The Grouse Grind can be done in all types of weather including fog which gives the trails an ethereal appearance.
This popular hike is the most famous on the North Shore. The laborious 2.9 kilometre (1.8 miles) climb to the top is lauded by many as an excellent workout as a popular weekend and evening climb.
The trek is attempted by people of all fitness levels, to those who run nimbly up the slopes, to those who hike the entire distance. Be aware that the climb can be deceiving. Posted signs at three points mark the quarter, half and three quarters way of the journey. These signs are based on altitude climbed not distance so the first sign is much further along the trail then the others. As the trail becomes steeper, the distance to the signs becomes much shorter, so if you are a first time climber, don't despair.
With few places to stop and dozens of people at different paces, many endurance levels are stretched to the max with the rugged terrain and steep thirty degree climb. The rock and wooden stair construction of the path can be precarious at times and many have been injured on this slope, however, for the well equipped and careful it is an amazing and exhilarating experience. The added bonus of paying a fraction for the trip down on the Grouse Mountain Gondola is another perk enjoyed by those who make the grueling climb.
Grouse Mountain was a popular place for hikers and mountaineering enthusiasts in the 1920s and 1930s. The Grouse Grind used today was developed in 1981 by mountaineers looking for a way to keep challenged in the local region with a more strenuous climb without having to trek out large distances; many mountaineers used the steeper animal paths on the sides of the mountain, creating the very foundation of the trail used today. In the 1990s, the trail was renamed the Grouse Grind, otherwise referred to as 'Mother Natures Stairmaster'.
It is estimated that over 100,000 people tackle the Grind on a yearly basis from when it opens in spring to when it closes in the late fall [trail status]. On average it is about an hour and a half journey up the mountain, it is important to be well equipped for all situations such as adverse weather (dressed appropriately) as well to stay hydrated during the climb.
Hikers can time themselves from the stone start point at the bottom to its duplicate at the top and log in their times in the visitors centre. Official records are clocked in the annual Grouse Grind Mountain Run where the shortest time is logged is at 24:22, a record set and unbroken since 2004.
As Vancouver's most famous athletic attraction, the Grouse Grind is an experience unlike any other, people of all ages and fitness ability can be found on these slopes to at least have the right to say (or purchase the t-shirt in the tourist shop): 'I Survived the Grouse Grind'!
Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around Grouse GrindThe entrance to the Grind is off the main entrance and is clearly marked. The trail is not open in the winter and is not open until deemed safe.
Click the brown GEMS on the map to navigate to the other activities within this region