Grouse Mountain has various activities for repeat visitors and first time tourists.
Getting up the mountain via the Grouse Grind in summer is a great activity in itself. It's great because it satisfies your weekly exercise needs with 850 metres (2,800 feet) of vertical climb. The name is not only clever alliteration as it also accurately describes the steep stairs. It's a hard slog. Average completion time is approximately 90 minutes so be prepared with plenty of fluids and snacks. Your reward for your effort is saving the $20 that it costs extra to take the gondola up the mountain.
Why should we go up the mountain in the first place? Oh I see…
Once you complete the grind, you will be greeted with overpriced cold drinks and fast food. Not to worry though because I just warned you to bring extra drinks and the views of Greater Vancouver are epic. If you want even better views, you can spend an extra $10 to take the chair lift even closer to the peak or spend another $15 on top of that to get to the top of a wind turbine (Eye of the Wind). My pick, would be for the chair lift upgrade only because the best views are from the chair lift.
However, you don't need to pay for the chair lift to see the free shows they have on offer on the mountain. The Lumber Jack show is fantastic. It is funny and engaging. The Birds in Motion show, also worth a watch, is interesting because they get the birds to fly over you. They also have a bear "show" but the show only consists of an announcer stating a few facts about the two bears they have in the enclosure. The Theatre in the Sky is a small cinema which shows a free documentary about their two bears. The documentary was boring and should be at the bottom of the priorities list. It was just not up to the David Attenborough standard.
There are free tours guided by knowledgeable volunteers. Grouse Mountain doesn't have a lot of hidden secrets that require a guide but without the guides you wouldn't be able to sort through the blue berries from the toxic berries.
They also have helicopter tours (not personally taken) and ziplining (also not personally taken). Helicopter tours aren't cheap and, from watching others, the time spent actually ziplining seems short.
Overall it was a great day with great views and great exercise.
Practical Information: It takes one long day to leisurely complete most of the activities. It snows in winter so the activities offered in winter are different.
- You are not allowed to walk down the Grouse Grind. You can only walk up.
- Listed prices don't include taxes and change often.
- The base of Grouse Mountain is accessible by public transport and has a car park.
- Pets are generally not allowed.
- Official website of Grouse Mountain here.