There are many things to do in the sky on Grouse Mountain. Firstly, to access the mountain, you must ascend it via the Skyride, North America’s largest aerial tramway system (alternatively, you can walk up the Grouse Grind). In summer, you can partake in the Skyride Surf Adventure™, where you bravely stand outside on the Skyride’s roof as it ascends. There’s paragliding and a five-line zipline course too. Guests can also access the chairlifts in summer, taking them even higher up the mountain to see panoramic views of Vancouver.
Grouse Mountain transforms into Vancouver’s North Pole during the holidays. The Peak of Christmas’ activities include a light walk at Blue Grouse Lake; ice skating on the mountaintop; taking a photo with Santa himself inside his cozy log cabin; the Sliding Zone; meeting Santa’s reindeer; and visiting the Gingerbread Village and Elf Headquarters. Their HQ has craft activities and a place for children to write letters to Santa. To make Christmas even more special, Grouse Mountain gives you the chance to have Breakfast with Santa too!
Locals refer to the Grouse Grind as Mother Nature’s StairMaster®. The challenging hike climbs the side of the mountain for 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles). Over 150,000 people tackle the Grouse Grind annually, which takes an average of 1.5 hours to complete. If you have the stamina to climb 2,830 stairs, the Grind is open from May to October every year. Descending it, though, isn’t allowed; therefore, you will have to take the Skyride down the mountain.
There are many mountaintop dining options on Grouse Mountain. The Observatory is a five-star restaurant, complete with a five-course Prix Fixe Tasting Menu and amazing views of Vancouver. Altitudes Bistro serves distinctly West Coast cuisine, including its famous Grouse Mountain nachos. Rusty Rail BBQ & Grill and the impressive SkyDeck lounge are other alternatives. There’s also the Grouse Grind Coffee Bar, Starbucks, and Grizzly Lookout Cafe for convenience.
On top of Grouse Mountain, you can get up close to many different animals. There’s the resident grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, who live in a five-acre mountain sanctuary. You can learn more about bald eagles and peregrine falcons during the Birds in Motion demonstration and see how many bees and butterflies you can spot in the Pollinator’s Garden. You can also get early access to Grouse Mountain and enjoy Breakfast with the Bears in the summertime.
The Lumberjack Show is a daily performance during the summer on Grouse Mountain. “An impressive outdoor set features two logging camps from the early 1900s, where Johnny Nelson from the Green River logging camp prepares to battle Willie McGee from Blue Mountain to determine the top lumberjack.” The 45-minute show includes log rolling, tree climbing, axe throwing, and two-man peg and raker saw demonstrations. You can also attempt axe throwing and pole climbing yourself.
Grouse Mountain’s wind turbine is North America’s first one built in an extreme high-altitude location. It’s also the world’s first (and only) wind turbine to have an Eye of the Wind-type installment. The glass viewPOD sits a mere three meters (9.8 feet) below the turbine’s large rotating blades. Eye of the Wind guests have the opportunity to take in the 360-degree views from inside the viewPOD and learn more about responsible energy.
Theatre in the Sky is a “high definition cinema” where guests can learn about the area’s incredible wildlife. It features the Discovery Channel documentary Extremely Wild, which is about the two resident grizzly bears. Other offerings this summer include The Wild Within (about BC’s untamed natural surroundings) and Exposed, which allows guest to discover more about the Great Bear Rainforest. The theater is open year-round.
Grouse Mountain and the other two main North Vancouver mountains all offer skiing and snowboarding in winter. However, Grouse is home to the area’s most extensive snowmaking system. Grouse Mountain has 33 ski and snowboard runs, with the prominent The Cut easily visible from across Vancouver and Northern Burnaby. There are also four terrain parks, nine kilometers (5.6 miles) of snowshoe trails, and night skiing available. Guests will find lessons and rental services on top of the mountain as well.
A popular summertime activity in over 40 countries around the world, take your disc golf game to new heights at The Cut on Grouse Mountain. Disc golf involves throwing discs (similar to smaller Frisbees™) at targets, with similar rules to a game of golf. There’s an 18-hole course on the mountaintop that takes advantage of the rugged terrain. People can purchase discs on top of Grouse as well.