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Are you looking for an adventure in Vancouver? Do you want to experience the beauty and diversity of the Canadian wilderness? If so, you should definitely visit Grouse Mountain, the peak of Vancouver. We both grew up in Vancouver and visiting Grouse Mountain is still one of our favorite things to do in the city! Where else do you get a beautiful ski hill in the heart of the city?

Vancouver is one of the best cities in BC, thanks in part to the beauty of Grouse Mountain. This isn’t your typical mountain, it’s a year-round destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, wildlife lover, foodie, or just a traveler looking for the best views in the city, you’ll love visiting Grouse Mountain.

Grouse Mountain is one of our favorite family friendly attractions in Vancouver. Kids will love everything from the lumberjack show and the grizzly bear sanctuary in the summer to skiing and snowboarding, tubing, and skating in the winter.

Visiting Grouse Mountain is one of the best ways to spend your day in Vancovuer. We’d recommend planning to spend your full day here, or at least 4-6 hours at the top exploring. If you want to do activities like skiing or ziplining, you can easily spend even longer!

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about visiting Grouse Mountain, including how to get there, what to do there, and where to eat there. Whether you are a local or a tourist, you will find Grouse Mountain to be an unforgettable place that will make you fall in love with Vancouver.

Quick facts about Grouse Mountain

Whether you’re visiting Vancouver, or, like us, have lived here for years spending the day at Grouse Mountain is one of the Vancouver activities. It doesn’t matter what season you are here, Grouse Mountain offers something for everyone. This family friendly destination is one of the best mountains in Vancouver.

Where is Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain Address: 6400 Nancy Green Way, North Vancouver, V7R 4K9

Grouse Mountain is in North Vancouver, about 15 km from downtown Vancouver. It’s part of the North Shore Mountains, which are a subrange of the Coast Mountains that run along the western edge of British Columbia.

Grouse Mountain hours

The Grouse Mountain Skyride operates between 9 am to 9 pm daily. Grouse is open year round and is worth visiting any time of year. The attractions at the top have different hours so it’s important to plan your day accordingly. We recommend going in the morning or early afternoon to make sure that you have time to do all the fun activities at Grouse Mountain. 

Best time to visit Grouse Mountain

Winter at Grouse is a completely different experience than the summer.

The best time to visit Grouse Mountain depends on what kind of activities and experiences you are looking for. Grouse Mountain is a destination that offers something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to wildlife lovers to foodies. Here are some general guidelines for choosing the best time to visit Grouse Mountain:

  • If you want to enjoy winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or ice skating, you should visit Grouse Mountain between December and March, when the mountain is covered with snow and offers a variety of trails and slopes for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. You can also experience the Peak of Christmas celebration, which features festive lights, Santa’s workshop, reindeer, and sleigh rides.
  • Summertime at Grouse Mountain features hiking up the Grouse Grind trail, you should visit Grouse Mountain between May and October, when the trail is open and safe for hikers. You can also enjoy other summer activities such as ziplining, paragliding, mountain biking, or exploring the wildlife refuge.

Want to see the stunning views of Vancouver and the surrounding regions? The Skyride gondola or the Eye of the Wind viewing pod is the place to do it.

How high is Grouse Mountain?

Grouse Mountain height is 1,231 m (4038 ft) high and has a vertical drop of 365 m (1198 ft). It’s one of the highest peaks in the North Shore Mountains, which are part of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains. Grouse Mountain is also known as the peak of Vancouver because it offers spectacular views of the city and the surrounding region.

Grouse Mountain tickets

We recommend booking your Grouse Mountain tickets before you go to make your day easier.  Your ticket costs $80 CAD ($60 USD) for adults with children and seniors getting discounted rates.

Tickets include roundtrip access to the Grouse Mountain Skyride (Grouse Gondola) as well as many different activities at the top including the Peak Chairlift (summer), wildlife refuge, lumberjack show, and more. 

If you are a local to Vancouver, you can enjoy discounted prices.

Grouse Mountain weather

The weather on Grouse Mountain varies drastically during the winter and summer. Summer on Grouse is from June to August with an average temperature around 16 C – it can still get chilly at night so bring a jacket, or at least a sweater.

Grouse Mountain in the winter is another story. The average temperature is around -2 C at the base but can be 20 degrees cooler at the peak. If it’s windy and nightime you could be looking at close to -30 degrees with windchill.

Grouse Mountain and other popular BC mountains like Big White Whistler and more

The cool thing about this ski mountain is that it has live webcams that allow you to see the weather in real time. The weather Grouse Mountain has on a daily basis changes within minutes. It can go from sunny and beautiful to foggy and raining in a matter of minutes. The chalet Grouse Mountain webcam gives you a look at what’s happening on the mountain before you leave.

You can even see what’s happening in the bear habitat on the Grouse mtn webcam!

Gear Rentals

If you don’t have your own ski or snowboard and want to try out the sport you can rent the gear at Grouse Mountain. We recommend getting there early in the day because they could sell out throughout the day. If they do, you’ll have to wait until someone returns their rental. You can rent everything from skis, to snowboards, ice skates, and more. 

Storage

Whether you are looking to go hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter, you need a place to store all your stuff. Luckily, there is a bag check at Alpine Guest Services in the Peak Chalet. There are also lockers on site for $2. There are limited available and they are rented on a first come first serve basis so be sure to pack light and get there early.

If you are biking to Grouse Mountain, you can lock up your bicycle at the bike racks located at the base of the mountain by the gondola.

How to get to Grouse Mountain

One of the best things about Grouse Mountain is its location. It’s so popular because it’s so close to Vancouver.

Driving

Grouse isn’t like the other Vancouver ski hills – it doesn’t have a windy, sketchy road to get to the slopes. Instead, Grouse Mountain parking is at the bottom of the gondola which saves you having to brave the treacherous part of the drive.

Downtown Vancouver to Grouse Mountain it’s a 12 km drive that usually takes around 25 minutes.

Taking a shuttle or bus

One of the easiest ways to get to Grouse is by taking a shuttle. This saves you the hassle of driving across the bridge and to the North Shore. Taking the free Grouse Mountain shuttle in the summer is the best way to get to the mountain. The shuttle runs between Canada Place and Grouse Mountain and has multiple departure times between 9 am and 6 pm. This shuttle cannot be booked ahead of time and runs on a first come first serve basis.

You can also take public transit to the mountain. You will start by taking the Vancouver SeaBus from Waterfront Station to North Vancouver and then take Bus #236 to Grouse Mountain.

Taking a taxi

You can book a taxi or uber from anywhere in Vancouver to get you to the the Grouse Mountain gondola. This is definitely your most expensive travel option but a good way to get direct access to the mountain.

Booking a tour

If you are visiting Vancouver, taking a tour to see the area is a great way to visit Grouse Mountian.

    1. Enjoy the best of North Vancouver with this Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge combo tour.  Entrance fees to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Grouse Mountain Skyride as well as round trip transportation from your Vancouver hotel are included in this $224 CAD ($168 USD) price tag. 
    2. If all this sounds good to you but you want a private tour with just your group, you can book that as well.
    3. If you’re visiting Vancouver on a cruise ship, this cruise day tour will pick you up from the cruise ship harbour and take you to all the Vancouver highlight points including a stop at Grouse Mountain.

Getting to the top of Grouse Mountain

From hiking to gondola rides, there are many different routes you can take to get to the top of Grouse Mountain.

grouse gondola skyride in north vancouver

Grouse Mountain Gondola (Skyride)

The Grouse Gondola, called the Skyride, brings you from the parking lot to the top of the mountain and is an adventure in itself. With windows on all sides, you can enjoy 360 degree views of the ocean, forest, and downtown Vancouver. If you’re visiting in the summer you can try the Skyride Surf Adventure where you ride on the roof of the Skyride with the wind in your face enjoying the unobstructed views.

The Skyride runs every 15 minutes.

Hiking up the mountain

The Grouse Grind is the most famous trail on the mountain. It’s accurately coined Mother Nature’s Stairmaster and takes you to the top of Grouse Mountain – you will want to prepare for a climb! It’s tough but trust us, it’s worth it. 

This is a one way hike as you can’t climb down the mountain anymore as part of their trail preservation. You will need to buy a download ticket which is a one way ticket down the gondola for $20. Climbing the Grouse Grind Vancouver is one of the best hikes in the city if you want a good workout with hugely rewarding views.

Some common questions about the Grouse Grind:

  • How long is the Grouse Grind? This steep hike is 2.5km (1.5 miles) in length. The Grouse Grind elevation gain is steep at just over 800 meters (2,624 feet). Don’t be fooled by the short distance, this climb is straight up and considered a difficult climb. In fact, there are 2,830 stairs to climb on this hike. 
  • When does the Grouse Grind open? That depends on the city of Vancouver. Be sure to check before you go to make sure the trail is open for your hike. This area receives a fair amount of snowfall in the winter months so it’s safest to bet on this being a spring to fall workout. 
  • How long does Grouse Grind take? That depends on your fitness level. It took us about 2 hours to climb the Grouse Grind. We’d recommend carving out about 2-2.5 hours.
  • How hard is the Grouse Grind? Well, it ain’t easy! If you’re new to hiking, we wouldn’t recommend it. The hike is considered difficult and requires a good amount of cardio endurance and strength training to complete. There aren’t mid way facilities so it’s important you dress appropriately (good hiking shoes) and pack water and energy bars. 

There is a lesser known trail that runs parallel to the Grouse Grind called the BCMC trail. We prefer this trail as it is more trail than stair master! It is worth noting that there are 160 markers on this trail. While these aren’t evenly spaced and don’t showcase any new achievement, they can give you some orientation to how far you are into your hike.

Things to do on Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is a 4 season destination offering fun things to do year round – there is never a bad time to visit. But depends on what kinds of activities you are looking to do. If you want to go skiing or snowshoeing or enjoy some Christmas festivities, visiting Grouse Mountian in winter is your best bet. If you want to do some great hikes, zipline through the mountain and enjoy an ice cold beer on a patio, summer in Gouse is ideal.

There are many activities that are included in your Grouse Mountain admission ticket.

What to do on Grouse Mountain in the summer

1. Visit the wildlife refuge

We LOVE supporting ethical wildlife refuge centers that work to provide a safe haven for rescued animals. Grouse Mountain is a native area for bears to explore and is home to 2 rescued grizzly bears: Grinder and Coola. There are bear viewing areas where you can bring the family to see how the bears interact. Their enclosure is large with lots of room to roam the forest and ponds inside. 

You can watch the Grinder and Coola from anywhere by viewing the Grouse Mountain webcams.

Access, including ranger talks that happen multiple times a day, is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

At FCWorld Travel, ecotourism is important to us! We DO NOT support animal in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium. But we LOVE supporting ethical animal encounters like this one!

2. Play at the Tree Canopy Adventure

One of our favourite things to do at Grouse Mountain with kids is this Tree Canopy Adventure Park. Climb through the treetops as you make your way through this forest obstacle course. Kids will run through nets, and wavy bridges, slide down curly slides. The park is open to all ages but mostly geared towards kids 3-8 years old.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

3. Watch the lumberjack show

A great family friendly activity, take in the show on the top of the mountain as lumberjacks battle it out in an attempt to be the top lumberjack. You will watch log rolling, a tree climb, axe throwing, and more. There are multiple show times throughout the day so you can plan accordingly. 

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

4. Play in the treetops at the Mountain Ropes Adventure Course

Kids and adults can test their fears at this treetop obstacle course. While Myles is too scared of heights, Samara did her first treetop obstacle course in Revelstoke and loved the thrill of adventure in the treetops. This course is suitable for ages 8 and older and will have you walking on wooden planks suspended up in the air.

You can buy your tickets online for $48 CAD ($ USD) or on the mountain for $53 CAD ($ USD).

5. Take in the views from the Eye of the Wind

As part of Vancouver’s initiatives to be a green city, the Grouse Mountain windmill helps generate the mountain’s power. At the top of the windmill, you will find an observation area that has 360 degree views of Vancouver and is an epic viewpoint. It is the world’s first and only turbine that allows you to climb in and enjoy the views.

Note: The Eye of the Wind is temporarily closed, be sure to check this website before you go if you want to take part in this activity.

6. Go ziplining

If you’re looking for the best views at Grouse Mountain, you have to try ziplining! Ever since Myles went ziplining in Playa del Carmen, it’s all he can talk about. This thrilling adventure lasts about 2 hours and will have you flying at speeds of up to 70km/hr on 5 different ziplines. We love that they have a dual line system so you can fly with a friend the whole time.

You are required to be within the weight restrictions of 70-250 pounds and be wearing close toed shoes. Tickets are $119 CAD ($88 USD) in person or $114 CAD ($84 USD) if bought ahead of time online.

Going for a hike in BC forest.

7. Go hiking

If you don’t want to hike up the mountain but are looking to get some exercise, you’ll be happy to know there are TONS of hiking trails at the top of Grouse Mountain. Hiking at the top is ideal as you will get a chance to actually enjoy backcountry trails rather than just climbing a bunch of stairs in the forest. The trails are well marked and there are a lot of different areas to choose from.

Climb up Dam Mountain, Little Goat Mountain, Goat Mountain, and Thunderbird Ridge. If you want a real challenge and are an experienced hiker, you can even try your hand at climbing Crown Mountain.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

8. Play disc golf

If you’ve never tried playing disc golf before, Grouse Mountain disc golf course is a hell of a place to start! Their 18 hole disc golf course features epic views of the lower mainland throughout. The course starts at the top of The Cut and is well worth the effort. This is a super fun way to get your steps in!

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket. Bring your own frisbees or get some from Outfitters in the Peak Chalet for $14.99.

9. Ride the Peak Chairlift

For even better views of the city, you can ride the Peak Chairlift to the apex of Grouse Mountain.  Seriously, the views are epic! This open air chairlift takes you 1,250 meters (4,100 ft) above sea level and is a 14 minute ride. You will enjoy unbeatable views of Vancouver set against the Pacific Ocean and find out why it’s called beautiful British Columbia. While this is a great family friendly activity, there is a height requirement of 1 meter (3 ft) tall.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

10. Enjoy a patio cocktail

We LOVE a good patio cocktail! Give us a margarita and a sunny patio and we’re in heaven. The only thing better than a cold drink served on a patio on a hot summer day is enjoying it with a view. Both Altitudes Bistro and The Observatory offer patios with unbeatable views of Vancouver’s lower mainland.

11. Go Tandem Paragliding

The most epic way to get to the bottom of the mountain is by paragliding to the bottom. For $229 per person, you can jump off the mountain and glide to the city on this exhilarating ride. This is open to anyone aged 6 and older.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

12. Take in the views from a lookout point

Grouse mountain forest hike in Vancouver

If you’re looking for a great spot to take a photo, you can enjoy the vantage point from any one of the 5 designated lookout points on the mountain.

The lookouts

    • Peak of Vancouver Lookout
    • Georgia Strait Lookout
    • Wilderness Lookout
    • Cascade Mountains Lookout
    • Grizzly Lookout

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

13. Catch a show at the Theatre In The Sky

This year round activity is a great way to learn about the history of Grouse and the mountain culture. The large theatre has comfortable seats and is a great way to learn more about the mountain.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

14. Check out the Birds in Motion

If you are visiting in the summer months you can visit the resident owls and even enjoy a talk learning all about the different birds of prey. 

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

What to do on Grouse Mountain in the winter

While Vancouver doesn’t consistently have snow, Grouse Mountain makes sure it does. In fact, the mountain actually makes its own man-made snow in order to ensure optimal skiing conditions

1. Skiing and snowboarding

Grouse Mountain is most famous for its skiing and snowboarding. Samara actually learned to ski on Grouse Mountain when she was 5 years old. The hill opens in late October (the exact date depends on the snowfall) and stays open until March/April. There are 33 runs, 4 chairlifts, 2 terrain parks, and a snow school for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. You can rent ski and snowboard equipment on the hill as well.

Night skiing is popular in the area with 15 night run trails being available. Practice your skills on any of the 5 terrain parks.

2. Snowshoeing

There are also cross country trails that allow for great snowshoeing. Grouse Mountain has 10 km of snowshoe trails that range from easy to challenging. You can rent snowshoes and explore Grouse Moutain in the snowy forest, the alpine lake, and the wildlife habitat on your own or join a guided tour. You can also rent snowshoes or join a snowshoe clinic at the mountain.

There are so many great BC Mountains to visit from Grouse Mountain to Whistler to Big White.

3. Ice skating

For a great family friendly activity, enjoy the 8,000 sqft outdoor skating pond. Skate rentals are available on the mountain if needed.

4. Sliding zone

Fun for the whole family, rent a sled from the Fireside Hut for $5 CAD ($10 CAD for the year) and race your friends down the two lanes of Sliding Zones. 

Note: No outside sleds are allowed.

5. Grizzly bear refuge

The grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, are residents of the refuge year round which means they are still living here. While the refuge is still open, the bears hibernate as they would in the wild. Allowing the bears to keep to their natural schedule is what we love about this sanctuary. The bears will likely be hibernating between November and March. You can watch the Grinder and Coola as they sleep from anywhere by viewing the Grouse Mountain webcams.

6. Peak of Christmas celebration with Light Walk

Experience Vancouver’s North Pole on top of Grouse Mountain. You can meet Santa and visit his workshop and say hi to his reindeer. If you find yourself here after nightfall, make sure to take a walk through the winter light show. Walk through light tunnels and see Blue Grouse Lake lit up in all its glory.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

There are so many great mountains in BC including Grouse Mountain, Whistler and Big White

Restaurants on Grouse Mountain

At the base of the mountain, you will find a Starbucks to get your coffee fix before you ride up the Grouse Gondola. 

The Observatory – a beautiful upscale cuisine with local ingredients and stunning ocean and city views. 

Altitudes Bistro – casual vibes with delicious comfort food, local craft beer, and delicious Okanagan wine.  

The Rusty Rail BBQ & Grill – smoked BBQ dishes on a patio. Sometimes has live music.

Lupins Cafe – a self serve cafe serving pizza, sandwiches, and healthy food options.

Grouse Grind Coffee Bar – a great place to get your caffeine fix and some delicious pastries.

Beavertails – another great cafe serving right near the Lumberjack Show (near the Rusty Rail).

Where to stay when visiting Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain’s location being so close to downtown Vancouver makes it the perfect activity. If you’re visiting from out of town, we highly recommend finding one of the Vancouver hotels in the heart of the city, close to all the action and the Vancouver nightlife.

Our favourite downtown Vancouver hotels:

One of the best downtown Vancouver hotels to stay at is the Paradox Hotel Vancouver. This upscale hotel has a great location in Vancouver’s financial district close to lots of shopping and restaurants. If you don’t want to leave the hotel you can enjoy the cocktail lounge and fine dining Chinese restaurant in the hotel.

If you’d rather an apartment style accommodations, we love Level Vancouver Yaletown. You will get a taste of downtown Vancouver city life with a downtown apartment. You will enjoy city views from your apartment and a full kitchen to cook. Our favourite part – the rooftop pool! The rooftop here is a VIBE tucked into all the downtown skyscrapers you will enjoy a whole rooftop patio complete with a pool and hot tub.

Thanks for stopping by!

Spending the day at Grouse Mountain is one of our favourite things to do in Vancouver. Grouse Mountain is a must visit spot in Vancouver, especially for people traveling with kids. There is tons to do on the mountain and the views of the city are worth the trip in itself!  

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