One great ride which is offered at the top of Grouse Mountain, is the HELIJET tours.
For a flight over to the Lions peaks, and between them, plus behind Grouse and over a few lakes, it will cost you $129.00, and it's worth every penny. better than any fun-park ride in my opinion, because with this, there is a definate chance that you could come crashing down to the earth. Hop into the helicopter for a short flight around the mountain, or longer over many incredible views. They even offer a picnic spot on Goat Mountain. Menu included. When you ask yourself, "would I do that again?" and your answer is a definate YEAH! then you know it was worth it. Get ready for the thrill and ride of your life!!
Special note: you will need 4our people before they take off. If you didn't come with three friends of your own, find three more to join you, they won't be too far away, reach out and help yourself.
Up on the top of Grouse Mountain, they have two Grizzly bears that were found abandoned, these two are not related (as in, the same parents) Coola was found walking along a logging road up in Bela Coola, after it was learned his parent had been killed. Grinder and Coola are staying in a 5-acre habitat at Grouse Mountain's Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.
Back in 2003, two other Grizzly cubs, Cari and Boo were the first two to reside at this site, they were moved to the world's largest protected grizzly bear habitat at Kicking Horse Mountain in Golden BC. Following Cari and Boo's move to Kicking Horse, resident grizzlies Grinder and Coola took over.
In the beginning, they also had a small pack of wolves living within the same enclosure, until one of the bears, pounced on one wolf, ending that arrangement, could have been over food. I don't know, I wasn't there, but according to some reports, there was a large crowd who witnessed this when it happened..
The hatchery's interpretive centre is open to the public every day of the year. Free admission.
The centre has a wonderful display about salmon industry. You can view live trouts or a few salmons runing upstream thru a man-made fish ladder.
Directions: Capilano Road north (Capilano Road exit from Highway #1). Turn Left on to Capilano Park Road (Look for sign "Capilano River Regional Park") and proceed down 1 km to end of the road.
Most people visit the very touristy (and pricey) Capilano Suspension Bridge when they visit North Van. However, a much less populated and just as spectacular bridge is the Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge. It's also free! You can walk over the bridge and catch your breath looking at the sheer drop and waterfalls beneath you. You can then take a mild stroll or heavy hike (depending what you like) around the area to see mountain pools fit for swimming in or lush, green, mountain forests. If you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse at some of the local wildlife.
For a complete picture of Vancouver area, take the Grouse Mountain Skyride from the top of Capilano Road, with views overlooking Vancouver and the Fraser River delta.
Experience breathtaking views at the peak of Vancouver's highest mountain while you enjoy year-round activities and events.
Also at the top of Grouse Mountain, a little distance from where the two Grizzlys are kept, you can enjoy a demonstration of Hawks and owls, they come in closely over head, and back to their handlers. This is only during the summer month's. If it's too hot, they don't tend to keep them out for too long.
This 617 acre park has been open since 1912 and features its own suspension bridge, suspended 166 ft. (50 metres) over the Lynn Creek below. The forest of douglas fir, western red cedar and western hemlock has been protected from logging, but early activity in the 1800s is evidenced by tree stumps. Some of the trees were up to 11 metres in circumference. There are a number of hiking trails through the thick forests with different degrees of length and challenge. Check out the photos of the early days of Lynn Canyon in the Ecology Centre, open 10 am-5 pm daily. (Free admission)
There are lot of trails near the Salmon Hatchery. All free, including parking.
Direction: To get there take Highway 1 and exit off the Capilano/Grouse Mountain exit 9 (exit 14) and drive north along Capilano Road about 1.5 km to the fish hatchery turnoff, or continue on Capilano Road for another kilometre to the Cleveland Dam parking lot.
Over on the north shore, you have a choice of mountains to visit. Grouse is a good bet, it has an exciting ride both up and back down the face, in the cable tram called the skyride. The views are breath taking, even on a cloudy day. Once you are on the top, there is a fantastic restaurant with an amazing view of the city and surrounds. On top, there is an enclosure which has two grizzley bear, who both were orphaned when their parents were killed by hunters. These bear are unrelated, but get along quite well. The enclosure is surrounded by an electric fence and also wooden rails, so any chance of a mishap has been eliminated completely. The price of a single ticket, is $31.75 and this includes the $1.80 GST charge.
Capilano Park is a good starting point for tourists visiting the north shore, and Capilano Suspension Bridge has been around since it was first built back in 1956. The park itself has a much older history, dating back to the 1800's. The bridge was completed in only 5 days, but not to worry, it undergoes regular inspections. The view from this bridge is very exciting, especially if you have a problem with heights. It's as safe as can be, but if you have children with you, take precautions, and always keep them within eyesight.
Also within this park, is another exciting adventure where you can hike on suspended cat-walks in the trees. Sometimes at the height reaching 100 feet (30 metres) above the forest floor.
Grouse Mountain in the summer (June until September) is a fun place to be if you want to get out into the outdoors without having to stray too far from the city. On a clear day it'll give you a fantastic view of Greater Vancouver. It also offers hiking trails, a grizzly bear sanctuary, a free lumberjack show, free documentary films in the theatre, a birds of prey demonstration, and a free ride on the Screaming Eagle chair lift. There are also gift shops, a cafeteria, an expensive gourmet restaurant, and a pub with a beautiful patio. Sure, Grouse Mountain is a tourist operation, but it makes the mountain fun and accessible for everyone.
All this "free" stuff comes at the price of about $34 per adult. You have to pay this admission fee to ride the Skyride gondola from the base of Grouse up to the top. Of course, if you're insanely fit and a bit crazy, you can bypass paying the admission fee by walking up the entire mountain if you don't mind walking up a staircase without stopping for over one hour. Contrary to popular belief, this "Grouse Grind" is not a scenic hike. It offers no views until you get to the top and it is not at all leisurely.
People do the Grouse Grind as a workout and it should not be attempted unless you treat it as such. However, it is a rite of passage among local Vancouverites, and that in itself has lured a few tourists to test their endurance. Once at the top, you can pay $5 to take the Skyride down.
Another way to save money on the Skyride admission fee is to make reservations for the Observatory Restaurant. This is the very expensive gourmet restaurant I mentioned previously. If you get a reservation for dinner here, although their prices are twice of what you'd expect to pay elsewhere, your Skyride admission fee is free!
Historic theme park, Vancouver's oldest visitor attraction.
Thrill at crossing 450 feet across and 230 feet above Capilano River on the worlds greatest suspension footbridge! A complete West Coast experience awaits in the rainforest trails, living forest and story centre exhibits, Totem Park, Big House carving centre, award-winning gardens, Trading Post gift store and variety of food services.
Travel to Vancouver, 1/2 mile off Hwy #1 Capilano exit in North Vancouver or 10 min from downtown Vancouver, over Lion's gate bridge and 2 miles up Capilano Rd
Lonsdale Quay is an indoor marketplace located on the north shore of Burrard Inlet looking over towards the downtown Vancouver skyline. It's open 7 days a week until 6:30pm and features a wide variety of vendors.
Downstairs tends to be more food-oriented with little delis, bakeries, butchers, and wine merchants interspersed with florists, jewelers and gift shops. Upstairs features more clothing boutiques and gift shops, although they also have a kid's area with a play area. There are also cafes, little restaurants serving takeout, and a pub. There's even a hotel for those who want to base themselves in North Van.
While not as vibrant (in my opinion) as Granville Island's Market, Lonsdale Quay makes for a neat destination if you're interested in riding the seabus back and forth across Burrard Inlet. You can also visit Lonsdale Avenue around the corner, which features some good restaurants and neighbourhood shops.
Grouse in the winter is a vastly different world than Grouse in the summer. From December until May, snow covers the peak of Grouse and it's here where locals and tourists alike come to go skiing, either in the daylight hours or at night. Though not the largest ski hill in Greater Vancouver, it is certainly the most convenient, especially if you don't have a car.
If skiing isn't your thing, you can do other activities. They have snowshoeing available as well as ice skating. All equipment can be rented on site. Note that the ice skating pond is quite small so don't have high expectations, although it can be fun for the novelty of being able to ice skate outdoors. For those looking for more of a sedentary activity, you can take a snow-limo ride or a sleigh ride. The sleigh ride, however, is pulled by some sort of diesel tractor, so don't anticipate a romantic horse-drawn sleigh! But I imagine it can be equally fun.
The snow-limo is quite unique, however. It's basically a wheelbarrow or a rickshaw on skis. It gives you the feeling of skiing without actually having to ski yourself. There's a driver who stands behind it, steering it, and giving it enough momentum to carry down the ski runs. You get to sit in the recliner-like seat and you're covered with blankets.
Grouse Mountain in the winter is fun if you're looking for a snowy winter experience without having to stray too far from Vancouver. While the hiking trails aren't accessible, the Grouse Grind closed, the birds of prey/lumberjack shows canceled, and the grizzly bears in hibernation, you can still have a fun day in the snow on Grouse.
Hiking is a way of life when you live in North Vancouver. There are hundreds of nature walks that let you explore the wonders of the North Shore wilderness, but none is as challenging, or as rewarding, as the Grouse Grind. Beginning at the base of Grouse Mountain, the hike is basically a virtical climb of stairs and rocks all the way to the top of the mountain. Your legs may hate you at the end, but your eyes will love you when you reach the top and look out over the Greater Vancouver area. Nothing beats that view on a clear day.