3.78 out of 5 - 9 reviews

View Capilano Pacific Trail Description | Add Comment

Rachel from Vancouver writes:

On April 1, 2018, we hiked from the Marine Dr bridge up to the Cleveland Dam (we had lunch there and continue on to the Hatchery and the Capilano Suspension Bridge before catching the shuttle home). We went at a leisurely pace (stopping at lookouts) and finished in about 1 hour 40 minutes. I highly recommend walking it this way because you go from very urban to remote (feeling) and get to end your hike with the spectacular views of the Cleveland Dam. Which I definitely felt like I'd 'earned'.

The portion of the hike from the time you pass the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and go "Right at Trail" until you go "Left onto Gravel Road" is an absolutely amazing hike. Five stars, easily. It's an easy walk but beautiful. You feel like you're in the middle of no where and you can hear the sound of water all around you. The path has lots of cute bridges and some great view points.

However, the rest of the hike is largely on either wide gravel roads or actual roads which definitely under cuts the 'hiking' quality. Part of this can be fixed by taking one of the Shinglebolt paths up to the Dam instead of the main gravel road but this can't be avoided at the bottom of the hike. The walk along the lower portions of the Capilano River are also quite nice.

On the whole, this was a great starter hike for novice hikers like ourselves. How urban it was actually helped put us at ease and we both really enjoyed the overall experience. I'm not sure if we'll ever doing it again but I'm so glad that we did do it.

I think this is a great hike if: 1) you're new to hiking, 2) you've never been to the Cleveland Dam, or 3) you want to get into trail running.

    Posted: April 3, 2018 09:51:40 AM PST


    Annah from New west writes:

    Did this hike March 31, and it was a beautiful, sunny day. The trail was completely devoid of snow and it felt like a summer day, which was the type of walk we were looking for. I'd say it was a perfect late winter/spring walk to do.

    We did struggle to find parking at the beginning which made it a tad stressful, as we didn't know that area as well. We ended up parking by the Park Royal mall. We also didn't like how urbanized this hike felt, especially the first 35-40mins of the hike. At one point we were walking under a highway and on a residential street which wasn't very pleasant.

    Once we got passed the Capilano Suspension bridge attraction it was more heavily forested and felt more like in the wilderness. The Cleveland Dam at the top was cool, and we got some lovely views of Grouse and the 2 lions.

    Overall, it's a very easy hike that people of all ages can do, we did it under the suggested time as well, by a half an hour. We also took our dog who was allowed off lead at multiple stages of the walk. I'd say it's a good hike to do when other trails are covered with snow.

    • Capilano Pacific Trail photo
    • Capilano Pacific Trail photo
    • Capilano Pacific Trail photo

      Posted: March 31, 2018 03:35:03 PM PST


      TEC from North Vancouver writes:

      My 13 year old daughter and I started at Cleveland Dam (got dropped off by car) and walked down the trail to Ambleside. We caught the bus from Park Royal to go home. There were a couple of spots where the signs were a little confusing, but we figured out the right way to go. We think it would be around 1.5 hours, if you don't make any extra loops, like we accidentally did. We really enjoyed it. There was a good mix of sun and shade, a fairly light amount of people and some well behaved dogs. Running shoes were totally fine, no hiking shoes needed. We did carry 1 camelback, because it was a hot day and would recommend wearing sunscreen. The people we encountered on the trail seemed to be mostly locals. It was way less crowded than the Quarry Rock hike and ends at a beautiful beach. We wouldn't mind starting at the bottom and doing the roundtrip hike next time.

        Posted: August 26, 2017 07:42:57 PM PST


        Benny Nyström from Stockholm Sweden writes:

        Awesome hike ...its an easy hike but I'm glad that I had my camelback ....without it I would have been toast going up to Clevland dam...dont go with flip flops and running shoes ...well if you love you're feets

          Posted: August 22, 2017 08:01:10 AM PST


          ceboya from Vancouver writes:

          @Ireneo, the trail can be walked by a 5 year old, but as for the distance, I would guess it's a bit far being 14 km return from Park Royal area. you cannot access Capilano Suspension Bridge from this trail as Capilano Suspension Bridge's entrance is off of Capilano Road in North Vancouver. You can see into the grounds of the Suspension Bridge at one part of the trail though where the trail borders the fencing.

          @Delany, it's not suited for road bikes as it's gravel and forest trails.

          Interesting that I grew up in West Van and never hiked this trail until yesterday (except for the upper portion from the British Properties to the Cleveland Dam). It's a relaxing forested walk where you never truly escape the city's sounds yet between 6pm-9pm, I encountered less than 10 others on the upper forested trail. The lower portion had only a few more seaside strollers near Park Royal and along the Capilano River, and there was a small section of trail that joggers, who I guess live in the British Properties, run along the gravel path where the trail skirts the edge of the forest.

          Overall, it's a pleasant "in-the-city" forest hike if you want to do a last minute hike as I did late in the day with no preparation. There are few views save for a few canyon views between the trees down into the river, the view of the city's reservoir and Grouse Mountain, the Lions from the dam, and of course the Cleveland Dam is always jaw dropping looking over the edge.

          I saw my first-ever owl in nature on this hike. It was about 15 ft away on a branch and stared back at me, allowing me to take a (blurry) smartphone picture, before it swiveled its head right, while the rest of its body remained facing me, as owls do, relieved itself unceremoniously, and then flew off into the darkening woods. Awesome!

            Posted: August 2, 2015 11:43:31 AM PST


            Delaney from North Vancouver writes:

            Are you able to ride road bikes on this trail?

              Posted: June 16, 2015 11:56:49 AM PST


              Ireneo from Italy writes:

              hi is it possible to get to capilano suspension bridge if i'm walking on pacific trail???
              my daughter is 5 years old, do you think she'll be fine on the track???

                Posted: May 29, 2015 03:23:04 PM PST


                Crystal from China writes:

                This is a low cost but with high performance trail.Highly recommended! In general, it is very easy, it took us 3 hours for a round way. We take buses there from downtown, (250/250a) all go there. If you want to see more pictures about this trail, you can go to my blog:
                https://zhaott0416.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/capilano-pacific-trail-to-cleveland-dam/

                  Posted: May 18, 2015 10:19:01 AM PST


                  Steph from Vancouver writes:

                  If you'e taking public transit from Vancouver, another option is to take any of the buses that travel via Park Royal (listed on bus stop signs along W. Georgia), get off at Park Royal North, and start walking east along Marine Drive. A couple of minutes after you cross Taylor Way, a sign will direct you down to a side street. Keep heading east, and the gravel trail will be in front of you, just past the condos. You can go all the way down to the beach at the end of your hike and loop up to the bus stops at Park Royal if you want the full hike!

                    Posted: August 29, 2014 10:58:28 PM PST


                    jc from vancouver writes:

                    great trail...did it last sat (early may)...it is a nice, gentle trail...goes along cap river and follows it somewhat as it meanders just east of park royal(didn't know this lovely part of the extended 'sea walk')...from there i had lunch at the village taphouse, then continued along the seawall to 'the beach house' near 25th/marine, taking in awesome ambleside and dundarave beaches (my fav beaches!)...enjoying the huge 'canupa' tree too.

                    if you parked your car near the cap hatchery/damn, then you after the hike to ambleside, and are a bit tired to do another 1.5-2 hrs return, you can then walk back to capilano rd and take a west van bus up north cap rd.

                      Posted: May 8, 2013 12:45:05 PM PST


                      Caitlin from Vancouver writes:

                      I did this hike last weekend. It took me about 3 hours to complete the trail roundtrip. It was a pleasant walk...lots of dog walkers and trail runners.

                        Posted: January 27, 2013 05:28:57 PM PST


                        John from Burnaby writes:

                        Completed this trail today with our Seniors Walking Group out of Burnaby. This is a combination of an uphill challenging trail to a gradual downhill easier route. What a great day for a hike down to Park Royal. A highly recommended walk of about 8 km.

                          Posted: May 25, 2012 09:53:35 PM PST


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