Two goals in the early going gave Real Salt Lake what appeared to be a victory before a late fightback earned Vancouver a draw.
Joao Plata got the scoring going inside the first two minutes, sliding past on the left side of the boz and slamming a shot back across the face of goal to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Alvaro Saborio made it 2-0 in the ninth minute, taking a lose ball first time and bending a lovely shot inside the far post with his left foot.
Despite having over 80 minutes to mount a comeback, Vancouver didn't find the net until the 86th when Nicolás Mezquida got the visiting side on the board, pouncing on a rebound given up by Nick Rimando and tapping home to set up a dramatic finish.
Sebastian Fernandez would prove to be the hero for Vancouver, but Rimando was arguably once again at fault as Fernandez' long-range shot beat the Salt Lake goalkeeper and found its way inside the post to give the Whitecaps an improbable point.