There’s Still Time to Experience Canyon Lights in North Vancouver

Sourced from Capilano Suspension Bridge Park website

Christmas may be over, but you can keep the magic of the holidays alive by catching holiday displays around town that are still ongoing. The VanDusen Festival of Lights runs until January 6, 2019, as does Holiday Heights at Bloedel. Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum goes until January 4, 2019, and Bright Nights in Stanley Park doesn’t close until January 5, 2019. The inaugural Aurora Winter Festival wraps up December 30, 2019, Glow Gardens in Langley ends January 5, 2019, and Grouse Mountain’s The Peak of Christmas is on until January 6, 2019.

In short, there are still many festive things to do in the city. Most particularly, there’s a month left to visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park’s Canyon Lights (on until January 27, 2019) and experience its magic.

On a particularly rainy night, I was almost deterred from going to see Canyon Lights. Fortunately, the Christmas spirit prevailed, and I decided to still go. It was truly a gorgeous and holiday-affirming night amid trees, twinkling lights, and the soothing sound of rushing water.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Even without it isn’t lit up, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver) is an incredible place, with so much to see and explore. Tickets are on the pricier side ($46.95 per adult, $42.95 per senior, $14.95 per child, $99 on-line for a family of 4), but if you’re a BC Resident, you can transform your ticket into an annual pass. Also, the Park encompasses so many activities and pathways, you’ll find myself yourself spending considerable time there.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

When you first enter the Park, you can learn about the history of the bridge and the area at the Story Centre and Kia’palano, where you’ll find a collection of totem poles.

The main attraction, of course, is the suspension bridge itself, which dates back to 1889 when a hemp and cedar one was first installed. Now in 2018, the bridge spans 137 metres and is located 70 metres above Capilano River. There’s something thrilling about crossing the bridge when it’s lit up, and the calm of the forest and water are below and around you.

Soured from Capilano Suspension Bridge Park website

On the other side of the bridge, there’s tons to explore, including the Treetops Adventure, which has visitors traversing a series of suspension bridges that link 250-year-old Douglas firs. Standing on the trees’ viewing platforms, some that are 110 feet above the ground, provides an incredible appreciation for these natural wonders. The bridges and the trees are decked with lights, making for a very festive tree walk.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Walking leisurely around the trails in The Rainforest, as well as Nature’s Edge is a peaceful activity. The Park has created wondrous light displays, with orbs and birds and strings of lights suspended in the trees and over water. If it’s a wet day, the rain is hardly an inconvenience. Just make sure to wear waterproof walking shoes, and bundle up.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

After crossing the Suspension Bridge back, one of the best parts of the Park still awaits. The Cliffwalk has been built along a granite precipice and contains narrow bridges, stairs, and platforms. If you go at night, the sound of Capilano River in the mostly dark (besides the festive lights) reminds you of your position just above the water.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Holiday activities, like a band singing carols, begin at 4pm. After you’re done exploring, you can adjourn to the new Cliff House Restaurant, where you’ll find West Coast fare (eg seafood chowder, grilled wild salmon filet) and local beer and wine selections.

Canyon Lights is on until January 27, 2019 (11am to 9pm). Tickets and further info can be found on-line.

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