The Snowshoe Grind on Grouse Mountain is a steep climb towards the top of Dam Mountain. At just 4.3 Km’s (2.67 miles) and 215 metre (705 ft) elevation gain, it is a heart-pounding, sweat-dripping workout. A good pair of waterproof hiking boots or water proof trail shoes with snow shoes/micro spikes are required to hike on this SS’ing trail.
From Highway #1 in North Vancouver, take the Capilano Road exit and travel up the winding road to the top. Currently, lot D/gravel side of the parking lot is free and has been for years but check to make sure before leaving your car. The Grouse Grind and BCMC trails are now closed for the winter so the only way up is the sky ride. Your tour begins with a squished sardine ride up in the tram at a cost of $39.95 plus tax. If you have an annual pass then SS’ing is included in your pass. A year pass is $109.00 plus tax. Should you decide to get a pass, you have one week to use your purchased ticket toward the pass cost. Make sure you keep your ticket as proof of purchase and return to Grouse Mountain guest services to buy your annual pass. You can add a Grind Timer for an extra $20.00. It will record your time. There are many other membership benefits. For more information on memberships, Grouse Mountain activities and parking, visit Grouse Mountain’s website.
After your sky ride up, go out the doors and down the stairs to your left where you will see a small orange sign that says, SSG: snow shoe grind. The grind timer is here for the SSG and if you have it included with your membership you can swipe your pass here and your time will begin. Start walking along this path, as you walk through Blue Grouse Loop, along Whistler Water Way and soon it joins up with the SSG. The orange circle markers with SSG, continue on the entire trail. Keep going as you will leave the forest and walk along a wide road with several nice views. Soon this wide road turns into a trail. There are some steep sections coming but they are short. Keep going up, up and up as you zig zag your way to the top. As you near the top there is one last section that wraps around a skinny trail and is very steep, with a big drop off. Be very careful here. Once you pass this it is the end of your journey. You made it!!! Congratulations…Coming down is a little steep at times, a good pair of snowshoes, with grips in the front and on the sides, and poles will get you down safely.
There are several other SS trails that you can add to make your journey longer. Dam Mountain Loop at the top of the SSG adds another 1.6 Km’s, continuing along, adding Discovery Loop for an additional 1.4 Km’s and then head back down the SSG. There is a Winter Trail Map at guest services to help you find your way around. There is also an upcoming SSG race on Saturday March 15, 2014. To learn more or register, visit the Snowshoe Grind Challenge page on Grouse Mountain’s website.
The best part about SS’ing on Grouse Mountain is it’s close to the city, there’s lots of activities to do at the top and many things to see. Happy & safe SS’ing trails.