Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is a one of the North Shore Mountains overlooking Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is the site of a small but well-known ski area and tourist attraction located in the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Grouse Mountain is home to the Tyee Ski Club, an organization for training children and youth to become competitive alpine ski racers in slalom skiing, GS, Super-G, and competitions. The club also has a newer program for snowboarding racers.


Intrepid Scandinavians who were not daunted by winter and snow hand built the first lodge at Grouse in the 1920s. They hauled planks up what would become the Grouse Grind for the venture. Another company wanted to build a funicular railway to a private resort on the mountain, though that venture never materialized. By the 1930s, the success of the lodge meant that access was needed and a toll road was cut up to the top via the slope of the Cut.

The area at the bottom of what is now called the “Cut” – one of Vancouver’s most well-known ski runs – is the original base of the mountain. It was here that the area’s first lodge and rope tow were built. The gravel road that was built to access this base, the Old Grouse Mountain Highway, still exists and is currently only used for maintaining the ski area. Sadly, the beloved lodge burnt in a large fire in the winter of 1964.

Public access to the mountain is by a Swiss Garaventa aerial tramway, the Grouse Grind hiking trail, or the Old Grouse Mountain Highway (foot and bicycle access only).

Grouse Grind

  • Elevation 1,231 m (4,039 ft)
  • Location British Columbia, Canada
  • Range Howe Sound Group
  • Prominence 86 m
  • Coordinates 49°23′10″N, 123°04′35″W
  • Topo map NTS 92G/06

Grouse Mountain is also the location of a very popular hiking trail known as the Grouse Grind. It is an extremely steep and mountainous trail that climbs 853 meters (2,800 feet) over a distance of 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles). Although the trail is known for being notoriously grueling for its hikers due to its steepness and mountainous terrain, it is popular among the outdoor enthusiasts in Greater Vancouver, and hikers often time themselves on the trail to see how quickly they can reach the top. The average time to reach to the top is approximately 90 minutes, although hikers who are physically fit can finish it in 45 minutes.

As of November 2005, these are the fastest officially recorded ascents:

  • Overall Unofficial Record: Jonathan Wyatt 24:22 (min:sec) June 12, 2004
  • Annual Grouse Grind Mountain Run (Men’s): Michael Simpson 26:19 (min:sec) September 21, 2007
  • Annual Grouse Grind Mountain Run (Women’s): Leanne Johnston 31:04 (min:sec) September 21, 2007


In 1949, the first double chairlift in Greater Vancouver opened, allowing skiing down the Cut from the top of the ridge. Grouse Mountain claims this lift to have been the “world’s first” [double chair]; (it was, in fact, the second chairlift in Vancouver after Hollyburn and the third in Canada after Red Mountain; the first chair in the world was at Sun Valley). In 1951, another lift – presumably one of the world’s longest at the time was opened. This lift ran from a bus stop on Skyline Drive, at the bottom of the mountain, to the base of the Cut. Both the original 1949 lift and the 1951 lift were removed in the 1970s.

When the original lodge burnt down in the mid-1960s, the government of British Columbia, seeing the possibilities for tourism, provided funding and permits for a new lodge to be built on the ridge, as well as an aerial tramway up from the valley. The “Blue Tram” was built by Voest and was opened and inaugurated on December 15, 1966 by Premier W. A. C. Bennett. Also constructed in the 1960s and early 1970s were the Peak and Blueberry Chairs. The Inferno Chair was built in 1976 and removed in late 2003; it was reportedly one of the steepest, and in quite bad shape.[citation needed]

The mountain was purchased from its original owners by the McLaughlin family, who provided additional funding for the construction of the Red Tram/Super Skyride in 1976. They purchased total ownership in 1989, and constructed Canada’s first high-definition theatre – the “Theatre in the Sky” – in 1990, by expanding the original lodge.

In recent years, the mountain has become something of a tourist attraction, as the area’s dependence on skiing has been eased by the addition of a “native feast-house”, bear habitat, and high-speed quad lifts, as well as other attractions.


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1 Review

  1. Beth, 11 years ago

    I really enjoy going up here every once in awhile. The hike up to the top is a great way to get some exercise and the view up there is really worth it. Its just nice to spend an afternoon walking around and seeing whats up there. This is definitely a must for anyone visiting the area!

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