Most people will miss the entrance to the parking lot. Unless they know the existence of this dam, they will drive by it on the way to Capilano Suspension Bridge without knowing it. Built in 1954, the Cleveland Dam sits on top of the Capilano River, blocking the Capilano Lake. The view is excellent from the dam. Plenty of hiking trails are available there.
Capilano Fish Hatchery, Second Canyon Viewing Deck, Pipeline Bridge, and Cable Pool Bridge are some of the destinations around the dam. Capilano Pacific Trail, Giant Fir Trail, and Coho Loop Trail are some of the available hiking trails.
You have to visit this place if you go to Capilano Suspension Bridge. This place is free! Even if you're not going to the suspension bridge, come to the dam anyways. Beautiful place!
On the Remembrance Day long weekend, Josh and I went for a drive to North Vancouver to have breakfast at a local institution, the Tomahawk. The day was chilly, but dry. There were clouds in the sky, but the sun was penetrating through, giving off a beautiful orange light that reflected off the newly fallen snow on the trees on the mountains. After our hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon, we decided to further explore North Vancouver, as it's a city that neither of us are all too familiar with.
We decided to drive up Capilano Road, which heads further up the base of Grouse Mountain towards the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the cable cars to the peak of Grouse. A short distance further, there was a turn-off to the parking lot of the Cleveland Dam. We parked the car and walked over towards the dam, which was only a few dozen meters away from the parking lot. We could hear water rushing through down the chutes before we even got close.
It's here at Cleveland Dam where Vancouver's main drinking water supply comes from. The water supply is unaccessible by the public, and nothing, with exception to where we were standing, comes into contact with the water. From the lake,
The Capilano River is considered to be the physical boundary between West Vancouver on the west and North Vancouver on the east. For general purposes the river begins as the overflow from Cleveland Dam which was built to create a municipal water reservoir that is part of a system that services the region. The river's true source is somewhere beyond the dam in the surrounding mountains that create this watershed. It runs through the forest which is also a National park with nice walking trails. Beware of the bears though. When we were there we saw warnings!! A short way downstream is the Salmon Hatchery with extensive educational displays covering many aspects of the salmon life cycle and the functioning of the hatchery. .The falls are quite impressive and sure flow downstream with huge. I was quite fascinated by them.
All of these facilities are accessible from Capilano Road in North Vancouver.
The Salmon Hatchery/Cleveland Dam, Capilano Road, North Vancouver. In August all the salmon are returning to spawn and they are blood red in colour. You can watch the salmon leaping up the falls, learn about the hatchery, and view the salmon in huge tanks. The Dam is Vancouver's water supply, and there is a lovely park with rest area. The surrounding area is forested with wonderful walking paths. BONUS: It's all free!