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19 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Grouse Mountain

19 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Grouse Mountain

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Grouse Mountain is one of the most beautiful places to visit in BC and it’s located right in Vancouver! Yup, that’s right, this mountain is basically in Vancouver’s backyard and was a favorite spot for us while we were living in the city.

You can take the Skyride cable car to the top or attempt the epic hike to reach the top. The trail is called “The Grouse Grind” and involves climbing up over 2,800 steps. Some locals actually do this as their daily workout, but we’re not quite that hardcore!

Grouse Mountain isn’t all about the hiking though. No matter if you’re visiting in the winter or taking in one of those incredible BC summers, there’s a huge array of activities on offer up here, no matter the season. In fact, there’s so much to do on the mountain that you really need to plan ahead to make the most of your visit.

We’ve created this guide containing everything you need to know before visiting Grouse Mountain so that you can explore it your way!

1. About Grouse Mountain

Bailey walks a summer trail on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
The summer pathways around the mountain!
Bailey poses for a photo at the top of Grouse Mountain, Vancouver in Canada during summer
It’s a beautiful place to explore!

Grouse Mountain is named after the blue or sooty grouse, a species of bird native to the area. In 1894, a group of hikers spent several days summiting Grouse Mountain and hunted a grouse along the way.

The mountain’s highest elevation is 1,231 meters (4,038 feet) above sea level, so it’s sometimes referred to as “the peak of Vancouver”. It towers over the city and offers unbeatable views of the surrounding region.

In the 1920s, a group of Scandinavians built the first lodge on Grouse Mountain, and it gradually gained popularity as a skiing destination. The famous Skyride opened in 1966, and this is still the most popular way to access the mountaintop. 

In the 1990s, local authorities began investing more money into making Grouse Mountain a year-round tourist attraction. Nowadays, we would call it a true outdoor playground with plenty of adventurous activities for the whole family to enjoy.

During the winter, the mountain is a popular skiing and snowsports destination, with 221 acres of skiable terrain and 33 trails for skiers and snowboarders. It’s a very family-friendly ski destination and many of the runs are geared toward beginners, but there are also several challenging options for intermediate and advanced skiers.

During the summer months, Grouse Mountain is a popular hiking destination. Remember that iconic trail I mentioned? Yup, the Grouse Grind hike is a popular one with over 100,000 hikers tackling it every year. It’s only 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles long) but it’s often referred to as “Mother Nature’s StairMaster”, which gives you an idea of how challenging it is!

2. Where is Grouse Mountain?

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at the top of Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
It’s the mountain peak in Vancouver’s backyard!

Grouse Mountain is just 12.4 kilometers (7.7 miles) north of Downtown Vancouver, across the Lion’s Gate Bridge. Its close proximity to the city makes it a really popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. I know we try to get out here whenever we can!

On average, I’d account for about 20 minutes to get to the base of the mountain from downtown, so it’s totally doable even if you only have one day to spend in Vancouver.

3. How do you get to Grouse Mountain from Vancouver?

The Skyride on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
The Skyride sightseeing gondola!

We’ll go through all the ways to get here below or if you want a more in-depth look, check out our guide on how to get to Grouse Moutain!

Free shuttle

During the summer months (May to September), you can take a shuttle from Canada Place along the Vancouver Waterfront to the base of Grouse Mountain, which is free with your mountain admission ticket. Shuttles run every 20 minutes from 9 am until 6 pm. 


If you’ve got your own wheels or are driving a rental car, it’s an easy 20-minute drive from Vancouver to Grouse Mountain. 

First, go through Stanley Park and across the Lion’s Gate Bridge. Keep following the road until you reach the North Vancouver exit to Marine Drive, then turn left onto Capilano Road, which you’ll follow for 5 kilometers (3 miles) until it becomes Nancy Greene Way, which takes you right to the base of the mountain.


You can also call a taxi or an Uber to take you to Grouse Mountain. It’s a very popular tourist destination, so drivers will know where to go, and the journey should take between 15-20 minutes. It should cost around $45 CAD for an UberX, but prices do fluctuate according to demand and the time of day.


Alternatively, you can take the SeaBus from Waterfront Station (which is directly across from Canada Place) to Lonsdale Quay (which is also a great area to explore!). From there, you can then catch the #236 bus to Grouse Mountain, which takes around 25 minutes.

This journey costs $4.45 CAD each way for adults, or you can buy a day pass for $11 CAD. Meanwhile, passengers under 12 ride for free.

Organized tour

Grouse Mountain is a popular stop on lots of sightseeing tours. This is an easy way to get there without having to worry about transportation logistics since most tour packages include round-trip transfers from your hotel. It’s also a good option if you don’t have long to spend in Vancouver and want to see as much as possible.

If this sounds like your style, here are our top 3 tours to Grouse Mountain from Vancouver to pick from!

4. Is there parking at Grouse Mountain?

Grouse Mountain, Vancouver parking lot
The upper parking lot.
A paid parking receipt on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Paid parking receipt.

Yes, there is plenty of paid parking at the base of the mountain. It costs $8 CAD to park for 3 hours, or $10 CAD for a full-day parking ticket.

You can pay at the machines with coins or a credit card, or you can use the Pay-By-Phone app on your cell phone. This is an especially good idea if you’re only parking for 3 hours since the app has a timer so you can keep track of how long you have left and receive alerts when your time is coming to an end.

There is also a one-year parking ticket you can get for $50 CAD. I often grab this as I make trips up the Grouse Grind (the hiking trail) a few times per year, so it saves me money in the long run.

If you don’t want to pay for parking, but still want to drive yourself, Evo Car Share is another option. There’s a satellite Home Zone at Grouse Mountain so you can choose to “end” your carshare trip there and park for free.

There are also electric vehicle charging points near the entrance to the Grouse Grind.

5. What are the hours at Grouse Mountain?

Skyride gondola heads down Grouse Mountain, Vancouver with views of the city
Once the place is closed, everyone is required to be off the mountain.

Grouse Mountain is open 365 days a year. Guest services and the ticket center usually open at 7:30 am and close at 8 pm and 9 pm, respectively.

The first uphill Skyride of the day is at 8 am, while the last ride down is at 10 pm. There is a 7:30 am ride down for hikers, though.

The hours for the Grouse Grind trail change according to the season, and it’s open from spring to fall. It’s open from dusk until dawn, so the hours are usually 7 am – 4 pm towards the start of spring and the end of fall. Meanwhile, in the peak of summer when there is more daylight, the trail is generally open from 7 am until 7 pm. Since the hours fluctuate, it’s always best to check before you go.

As for places to eat and drink on the mountain, there are two coffee shops that open at 7 am, lunch spots open at 11 am and then the Observatory restaurant usually opens at 5 pm for dinner.

Related read: After the moutain closes, a great evening activity in Vancouver is the Richmond Night Market!

6. When is the best time to visit Grouse Mountain?

Grinder the bear at the top of Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Grinder the bear at the enclosure on Grouse Mountain!

That really depends on what you want to do there! Some activities, like visiting the wildlife sanctuary, enjoying 360° views from the Eye of the Wind (a neat turbine you can go in), and the Skyride, are available all year round.

If you want to ski, then winter is the best time to go. Visiting Vancouver in December is also a super fun experience since the mountain transforms into a winter wonderland around Christmas where you can go ice skating, visit a Gingerbread Village, and take photos with Santa Claus. There’s also an Elf Headquarters where kids can enjoy festive arts and crafts.

However, if you’re keen to tackle the Grouse Grind trail, visit between May to October, as the trail closes during the winter. Similarly, if you want to visit the grizzly bears at the wildlife sanctuary, then summer in Vancouver is best as the mountain’s resident bears hibernate in the winter – although you can still glimpse plenty of interesting animals during this time.

7. Facilities at Grouse Mountain

A shop on Grouse Mountain Vancouver
You can even get a bit of retail therapy during a visit to Grouse Mountain!

There are plenty of facilities available at Grouse Mountain to make your visit as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

You can visit Guest Services at the Main Plaza at the mountain base to find out information on current events, activities, and conditions. At the Main Plaza, you’ll also find toilets, a Starbucks, and bicycle racks.

You’ll also find Alpine Guest Services at the top of the mountain, on the main floor of the Chalet. Here, you can also find information, ask for staff assistance, and rent lockers for $3 CAD, although availability is limited.

There’s also the Fireside Hut, where you can rent snowshoes, skates, sleds, and snowboards. You can even book rentals online before you go, and there’s also a tune-up service on offer if you’re bringing your own gear.

There are several places to eat and drink on Grouse Mountain, including a juice bar, a bistro offering great views over the city, and the upscale Observatory dining experience.

There are also 3 retail outlets to get in a little shopping – I’m always up for that! There’s the gift shop at Guest Services, the Spirit Gallery Gift Shop where you can purchase locally-made artisan goods, and the Outfitters store where you can purchase outdoor apparel and equipment.

If you’re hiking up the mountain, you’ll find toilets in the parking lot where the Grouse Grind trail starts. Bear in mind that there are no toilets elsewhere along the trail, so I recommend taking full advantage of them before you begin the climb!

8. How much is the sightseeing gondola (Skyride) up to Grouse Mountain?

People in the Skyride on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Up we go!
The Skyride heads up Grouse Mountain, Vancouver at sunset
It’s a fun ride!

Usually, the gondola ride up to Grouse Mountain costs $87 CAD for adults, $67 CAD for teens aged 13-17, and $43 CAD for children aged 5-12. Under 5s ride for free.

Sometimes, you can get up to 40% off your Skyride ticket if you ascend after 5 pm. This is a great way to save money during the summer as the sun sets at around 9 pm, which means the mountain attractions are generally open later.  You’ll need to see if this promotion is running before you go on their website and buy your ticket in advance.

However, this does limit your time on the mountain and means you’ll miss some of the cool events that happen earlier in the day, like the bird and lumberjack shows, as well as the Peak Chairlift.

I head up at sunset sometimes and enjoy that time of day as well as the cheap price.

However, if it is your first time, you’ll want to buy your ticket here and plan to head up before 5 pm to catch the shows and have plenty of time to explore.

Related read: Go even higher than the Skyride with a seaplane flight over Vancouver!

9. How do you hike up Grouse Mountain for free?

The I survived the grind mist showers at the top fo the Grouse Grind on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Once you get to the top, cool down with the water mist station!
Top of the Grouse Grind where the gondola is at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
After the hike, you get to enjoy the views!
  • Distance: 2.5 km (1.5 miles) one way
  • Elevation gain: 853 meters (2798 fet)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Time needed: 2-2.5 hours

The Grouse Grind trail is free to hike up. It starts in the parking lot at the base of the mountain, and there’s no admission fee for the hike unless you’re feeling competitive and want to buy a timer card for $25 CAD.

However, bear in mind that you’re not allowed to hike back down the trail, so you’ll need to take a gondola ride down the mountain afterward. You can buy a one-way “Download” ticket for $20 CAD.

For more info on the Grouse Grind, keep reading for our “things to do on Grouse Mountain” section!

10. Can you visit Grouse Mountain all year round?

Winter views from Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
The view from Grouse Mountain at golden hour in winter!

Yes, you can! The Skyride is open all year round, so you can go sightseeing on Grouse Mountain at any time. However, some attractions are seasonal.

For example, skiing and snowboarding are only available during the winter, while you can only do disc golf during the peak of summer.

Although you can visit the wildlife sanctuary year-round, the grizzly bears hibernate during the winter, which means you can’t go and see them up close, although you can watch them snoozing in their hibernation den via webcam. The hibernation period usually begins in late November and the bears emerge again around April but exact dates change from year to year.

You can still zipline on the mountain during the winter if the conditions are good, but the number of lines is reduced from 5 to 3. Meanwhile, attractions like the Lumberjack and Birds in Motion shows only run from May until October.

11. What are the best things to do at Grouse Mountain in summer?

See Grinder and Coola in the grizzly bear habitat

Grinder the bear swims in his enclosure at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Coola the bear swims at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver in his enclosure

Grinder and Coola are Grouse Mountain’s resident grizzly bears, and you can go and visit them in the summer months at the Into the Wild sanctuary, usually between late April or early May until as late as November.

Both grizzlies were rescued back in 2001 and have spent over 20 years at the sanctuary. Of the two, Grinder is more playful and outgoing, despite his smaller size, while Coola is easygoing and loves to swim.

It can be hard to find them throughout the day, however, when it’s hot, you often find them enjoying a swim!

Play disc golf

Daniel plays disc golf on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver at sunset
Daniel loves disc golf!
Disc golf net on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
These are the baskets which are the same as holes in golf!

Disc golf is like regular golf, but instead of golf clubs and balls, you use frisbees to hit targets. We love bringing a couple of frisbees along with us in the summer so we can play!

There’s a free 18-hole course at Grouse Mountain that will challenge your fitness levels (and your aim!) as you walk across the mountain terrain. The plus is that even if you aren’t very good, you’ll still get amazing views.

The course is only available during the summer, and you will need to bring your own discs. If you don’t have any or forget to bring some, check out the Outfitters store – we’ve seen lots of frisbees for sale there.

Have a drink with a view

View from the dinning are on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
I mean, who wouldn’t want to enjoy a drink here!

The Observatory is a classy bar and restaurant housed inside a mountain chalet. The highlight for me has to be the outdoor patio and the huge windows that offer amazing views of the mountain and the landscape below.

Here, you’ll find local craft beers (my fav!), fine Okanagan wines, and seasonal dishes. In the summer, the menu tends to focus on lighter dishes, while you can often find a 3-course fondue experience during the winter.

Related read: For more good eats, check out the best restaurants in Yaletown, Vancouver!

Hike the Grouse Grind

The steps up the grouse grind
It’s steep!
Up we go!

As we’ve mentioned throughout the blog, the Grouse Grind is one of the most popular things to do on Grouse Mountain. It’s a one-way trail that runs for 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) and has an elevation gain of 800 meters (2,624 ft).

The nickname of “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” is well-earned with its 2,830 stairs. I was definitely feeling it in my legs by the end! The climb up usually takes 2-2.5 hours to complete and remember you can’t hike back down – you’ll need to catch the Skyride to get back which costs $20 CAD.

The Grouse Grind was established in 1981 by a group of hikers who were looking for a fairly short but challenging workout that would help them train for longer hikes. In the early 1990s, the Grouse Grind Mountain Run was introduced and continues to be held every year in July. Nowadays, around 100,000 people tackle the Grouse Grind every year between May and October.

The Grouse Grind starts in the parking lot at the base of Grouse Mountain and then takes you up the face of the mountain. It’s definitely a great way to test your fitness and get those endorphins going!

The trail usually opens around 7 am and closes at dusk. In general, it’s better to tackle it earlier on in the day, as it’s more peaceful and there are fewer people.

Lumberjack show

Lumberjack show on Grouse Mountain Vancouver
This is where the show takes place but I’ve still never made it there to see it!

The world-famous Lumberjack show on Grouse Mountain features the skills and strength of Canada’s top lumberjacks, who compete in events like log rolling, pole-climbing, ax throwing, and more. 

The show runs from May to October and is included with your mountain admission pass.

Shows usually take place at 11:15 am, 2 pm, and 4:30 pm at the Into the Wild animal sanctuary, so definitely try to catch one if you’re in town.

Birds in Motion show

An owl at the bird show on Grouse Mountain
Even the owls make an appearance!

Birds in Motion is a majestic display of birds in flight, performed by trained falconers with their feathered companions. The free flight show features golden eagles, peregrine falcons, owls, and red-tailed hawks, which are some of the most impressive and iconic Canadian birds of prey. 

Again, this show is only available during the summer. You can catch it at 12:45 pm, 3:15 pm, or 5:30 pm at the animal sanctuary.

Take the Peak Chairlift to the top

Bailey at the top of the Peak gondola on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver at sunset
I think the views get even better at the top of the Peak Chairlift!

After the standard Skyride up Grouse Mountain, you can continue to the summit on the Peak Chairlift. This 14-minute ride runs during the summer months and is included in your admission ticket.

It’s definitely worth it for the amazing views from the top of the mountain, but do check the operating hours at guest services beforehand, as hours may change depending on daylight hours and weather conditions. Most days in summer, it is open no later than 5:30 pm, which means those taking the after 5 pm gondola won’t make it.

If you don’t want to take the chairlift, you can also hike up, but I will warn you, it is steep and slippery. The trail is up an access road and there are signs warning not to walk up. I have done it and recommend good footwear!

Hike Goat Mountain

Goat Mountain is an 8-kilometer (5-mile) round-trip hike that affords beautiful views of the mountain landscape, including valleys, forests, cliffs, and lakes. With an elevation gain of around 300 meters, this hike takes roughly 4 hours to complete and there are some steep sections. You’ll need to scramble onto the rock at the final viewpoint, but the panoramic views are so worth it.

The hike begins at the top of the Grouse Mountain ski field and is generally open from July until October every year. Make sure you check the conditions before you go, as you can’t complete this hike when there’s any snow on the ground.

Enjoy a meal at The Observatory or Altitudes Bistro

Altitudes Bistro on Grouse Mountain
Photo credit: Grouse mountain
A meal at the Observatory on Grouse Mountain
Photo credit: Grouse mountain

Both The Observatory and Altitudes Bistro offer those amazing views while you eat. If you can, definitely treat yourself to a meal at one of them while you’re atop Grouse Mountain. It’s a night romantic date idea if you’re honeymooning in Vancouver!

The Observatory is an upscale evening dining experience with a seasonal 2- or 3-course menu, and they also offer private experiences, such as “Snowshoe and Fondue.” The 2-course menu costs $60 CAD per person, while the 3-course option is priced at $75 CAD.

Meanwhile, Altitudes Bistro is a bit more casual. It has an a la carte menu and is open for lunch as well as dinner, with most mains costing around $22-25 CAD. This place serves British Columbian pub favorites like burgers, waffles, sandwiches, and nachos and you’ll have a great view of the lower mainland as you tuck into your meal.

Theater in the Sky

The Theater in the Sky at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
You can’t take pictures in the theater!

At the top of the mountain, there’s a 100-seat, high-definition cinema where you can learn all about the history and wildlife of Grouse Mountain. This cinema is open all year, and it was actually the first HD cinema to be built in Canada. This is something that the whole family can enjoy, regardless of the weather!

A visit to the theater is included in the ticket price of the gondola.

Related read: Besides seeing a movie on a mountaintop, there are tons of ways to spend a rainy day in Vancouver!

Head up Eye of the Wind

Eye of the Wind attraction on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
It wasn’t open the last time I was up there!

The newest attraction on Grouse Mountain is the Eye of the Wind, which is a glass viewpod atop a wind turbine tower that offers visitors incredible panoramic views of the mountain and the city below.

The wind turbine itself was built to eventually supply 25% of the mountain resorts’ electricity, while the pod is the only one of its kind in the entire world! Admission is included with your mountain admission ticket, so definitely don’t miss this one.


Ziplining at grouse mountain, Vancouver
Ziplining at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver

In the summer months, ziplining is an absolute must-do activity at Grouse Mountain. This is a great way to explore the mountain while getting your heart pumping and taking in some of the stunning views. You’ll zoom through peaks and canyons, and get the chance to spot some local flora and fauna.

This zipline adventure includes your mountain admission, which also grants you access to a plethora of other fun activities atop Grouse Mountain, such as the Peak Chairlift, the Lumberjack and Birds in Motion Shows, and the Eye of the Wind. The 5-line course is only available during the summer, usually from June to October.

Related read: For adventure-seekers, some of the best ziplines we’ve ever been on are the ziplines in Whistler!

12. What are the best things to do at Grouse Mountain in winter?


Linning up at the ski lift at Grouse Mountain
Linning up at the ski lift at Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is home to 33 ski and snowboard runs, including “The Cut”, an iconic piste that is considered to be one of the best in the world. There are also 15 night runs, 4 chairlifts, and ski lessons available for both adults and children as young as 3. You can also rent your ski equipment on the mountain itself.

The ski hill is open from 8 am to 10 pm, which means there are more than enough hours to get a good shred in even after work – which I love!

Ski passes range in price and I have more info on pricing in #13 below!


Grouse Mountain is home to some excellent snowshoe routes, from easy beginner trails to more difficult terrain. There are 4 trails in total, from the relatively easy Blue Grouse Loop to the stunning, but challenging, Dam Mountain. All of the routes are very well signposted, and each trail offers amazing views of the surrounding scenery.

You can book your snowshoe rentals before you go for $22 CAD per pair and then collect them from the Fireside Hut next to the ice skating pond. If you need any additional warm gear, you can purchase it from the Outfitters store. Access to the snowshoe trails is included with your mountain admission ticket.

Ice skating

Ice skating on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
It’s a beautiful place to ice skate!

During the winter, Grouse Mountain plays home to a 743 square meter (8,000 square foot) ice skating rink. Skating on the pond here is a magical experience that makes you feel like a character in a Christmas movie as you whiz past the snow-dusted trees.

It’s open from 10 am until 8 pm each day, weather permitting, and skate rentals are available if you don’t have your own to bring with you.

Sliding zone

Is there anything more joyful than sliding down a snow-covered mountain, whooping and hollering at the top of your lungs?

Okay, so the whooping and hollering are optional, but if you’re visiting Grouse Mountain in winter, you should check out the sliding zone next to the skating pond and enjoy sledding down the lanes through snow-covered fir trees. This is a particularly great activity for kids, but you’ll see plenty of adults having fun on the slides, too! 

Outside sleds aren’t allowed in the sliding zone, so you’ll need to rent one from the Fireside Hut. You can rent a sled for $5 CAD per day, or get a season-long rental for $10 CAD.

13. How much does it cost to go skiing at Grouse Mountain?

Night skiing on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Night skiing on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver

A lift ticket to ski/snowboard at Grouse Mountain costs:

  • $79 CAD per day for adults on weekdays, and $89 CAD on weekends.
  • $59 CAD on weekdays and $69 CAD on weekends for teenagers
  • $31 CAD during the week and $35 CAD at weekends for children aged 5-12

If you want to ski for multiple days, you can also buy a 3-day pass to save money. You can add extra days to this pass for an even bigger discount, and the good news is that you don’t even need to use the days consecutively. Your pass is valid for any days you choose during the ski season.

Or if you’re really into skiing, a season pass costs:

  • $949 CAD for adults
  • $729 CAD for youths and students
  • $679 CAD for seniors
  • $419 CAD for children aged 5-12
  • $49 CAD for under 4s

If you’re buying a family pass for 1-2 adults and additional children or youth, you can receive a 10% discount on these prices.

Related read: Splurge on skiing and save elsewhere by adding some of the best free things in Vancouver to your list!

14. What are the best tours in Vancouver that visit Grouse Mountain?

A sunset view of a gondola cable stand at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
A sunset view of a gondola cable stand at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver

Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

This tour takes you across the Capilano Suspension Bridge for a beautiful walk through the forest treetops. You’ll feel tiny as you walk over the fir-tree forest and admire the beautiful views of Vancouver’s skyline, before heading to Grouse Mountain for some amazing panoramas and to enjoy all of the awesome activities that are included with your mountain admission pass.

The tour can be booked here and includes roundtrip transport, a knowledgeable guide, and admission tickets to both the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain. It’s a great way to experience Vancouver’s beautiful North Shore in a day, and prices start at $227 CAD per adult.

Private tour: Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain

This tour is similar to the one above, but it’s private, so it’ll just be you and your friends or family in your tour group, and you’ll have your guide’s undivided attention. 

Choose between the Cliff Walk and the Treetops Adventure at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, and even add a stop at the salmon hatchery if that’s something that interests you. This tour also includes your admission to Grouse Mountain, and you’ll be picked up and dropped off at your accommodation in a private SUV.

Vancouver city tour with Stanley, Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension

Vancouver is an amazing city to spend Christmas in, and this private tour will help you make the most of your winter holiday. As well as exploring Stanley Park and Capilano Suspension Park, this tour will take you skiing or snowboarding at Grouse Mountain, where you can also enjoy the Peak of Christmas festivities happening on the mountain.

From meeting and learning about reindeer to skating on the pond and being wowed by the Light Walk display, Grouse Mountain is packed full of festive cheer during the holiday season.

This tour will also take you to some of Vancouver’s best Christmas markets, where you can shop, try delicious food, and get into the festive spirit. Since you’ll only be with your own group, this is a great opportunity for holiday bonding and making magical memories with your loved ones. Prices start at $539 CAD per person and must be booked for groups of two or more.

Vancouver mountain to mountain

The North Shore is home to three of Vancouver’s most popular mountains – Grouse, Cypress, and Mount Seymour. This private tour takes you to each mountain, so you can experience their unique personalities and get the most out of your day.

At Grouse, you can enjoy panoramic city views and go ziplining, hiking, or skiing, then at Cypress you can see where the 2010 Winter Olympics were hosted and explore the surrounding trails, before heading to Mount Seymour for a peaceful afternoon of snowshoeing. Book this tour for $599 CAD per person which includes private roundtrip transportation, as well as lots of photo opportunities and plenty of time to explore each destination.

Honeymoon in Vancouver Tour

Grouse Mountain can be a pretty romantic destination, and this tour takes you on a couples’ trip around Vancouver’s best spots for honeymooners.

As well as the mountain, you’ll visit Gastown, which admittedly doesn’t sound very romantic but it’s actually a very chic and charming neighborhood. Here, you can explore cobblestone streets, art galleries, and gorgeous Victorian buildings. Gastown is also known for its great food scene, so it’s the perfect place for a romantic meal.

You can also wander around Stanley Park and enjoy non-alcoholic drinks on the picturesque Sunset Beach, which is also a great spot to snap some photos of your trip.

If you want to spend a romantic day exploring the city and the North Shore without worrying about planning it yourselves, this tour is a great option at $699 CAD.

15. How long do you need to visit Grouse Mountain?

Bailey poses for a photo at the bear enclosure on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver with Grinder the bear
We spend a lot of time watching the bears!

There’s so much to do on Grouse Mountain that you’ll need at least a few hours to tick off everything you want to do. In summer, you can easily spend 4-6 hours sightseeing, and maybe even longer if you opt for activities like hiking, ziplining, or disc golf.

In the winter, there are fewer activities available, so if you don’t want to ski then 3-4 hours is a sufficient amount of time. But of course, if you do want to ski or snowboard then you might spend multiple days up on the mountain!

16. What to wear when visiting Grouse Mountain?

Daniel at sunset on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
You can get away with shorts in the summer but come with layers!

Vancouver doesn’t usually get super hot during the summer (although it can happen!) and it will still be cold at the top of the mountain. It’s a good idea to bring layers because the weather can change pretty quickly, so you want to be prepared.

There are also lots of mosquitoes around during the summer months, so make sure to bring plenty of bug repellent with you.

During the winter, it’s important to dress for the cold. There will be lots of snow on the mountain and temperatures will be below freezing. You’ll need to wear thermals, plenty of layers, and a warm jacket, as well as thick socks and snow boots. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses, either, as the sun reflecting off the snow can be very bright! For this reason, facial sunscreen is also important (but the rest of your body will probably be covered).

17. Is Grouse Mountain suitable for kids?

Grinder the bear at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver in his enclosure
The kids just love the bears!

Yes, 100%!

Grouse Mountain is a super family-friendly destination and there’s plenty for all ages to enjoy. It’s a great place to visit when you travel to Vancouver as a family, as children will love the shows, viewpoints, and all of the adventurous activities available. In fact, they might even have more fun than the adults!

Related read: If you’re traveling with kids, they will also love the Vancouver Aquarium!

18. Is Grouse Mountain wheelchair accessible?

The Skyride at the bottom of the gondola on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Getting on the Skyride is a breeze with its wheelchair accessibility!

During the summer, Grouse Mountain is a very wheelchair-accessible destination. In parking lot A at the base of the mountain, you’ll find designated stalls and access ramps for the Skyride. At the top, there are plenty of paved pathways and inside the Chalet, there are ramps between floors and wheelchair-accessible washrooms.

Wheelchair users can’t access the Peak Chairlift, but if you visit Alpine Guest Services in the Chalet at the mountaintop, they can make special arrangements to help wheelchair users visit the peak. However, it’s worth noting that although the pathways at the peak are well-maintained, they are not paved.

In winter, the mountain is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible due to the snow. Those who are able to leave their wheelchairs for periods of time can request wheelchair storage at Guest Services before boarding the Skyride.

19. Is Grouse Mountain worth visiting?

Bailey with a beer at the top of the Peak Chairlift on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I sometimes take my own drinks to the top. Don’t tell anyone!

Yes, we love it up there! Of all three gondolas around Vancouver, this is our favorite by far.

There’s just so much to do, from hiking and snow sports to visiting the wildlife sanctuary and enjoying fine dining. Plus, the views are incredible. It really is an amazing place to explore when you’re visiting Vancouver, so if you get the chance to visit while you’re in Vancouver then we definitely recommend it.

Where to Stay in Vancouver, Canada

An arial shot of Vancouver and Stanley park from a sea plane
Vancouver is a gorgeous city!

With Grouse Mountain and tons of other fun things to do in Vancouver nearby, basing yourself here for a while is a great idea. So let’s help you find a great place to stay!

Vancouver is one of the most popular cities in Canada. The fact is that in the summer and winter the city books up in advance very fast! Booking your hotel or hostel well in advance is the only way to secure the best place to stay for you!

Some great hotels and hostels in Vancouver that we love are:

The Cambie Hostel Gastown – This budget hostel is an overall good budget choice. The location is in the heart of Gastown and close to lots of bars and restaurants and attached to the hostel is a very lively bar too. Rooms are clean but the bathrooms are a little cramped. It’s perfect for backpackers on a budget and is considerably cheaper than others offering comparable quality. You can easily book a room on or

Times Square Suites – For a beautiful hotel close to Stanley Park you can’t go past the Times Square Hotel. It’s very hard to fault this hotel and the location is perfect. It is a good mix between being affordable as well as a very nice hotel.

Hyatt Regency Vancouver – For those wanting the perfect location halfway between Stanley Park and Gastown, the Hyatt Regency is a perfect choice. As you can imagine, it’s a luxury stay in a large hotel chain that is highly reviewed!

Click here to browse all hotels in Vancouver!

For more info on the best areas and hotels, check out my complete guide on where to stay in Vancouver. It breaks down everything you need to know before choosing the right hotel!

Other Things to do while you’re in Vancouver

View out the window of a sea plane over Vancouver, Canada
Views from a seaplane are epic!
Bailey sits at the Boatshed Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC
Enjoying the view at sunset from The Boatshed restaurant in Kitsilano.

Vancouver is a city filled with tons of things to do and see. So while you’re here, be sure not to miss some of the top attractions and activities:

  • Whale Watching – Without a doubt, the most popular tour in Vancouver is whale watching. Set off from the city on a half-day of on the ocean looking for whales. If you’re lucky, you might even see Orcas (also known as Killer Whales.) This whale-watching tour is a ton of fun, and at only about $200 CAD it is good value too!
  • Hiking – There are a ton of amazing hikes in and around Vancouver. Challenge yourself with the famous Grouse Grind, wander the trails near the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, or even drive towards Squamish and do The Chief.
  • Ride in a Seaplane – One of our favorite memories in Vancouver was riding in a seaplane. Taking off and landing on the ocean is super exciting, and then the views from the air are breathtaking. This seaplane ride lasts for 20 minutes and costs $160 CAD. It departs and returns to Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver. The best part is that seaplane tours in Vancouver operate all year round, so even if you’re visiting Vancouver in the winter you can take to the sky!
  • Eat ALL the food! – Vancouver is a foodie destination. Showcasing cuisine from all around the world in top-rated restaurants, you really need to make an effort to eat out a few times while in Vancouver. For breakfast, Jam Cafe or Medina are our go-to’s. For Asian cuisine, you can’t pass up Minami for sushi or Danbo for Ramen. You can also join this highly-rated food tour that takes you to some of the city’s best restaurants in the area of Gastown.
  • Explore Kitsilano – One of our favorite areas in all of Vancouver is Kitsilano. This suburb is super trendy and has many cute stores, cafes, and restaurants that are well worth checking out. On top of that, Kitsilano Beach is one of the best beaches in Vancouver and the perfect place to relax. It’s also our favorite place to watch the sunset.

Renting a Car in British Columbia

A rural road with Mt Currie in the background
Road trips are the best way to explore Canada!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province, and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Read my honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter). Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada and you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable! Read my tips on using Motorhome Republic here before you book!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Thanks for reading!

There you have it, everything you need to know before you go to Grouse Mountain. Whether you’re hiking, skiing, or just looking to take in those epic views, you’ll have a fantastic time here. If you do attempt the Grouse Grind – let me know how it goes!

While you’re planning your trip to this part of Canada, make sure to read our other West Coast blogs for more ideas and in-depth guides. We absolutely love this part of Canada and want to help you discover what makes it so amazing!

33 FUN Things to do in Victoria, BC

How to Spend 2 Days in Vancouver – By a Local!

15 Things to KNOW about Visiting Lynn Canyon in Vancouver

21 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Vancouver