After a little while of thinking about it, I have attempted the Grouse Grind. For those of you who have not heard of it (99% of you!), it is a 2.9km (1.8 mile) hike with a gain of 825m (2800 feet). The trail is rustic collection of dirt, rocks and wood, casually fashioned into stairs. On average, it takes 90 minutes to complete the hike. I am not completely sure how helpful the average is, as the hike is used by fitness fanatics as regular exercise and by tourists. I came in at 87 minutes.
After hiking for what seems like 2.9km, you come to the 1/4 marker…!
And then you hike the same distance again and you come to the 1/2-way marker. Kindly you are told at this point, 45 mins in, that the fire danger is high. Well, thanks, I am now stuck here!
Grouse is great for exercise and for achievement, but it is not a beautiful hike – if you are a tourist and want beauty on a short hike, hike around Lynn Canyon or up one of the nearby mountains, such as Hollyburn. Going into the hike, I thought I was reasonably fit. But I had people passing me most of the way up. The single person I passed was decades older!! One man cruised on past me with a weight vest on. Hmmmm… I did manage to come out of it with no muscle soreness though, so the gym has helped for some of it.
Squirrel: The single token wildlife I saw on the way up
The view from the top and gondola is good on a clear day, but not amazing. Between trees and gondola wires though, the view is a little obstructed. It may be better from the next summit, but I am yet to make it up there!
Once at the top, you can view some of the tourist attractions for free. There is a wood-cutters show, bird show and a grizzly enclosure. You have to catch the gondola down ($10), as the grind is one-way only.
Where should I go for my next hike?