Grouse Mountain – How To Have The Best Day Out

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After a couple of days in the city, we headed North to Grouse Mountain. I was more than ready to get back into the mountains; this time hiking up. An early morning was in order to avoid the crowds as we geared up to hike the Grouse Grind. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and it was a perfect day for 2800 steps. These aren’t any old steps; these are 2800 steps up a side of a Mountain.

The information board about the Grouse Grind hike at Grouse Mountain
Starting the Grouse Grind

Hiking Grouse Mountain

The steps stretched 1.8 miles, pretty much vertical. The challenge awaited us. This was the first hike of the trip and we hoped it wouldn’t put us off hiking. I am in no way a seasoned hiker, I would classify myself as a beginner. I just have a love for the adrenaline rush and the amazing views you see after putting in the hard work.

We set off with water and some snacks, we weren’t really that prepared for the task ahead of us. Also, I had a great deal of determination to complete it within a good time. The guideline is an hour and a half to climb to the top according to the Grouse Mountain website. The trail is visible and marked, you can’t go wrong. The trees sheltered us from the sun’s strong rays.

This wasn’t too bad. Slowly making our way up the first quarter was enjoyable (although this would change later on). I quite enjoy early morning exercise as I feel it is a good way to start the day. That coupled with the fact we will have great views was all the motivation I needed to keep on climbing. This section was not steep more like a casual climb.

The higher we got the tougher the hike became. It was still manageable at this stage. Halfway.

Hitting the Half Way Mark on The Grouse Grind

It started to increase in steepness but taking a steady pace worked well to keep us moving. Before we knew it, we made it to the last quarter. The last quarter was a vertical climb. With tired legs, this was the time I had to dig deep. This was the toughest part and I did start to wonder… can I make it?

An Instagram story screenshot clarifying that we completed the Grouse Grind

The answer was YES with determination and gritted teeth we made it to the top. This was a challenging yet rewarding hike to start off our trip. When I said I was a beginner I wasn’t lying; this hike only continued because of its constant water breaks and moments to catch my breath.

Hike one…Completed.

It is crazy to think that locals from this area complete the trail barefoot in under 20 minutes. We did it in 2 hours. This was a huge accomplishment for us. We were so proud and so knackered when we reached the top.

What a morning!!!

Exploring Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain has more to explore than the hike up in Summertime and that’s what we planned to do for the day. In winter, this mountain is a popular ski or snowboard Mountain with day and night access available to guests and season ticket holders.

The Grizzly Bears at Grouse

Once recovered, re-hydrated, and refueled we explored what the mountain had to offer. The most important and the first stop was to see the two resident Grizzly Bears that call Grouse Mountain home. The size of these two adult male bears (Grinder and Coola) was insane, arguably much larger than Black Bears. I had already seen Black Bears in Whistler, Canada.

An orphaned male Grizzly Bear at Grouse Mountain standing in the grass
One of the Male Grizzly’s at Grouse Mountain

The Grizzly’s both lost their mother and ended up orphaned. Grinder was alone with no mother in sight. Coola’s mother and her two other cubs were unfortunately hit by a truck. They both came to Grouse in 2001 to start their new life.

In an ideal world, these would be wild and free. It was quite distressing to watch the tourists race to either side of the pen depending on the bear’s movement. This caused one of them to charge towards a child, luckily, they are safely behind a fence. I heard that these Bears aren’t always out so it may be potluck if you see them.

Riding up to The Peak

There were two options to get us to the peak of the Mountain: hike up or the chair lift. Well after this morning I think you can guess which we opted for. The chair lift ride was a strange one as I didn’t have a snowboard attached to my foot (I did a ski season in Whistler).

We are riding the chair lift back down from the Peak of Grouse Mountain
Coming Back Down To The Warmth of The Sun

Peak was very windy, with clouds filling up most of the sky. Making it much cooler up there. Therefore, a quick snap of the camera and an even quicker moment to take it all in before going back to the warmth of the sun. The views weren’t as magnificent as we expected but you could still make out some of Vancouver.

The Bird Show at Grouse Mountain

A bald eagle standing on a wooden pole eating at the bird show
Bald Eagle at the Free Bird Show

Among other attractions on Grouse Mountain, there are free shows. One of these was a bird show which we stopped and watched. The information provided by the Falconry staff was engaging and very detailed. The show showcased some of the best birds including a bald eagle, a red hawk, and a falcon. This was a welcome rest, muscle soreness was starting to set in!

The World-Famous Lumber Jack Show

Another free show is the World-Famous Lumber Jack show. The show was well written and even better acted. These types of shows are normally way too cringe for me to enjoy but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. This was incredible and actually a laugh-out-loud show. Also, the all-important danger factor had you on the edge of your seat (well bench).

The Blue and Red Teams competed in classic lumberjack challenges. Also, there was a 60ft wooden pole involved somehow. I won’t go into any more detail just in case you get to witness the show. However, I highly recommend this free show if you are there during the summer.

The Sky Train Ride at Grouse Mountain

The sky train we took back down only takes 4 minutes. However, it was like a sardine tin with everyone squashed in. The Grouse Grind is a one-way system so the hike down would have been a different route but energy levels were low so the sky train it was. What a tough yet rewarding morning followed by a great afternoon.

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