here is always a lot to do in Vancouver, whether you are a tourist or a Vancouverite. Numerous museums, galleries, theatres and shopping centres are constantly offering something new and entertaining. Numerous parks (especially the famous Stanley Park) make it easy to engage in countless sports. Ranging from activities you can do on your own like bicycling, running or swimming to more organized and group sports, Vancouver provides plenty of options for a healthy lifestyle and exciting time on your own or with your friends or family. But how about something that is, let’s say a shift to the “next level”?
Only 15 minutes away from Vancouver Downtown is the well known Grouse Grind. As one of Vancouver’s most iconic attractions, more than 100 000 of avid hikers make it through the trail per season. Nicknamed Mother Nature’s Stairmaster, Grouse Grind is a popular workout trail for both occasional hikers and professional sportsmen. In other words, you don’t have to be worried about not being a muscular hiker with perfect breathing patterns and great stamina. Even though mostly considered a workout trail, since it offers only few viewpoints and in its steepness it consists mainly of stairs, the path is suitable for people of different ages and constitution.
The actual trail begins in the area east of the Grouse Mountain Gondola. A several posts mark the way and it’s a good spot to warm-up or stretch a bit before starting the uphill ascent, right after the gate and the small bridge. Bear in mind that the first quarter isn’t as steep and difficult as the rest of the trail, so don’t put too much into it, otherwise you’ll be exhausted way too soon. Save some energy and stamina and don’t strain yourself too much. You can have all the time you need, there’s no need to hurry, choose a pace that feels both challenging and comfortable at the same time. There’s no point in overdoing the hike, if the muscle soreness prevents you from doing anything the next day.
The trail takes averagely about 90 minutes, but if you are a rookie, it can be even longer. A great number of ambitious professionals and amateurs from across the country meet each year at Grouse Mountain to compete with time and of course with each other, many of them making it to the top in less than 30 minutes.