Erik’s Tour #2: Capilano Canyon and City
Erik Graff created this tour five years after developing his Lynn Canyon Tour in 1995 and it has become just as popular. The two tours do not overlap and are totally different from each other. The Lonely planet Guide describes Erik’s Tours as ‘Legendary’ and you can see why here where he receives his WorldHost Customer Service Award!
Capilano Canyon Tour
Erik’s excursions are totally different from your traditional city tours of museums, statues, monuments and this kind of thing. This tour features a fantastic rain forest, unimaginable so near a big city! The Downtown part of the tour includes a walk along the beautiful residential waterfront areas of Vancouver; across the Olympic Village; into Old Yaletown with its historic steam locomotive and a visit to the former site of Vancouver’s Expo 86 World Fair. Following a coffee stop, it then goes to the North Shore Mountain area and into magnificent nature!
You will then be treated to views of a picture-perfect panoramic lake and mountain views before wandering through lush ancient forest trails. You will really feel you are out in the wild as on some of the narrower trails, you will seldom encounter other people! You will see gigantic growth trails as the tour makes its way down through the valley, following a salmon inhabited river. This is where the tour’s lunch stop will be, next to the scenic river where you’ll be able to watch the salmon jump up the fish ladder on their way up to the spawning grounds at the fish hatchery.
After lunch, the tour crosses the ‘Bridge over Troubled Waters’, a wonderful serene and tranquil location where sometimes herons and eagles can be spotted flying through the gorge. Lastly, the tour crosses the Capilano Suspension Bridge, one of the world’s largest! Adding to the excitement is the new cliff-walk, a 600ft footpath running parallel to the cliff face high above the river. It is an engineering marvel and the only one of its kind in the world. There is also a canopy walk, consisting of six suspend wooden foot-bridges, passing through the treetops one hundred foot high which connects directly with the enormously large trees. All of these activities are of course optional – If you choose not to enter the suspension bridge park, Erik will get you to the bus to return back to the city.
On your return to the city, you will travel by bus across ‘The Lions Gate Bridge’ which connects the city with the North Shore Mountains. The bridge is a landmark and national historic site, as important to the Vancouverites as the Golden Gate Bridge is to the people of San Francisco and constructed around the same time ion the 1930’s!
The tour starts at 8:45am, but if this is too early in the day for you, it is possible to meet the group at the ‘Chez Faye Café’ located at 1168 Mainland Street (at Davie) where the group arrives at 10:25am for the first sandwich and coffee stop. The full day tour ends at around 6:30pm but it is also possible to leave the group early arriving back downtown by 4:30pm.
This 9-hour tour has plenty of rest stops, with a lunch stop as well as morning and afternoon coffee stops at inexpensive cafes. There will be some uneven trails and a few small hills in the forest. And don’t worry about mosquitoes as there are very few.
Bring extra clothes during spring and autumn as the tour goes to the mountains where temperatures are generally colder than the city. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
$33 includes all transportation and entry to the Capilano Suspension bridge.
$12:50 for transportation only. Children 5 and under are free.
Sign up for the tour at the front desk of HI-Downtown!
If you want to see Erik’s Capilano Canyon and City Tour in photos, please check out these two links:
Part 1: Yaletown to Cleveland Dam