lights look spectacular on this bridge. I envy you being in the cold as opposed to the oppressive heat we endure here over in Australia at Christmas. I've always wanted a White Christmas! #TeamLovinLife

  6. That looks amazing and although I'm an Aussie I do love the idea of a very cold Christmas and maybe even snow. Thanks for sharing something about where you live. Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty & Beyond

  7. Sounds great and looks gorgeous! I'm particularly slack when it comes to partaking in Christmas decoration frivolity… either when it comes to doing it myself or going and visiting others. Having said that I have a neighbour whose house is covered with lights and it's kinda nice to look out the window at it every so often!

  8. That bridge looks so magical and Christmassy (is that a word? LOL) I would love to experience a white Christmas one day – even a cold Christmas would be a novelty after our stinking hot humid Christmas days here! Canada is a beautiful place and definitely on my bucket list! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  9. It's such a lot of work to put all the decorations up and then down again Deborah, I can see why some people don't partake. I haven't put up a tree in about five years now. This year I strung up some coloured lights in a front window and that's going to be it.

  10. I walked across this when I was 16 when we visited Vancouver. My fear of heights has since increased 50 fold – I think it has something to do with being a parent to be honest! But this is the kind of thing that I would seek out and put myself through because it looks so beautiful! Thanks for sharing this unique Christmas destination with #FarawayFiles – cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

  11. I'm the same Erin! I'm fairly claustrophobic so I went caving in the Blue Mountains (in Sydney) a few years ago. By the end I was really proud of myself for doing it because it was such a great experience and I know that being in enclosed spaces aren't going to necessarily kill me now 😉

  12. What a fabulous idea! I'd love to do this – an unusual sparkly Christmas experience. We love seeing all the Christmas lights on show in our little village. This is something else entirely. Thanks so much for enlightening me on #FarawayFiles

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