Accessed from Grouse Mountain, Goat Mountain is a beautiful hike leading to an open peak that towers above North Vancouver.
From the top, there are panoramic views of Vancouver, the entire Lower Mainland and nearby mountain ranges.
Goat Mountain on Vancouver’s North Shore
Goat Mountain is an intermediate-level hike that offers stunning, 360-degree views. The elevation gain is over 300 metres, while the round trip trek is nearly 9 kilometres long. Nature meets city at the Goat Mountain peak, as one side showcases the City of Vancouver, while the other side features an endless mountain range between Vancouver and Squamish.
The hike can only be accessed from the top of Grouse Mountain. It begins with a gravel trail to the left of the Peak Chairlift. Shortly after entering the trail, you’ll continue walking with the tall, rocky mountainside on your right and the cliff of greenery on your left. When you arrive at the large map, be sure to sign in on the forms provided (for your own safety), and then follow signage for Goat Mountain.
Goat Mountain takes around four hours in total to complete. It is not a difficult hike by any means, but it isn’t super easy either. Hikers who complete the much steeper Grouse Grind trail probably find Goat Mountain easier in comparison. Goat Mountain is longer in distance, but the incline is mostly gradual and the scenery is far nicer.
The hiking trail is mostly made up of hard-packed dirt. It winds through trees with occasional glimpses of surrounding mountains on the way up. There are typically small ponds to admire too.
Another interesting feature of the Goat Mountain hike is a small rock climbing patch in the second half of the trip. This section is steep, but chains are there to help hikers pull themselves up. The last few minutes of the final ascension is also steep, but well worth the effort.
The photo of the man at the top of the cliff is of the small rock climbing area where you can pull yourself up with the chains. The photo pretty much shows the full height and size of the cliff. It’s not huge, but also not something for people with mobility challenges.
After reaching the top, be sure to appreciate the views that come with the elevation gain. In fact, you should be able to see Grouse Mountain’s Eye of the Wind turbine down below! Enjoy the water, city and mountain views all around you before heading back down the same trail you hiked up.
You’re not supposed to hike down the Grouse Grind, only up. Consequently, you’ll likely have to take the Grouse Mountain Skyride Tram down, which usually costs between $15 and $20 per person. There is, however, another trail, next to the Grind, that you can hike down. Most people though use the Skyride.
Where is Goat Mountain?
Goat Mountain is a peak that extends from the top of Grouse Mountain. Known as one of the region’s most popular year-round attractions, Grouse Mountain is located at 6400 Nancy Greene Way in North Vancouver. To hike Goat Mountain, folk can begin by either taking the Skyride tram up Grouse Mountain, or by hiking up the Grouse Grind.
From the top of Grouse, follow signs along the paved path that direct you to the Peak Chairlift. After passing the grizzly bear habitat area and just before the Peak Chairlift hill, take the gravel path on your left that leads between trees.
Below are some tips based on our Goat Mountain hiking experiences.
TIP #1: If you decide to hike Goat Mountain after it has rained, we recommend wearing shoes with good grips. Like most other hard-packed dirt trails, muddy conditions here are slippery and dangerous. Trail shoes will help you hike with more confidence and speed.
TIP #2: Since the hike starts and concludes at the top of Grouse Mountain, be sure to make the most of your visit by enjoying Grouse’s Summer Activities. We also recommend stopping at the nearby Capilano River Regional Park. There are nice hiking trails in that park too, but it’s good for short visits at the Cleveland Dam.
TIP #3: As mentioned above, be sure to sign in by the map at the start of the trail. This is important. If anything goes wrong on your hike, there will be a record of where you went if you don’t come back (so the search and rescue folk will know where to look for you).
TIP #4: The Grouse Grind is a fairly serious hike that averages around 1.5 hours. It’s not difficult or overly challenging if you are fit – but it is a grueling workout. It’s close to 3 km long and hiking it is kind of like an outdoor Stairmaster class in nature. By the time you finish you’ve climbed hundreds of steps and are 850 metres higher than when you started. Only more serious hikers do both the Grouse Grind and the Goat Mountain Hike in the same day.
TIP #5: Unless you climb the Grouse Grind, or hike or ride your mountain bike up the back trails, the only way to the start of the Goat Mountain hike is via Grouse Mountain and its Skyride tram. Since admission to Grouse isn’t cheap, most people who hike to Goat Mountain likely have annual passes to the resort. Either that or they make a full day out of their trip, and spend half their day hiking and the other half enjoying the resort’s various other amenities.
For more information regarding Grouse Mountain and comparable places, check out the following articles:
- Grouse Mountain Ski Hill
- Grouse Mountain Summer Activities
- The Grouse Grind
- Vancouver’s Best Hiking Trails
- Vancouver’s North Shore
- Outdoor Recreation in Vancouver
- Best Parks and Nature
- Lower Mainland Ski Hills