A Bird’s-Eye View of Vancouver’s Forests: Canopy Tours

greenheart canopy

The West Coast temperate rain forests around Vancouver are filled with towering Douglas Firs, western hemlocks and red cedars.  Surviving old growth trees, some nearly a thousand years old, rise hundreds of feet into the mountain air.  For travelers, one of the most unique – and hair-raising – ways to experience these forests is from above.

Canopy walkways – platforms and swinging bridges hung high in the forest – offer visitors a bird’s-eye view of Vancouver’s natural splendor.  Constructed out of steel cables, the wobbly walkways run from tree trunk to tree trunk, in some cases hanging 100 feet above the forest floor.  At those heights, you’re eye to eye with chattering squirrels and nesting birds and immersed in the majestic green canvas of the rain forest.

There are two options in the city for adventurers interested in exploring the canopy.  Both are completely safe, with safety rails and security netting, but nonetheless aren’t for the faint of heart.

  • Greenheart Canopy Walkway:  Nestled within the grounds of the University of British Columbia’s Botanical Garden, this system of bridges and eight separate platforms stretches for more than 1,000 feet and achieves heights of 70-feet.  You can tackle the network of narrow suspension bridges alone or opt for a guided tour.  Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for kids 6-12.
  • Treetops Adventure at Capilano Suspension Bridge:  Seven bridges total 650 feet in length and climb to an astounding 100 feet above the forest floor.  These bridges are connected to viewing platforms hung from massive Douglas Fir trees, some of which are thousands of years old.  With your admission ticket, you also have access to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the nerve-racking 450-foot span that hangs high above churning Capilano River.

Capilano Suspension bridge - Treehouse at Treetops Adventure

Has anyone done a canopy walk in Vancouver?  What did you think?  Leave a comment and let us know.

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