Okay let’s be honest… I just used the headline to get your attention! Anyone that knows me knows that I would never actually be CAPABLE of hiking a mountain. However, watching all the people do the “Grouse Grind” did inspire me that I should at least add some form of exercise to my daily sloth like routine. I always associated Grouse Mountain with unnecessary pain and torture, but little did I know, it’s actually a pretty rad place full of surprising delights!
My friend had flown in for the weekend and I was looking for ideas on what to do. My roommate suggested Grouse Mountain. Again, images of me suffering a heart attack, fainting, or having to be rescued danced through my head. I was then informed… there was a GONDOLA! Now that’s more up my alley! I started doing some research online and saw that the price to take the gondola up the mountain was quite pricy, however I also saw a little blurb saying if you dined at The Observatory, a 5 star restaurant at the top of the mountain, and ordered an entree, your lift ticket price would be included. That seemed like a way better deal to me! I realized dinner would be expensive but at least the price of the ride ticket could be put towards food (and let’s be honest, wine!)
Since moving to Vancouver, I haven’t been all that adventurous with my activities so imagine my surprise when I realized Grouse Mountain was only a short jaunt away from downtown Vancouver! After we parked, we went to the ticket office where they had our tickets waiting for us already since we had made dinner reservations in advance! Now it had been raining in Vancouver for about a decade but by some miracle, it wasn’t raining the day we went! The ride up the gondola takes about 8 minutes with stunning views of all of Vancouver and surrounding areas. Once at the top of the mountain, there are a variety of things to do. They have a theater that plays short movies, a grizzly bear den, a beer garden, a skating rink and a few different restaurant/cafes (all of these activities are season dependent so best to call in advance to see what’s open at the time) We walked around, saw a giant grizzly bear, and sampled local beer!
After changing into the nicer clothes we had brought up with us, we arrived at the restaurant for the early time of 5pm, in hopes that we would catch a glorious sunset. Unfortunately it was mostly overcast but we did manage to catch a few rays of pink and orange, and I can only imagine how spectacular it would be on a clear day!
One of the good things about being at the restaurant so early was we were the only ones there and that meant the BEST TABLE IN THE PLACE! The views were absolutely incredible! I wasn’t blown away by the food if I’m being honest, and in my opinion I think it’s one of those places you go for the setting and the ambiance above all else!
I would definitely go back to Grouse Mountain especially in the summer and/or winter to see how different the experience is then! Maybe next time I go, I’ll be a skilled runner/hiker and it’ll be a whole new world to me! (don’t hold your breath) How about you guys? Would you hike Grouse Mountain or take the gondola???