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Looking for a perfect day tour from Vancouver? But not sure about what time of the year to travel? Then you’re at the right place. This blog post will help you plan a day trip to Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, one of the most popular year-round mountain destinations in Canada.
Visit Grouse Mountain in any given time of the year, there will be many activities for you to enjoy. If you’re a nature lover, you can’t miss a day tour to the Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Think of this post as your one-stop Grouse Mountain shop!
Where is Grouse Mountain?
Grouse Mountain, The Peak of Vancouver is one of the North Shore Mountains in British Columbia, Canada. With an elevation of 1200 m (4100 feet), it’s a part of the Pacific Ranges in North Vancouver.
This all-season mountain destination is a popular ski-resort in winter and offers hiking in summer. Additionally, throughout the year, there are a range of outdoor activities suitable for different age groups.
Brief History of Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver
In 1894 the first group of hikers who reached the summit named the peak in honor of a ‘Blue Grouse’ bird found on its alpine slopes. In those days hiking to the top wasn’t easy. They had to struggle for days until they reached the peak. On the way, they hunted a Blue Grouse and decided to name the summit Grouse Mountain. Since then this mountain destination has been popular among hikers.
The Skyride opened in 1966. The newly built mountain station was open for public housing two restaurants, souvenir shops and other activities. From 1996 onward, the authorities have consistently introduced new facilities and attractions to convert Grouse Mountain into an all-season mountain destination in Canada.
How To Reach Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain is about 20-minutes from downtown Vancouver. A free summer shuttle bus usually operates to/from Canada Place in downtown to Grouse Mountain.
Public transport: Take the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay from downtown Vancouver. Then hop on to Bus No. 236 to reach Grouse Mountain.
Post-pandemic reopening of the Grouse Mountain has started on 22nd June 2020. The entire process will be conducted in different phases. In the first phase, the Annul Pass Holders and Download only guests (Grouse Grind hikers) are allowed.
How Much Time To Spend At Grouse Mountain
Ideally, Grouse Mountain deserves an entire day. No matter when you visit, this unique mountain destination has enough in store for you to spend a day in the lap of nature.
Moreover, apart from the fun activities, there are many educative programs and tours like Birds in Motion, Eye of the Wind, Theater in the Sky which you don’t want to miss. These sessions have specific timings. Plan your day before heading to the Grouse Mountain.
All round environmental educational tours are also conducted for both adults and kids. The 45-minutes Wildlife and Outdoor Educational Trips are highly reputed. These programs are designed for different age groups including Primary, Intermediate and Secondary students.
The Grouse Mountain also provides Adventure Programs for school students throughout the year.
Grouse Mountain Tickets
There is an option to buy the round trip Mountain Admission Ticket including the Skyride (year round) and access to various additional seasonal activities and enclosures.
The Summer 2020 Mountain Admission Ticket costs CAD 59 for adults, CAD 52 for senior citizens (above 65 years), CAD 32 for child (5-16 years). Children up to 4 years are free but they need a ticket to enter. There’s also an option for family ticket which costs CAD 159 for 2 adults and 2 children. Click here to pre-book your tickets.
In summer or Green Season (May-October), the Mountain Admission tickets generally include Peak Chairlift, Birds in Motion, access to hiking trails, Disk Golf course and Grizzly Bear habitat.
Tip: You can combine the Mountain Admission tickets with other individual and family activities at the onset.
In Winter (November-April), the Mountain Admission Tickets generally include access to Ice Skating pond, Snowshoe trails, Light Walk and kids friendly Sliding Zone. A separate lift ticket is required for Skiing and Snowboarding.
For further COVID-19 updates check here.
Places To Eat At Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain houses restaurants and cafes to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. At the base of the mountain there’s Starbucks. A perfect treat to start your day.
Over the years, the Lupins Café has also gained much popularity for its healthy variety of snacks. People flock there after a strenuous Grouse Grind.
There’s also Altitudes Bistro, which serves typical British Columbian style cuisine, perfect for a sumptuous lunch.
At the end of the day, want to indulge yourself with some sweet caffeine? Go to Grouse Grind Coffee Bar.
Things To Do In Grouse Mountain : Year-Round Activities
Grouse Mountain Skyride
Start your day with the Skyride. It is North America’s largest aerial tramway network. Enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the city of Vancouver, snow-capped peaks of the surrounding mountains, turquoise blue Pacific Ocean and the carpet of lofty Douglas fir.
The Skyride will take you to the serene alpine station at 3700 feet above the sea level. This ride is available throughout the year from 9 AM to 9 PM. The year-round Mountain Admission Tickets include the Skyride. Skyride is an year round attraction in Grouse Mountain.
Eye Of The Wind
This huge wind turbine located in Grouse Mountain allows guests to stand in a glass covered cubicle and enjoy the amazing scenic views of the surrounding mountains and 360 degree view of the city of Vancouver. It is not included in Mountain Admission Ticket.
Grouse Mountain is a refuge for endangered wildlife. It is a wildlife shelter where endangered animals are free to roam around in a safe and secure place. Wildlife refuge access is included in the Mountain Admission Ticket.
Since 2001, this mountain-top habitat is a safe home for two orphaned Grizzly Bears, Grinder and Coola as part of Grizzly Bear rehabilitation project.
In 2002, Grizzly cubs Cari and Boo joined Grinder and Coola. However, after a successful hibernation, in 2003, these two Grizzly brothers were shifted to the Kicking Horse Mountain. It is the largest protected Grizzly Bear habitat in the world. Grouse is also home to adult grey wolves, rescued and hand raised since 2004.
Theater In The Sky
The Theater in the Sky holds a special screening on the journey of the two orphaned Grizzly Bears to the Grouse Mountain Refuge. These films can be enjoyed and understood by everyone in the family. Thoroughly educative, enjoyable and informative.
The research, education and conservation center at the top of the Grouse Mountain works constantly on rescue and rehabilitation of endangered species across the globe.
Mountain Zip Line
Up for some adrenaline rush! Try the 2 hours Mountain Zip Line tour. The dual-line circuit will take you on a scenic as well as adventurous ride. The breath-taking views of the lofty peaks, alpine rain-forests and deep canyons of Grouse Mountain will make your day!
This is the most recent addition to the fun filled activity lists of Grouse Mountain. It has a special kids zone with a minimum age requirement of 8 years. These aerial ropes make way through the thick rain-forest. The activity is graded with different degrees of difficulty.
Kids Tree Canopy Adventure
Introduced in 2018, this activity is included in the Grouse Mountain Admission Ticket. This fully covered fun kids zone is suitable for children between 3-8 years. Under adult supervision, the kids can enjoy jumping around multiple tree-houses and slides.
Things To Do In Grouse Mountain : Summer Activities
For avid hikers, this is the most popular attraction of Grouse Mountain. It is 2.9 kms (1.8 miles) long unique and challenging hike up to the summit at an elevation of 1,127 metres (3,700 feet).
There are 2,830 steps to climb. The Grouse Grind is popularly known as ‘Mother Nature’s Stairmaster’. This steep natural trail through deep and dense vegetated zone is recommended for anyone who is considerably physically fit, agile and motivated. Best suited for experienced and intermediate hikers. Children above 7 years of age are eligible to take part in this hike.
However, for safety reasons, authorities have restricted the descending movement of hikers. It is a one way hike. Every year the Grind is open from May to October. The hikers have to take the Skyride to come down which costs CAD 15.
Birds In Motion
One of the most popular summer programs is the Birds in Motion. Each demonstrations feature Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Falcon and Bald Eagle. We thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the passion and affection of the naturalists out there. They were in love with these birds of prey.
Grouse Mountain also runs Owls Interpretive sessions (11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM and 5 PM daily) and Hummingbird Monitoring sessions.
It is a 14 minutes ride to the summit of Grouse Mountain at an elevation of 4100 feet. It offers the most scenic panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the beautiful city of Vancouver. Daily rides are available throughout the season. The access to Peak Chairlift is included in the Mountain Admission Ticket.
This flying disk sport has the similar rules of that of Golf, usually played with 9 or 18 holes. Grouse Mountain’s rolling terrain provides the perfect setting for this popular summer activity. The access to this 18-hole course atop The Cut is included in the Mountain Admission Ticket.
Things To Do In Grouse Mountain : Winter Activities
Skiing and Snowboarding
The Grouse Mountain is the paradise for Skiing. The severe winter in Canada cannot bind people from going out and having fun. Skiing is the most favorite activity in winter. Grouse Mountain generally gets the first snowfall in the month of October and it can snow as late as June. One can select the ski runs for varying levels of experience. There are specific terrains marked for intermediates and experts. It is said to be best suited for beginners.
Grouse Mountain has 33 ski and snowboard runs. The Ski and Snowboarding day ticket costs will be updated with the gradual announcement of the phased reopening. You can also consider checking out the Y2Play 2020-21 Snow Passes which is bundled with additional benefits. Y2Play Pass holders get 50% discount on Silver or Gold Annual Passes, 1 complimentary Summer Admission ticket and more.
The Munday Alpine Snowshoe Park is ideal for both experienced and amateur guests. There are four different snowshoe tracks for various levels expertise. The Mountain Admission Ticket includes the access to this activity. Equipment are available on rent. Snowshoe trail map here.
Missed the Grouse Grind in summer? Don’t worry. The Snowshoe Grind will help you experience the same in a winter landscape. This challenging activity was introduced in 2011 and can be measured with the Grind Timer system.
Introduced in 2015, the Sliding Zone is for the entire family. Don’t miss the thrill of gliding down the snowy slopes of the Grouse Mountain. The Sliding Zone Sleds are available on rent at CAD 5. The daily operation of this activity is subject to the level of accumulated snow.
Illuminated Light Walk
During Christmas, Grouse Mountain becomes an exceptionally special place to visit. With all the decorations and celebrations, it becomes a natural wonderland. Experience the fairy tale ambiance with sparkling lights hanged around the Fir and Spruce trees around the Blue Grouse lake.
Santa and his reindeers are also part of the celebration. Don’t forget to wear snow shoes, carry your camera and enjoy the Light Walk with your entire family.
How about taking a tour through the snow covered alpine forests of Grouse Mountain? The Sleigh rides are fun for the entire family. This activities comes complimentary with the Mountain Admission Ticket.
The 8000 square foot mountaintop skating pond access is included in the Grouse Mountain Admission Ticket. Ice Skates are available on rent from Fireside Hut.
Overall, Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver can be a perfect day tour in any season for the entire family. Plan your day well as you do not wish to miss out on any of the above mentioned activities in the season. Explore and enjoy!
Guest Post contributed by Rituparna from Travel Around and Explore
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