Location: Capilano River Regional Park, North Vancouver (map)
Description: The Capilano River Regional Park is great place to take the family for an easy hike. It’s quick and convenient to get to by public transit, the Cleveland Dam is an impressive sight, and the hatchery provides an educational and interesting diversion.
There are numerous trails crisscrossing the park, but we followed the trail description outlined on the vancouvertrails.com website. It starts at the Cleveland Dam, follows the Upper Shinglebolt trail, and then around the Coho Loop to the hatchery, and back along the Pallisades trail to where you started (map of the park – PDF).
The highlights of the hike were seeing the Cleveland Dam, which creates the Capilano Reservoir – the source of much of Vancouver’s awesome drinking water; wandering through the hatchery (it’s a free attraction) which had good viewing areas for salmon of various species and ages; and walking along the serene trails through towering forests. The area around the dam and the hatchery were quite crowded with tourists, but the hiking trails were quiet. The area is all second growth forest, with the stumps of old giants visible in several places, but the trees still tower above you.
Total Time: 2 hours
Hiking: 1 hour loop
Lunch Break: 30 minutes
Exploring Hatchery: 30 minutes
Transportation: The #236 bus provides service every 15 minutes from Londsale Quay to the trailhead at the Cleveland Dam (Google Maps directions).
Pictures: Capilano Canyon Hike 2011