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Exploring North Vancouver’s Lynn Canyon

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Focus on the center of the bridge, take slow and deliberate steps – those were the wise words of a friend during our crossing of the Capilano Suspension Bridge. 

Now, stepping onto the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is a whole different story. It may not demand the same cautious steps, but taking it slow lets you focus on the meeting of adventure and nature’s beauty at Lynn Canyon Park.

Ready to dive into this wonderful destination? Let’s get started!

What is Lynn Canyon most known for?

What is Lynn Canyon most known for
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Lynn Canyon Park is best known for its suspension bridge and hiking trails. This public park provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to explore outdoors and learn about North Vancouver’s ecosystem.

Stretching 40 meters in length and 50 meters above the water, the suspension bridge is the star attraction of Lynn Canyon Park. 

This wooden plank bridge may not rival the Capilano Suspension Bridge in size. But it offers breathtaking views from above and, best of all, it’s free all year round.

It also tends to be less crowded compared to the one at Capilano, which makes it a more pleasant experience for your visit to this suspension bridge.

You’ll see the surrounding trails and boardwalks, which in themselves have become popular among visitors. 

Through these trails, you can access the park’s 617 acres of lush forest, particularly the Western Redcedar, Douglas-fir, and Western Hemlock trees around.

In fact, a couple of films have featured Lynn Canyon’s natural beauty. Check out Stargate SG-1, for instance.

You’ll also find your way to other attractions in the park like the pools, Twin Falls, and the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre.

What is the history of Lynn Canyon Park?

What is the history of Lynn Canyon Park
Image by John on Adobe Stock

It all began with the formation of Lynn Canyon.

The gradual movement of glaciers from the North Shore mountains created a crack in the earth, which likely led to the birth of Lynn Canyon. 

The Lynn Creek meticulously eroded the rock for over ten thousand years, and eventually shaped it into the canyon that it is today.

Fast forward to the arrival of settlers, the area the Tseil-Wautuh people call Kwa-hul-cha was renamed after John Linn and became the Lynn Valley Area.

Lynn Canyon Park opened its gates on September 12, 1912, with a modest 12 acres of land (and yes, we did notice the intriguing numbers).

It was the very first park to take root in Lynn Valley, back when it was still densely wooded. It’s also the site where the inaugural Lynn Valley Day was celebrated in 1912.

The park’s establishment came to be when the McTavish brothers, prominent figures in Vancouver’s logging industry, embraced the idea proposed by a land agent, Mr. J.P. Crawford. 

In an effort to attract more people to Lynn Valley, Crawford suggested creating a park around the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. This attraction had been completed the previous year and operated privately at a cost of 10 cents per person crossing.

The McTavish brothers generously donated five hectares of land along Lynn Creek, and the District of North Vancouver chipped in another four hectares to bring the park into existence. 

With the park’s opening, the suspension bridge was made accessible to the public for free. 

Things to Know about Lynn Canyon Park

Things to Know about Lynn Canyon Park
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Opening Hours: Lynn Canyon Park is open from 7 AM to 9 PM in the Summer; 7 AM to 7 PM in the Spring and Fall; and 7-6 PM in the Winter.

The Ecology Centre follows a separate schedule: on a regular weekday, it’s open from 10 AM to 5 PM. On weekends and most holidays, it follows the regular hours from June to September and changes to 12 PM to 4 PM from October to May.

Restrictions: Overnight parking, alcohol, and camping in Lynn Canyon Park are not permitted. Fires, as well as the collection of plant or animal species, are also prohibited.

Dogs: Dogs are allowed in Lynn Canyon Park, as long as they are under control. Owners are expected to clean up after their dogs.

Washrooms: There are public washrooms (with water fountains and baby change tables) located to the west of the Lynn Canyon Cafe. 

Parking: There is a parking lot along Peters Road where you can park for a maximum of 4 hours. From March 1 to October 31, between 8 AM and 6 PM, the hourly parking rate is CAD 3.

For free parking, turn east from the park and head to the Lynn Canyon Park East Parking Lot. It’s located on the north end of Lilloet Road, near the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.

It’s also a minute away from the Lillooet-Clearwells Trailhead Parking Lot, which can be an alternative if East Parking Lot is already full.

Fees: At the Lynn Canyon Cafe and the gift shop within the Ecology Centre, you will need to make payments for the items you purchase. Other than these instances, and of course, the parking, access to Lynn Canyon Park is free.

There’s also no fee to visit the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, but it admits visitors by donation. The suggested amount is CAD 2. 

Best Time to Go to Lynn Canyon Park

The best time to visit Lynn Canyon Park for a quieter experience is on a weekday when it tends to be less crowded. 

But on any given day, arriving early in the morning is a smart move. It can help you dodge the crowds and find parking with greater ease.

The summer makes parking infinitely more challenging as Lynn Canyon Park experiences its peak traffic. So, if you’re planning a summer visit, consider using public transportation or arriving bright and early to secure a parking spot.

Lynn Canyon Park remains open throughout the year, including the winter months. But evenings close in pretty early during the winter, so make sure to wrap up your hike before dusk arrives.

How to Get to Lynn Canyon Park

Car: To reach Lynn Canyon Park from Vancouver, simply take Highway 1 and exit onto Lynn Valley Road (#19). Stay to the right as you exit, and this will lead you onto Lynn Valley Road.

Keep driving until you spot the sign for Lynn Canyon Park. Make a right turn and continue along Peters Road. You’ll find the parking lot on the left.

Bus: The bus offers a convenient mode of transit, especially if you’d like to avoid any parking hassles. From Vancouver, you can take the SeaBus from Waterfront Station to the Lonsdale Quay Bus Loop, and then hop on #229 or #228 buses. 

Alternatively, you can consider #227 community shuttle at Peter’s Rd and Duval Rd or #228 bus at Burrill Rd and Lynn Valley Rd. 

Bike: For those who prefer a more active approach, and without the troubles of parking, biking is an excellent choice. 

It’s a quick nine-minute ride from Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve to Lynn Canyon Park. Now, if you’re coming from Vancouver, the bike ride can go up to over an hour. 

But it’s a great opportunity to soak in the views and get some exercise. You can choose from three routes: via Marine Dr, via Marine Dr and Low Level Rd, or via Lillooet Rd.

Lynn Canyon’s Hiking Trails 

Baden Powell Trail

Baden Powell Trail
Image by Petra Richli on Adobe Stock

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

One of the most well-known trails in Lynn Canyon, Baden Powell Trail actually spans an impressive 41.7 kilometres stretching from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay.

The trail, in general, presents challenging terrain, with a diverse mix of forested slopes, uneven paths, gravel trails, boardwalks, and staircases. 

Don’t let the overall distance discourage you, though. 

Hiking from North to West Vancouver in one go is no doubt a substantial undertaking. But if you set your sights on the portion of the trail that winds through Lynn Canyon Park for now, the hike becomes much more manageable.

This particular section of the trail typically takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. And of the different sections of the trail, this one offers one of the more convenient and rewarding experiences in terms of scenery.

Once you’ve accomplished this hike, you can consider pushing your next adventure further, either to Deep Cove (11.9 kilometres) or to Grouse Mountain (10 kilometres).

Twin Falls Loop Trail

Twin Falls Loop Trail
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Level of Difficulty: Easy

The Twin Falls Loop Trail is another favored hiking trail within Lynn Canyon Park. 

This 5.3 kilometre trail starts at the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and then winds its way along Lynn Creek downstream, eventually leading to a wooden bridge that offers hikers a splendid view of Twin Falls below.

If you prefer not to cross the bridge from the main entrance, an alternative access point is available via the trail located to the east of the Lynn Canyon Cafe.

Now, from the bridge, you can begin your ascent by tackling the series of stairs that meander through several switchbacks. Upon reaching the top, you should take a right turn and continue along the trail as it makes its way uphill.

You’ll eventually find the parking lot area. In total, this loop covers a distance of 1.3 kilometers of awe-inspiring scenery. It’s great both for taking photos and enjoying a tranquil moment.

The hike takes about 24 to 45 minutes to finish, depending on your pace and how much you want to savor the scenery. You can also look out for the signs about the park’s ecosystem.

Thirty Foot Pool Loop Trail

Thirty Foot Pool Loop Trail
Image by Shawn.ccf on Adobe Stock

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

A 4.7 kilometre loop trail with 149 metre elevation gain, the 30 Foot Pool Loop Trail takes an average of 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

This trail leads to a beautiful green pool where water flows from a narrow canyon into a broad creek bed. This pool is great for photography and relaxation.

While the more popular Suspension Bridge and Twin Falls Bridge can get quite crowded, the trail to the Thirty Foot Pool offers a more convenient and scenic experience in Lynn Canyon.

That includes good views of the nice rainforest area along Baden Powell Trail and a lot of boardwalks and stairs as you move closer to Lynn Canyon. 

So, the route begins quite near the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and it will take you through lush rainforest terrain, including towering trees and diverse flora. 

As you continue along the trail, you’ll encounter captivating viewpoints offering panoramic views of Lynn Creek.

After your visit to the pool, head up the stairs and take a right turn to access the loop trail to find your way back to the Suspension Bridge.

Other Things to Do in Lynn Canyon

Visit the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre

Visit the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre
Image by Margarita on Adobe Stock

Inside the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, you’ll find engaging exhibits that provide insights into the local flora and fauna. 

From interactive displays on regional wildlife to informative presentations on forest ecosystems, this center offers a worthwhile experience.

Grab a Snack at the Lynn Canyon Cafe

Grab a Snack at the Lynn Canyon Cafe
Image by Margarita Young on Shutterstock

Even before you come inside the Lynn Canyon Cafe, you’ve surely heard of it a number of times. The truth is, it’s more than just a marker – it’s a charming spot to savor a meal, chat with fellow visitors, or simply take in the serenity of the lush forest.

With a menu that includes freshly made sandwiches, hearty salads, and delectable pastries, you can enjoy your post-hike.

Keep an Eye on the Wildlife

Keep an Eye on the Wildlife
Image by gqxue on Adobe Stock

The park is a haven for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. Its lush landscapes and diverse ecosystem provide an excellent opportunity to capture breathtaking natural scenes and observe local wildlife.

Birds, insects, and the occasional black bear are just a few of the captivating sights that nature lovers and photography enthusiasts eagerly focus their lenses on.

Swim in the 30 Foot Pool

Swim in the 30 Foot Pool
Image by Reimar on Adobe Stock

Summers fill the 30 Foot Pool with visitors craving for a cool dip. Surrounded by the greenery of Lynn Canyon Park, the pool provides a serene and picturesque setting for a refreshing swim.

To ensure a safe experience, always check the park’s water condition updates, as strong currents can affect how safe it is to swim in the pool.

On the flip side, when waters are at a lower level, the pool reveals a rocky landscape that’s perfect for a picnic. 

See the Old Pipe Bridge

See the Old Pipe Bridge
Image by AIGen on Adobe Stock

At this point, you may ask what’s with Lynn Canyon and its assortment of bridges. We know, right? Surely makes the park more intriguing.

The Pipe Bridge, as the name suggests, is a bridge constructed over a pipe. Though it’s no longer open for public use, right beside it, there’s a pedestrian bridge that equally offers stunning views as it crosses the canyon.

This bridge is also an access point to the network of trails in the park, particularly if you’re coming from Lynn Headwaters.

Where to Stay near Lynn Canyon Park

Crystal’s View Bed & Breakfast

Address: 420 Tempe Crescent, North Vancouver, BC V7N 1E6, Canada
Phone: +1 604-987-3952
Pricing: $
Book Now

Crystal’s View is just a few steps away from Tempe Heights Park, and then a bit farther away, Greenwood Park. 

The green spaces all around, along with the ocean views from select rooms, offer a glimpse of the natural beauty that owner Crystal enjoys from her home. (Crystal herself is such a lovely host!)

For an added nature adventure, a brief nine-minute drive takes you to Lynn Canyon Park You’ll then get a closer look at one of the beautiful spots in the region.

Riverfront Bed and Breakfast

Address: 1327 Riverside Dr W, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1V6, Canada 
Phone: +1 778-929-9565
Pricing: $
Book Now

Around fifteen minutes away from Lynn Canyon Park by car, Riverfront Bed and Breakfast offers an extension of the outdoor fun along the Seymour River. Walk around the place and you’ll see a lively dining and recreational scene.

And then, the same accommodation promises peaceful mornings (there’s the needed balance in the world). Following your excursion at the Lynn Cayon, a day that starts with that is definitely welcome.

Seaside Hotel North Vancouver

Address: 130-125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, BC, V7L 0G5
Phone: + 1 604-973-1473
Pricing: $$
Book Now

Lower Lonsdale, where the hotel is situated, is just a 17-minute drive from Lynn Canyon Park. The Seaside Hotel is an excellent option for guests looking to explore additional attractions like the Museum of North Vancouver and the renowned Shipyards District.

What if your trip is about fully embracing the natural beauty of the region? Opt for a room with harbour views – this is not going to disappoint.

Where to Eat near Lynn Canyon

Waves Coffee House – Mountain Highway

Address: 3050 Mountain Hwy, North Vancouver, BC V7J 2P1, Canada
Phone: +1 604-990-8799
Pricing: $

We have a soft spot for coffee shops that take the long, arduous route to craft rich and flavorful brews. Waves Coffee fits the bill, as they skillfully combine premium coffee beans with authentic Belgian chocolate.

Pair a cup of coffee with a ham breakfast wrap. It’s a combo that raised our bar for breakfasts that high.

Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub

Address: 1177 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 2A1, Canada
Phone: +1 604-990-8880
Pricing: $$

Black Bear knows how much the word “neighborhood” weighs in their name. Their connection to the local community is nothing but evident, extending their service even to those who arrive late at night. 

They also run a convenient mountain bike wash and lock station catering to outdoor enthusiasts who have spent their day on the trails.

Mr Sushi Lynn Valley

Address: 1250A Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 2A3, Canada 
Phone: +1 604-988-8657
Pricing: $

Mr Sushi first opened its doors to the neighborhood in 1992. So, that means they’re sort of an institution here (and they might even be older than some of you!).

While they currently exclusively offer takeout, it’s a great option if you’re planning to enjoy some sushi before your hike. the park is only a quick nine-minute drive away.

Browns Socialhouse Lynn Valley

Address: 1255 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 0A1, Canada
Phone: +1 604-971-5299
Pricing: $$

Like the Browns Socialhouse near Bloedel Conservatory, this one in Lynn Valley offers a diverse menu that features pub-style dishes and a really cool bar.

After a long hike at the Lynn Canyon, dinner at this restaurant, away from the crowd, while enjoying the outdoor couches is always a great idea.

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