I was in Vancouver for the past few days, and I decided to take on the epic Grouse Grind hike my first day there. People say it’s one of the most challenging hikes out there, so of course, I had to see for myself. There’s a free public shuttle that runs from downtown to the base of Grouse Mountain, but the first bus comes at 9am, so I decided to just take the local buses so I could get a head start. I left the hotel at 5:30am, grabbed a bite to eat at McDonald’s because it was literally the only place open, and got to the base of the mountain at around 7am.
I was surprised at the number of people who were already on the trail! You can definitely tell who the regulars are. They blew past the endless steps so effortlessly. Meanwhile, I was panting, sweating like a pig, and stopping for a break every 5 min (maybe even less). This is definitely a hike that you need to be in decent shape for. For me, this 2 hour stair master workout was the hardest hike I’ve ever experienced. Not as bad as my half-marathon experience, but still pretty darn close. I heard the record for getting to the top was 23 minutes. Whoever that guy was, he’s crazy. I don’t think I’ll be hiking this trail again, but it’s nice to say that I did it! I survived the Grouse Grind!
Once you get to the top, the views are phenomenal. On the day that I went, the sun broke through the clouds right as I was near the top. It was so beautiful! The last set of steps really looks like a staircase to heaven, with the light shining perfectly between the trees. There is a bear exhibit at the top of the mountain as well, so I got to see a few fuzzy friends.
If you’re in Vancouver and up for a hard but rewarding challenge, hike up Grouse! I assure you it will be an experience to remember.