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Capilano River Regional Park, a perfect free outing for kids

Capilano River Regional Park, a perfect free outing for kids

Spring Break is in full swing—here’s a FREE outdoor play idea. Did you know that the City of Vancouver is home to a hydroelectric water dam that lies atop Capilano River Regional Park?

Thank you to my friend Lilian, who shared this place that is now my backyard location of play when we need to burn off some energy. When I say “we”—I mean I.

Mamas need to run and play too!

Let’s take a moment to talk VIEWS.

Once you arrive, park, exit your vehicle, the gorgeous mountain backdrop you are immediately blessed with is The Lions (Twin Sisters), a pair of pointed peaks of the North Shore Mountain range which has become one of the most iconic landmarks of Vancouver. This view is often confused as Grouse Mountain which is a short three-minute drive east.

Whether it’s a sunny day to share your baby’s first steps or a half day adventure roaming around the three vantage points of this dam—this area is a cool place to enjoy some fresh air and views and even a socially-distanced picnic.

Photo credit: Connie Hobbis

New guardrails were installed last summer over the top of the watershed providing more safety while looking over—certainly the most thrilling vantage point of this dam.

Secondly, to the left of the dam lies a flight of stairs (an 8 minute walk down) that leads to an open clearing of this dam.

Thirdly, the adjacent hiking trail, Capilano-Pacific Trail (runs 5 miles) provides the third view which will take you all the way to Ambleside Park.

This dam was named after Ernest Albert Cleveland, who was the first Chief Commissioner of the Greater Vancouver Water District.

Did you know? 

  • The adjacent man-made Capilano Lake provides pure drinking water for much of the Greater Vancouver region.
  • The dam is located just 3 minutes east of the Capilano Suspension Bridge.



Photo credit: Connie Hobbis


ADMISSION: FREE, open 24 hours

See Also

PARKING: FREE parkade on site

WASHROOMS: Yes, located in the parkade and kept by the city


Constructed in 1954, the Cleveland Dam is a 91-metre high (299 ft) concrete dam at the head of the Capilano River in North Vancouver.

Cleveland Park is a large semi-hill like greenspace perfect for roaming around & picnics with one of the most iconic Vancouver views.


The Capilano Salmon Hatchery, which is located in the Capilano River of the Capilano River Regional Park provides a fantastic learning environment for kiddos. Although the area is open for hiking, all operations of the hatchery are temporarily suspended until further notice.

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