grouse mountain view

It’s my favourite spot for a panoramic view of one of the most spectacularly-located cities in the world: Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, Canada. I first visited Grouse Mountain during my second visit to Vancouver in the 1990’s. Of all the many things to do in Vancouver, this turned out to be one of my absolute favourites!

The incredible view from Grouse Mountain of downtown Vancouver, Coal Harbour, Stanley Park and the surrounding mountains was absolutely breathtaking. The drive from downtown Vancouver to the base of Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver takes about 30 minutes. Along the way, I passed the city’s iconic Lion’s Gate Bridge, as well as the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Capilano Salmon Hatchery, two attractions I visited years ago and which I can recommend. You can easily combine a tour to Grouse Mountain with a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge/Salmon Hatchery.

The Skyride whisks visitors to the peak in about 8 minutes.
The Skyride whisks visitors to the peak in about 8 minutes.

I got to the base station in time to hop onto the Skyride, the cable-car that whisks visitors to an elevation of about 1,000m in approximately eight minutes. The panoramic views of Vancouver quickly unfolded as soon as the Skyride left the station. Once atop the peak, I quickly made my way to the observation deck at the Chalet to get more of that view! The sun was slowly setting and the horizon was awash with hues of orange and yellow. Vancouver and its immense Stanley Park dominated the foreground whilst in the distance, just across the Georgia Straits, I could spot the mountains of Vancouver Island.

grouse mountain sunset photo
The sun slowly dipped its head below the horizon.
vancouver skyline view from grouse mountain photo
I zoomed in for a closer look at the skyline of Vancouver.
grouse mountain sunset view photo
I stood there totally mesmerised by the spectacular view… and I wasn’t the only one.

I watched the sun disappear behind the mountain ranges of Vancouver Island before going for a stroll around Grouse Mountain. There was quite a bit of snow around but funnily enough, it actually felt warmer up here than at the base of the mountain (where temperatures hovered around the freezing point). I strolled past the ice-rink and trudged through the snow along several ski runs and watched the skiers and snowboarders in action. I also passed some of the thrilling ziplines which crisscross the mountain – would love to do these one day!

Read about my stay at the Shangri-La Vancouver and the Fairmont Pacific Rim.

The ice-rink atop the peak.
One of the various ski runs on the mountain.

Every winter, a variety of trails on Grouse Mountain are decorated with festive lights. Part of the ‘Peak of Christmas’ activities, it’s an enchanting experience to walk along these trails surrounded by beautiful fir and spruce trees and lit by thousands of fairy lights.

The Peak of Christmas lights.

I slowly made my way back to the Chalet for one last look at that spectacular view. As soon as I opened the door to the observation deck, I gasped! The sun was gone now, leaving behind an ethereal glow on the horizon. I looked down and saw Vancouver spread out below me like a blanket of sparkling gems.

grouse mountain sunset view photo
The view from Grouse Mountain by night. In the distance, the mountains of Vancouver Island can be seen. Downtown Vancouver is on the left. In the middle, you’ll notice a strip of light. That’s the rush hour traffic crossing the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

I stood there for several minutes before (reluctantly) leaving to catch the Skyride back to the base. I just stared out the window as the cable-car descended the mountain, totally in awe of this view from Grouse Mountain.

vancouver night lights photo
The sparkling lights of Vancouver seen from the Skyride.

If you’re visiting Vancouver, don’t miss a trip up to Grouse Mountain. Even better, get there just before sunset. It truly is an amazing experience.

Read about things to do in Vancouver and my recommended restaurants in Vancouver.

Note: a big thank you goes to Destination British Columbia and Grouse Mountain for their wonderful hospitality. As always, all views expressed above are mine, and mine only.

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