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Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain
If you love skiing you probably think of gliding down on the white stuff when anyone mentions a mountain! For me, who is not a skier by the way, I think of hikes and fabulous views, and Vancouver‘s Grouse Mountain is somewhere that offers these in abundance, plus there is of course an alpine ski area here too!
One of the reasons why Vancouver is such a popular place is its setting; surrounded by mountains and water this really is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. You’ll find Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, that is, across the Burrard Inlet from downtown, and Grouse is part of the North Shore Mountains. It is a year-round destination, so if you’re coming in the summer don’t be fooled into thinking there will be nothing going on here as that’s not the case!
Getting up Grouse Mountain
There are two ways to get up Grouse Mountain, and both are equally as popular. If you’re a tourist looking to visit the peaks you’re probably going to opt for option 1: the Grouse Mountain Skyride. This is an aerial tramway and it takes you all the way up to the hive of activity on a 1 mile (1.6 km) long journey. It’s not the cheapest attraction in Vancouver but it does include attractions at the top, and more on those in a moment.
The second way to get up Grouse Mountain is the hiking trail called the Grouse Grind. The Grind is very popular with locals and visitors, and at a distance of 2.9 km (1.8 miles) it doesn’t sound too long and arduous, but remember, it’s all uphill! Most able bodied hikers could do it in around 90 minutes, though the official record is 25 minutes! Another option is to take the Skyride up and the Grouse Grind down.
Grouse Mountain Attractions
So once you reach the top there are a number of things to see and do, particularly during the summer months, including a fun Lumberjack Show that lasts a good 45 minutes. There are also other shows at the mountaintop theatre, including birds of prey demonstrations.
The Wildlife Refuge is home to two orphaned grizzly bears who you can watch from fairly close quarters, while at the bottom of the mountain there’s also a Grey Wolf habitat.
And of course the views are fabulous from up here as you get to see the whole of Vancouver, Stanley Park, Vancouver Harbour, and beyond to the Strait of Georgia.
Photo and article copyright Claire Bolgil. Claire is a freelance travel writer based in Beautiful BC. Find out more about her at www.clairebolgil.com.