Grouse Grind – Grouse Mountain
The Grouse Grind is Vancouver’s most used trail and is renowned for its challenge in requiring physical strength and endurance in order to make it to the top. In less than 3km, the trail climbs more than 850m. Due to the large number of people that use this trail, primarily for exercise, maintenance workers have had to build wooden stairs on much of the path in order to prevent further erosion from overuse.
The trail begins just east (right) of the Grouse Mountain Gondola in an area with posts set up for hikers to use for stretching their arms and legs before the hike. Walk past the gate and over the small bridge and immediately begin your uphill ascent. The trail levels out until you reach a sign at a fork in the trail. Go left at the fork and continue your uphill climb making your way over rocks, roots, and wooden steps. After 15 minutes or so, you cross a small bridge over a dried-up creek. It’s only another 10 minutes to the first quarter mark.
Each quarter mark is clearly shown with large signs and can be a relief or an indication on whether to continue or not. If you are struggling at the first quarter mark or have run out of water, it’s probably a better idea to walk back down as there is still a long, grueling way to go and you could potentially run into some serious problems if you choose to continue.
For those continuing, the trail weaves its way uphill over more wooden steps. The third quarter is the steepest with the trail traversing over rock in some sections. The fourth quarter is also quite steep with some sections containing very large steps. Keep going, you’re almost there.
Once at the top, you have earned bragging rights by saying you have completed ‘The Grind’. Walk towards the Grouse Mountain Chalet and up the stairs to the entrance. Just inside, you can buy your ticket for the Gondola ride before heading back down, have a beer at the bar, or wander around the top of Grouse Mountain to check out the events or scenery.
How to get to Grouse Grind
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 30 minutes
The Grouse Grind Trail starts from the parking lot at the base of Grouse Mountain.
Drive westbound along Georgia Street and continue along the Stanley Park Causeway and across the Lions Gate Bridge. Right after crossing the bridge, take the right-hand turnoff to North Vancouver and immediately change lanes into one of the furthest left two lanes. At the first set of lights, the left two lanes turn onto Capilano Road. Follow Capilano Road as it continues northbound, passing the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Capilano Dam, until it ends up in the Grouse Mountain parking lot.
From Highway #1
Take the Trans Canada Highway (Highway #1) westbound across the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge (Second Narrows Bridge) to North Vancouver and take the Capilano Road Exit. Turn right onto Capilano Road and head northbound until it ends up in the Grouse Mountain parking lot.
Transit Access to Grouse Grind
For those downtown, take the Seabus across to North Vancouver and at the Lonsdale Quay bus loop, take bus #236 to Grouse Mountain. People travelling from East Vancouver or Burnaby may find it easier to take a bus to the Phibbs Exchange bus loop in North Vancouver and then take bus #232 to Grouse Mountain.