Grouse Mountain
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Grouse Mountain
This vertiginous peak that looms over North Vancouver is home to the infamous Grouse Grind, an ultrasteep set of stone steps that some locals tackle as a daily workout. Luckily, you can instead opt for a gondola ride to the summit, where an amusing lumberjack show, a grizzly bear refuge and a chalet await. After a day exploring Vancouver, it's the perfect spot to grab a hot chocolate.
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Million-Dollar Views
Grouse Mountain's skiing may not come close to that of Whistler's, but in both winter and summer it still proves a great spot to visit. The view across Vancouver is beautiful, and the sunsets are amazing. It has several restaurants in its chalet, ranging from the 5-star Observatory to the more casual Altitudes Bistro to Lupins Cafeteria. In the summer the mountain has shows, hiking, scenic chairlifts, zip-lining, paragliding, and the Grizzly Bear habitat. Winter sees an ice-skating pond, skiing, snowshoeing, and Christmas events. And of course, all seasons will have the great views.
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Winter Wonderland Atop Grouse Mountain
If it's drizzling in downtown Vancouver, that means it's snowing in the nearby mountains. Grouse Mountain is one of the local treasures that is open for snowy business starting mid-November. Head up and ski, snowboard, snowshoe, ice skate, or just grab a hot chocolate and meet the resident reindeer.
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The Baby Grizzly
At the top of Grouse Mountain I came across the bear enclosure and managed to see this beautiful baby Grizzly Bear. Whilst being Summer time, there was still snow prevalent on the top of the mountain, which is also called the Peak of Vancouver.
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Grizzly Surprises at Grouse Mountain
If you have the time and are looking to see two major sites in one day, I would take a quick bus ride from Capilano Suspension Bridge Park over to Grouse Moutain. There's lots to see at Grouse Mountain. The lift up to the mountain for views is quite a highlight. If you have a high fitness level (or are looking for an extreme fitness challenge), take a good hour or two to climb the Grouse Grind. (This is really an activity in itself!) Note: the shuttle back from Grouse Mountain can be infrequent so check departure times upon arrival. As for activities, you cannot get more Canadian then seeing an interactive Lumberjack show. I will also note during my visit that there was snow ...in June! You can take a ski lift for views and to get to the Eye of The Wind. My favourite find was this grizzly bear, however. This is a fantastic site for families and tourists looking to get the most out of their time in Vancouver. Check out The Eye of The Wind on a clear day for an amazing view point of Vancouver, for an extra $20.
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Twinkling Lights and Snow Shoes
There is just something rather magical about being able to hop on a bus in downtown Vancouver on a dry sunny winter’s day, and then, half an hour later be on a snow-covered mountain. Grouse Mountain is one of the city’s best places to be year-round. I adore their new winter Light Walk, where you can hire snow shoes and take a hike around the trees which are lit with twinkling fairy lights. Head up just before sunset so you can watch the winter sky blaze apricot and pink, giving the snow a gorgeous rosy glow. My tip: head to the restaurant afterwards for a much-deserved heaped serving of poutine!
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View From Grouse Mountain Skyride
This photo was taken on a very early morning tram ride up Grouse Mountain. I'd highly recommend anyone active to do the hour long hike up the Grouse Grind from the base of Grouse to the top. Do it early for less crowds and the best photo ops!
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