- Difficulty Easy
- Time 2 hours
- Round-Trip 5km
- Elevation Gain 260 meters
- Season July - September
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 30 minutes
- Public Transit Yes
- Dog Friendly No
Dam Mountain is located behind Grouse Mountain and is a short hike into the backcountry, offering views of the surrounding mountains and occasional glimpses of Vancouver and Burrard Inlet. The route is also a popular snowshoeing trail in the winter which is often referred to as the Snowshoe Grind. The sections of the Ridge and Alpine Trails connect to other backcountry trails allowing for longer hiking day-trips.
The trail starts at the Grouse Mountain Skyride and is accessible by either taking the gondola up or hiking up the Grouse Grind or BCMC Trails. Walk towards the grizzly bear enclosure and continue past it towards the gravel road to the left of the Peak ski run. Follow this gravel road as it wraps around the mountain, offering occasional glimpses of Howe Sound and the Cypress Mountain area in the distance.
The road abruptly ends and the trail continues up a hill of loose gravel. The route quickly narrows into a typical hiking trail as you reach a sign marking a junction. At the sign, go left following the Ridge Trail as it climbs steeply towards Dam Mountain. If you decide to do the loop, as suggested, you will return from the other direction via the Alpine Trail.
The trail continues to climb fairly steeply, although not as quickly as the Grouse Grind does. Soon, you pass a wooden helicopter pad and the trail continues through the clearing and back into the trees. The trail then arrives at a sign and a final few steps up onto the rocky outcrop marks the top of Dam Mountain. There are some views between the trees of Burrard Inlet and the mountain ranges in behind Dam Mountain, however a lot of the view is obscured by trees.
Look for trail markers on the opposite side you climbed up and continue along the Ridge Trail as it descends quickly, offering several scenic views of Crown Mountain. A short distance further and the trail reaches a junction with the Alpine Trail. If you're looking for a longer hike, you can go left and continue to either Goat Mountain or Crown Mountain. However, we will go right and return to Grouse Mountain via the Alpine Trail.
Another potential side trip occurs at the junction on the Alpine Trail to Thunderbird Ridge. The extra route takes about 45 minutes to an hour extra, depending on your pace, but offers scenic views of Kennedy Lake and the windmill at Grouse Mountain.
Return to Grouse Mountain along the Alpine Trail as it follows a gradually descending route, eventually reaching a zipline platform. Go right at the zipline and down the hill to the junction with the Ridge Trail, walking under the pipe. Go left and follow the trail as it widens onto loose gravel and then arrives back at the gravel road. An easy walk along the road and past all the tourist attractions at Grouse Mountain brings you back to the gondola.