The Cypress Eagle Coaster, also known by some as the Cypress Mountain Coaster, is the latest addition to the Cypress Mountain area, north of Vancouver, British Columbia. Cypress Mountain was one of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympics and is still a popular ski hill for Vancouverites.
The thrilling downhill mountain ride has a top speed of 25 mph (40 km/hr) and is over 1.1 miles (1.7 km) long. It has an impressive vertical drop of 915 feet (279 meters). It’s also the longest mountain coaster ride in Canada!
Karen and I took in the ride recently and were impressed with the experience, the thrill, and most of all… the fun! If you’re into fun in the sun, consider visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park nearby. Its Park offers a variety of adventurous activities and is considered to have one of the best suspension bridges around Vancouver.
While mountain coasters are popular in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, this is the first of its kind within Vancouver’s north shore mountains, renowned for their world-class skiing.
Cypress Eagle Coaster Tickets
The Eagle Coaster is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm and is part of the Cypress Mountain summer program.
Guests can purchase tickets online for hourly spots from 10 am to 6 pm each day. In fact, their website says guests must pre-book due to its popularity.
The ride is family-friendly and reasonably priced. In 2022, prices are as follows and not inclusive of tax.
|Single ride||CAD 32|
|Two rides||CAD 55|
The coaster ride can accommodate up to 80 riders per hour (1 per 45 secs), and you may have a wait depending on how busy it is during your ride time. In reality, carts were going down once every minute but in some cases, there were no carts at the top so riders had to wait longer to go.
We visited on a Friday afternoon, and there were just a few people ahead of us in line, so the wait was about 5 minutes. However, I heard some riders waiting for over 30 minutes in the hot sun near the top of the mountain!
When booking in advance, you can also see how many slots are available, so I would suggest booking at a time with lots of open spots, which reduces your chance of a long line when you get there.
Eagle Coaster Restrictions
There are some restrictions and guidelines you must be aware of BEFORE you can ride. These rules are in place to maintain the safety and enjoyment of the ride for everyone. Most of these are common sense and not a problem.
- Logistical issues or changing weather conditions can affect operation times and dates. Please be aware that the venue can close due to bad weather.
- The Cypress Eagle Coaster has a maximum weight capacity of 118 kg or 280 lbs. per cart.
- Children must be eight years or older and 4’1” (1.24m) or taller if they want to ride alone.
- Children aged 3 to 8 must ride with an adult. The minimum height of the child is 96 cm or 3’ 2” tall. The second rider must be shorter in height than the first rider’s shoulder.
- You must be at least 16 years old if you are riding with a younger passenger in the cart.
- No use of alcohol or drugs.
- Pregnant women and those with back or neck injuries should not ride the mountain coaster.
- Cypress Eagle Coaster reserves the right to change its hours of operations and reservation system without notice.
- Riders must be physically fit and have the agility to safely load, ride, operate and unload the coaster promptly.
- You must obey attendants at all times.
Directions To Cypress Mountain
The Cypress Eagle Coaster ride is on the north shore of Vancouver, British Columbia, and is located within Cypress Provincial Park. There are two bridges – Lionsgate Bridge and the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge – to get you from the lower mainland to the north shore mountains.
If you’re a visitor to Vancouver, you’re likely staying downtown. It’s a shorter UBER or taxi drive via the Lionsgate bridge at 34 minutes instead of 41 minutes via Ironworkers Memorial.
Once you get to the base of Cypress Mountain, the road north up the mountain is just over 9 miles (15 km), with a long series of switchbacks providing an occasional stunning view of the city and harbor below. After about 6 miles up the mountain, there’s an excellent lookout where you can park and take some photos.
It’s a great inexpensive option for capturing the best views of Vancouver without taking the Grouse Mountain Gondola. There’s a sign directing you up the mountain so you know you’re driving in the right direction.
Cypress Eagle Coaster Parking
There is ample free parking on Cypress Mountain because it’s an off-season ski area during the summer. When we arrived, it was our first time at Cypress Mountain. While several signs pointed us to Eagle Coaster, we still managed to park much farther away than we needed to.
When arriving at the large parking lot, look for the Eagle Coaster signs and follow the orange pylons. The cones direct you to the main building where the ski rentals and Crazy Raven Restaurant are.
Getting to the Eagle Coaster Ride
Once we parked, we walked over to the main building and followed the signs pointing to Eagle Coaster tickets. There is a helpful greeter/guide near the building under an awning if you are confused or lost! For those new to Vancouver, the welcoming Olympic Rings and Inukshuk offer chances for fun selfies.
Even though you have purchased tickets with QR codes, you still need to go inside the main building to get your plastic tickets from the machine inside.
Many people walk to the chair lift but can’t board because they have just a paper ticket. I think this is because the ride is still new, and they are getting some of the “kinks” out!
If it is near your ride time, you can board the chair lift and ride to the top of the mountain. The chair lift accommodates up to four people, and the ride is quick. Karen and I savored some beautiful vistas of the surrounding ski slopes. Enjoy the ride up!
Once we got to the top, we unloaded and headed to our left from the chair lift. The Eagle Coaster cars are also on specially modified chair lift cars and take the ride up with you. I thought this was such a terrific way to solve the problem of getting all the cars back up the mountain.
By using the existing chair lift, Cypress Mountain did not have to complete a continuous track. In fact, they built the mountain coaster in three months.
When you get to the front of the line to ride, follow the directions of your Coaster Crew. You are not supposed to have loose hats, sunglasses, hand-held phones, etc.
However, they seemed to be more concerned about everyone having FUN which I thought was perfect! While many used cell phones for photos and videos (as Karen did), I used my GoPro Hero 9 attached to a head harness.
Once the traffic light turned from red to green, I was given the instructions from our Coaster Crew were:
“Have Fun,” “Be Safe,” “Go Fast,” and “Don’t Stop!”
What to Expect On The Mountain Coaster
I have never ridden a mountain coaster (also known as an alpine coaster) ride before. Also, even though I have lived in British Columbia for almost 25 years, I have never been up Cypress Mountain! I had some great expectations for the ride, and all were met.
Once you are seat-belted into your car, the operation is straightforward, with a large upright stick in the center between your hands. PUSH FORWARD to go fast and PULL BACK to slow down or brake.
If you let go of the control, it naturally falls back into the braking position. So, you need your hands free to operate the cart. Of course, if you want the most THRILL, you should push forward for the entire ride and not brake at all. Try it for the ultimate adrenaline rush; you’ll love it!
When planning to ride, you can check the Cypress Eagle Cam for weather conditions.
The downhill run combines straight-aways, bends, sharp curves, steep hills, and even a roller coaster section. The roller coaster portion is quite jarring if you hit it at high speed. At the top of the ride, the coaster offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
On the lower section, the track meandered through the forest, which I enjoyed immensely. The coaster works with gravity, so it gets faster towards the end of the run.
With a top speed of just 25 mph (40 kph), minor children may find the ride a bit scary on the curves. If your child is not enjoying the ride, use the brake to slow the car down as needed.
In fact, signage along the route indicates where to brake and when to accelerate. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, by all means, do the ride without braking.
Can You Get Injured On The Eagle Coaster Ride?
I came out of the ride with a feeling of “Let’s do it again!”. For me, the most challenging parts were during the curves where your body is pushed hard from side to side. Since the seats are hard plastic, they offered no cushioning.
While my wife Karen thoroughly enjoyed the experience, a jerky portion of the ride bruised her back slightly, even though she has no previous back problems. Even after a few days, she complained of a sore vertebra. Other than taking some pain relievers to help her sleep at night, there’s not much else she could do to treat it.
She thinks it happened on a sharp curve where her body was thrown from side to side, hitting her spine on the hard seat. The seats are very rigid and not so forgiving. While the cars hold up to 260 lbs., Karen is barely 100 lbs. That may have contributed to her injury.
The Crazy Raven
Cypress Mountain is a world-class ski area but operates in ‘summer mode’ when running the Eagle Coaster. There are some excellent hiking trails, but the new mountain coaster has expanded the demand for the area.
During the summer, the Crazy Raven serves as the only restaurant for riders and local hikers. The menu consists of the basic burgers, pizza, chicken strips, etc., but they offer a limited choice of gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian.
Since Karen is gluten- and lactose-free, we chose not to eat there because the menu was limited. That was our choice, but you may find the menu quite acceptable after your thrilling ride down the mountain!
Even if you don’t stop for something to eat, stop by the building to check out your ride photos which are available for purchase.
Mountains coasters have grown in popularity. In British Columbia, thrill-seekers can ride the Pipe Mountain Coaster in Revelstoke and the Golden Skybridge is opening a coaster in August 2022.
If you arrive on a clear sunny day, the views and beautiful alpine scenery are worth the drive-up Cypress Mountain. The Eagle Coaster Ride is an excellent addition to Vancouver and a MUST-SEE if you are a local or just visiting here. If you have a few days in Vancouver, the coaster ride makes the perfect half-day adventure for the whole family.
With a combination of the low cost, great location close to Vancouver, beautiful scenery, and a thrilling ride, I can’t wait to try the ride again soon. If not this year, then next year for sure!
While the ride is quick due to the steep course down the mountain, it was still thrilling and worth the cost. Next time, I think I’ll try the 2-ride package so I can get that adrenaline rush even more!
While Karen did experience a minor injury, I consider the ride completely safe, and the operation was FIRST-CLASS. Next time, she’ll bring extra cushioning.
Happy Coastering, (Is “Coastering” even a real word? Lol.)