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Hike for Kids – Capilano Cleveland Dam

Posted on: October 8th, 2010 by moojoes

Capilano Cleveland Dam and River Hatchery Loop (Easy to Moderate)

A great hike in the Capilano Reginal Park especially between late August until November as this will provide an opportunity to see the returning salmon. This hike takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours and is easy to moderate with small children. When it’s raining there will be slippery conditions. We hiked this trail on a sunny day with a 1.5 year old in a back pack and a 3 year old hiking most of the way himself. There are quite a few stairs to “conquer” so you may want to do this hike with kids who are used to walking by themselves. The park itself is spectacular. On clear days there is an amazing view of the Lion’s. In addition to some great views, there are lots of grassy areas to play games as well and to have a picnic after you’re done hiking as the hike takes you back to the parking lot.

To get to Capilano Reginal Park follow signs for Grouse Mountain when coming off the Lion’s Gate Bridge. This will take you north on Capilano Road. Drive for about 2.5 km until you see the signs for the Cleveland Dam parking lot.  Park here and head towards the dam. Cross the dam and take the Capilano Pacific Trail down in the direction of the hatchery. After 15 minutes of walking you’ll see a sign for the Giant Fir trail. Follow this trail until you come to a fork. To view the Cleveland dam from below turn left at the fork. This will take you to the Second Canyon Viewing Deck. If you just want to get to the hatchery then turn right at the fork. Cross the bridge and head to the hatchery.

The hatchery offers educational displays explaining the type of work being done, as well as basic education about the life cycles of the fish in the area. There is also an active fish ladder. During spawning seasons, the fish ladder is heavily used by fish in the area that use it to bypass the dam.

From the hatchery you’ll see a trail directing you up the hill back to the Cleveland Dam.  This part has some fairly steep stairs that eventually lead you back to the parking lot at Cleveland Dam.

See Map

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