Lynn Canyon Park is a beautiful place in North Vancouver that has walking trails, waterfalls, an ecology centre, a suspension bridge and tons of nature.
If you are looking for somewhere to experience the great outdoors, then this is one of Vancouver’s absolute best places to visit. Dogs are welcome, but only when on a leash.
LYNN CANYON BRIDGE IS CLOSED
The suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon Park is closed until further notice as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The decision to close the area is due to people not obeying social distancing rules and standing closer than 2 metres apart on the trails and the bridge.
As of December 28th, 2020, Lynn Canyon is still closed (at least according to the District of North Vancouver‘s website). Hopefully it will be open to the public again before too long. The Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, however, has reopened.
To see other attractions that have been closed click Impact of COVID-19 on Vancouver.
Lynn Canyon Park in North Vancouver
The suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon is a good one – not as long as the one at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, but it’s free and the views from it are equally spectacular.
If you plan to spend more than just a few short minutes at the park, then take your hiking shoes and plan to spend an hour or two exploring. 20-minute hikes are also enjoyable.
Lynn Canyon Trails
There are lots of trails going up and down the slopes, many with wooden boardwalks and stairs. If you want nature and the chance to get some exercise, then this is a wonderful place and highly recommended.
After you cross the suspension bridge you’ll find trails heading to the right and to the left. South is right and north is left.
Trails to the South
If you head south after crossing the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge you’ll go along a series of boardwalks, steps and staircases. In less than 20 minutes you’ll descend down to a bridge crossing Twin Falls and then up a large flight of stairs back up the canyon on the other side (and just a short walk back to where you started).
Twin Falls is a nice spot. The falls aren’t large or high; rather, they’re just a section of rapids that drop a bit just under the bridge.
Trails to the North
Instead of turning south (i.e., right), if you follow the trails north from the far end of the suspension bridge you’ll come to the 30 foot pool which is a popular swimming area in the summer (and a safe place to swim compared to some of the river’s other sections).
Heading north along the trail there are a fair number of stairs along the way, but not too many. Up one big flight of stairs, beginning at the 30 foot pool, you end up at the start of the trail heading to Rice Lake which is about a further 20-minute walk away.
Lynn Valley Ecology Centre
Not far from the main parking lot at Lynn Canyon Park is the Ecology Centre. Admission is by donation (with the recommended amount being $2, or $5 for a family). The price is about right – it’s interesting and worth dropping in to see if you are at the park anyway, but not a destination in itself.
How to get to Lynn Canyon Park
Lynn Canyon is located in Lynn Valley in North Vancouver. If driving, go up Lynn Valley Road and turn right on Peter’s Road. Lynn Canyon Park is 1 km from the turn off.
From Vancouver and the Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge, head up the “Cut” – the long steep stretch of highway not long after the bridge – and turn off to the right about halfway up, at exit #19, which will bring you to Lynn Valley Road.
Buses leave Lonsdale Quay about once every 15 minutes on weekdays (or 30 minutes on weekends and holidays). The ride on bus #228 from Lonsdale Quay takes just over half an hour.
Parking at Lynn Canyon
At the entrance to Lynn Canyon there is a small gravel parking lot. If there’s a spot, it’s a good place to park. If there’s no space available there though, continue driving.
Further down, past the Ecology Centre on the left and the large concession building on the right, there is fair bit of parking.
On exceptionally busy days they also open up a long dirt road for additional parking. You might have to hike back up to the suspension bridge from there, and a fair ways on busy days, but that’s fine as most visitors are there to hike anyways.
On weekends and sunny days, especially in the summer, Lynn Canyon is very popular and parking can be a challenge. Chances are good though that you’ll find a place.
A nice thing about Lynn Canyon in the past was that parking has been free. That changes though as of the spring of 2021. Starting this year, between March 1st and October 31st, there is an hourly charge to park. It’s still free to park though between November and February.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to Lynn Canyon.
TIP #1: Be careful swimming in the river and its natural pools. It can be a popular place for jumping off rocks and into the water, but it can also be extremely dangerous. It seems that every year or so someone drowns due to the undercurrents. Observe the warning signs and don’t jump off the cliffs!
TIP #2: If you want to see a suspension bridge but don’t want to pay for the one at Capilano Suspension Bridge, then this is the place to go. It’s less commercial, and some people actually prefer it.
TIP #3: Don’t bring anyone that doesn’t like stairs, and if you bring a stroller be prepared to carry it a LOT of the way – actually, better not to bring a stroller at all.
On an hour-long hike you can expect to either climb up or down over 700 steps if you want (or far fewer on the above two routes). Unless you have bad knees, you’ll enjoy the exercise as well as the scenery.
Close to Lynn Canyon Park is Rice Lake, which is another beautiful location for walking around (and fishing too), as well as Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Also passing through Lynn Canyon Park is the world famous Baden Powell Trail, with its over 40 km of hiking trails stretching from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove.
For a list of other parks in the Lower Mainland, click Parks & Nature.
For information about Vancouver’s most famous suspension bridge, click Capilano Bridge Park.