We began the day at a guided bird-walk at Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver, before meeting Merewyn at Lonsdale Quay. We drove up to the trailhead, parked under the highway and set off. A pleasant easy hike, which we all seemed to need. After a while on a wide old road, the trail ducked into the trees just past the Capilano Canyon tourist attraction (very well fenced off from the public). We ambled along at a comfortable pace, enjoying the dappled sunlight in the forest. A platform on the edge of the canyon gave us a good view down to the river and the cliff walls opposite (with an apartment building perched on top).
Continuing on, we crossed a good number of small bridges (lots of tiny creeks) and soon came to a gravel road. We turned left up the hill to cross the Cleveland Dam. We had clear views of the Lions, still well-blanketed with snow. The overflow from the dam made for a dizzying view off the downstream side. We walked through the picnic area and took the trail down to the hatchery. We were initially thinking of taking the pipeline trail back to rejoin the main trail, but construction work changed our minds.
We crossed the river on the Cable Pool bridge and headed up to the canyon viewpoint which looks into the jaws of the canyon just below the dam. It’s a good place to get soaked by the spray! From there we took a side trail uphill past a few large Douglas firs, including the impressive Grandpa Capilano fir. A few yards further and we rejoined our inbound trail, following it back to the car for a round trip total of about 3 leisurely hours. Not the most impressive hike by a long way, but it was just right for a lazy afternoon.
Distance: 8 km
Elevation gain: about 100 m
Photos on Flickr