Hiking the Grouse Grind Trail

On Sunday evening as we were hanging out with our AirBnB hosts on the rooftop terrace, we were asking for recommendations on places to go and things to do. The Grouse Grind Trail was mentioned, since we were deemed 'fit enough' by our hosts. I hadn't heard about this trail, but once I opened up AllTrails on my phone and checked it out... well game over. We were going!

Monday morning July 9th we headed across the Second Narrows Bridge and made our way past Capilano Suspension Bridge Park just another kilometer or so to the entrance to Grouse Mountain, a popular mountain top experience with a cable car, treetop adventure, grizzly bear enclosure and more.

But we had come to test our mettle on what Outside Magazine, in 2013, called one of the world's most dangerous hikes (it's not and this clip shows what locals think). The official website for Grouse Grind lists the following stats:

  • Length: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles) 
  • Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet) 
  • Base: 274 metres above sea level (900 feet)
  • Summit: 1,127 metres (3,700 feet) 
  • Total Stairs: 2,830
  • Statistics: Annually, over 150,000 people hike the trail. 
  • Average Time: On average it takes up to an hour and a half to complete the hike. For novice hikers, two hours is recommended.

Naomi and I have referred a lot to this hike since our encounter with it. It has been brought up as an example of something I enjoy doing during our holidays, while it may be considered a bit too strenuous for what Naomi considers a good time. While she killed it simply through true grit and determination, I was an annoying golden retriever who had to run the final quarter of the uphill hike because that's just how much I was loving it.

I found out later that lots of locals run this trail regularly as a workout and at the top a daily leaderboard keeps track through digital chip of the time it takes for frequenters of the trail to run up, no doubt a whole pack of Canadian golden retrievers happily barking in glee.