Hatchery, Grandpa Capilano, and Capilano Dam
Are you looking for a free weekend outing that is enjoyable, even if it rains? A visit to Capilano River Regional Park packs a nice combo for a weekend day of free activities: a visit to a hatchery to learn about salmon life cycle, and a walk in a wild magical forest admiring views of the deep river canyon, Capilano Dam and towering ancient trees. All this under a thick tree cover in a lush forest, to keep you as dry as possible even on a rainy day. Are you ready to embark on this adventure?
The Capilano River Regional Park stretches from Park Royal all the way up to Cleveland Dam.
Start your day by checking out the low-key self-guided interpretive centre at The Capilano River Hatchery and learn about salmon life cycle and the work of the hatchery. Depending on the season (fall is a great time to visit!), you may see salmon climb the fish ladders behind the observation glass in the “Fishway” - that’s sure to delight your young companions.
Follow the hatchery tour up with a hike - as mellow or athletic as you wish - in a lush forest with sweeping views of steep canyon and some of the most notable old growth trees in the Vancouver area. Make your own adventure, or choose between our two suggested hikes for Capilano River Regional Park HERE. The Coho Loop trail meanders along the river, with great views of the canyon and the rushing water below. Extend it by walking to the Second Canyon Viewpoint for a fantastic view of the Capilano Dam. If you didn’t end up doing our Capilano Dam + Coho Loop combo, make sure to hike up a bit on the Giant Fir Trail as you walk back from the Second Canyon Viewpoint. This trail is the first to your right as you retrace your steps back towards the hatchery.
A short climb on the Giant Fir Trail will bring you to a flatter section of the trail that leads to a couple of giant Douglas fir trees behind a wooden fence. A short distance further along the trail, you’ll find Grandpa Capilano - a magnificent sight with 2.4 meters in diameter, estimated to be around 800 years old.
Bring your own snacks or lunch for the outing, and enjoy it at the picnic tables or picnic shelter either up at Capilano Dam or down below near the hatchery.
We hope to see you out there! Have a great weekend!