I came to British Columbia to see skyscrapers of Vancouver. Instead, I spent most of my weekend exploring parks and bridges of North Vancouver.
Last Updated: June 16, 2020
The Ultimate Guide to a Weekend in North Vancouver
When I first started planning our trip to Vancouver, no particular attractions were on my mind. As usual in such cases, I intensely stared at my MacBook screen, gathering and structuring everything that came my way about how to spend a weekend in Vancouver, mostly North Vancouver, as it turned out later.
Little did I know that this part of the city was such a gem! Surprisingly, Google doesn’t even scratch the surface of the things you can do in North Vancouver on a weekend. Some of the most beautiful and interesting places are left for the mercy of being discovered with help of locals or by accident, like it was in our case. About a week ago, I would give a lot to have a complete guide to a weekend in North Vancouver. Today I am happy to share such guide with you and, hopefully, inspire your own adventures.
HERE IS THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO A WEEKEND IN NORTH VANCOUVER:
Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a perfect start of any guide to a weekend in North Vancouver. This place makes your heart beat faster. Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world come here in pursuit of a once-in-a-life time adventure. And frankly, they find everything they search for. The most famous North Vancouver’s attractions, the swinging bridge is indeed a remarkable place that ought to be visited and revisited over and over again.
Think a wobbly, narrow footbridge running between two giant cliffs. Colossal fir trees surround the area, making the flimsy structure above powerful river appear even smaller and more insecure. Spending a weekend in Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver asks for some bravery and boldness. But the experience is worth it. So, just breath deeper and slowly move toward the opposite end of the bridge.
If you plan to spend more time on the bridge to enjoy views and take Instagram pictures, make sure to get here early in the morning. On the weekend, the famous bridge in North Vancouver gets very crowded as early as 10:oo a.m, and it gets only busier later in the day.
Lynn Canyon Park
Lynn Canyon Park is located mere 15 minutes drive down Trans-Canada Highway from the Capilano Suspension Bridge. You couldn’t ask for a better place to spend a weekend in North Vancouver. Free and full of activities for all ages and preferences, the park is an absolute favorite among the locals and visitors. Serenity and the gorgeous surroundings allures the young and elderly nature lovers alike. Numerous short hiking trails take the sport-inclining guests to the stunning vistas including Twin Fall, one of the most magnificent waterfalls to see in North Vancouver on the weekend. How about cooling down in a 30 Foot Pool swimming hole surrounded by dense vegetation and massive rocks? All these activities are great. The most popular attraction in Lynn Canyon Park, however, is its own suspension bridge, which takes us straight to the third destination in our guide to a weekend in North Vancouver.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
Although an essential park of Lynn Canyon Park, the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge deserves special attention and space in our guide to a weekend in North Vancouver. Significantly shorter, this river crossing is a free alternative to the famous and pricey Capilano Suspension Bridge. Yes, it is much smaller and lacks many great features of the most popular attraction in Vancouver. But one thing you cannot take away from the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. Less popular, it is more immune to the big crowds, characteristic for the Capilano Bridge. You can surely spend a few hours or the whole day here without being disturbed by the noisy tourists.
There is no place you would rather be in North Vancouver on the weekend like the Peak of Vancouver. Grouse Mountain is a popular destination any day of the week and at any season. From middle or late spring to late fall the numerous visitors enjoy hiking, outdoor adventures, wildlife refuge with grizzly bears sitting so close to iron net that you instantly want to step back. The most favorite time of the year, though, is winter with its exiting snow sports. Whatever season you choose for a visit to Grouse Mountain, it always remains a great spot for the weekend activities in North Vancouver.
Almost two miles long, the Grouse Grind Trail entices a good portion of the locals and enough visitors of North Vancouver to get a reputation of a pretty intense pathway. Also known as Mother Nature’s Stairmaster, this hiking trail selects its winners from the very beginning. A few steps up the cruel stairs help you adequately assess your physical activity level and continue the hike or give it another shot when you are more prepared for such a steep ascent.
Capilano River Regional Park
Hardly mentioned on Google’s first page, Capilano River Regional Park is an absolute must for a quiet weekend getaway in North Vancouver. Families with kids, couples, dog walkers, and anybody looking for tranquility will find plenty of things to do in this part of Vancouver with gorgeous lake and epic mountains in the background.
The Cleveland Dam is a concrete dam in Capilano River Regional Park. Like with any other dams, all you have to do here is to enjoy the vistas. And let me tell you, the views are awe-striking! Strong pressure of water running from a small hole in the dam smoothly flows into the Capilano River. The tall trees like reliable guards closely surround the stream. Take a moment to appreciate the sound of the water and the natural beauty around you on this weekend day in North Vancouver.
Lions Gate Bridge
Definitely not a part of the District of North Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge makes the visit to all the places discussed earlier possible. This iconic symbol of Vancouver is a suspension bridge connecting the City of Vancouver with its northern region. If not for its signature emerald-green color, for a second you might confuse it with the Golden Gate Bridge, a world-famous attraction in San Francisco.
A Weekend in North Vancouver: Your Turn
This completes our guide to North Vancouver. I hope it inspired you to plan your own journey to British Columbia in not so distant future. Even a short weekend getaway will make you fall in love with this place and collect some unforgettable memories.