In summers past, many of us tried to fit as many activities as humanly possible into vacations and road trips — the kind of travel that makes you feel like you need a holiday afterwards.
This year, Canadians are advised to stay home and avoid non-essential travel. And while this might have interrupted your summer plans, the current situation provides an opportunity to rediscover gems that perhaps fell off your radar.
Nestled on Vancouver’s North Shore, Grouse Mountain has a slew of choices for every kind of visitor, from family-friendly activities to thrill-seeking summer adventures. Before you even reach the Peak of Vancouver, you get to take in jaw-dropping views as you ascend up the mountain.
To inspire your next visit to Grouse Mountain during a staycation in the city, we’ve drawn up an itinerary that will take you from your morning Skyride tram journey to sunset drinks overlooking the city.
Meet the locals
After spending a couple of months in isolation up at home, it’s easy to forget just how spectacular BC really is. The animals that call our province home are a huge part of this. At Grouse Mountain, you can see the resident orphaned grizzlies Grinder and Coola in their wilderness sanctuary. (Pro tip: You can even catch them tucking into their breakfast if you book ahead of time.)
Both endangered bears were found alone and at-risk in different parts of BC, and they now have a safe space where they can explore and play in North Vancouver. After you greet the two brown coat beauties, learn more about their fascinating personalities at the research, education, and conservation centre onsite or during ranger talks, which occur several times throughout the day.
Climb (or fly) high above the trees
If you’re looking for something to get your adrenaline pumping, Grouse Mountain has you covered. First up, soar across the majestic peaks and deep canyons of Grouse and Dam Mountains during a Mountain Zipline Tour. The tour lasts just over two hours; you can fly solo, or you have the option to book it for the people in your bubble. Put on the sanitized personal protective equipment (PPE) and get ready to zoom.
Next, you can journey deeper into the flora and explore between the trees with the Mountain Ropes Adventure. Make your way through a series of aerial ropes courses that test your balance and ability to swing and climb. The PPE you’ll need is being disinfected between each use for guest safety, so all you have to do is concentrate on your next move high in the treetops.
Immerse yourself in nature
It’s not often that we get to experience vacation vibes in our hometown, taking in sweeping views of the city and the coast. To make the most of your visit to Grouse Mountain, soar to new heights with a ride on the Peak Chairlift. The 14-minute journey takes you 4,100 ft above sea level, and access to the chairlift is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.
Breathe in the fresh mountain air as you explore the alpine on foot during a self-guided or interpretive walking tour through the lush forests. The photo opportunities are endless at Grouse, so remember to bring your camera to capture all of the memories.
Dine al fresco with a view
A day filled with adventurous activities is bound to make you work up an appetite. There’s no need to pack snacks in advance because you’ll find a selection of seriously drool-worthy West Coast eats at Altitudes Bistro. Choose a spot on the spacious patio and take in stunning panoramic views of Vancouver while you peruse the menu.
We recommend the Grouse Grind Super Salad (drizzled with pomegranate vinaigrette) alongside a glass of crisp BC white wine. Visiting over the weekend or on a holiday? Do yourself a favour and experience that joie de vivre by ordering the sweet Brioche French Toast with fresh summer berries. Be sure to check out the menus online for other features available through the summer.
There’s more to see and do at the Peak of Vancouver than many locals realize, and this summer is the perfect time to explore the mountain’s best-kept secrets. Visitors can enjoy 40% off Mountain Admission after 4 pm, from now through September 7.