Thanks to one of our terrific VT meeting co-hosts, YVRDave, we got to go up to the top of Grouse Mountain for free which normally costs a whopping $29.95!!!!
We hadn't eaten in hours so our first stop was at the snack bar where we grabbed hot dogs and hamburgers and then it was onto the grizzly bear habitat. I was expecting to see cubs but their two resident grizzlies were over 600 lbs. and near maturity. After a short talk by the ranger, we circled their enclosure and finally were able to get a few pictures of them playing in their pond.
And then off to the World Famous (ha, ha, what isn't these days?) Lumberjack show. Entertaining in a cheesy way, I'm sure this is great fun for kids.
A couple of suggestion:
The fast food options on top of Grouse Mountain weren't great and overpriced ($4.50 for a hot dog), bring your own picnic lunch or eat before you go.
If you are paying $30 to go up to the top, plan on spending a good portion of the day here. There was a lot more that we didn't get to see.
Several of us spent Saturday afternoon up at Grouse Mountain (compliments of YVRDave). It had been fairly cloudy most of the day, but managed to turn beautiful, and sunny shortly after our arrival. A 6 minute gondola ride delivers you safely to the top (although when the gondola goes over the towers be prepared for a slight swing). Enjoy the great scenery (4100ft elevation), world famous lumberjack show, birds in motion, and my favorite; the grizzly bear habitat.
For the energetic ones in the group, feel free to run to the top referred to as the Grouse Grind.
This is was my most expensive outing in Vancouver. A return ticket to the top of mountain cost C$31.75 (including tax)! To get the most of out your money, attend the shows and displays that are staged on the mountain. You can watch a 'birds of prey' exhibition and watch lumberjacks chopping wood. There are, apparently, bears. They weren't very forthcoming, however, and one local explained to me that no-one had seen them for seven days!
Of course, the main reason for ascending to the top of Grouse Mountain is to take in the fantastic views of Vancouver and the surrounding region. The day I went up, it was clear and sunny and the haze over the city was the only detriment to an unobstructed view. The walk to the summit is steep and on a sunny day make sure you carry bottled water.
Grouse Mountain is the most famous out of Vancouver's three local mountains. Unlike the neighbouring mountains Seymour and Cypress, Grouse is the only mountain where you can't drive up to the top. As a result, in order to get to the top of Grouse you must pay $32 per person to take the Skyride - a large 200 person capacity gondola - up to the top. If you're on a tight budget or are seriously ambitious, your only other option to get to the top of Grouse is to "hike" up a vertical trail known fondly as the Grouse Grind.
Make no mistake - the Grouse Grind is gruelling; it's not really a leisurely hike. Locals will "do" the Grouse Grind as a weekly work-out routine, although the idea of climbing one and a half hours up a mountain by stairs isn't for everybody. Therefore, taking the Skyride up to Grouse Mountain is often the best way of experiencing it.
While certainly Grouse Mountain can be touristy and expensive, I'd still say it's worth it. I would recommend taking the Skyride up to Grouse Mountain to those who are new to Vancouver, who don't have cars, and who are looking for a unique panoramic experience without having to travel far from the city centre. Most importantly, only go when the skies are clear. Once up top, you can easily spend 3+ hours entertaining yourself.
While your admission gets you up to the top of Grouse Mountain, it also includes admission to the 2 documentaries in the "Theatre in the Sky", the Lumberjack show, a birds in motion show, an endangered wildlife demonstration, the bear habitat, the wolf habitat, a guided eco walk, and the best part (in my opinion) the 20 minute Screaming Eagle chairlift ride. Be sure to ride the Screaming Eagle as it gives you the best panoramic views!
After the disappointment of Capilano i was expecting much of the same from Grouse Mountain but i was mistaken. Even though the weather did its best to spoil the day we enjoyed ourselves. The shows where good and timed so that you missed nothing, the restaurant sold decent, reasonable priced food and drink and the staff where very helpful.
If you do go here pick a clear day as the views will be great.
"26 bucks!!!" I complained as we drove up to Grouse Mountain. That's how much the entry fee was. Probably just another touristy place where we'll take a couple of pictures and go, I fumed. I got in the gondola car under duress with my husband, and after a couple of hours, he had to literally drag me away, to go to a barbeque we were expected at. "Do we have to go?" I whined in the car as we drove away.
It may seem pricey, and Grouse Mountain may seem touristy, but who cares? We had a great time. The entry fee includes all activities and the gondola ride up, where, unfortunately, we were packed like sardines into a car that holds approximately 100 people. If you don't like imitating a sardine, you can hike the "Grouse Grind", which usually takes a very fit person about an hour to complete. Not for the faint of heart, as we noticed several sweat-drenched people lying on the ground outside the Grouse Mountain Chalet. It will cost $5.00 to ride the gondola down if you hike up.
There is an IMAX style movie theatre (I emphasize the word style as the film is nowhere near IMAX quality). There are also guided nature hikes, a series of huge,complex chain-saw tree sculptures, a fairly cheesy lumberjack show, and my personal favorite, The Screaming Eagle. The Screaming Eagle in winter is a ski-chair lift, but in summer, gives you a bird's eye view of the wonderful surroundings Vancouver is famous for.
To get more bang for your buck, we were told by a savvy local that if you make reservations in the Observatory dining room, your ride is free. He recommended heading up around 6:00 p.m., and having dinner around 9:00 p.m., and watch the sunset as well. The Observatory is fine dining, and men should wear a tie.
When you are at Grouse Mountain, you can watch the lumberjack show. It is really fun to watch it. There are 2 lumberjack´s who are showing how trees were cut down and so on. The 2 lumberjack´s are making a competition out of it.
If you want to have a perfect view over Vancouver, you should go to Grouse Mountain. The skyride will take you up to 4100 feet (about 1100 meter). During this ride you have a nice look over Vancouver. You also can hike this trial. Up on the mountain you have a spectecular view over Vancouver.
In the summer you will have the Lumberjack Show, Birds in Motion demonstration, grizzly bears, helicopter tour and wolf habittat. There are good walking paths along this site.
In the Peak Chalet you can have food and/or drinks. There is also a gift shop downstairs.
Admission fee: CAD 32.05 for an adult on 03 August 2005
6400 NancyGreen Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9
By car: follow Georgia Street west bound through Stanley Park and across Lions Gate Bridge, take North Vancouver exit to Marine Drive, then up Capilano Road for 5 km (3.1 miles). Or, from the Ironworkers´ Memorial Second Narrows Bridge, follow Highway number 1 westbound to Capilano Road Exit North.
By bus: BC Translink offer regular service to the base of the mountain (Route 232/236).
If you have the lung capacity and about two hours I recommend the hike but be sure to bring water and some snacks as it is steep and will take some energy. Otherwise it is 45 Canadian to ride the gondola to the top (if you hike it is free and then five dollars to come back down
A fairly easy hike (once you're at the top of Grouse) is to the top of nearby Goat Mountain. Simply follow the trail that skirts left of the final summit of Grouse and from there everything is well-signposted. You can also take this trail to access Crown Mountain and further hikes into the back country to the north. The Goat Mountain hike can be done in an hour, but most people will take longer. The final ascent has an easy option and a more direct route, though that isn't a big challenge either. From the top, you get gorgeous views of the city, Crown Mountain, and the various valleys and mountains in the north.
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