Location: Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver, British Columbia. 23 minutes from downtown Vancouver. From Lions Gate Bridge take a slight right onto Marine Drive. Turn left onto Capilano Drive and continue onto Nancy Greene Way until you reach Grouse Mountain.
Distance & Elevation Gain: 2.9 km, 2,800 ft
Child Carrier Accessible: Carrier access only.
Facilities: Full service washrooms, gondola, restaurants, gift shop, coffee (At the start and end of the trail)
Note: If you want to enjoy the trails, scenery and activities at the top of Grouse mountain but do not feel hiking up the steep incline you can take the gondola up instead.
Trail description: The trail is often only open from the spring to fall. Check metrovancouver.org to make sure the trail is open. The trail starts to the far right of the parking lot through a fence. The trail has alot of stairs. At some points the trail is quite steep with some difficult footing. There are markers indicating how far you go along the trail. At the 1/4 mark do not be too disappointed if you feel like you should be further. I have found that the 1/2 and 3/4 mark do not seem as far as the 1/4 mark. There are very few viewpoints on the trail and is more of a fitness trail as people do it to try to beat their time.
The trail can get really busy specifically on weekends. The top of the trail there are activities to do with your kids. The only way to get down is by the $10 Gondola ride as you are not allowed to hike down the trail.
I have done this hike a couple of times. The first time I did this hike in just under an hour when my husband was carrying our daughter in the carrier. I was training for a half marathon trail race at the time but found myself absolutely exhausted. I found out a week later that I was pregnant. That was a relief since I felt like all my training was not paying off. It just so happened that I was also creating a human being!!!! I also went a second time when I was pregnant with a co-worker on the hike when we took a bunch of students in the softball academy on the hike. That time we took our time to help some of the slower students that were struggling alot and we got up in 2 hours.
What makes this hike so family friendly is that at the top their are lots of activities to enjoy as a family. At the top you can go on other hikes, see the two grizzly bears named Coola and Grinder in their refuge, watch an informative video in their theater, zipline, enjoy their various outdoor theatre shows, go shopping in their gift store and eat at the restaurants.