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Grouse Grind – a Guide to Hiking the Grouse Mountain

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The Grouse Grind is a short, but steep hiking trail up Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver Canada, climbing 853 m (2800 feet) vertical over a distance of 2.9 km (1.8 mi), being notoriously grueling it has been nicknamed “Mother Nature’s StairMaster”. For many the Grind is more a fitness challenge than a hike. Some aim to conquer Grouse Mountain once, but many fit Vancouverites climb this mountain regularly for training.

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain rising 1250 metres ( 4100 feet) above the city is often called ‘the Peak of Vancouver’. The Mountain gets its name from the sooty grouse,  a species of forest-dwelling grouse (a bird) commonly found throughout the mountain.

Located only 15 minutes by public transport from downtown Vancouver the mountain has become the city’s outdoor amusement park with a range of activities and entertainment for all seasons open the whole year. In winter on Grouse Mountain skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing and more winter activities are very popular. There are a range of activities for summer such as disk golf, chairlift rides, paragliding and of course the famous Grouse Grind hike up the mountain. There is also a lot of entertainment available all year including a 100-seat mountaintop theatre and a wildlife refuge.

Grouse Grind Map created with our Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Watch

Accommodation in Vancouver

Highly rated accommodation in Vancouver with good location.

Grouse Grind

The Grouse Grind is a legendary hiking trail in North Vancouver renowned for its difficulty. It deserves this reputation climbing just shy of 3000 stairs with an incredible 800 m elevation gain over only 3 km, yes it is steep, the average inclination is 28º, with the toughest section at about a 40º! The trail is primarily used for hiking and running. The Grouse Grind gets super crowded with more than 100 000 people climbing it in a season according to the official Grouse Mountain website. This trail only goes one direction, UP. Descending is not allowed on the trail, hikers take the gondola down, a $15 ride.

I enjoyed hiking Grouse Mountain, but it is definitely not the best hiking trail in Vancouver, being short, steep and crowded with limited viewpoints. It is excellent as a work out with many locals doing the Grind regularly. The hike is a nice day excursion in Vancouver for tourists, a challenging walk with plenty to do when reaching the top. We rate the trail as a moderate difficulty due to its length, even though it is steep it is not a very long hike, taking about 2 hours. For experienced hikers walking up the Grouse Grind and exploring some of the other backcountry routes on Grouse mountain is a good option. There are plenty well-marked routes such as Dam Mountain, Little Goat Mountain, Goat Mountain and Thunderbird Ridge are described here. Crown Mountain

I stayed in Vancouver for about 2 Months exploring plenty of one-day and multi-day hiking trails, see our :

Guide to the Best Hikes in and Around Vancouver

Grouse Grind Cost

To climb Grouse Mountain is free. You are not allowed to hike down the Grind, to come down with Skyride costs $15 including the shuttle ride back to Canada Place in downtown Vancouver. The only free option down is to hike down the BCMC trail.

To take the Skyride up and town costs $47.97 including several activities, buy your ticket here

General Admission Ticket Grouse Mountain

Skyride Grouse Mountain
Taking the Skyride is the easiest way to get up and down Grouse Mountain with some amazing views!

Grouse Grind Trail Statistics

The reported statistic of the Grouse Grind is as follows – distance: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles), elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet) from 274m to 1127m, Summit: 1,127 metres (3,700 feet), Total Stairs: 2,830 

Measuring my hike up Grouse Mountain with my Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Watch gave me the following measurements:

  • Distance: 3.27 kilometres (2.03 miles) 
  • Elevation Gain: 785 metres (2575 feet) from 287m to 1076m
  • Summit: 1127 metres (3,700 feet)
  • Time: 1h13min

The Grind Route

The Grouse Grind trail is well marked with signs showing distance, elevation and how you are progressing.

Markers on the Grouse Trail – there are 4 different kinds of markers on the trail;

  • small orange markers just mark where the trail goes
  • large markers indicating what portion of the trail you have completed e.g. 1/4 or 1/2 way, these markers indicate the progress in elevation not distance, because the trail is not very steep at the start it takes a long time to reach the 1/4 mark.
  • 40 smaller marker plates on the trees which measure trail distance. They are labeled with “GG” and are numbered from #1 at the bottom up to #40 at the top so marker No. 10 is 1/4-way, no. 20 is halfway, etc.
  • orange spray-painted markers on the trees indicating actual trail distance.



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