Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grouse Mountain BC

There is a good reason that I didn’t recommend you putting Grouse Mountain on the top of your Vancouver destination list:  it is also called the Grouse Grind.  If you choose not to take the gondola up, which is currently priced at $37.95 for a round trip, you can hike the trail during the summer months when it is open.  The hike is free, and you can take the gondola down for $5 once you’ve reached the summit.  However, be prepared if you are a novice hiker like me who don’t exercise much.  This hike is allegedly the most formidable in Vancouver.  I did it several times with friends, and my average time was 2 hours.  It is doable but very strenuous.  During its entire length of 2.9 kilometers, a hiker gains an elevation of more than 850 meters.  Yes, the trail constantly goes up.  Once reached the summit, you will be rewarded with a panorama view of Vancouver, which will definitely take your breath away.  However, you might be disappointed if it is cloudy or foggy.  I have been on Grouse Mountain in the summer.  There were a variety of programs and shows available on the top of the mountain.  Its mountain top wildlife habitat is an enclosure housing two huge grizzly bears and a gray wolf.   Grouse Mountain also offers a range of winter activities, which I have yet to explore.          

General Admission: $37.95 (round-trip gondola); $5 (hike the trail up and take the gondola down)

Hours of Operation:  Open year round from 9am to 10pm daily.  Hours vary for specific programs and shows.

Transportation:  Grouse Mountain is situated in the north shore of the Metro Vancouver area.  It is a short drive from Vancouver downtown.
The North Shore’s bus depot, situated right outside of Lonsdale Quay, accommodate buses that provide access to many of north shore’s tourist attractions, including Grouse Mountain, and Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park (coming up next on my list).  Seabus connects downtown Vancouver with Lonsdale Quay.  Taking the seabus is a unique and pleasant experience.  It offers great views of the north shore when travelling northbound, and the striking landscape of Downtown Vancouver on the way back.  The seabus requires a 2-zone ticket that costs $3.75