One of the region’s most popular destinations year-round, Grouse Mountain is Vancouver’s most accessible ski hill offering the widest range of activities twelve months of the year.
For information about the hill during the ski season, see our article about Grouse Mountain in Winter. To learn about the mountain in general, including its year-round activities, continue reading.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT GROUSE?
The resort opens for the 2020 ski season on November 20 with a base of 68 cm and three runs in operation.
The Peak of Christmas is Grouse Mountain’s winter holiday attraction. It runs this year from November 20 to January 3. Because of COVID-19, Santa Claus isn’t on site this year, and there are fewer other activities than usual too.
For the period up until December 8, 2020, the Government of British Columbia advises against all non-essential travel. People also have to wear masks in all indoor public places and to hang out with just people from within their own household (with a small number of exceptions).
If you plan to hit the slopes this year, don’t forget to take your face mask and to ski just with people from within your immediate core bubble. Also, don’t travel for non-essential reasons and stay home if you aren’t feeling well. While skiing, try to stay 6 feet from other people and avoid touching your face. Stay safe and be responsible!
2020/21 will be an interesting ski season! Hopefully it can still be a good one!
Year-Round Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain is a ski resort in winter, but it’s also one of Metro Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions year-round. Grouse is famous for its skiing, but also for its activities in summer, spring and fall.
For details about winter activities and ski rates, click Grouse Mountain in Winter. For details about activities in the late spring, summer and early fall, click Grouse Mountain in Summer. And for general information about the resort, see below.
Where is Grouse?
Grouse Mountain is located at 6400 Nancy Greene Way which is at the very top of Capilano Road in North Vancouver. The resort is just a 30-minute drive from many parts of the City of Vancouver, and only 15 minutes or so from much of the North Shore.
Directions to Grouse and Accessibility
Grouse Mountain is without a doubt Metro Vancouver’s most accessible ski hill, by both car and public bus.
Getting to Grouse by Car
Driving north over the Lions Gate Bridge from downtown Vancouver through Stanley Park, as you cross the bridge veer right towards North Vancouver. At the first traffic light, which is at Capilano Road, turn left and then just keep going up the hill for about 10 minutes.
Capilano Road turns into Nancy Greene Way and at the top is the mountain’s Skyride tram which takes you to the base of the ski hill. Rarely ever do you need winter tires to get there, which isn’t the case for all the other mountains.
Getting to Grouse by Bus
Grouse Mountain is also the Lower Mainland’s most accessible ski hill by Public Transit. Both the 232 bus from Phibbs Exchange and the 236 from Lonsdale Quay and the North Shore’s SeaBus terminal go right to the bottom of the mountain. See the TransLink website for details.
Starting at the end of May and continuing throughout the summer season most years, Grouse Mountain also offers a free shuttle service to and from Canada Place in downtown Vancouver with the purchase of a Mountain Experience ticket.
Grouse Mountain in Winter
Grouse Mountain is one of the North Shore‘s three local ski hills (with the other two being Cypress Mountain – which has the most lifts and terrain – and Mt. Seymour – which is arguably the best for beginners and families with young children).
Grouse Mountain itself has over two dozen runs and four chairs, and its terrain parks are arguably the best on the North Shore. The mountain offers great skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, plus phenomenal views of Vancouver, especially at night.
With most ski hills in the area you have to drive by car (or pay for a shuttle bus), but with Grouse there is easy public bus transit access, and the parking lot is usually well below snow level.
At Grouse you park, get in the aerial tramway (which is an attraction in itself), and arrive minutes later at the base of the ski hill. It’s fast and easy to get to, plus no worries about winter driving, which in Vancouver is dangerous because nobody knows how to drive in the snow.
Click Grouse Map for a map of the ski hill.
2020 Winter Ski Rates
Day ski passes when purchased online as of January 2020 were the following (and rates for the 2020/21 season will likely be similar, but with exact details to be confirmed):
- Adults (ages 19 to 64) – $72
- Seniors (ages 65+) – $52
- Youth (ages 13 to 18) – $52
- Children (ages 5 to 12) – $27
- Kids (ages 4 and under) – Free
Night ski passes start at 4 pm and are up to about $20 cheaper than a day ski pass.
(Note: rates are subject to change.)
Grouse Mountain in Summer (plus Spring and Fall)
In the summer Grouse Mountain is as busy with tourists and locals as it is in the winter when there’s skiing.
In the non-ski season there are ziplines, hiking trails and trips up to the observation deck of the Eye of the Wind (wind turbine). That’s in addition to all the regular year-round activities like the movie theatre, chairlift rides and restaurants.
In the summer there is also entertainment, including fun Lumberjack shows and Birds in Motion live presentations. There is a ton of things to do up at Grouse in the summer. Oh, and did we mention the paragliding (even for beginners!)
Click Grouse Mountain in Summer for more information on the many exciting adventure opportunities available on the hill from May until October.
The Y2Play Pass is the most affordable way to ski at Grouse Mountain. It’s a special pass that goes on sale each year in February and that’s valid until the end of the current ski season plus all of the following year’s ski season as well.
This special Grouse Mountain pass is usually valid from mid to late February until April of the year that it’s purchased, and then again from the following October until April the next year.
The costs for Y2Play Passes for the 2020/21 season were the following:
- Adults (ages 19-64) – $399
- Seniors (ages 65+) – $169
- Students (ages 19+) – $299
- Youth (ages 13-18) – $259
- Children (ages 5-12) – $89
- Tots (ages 4 & under) – $35
- Families (2 adults plus 2 youth or children) – $949
“Modern families” that don’t fit the traditional description of 2 adult parents and 2 children are eligible for a 5% discount off regular prices.
Also available are Parent Passes which can be shared between two parents of a child under 7 years of age living at the same address. They cost $469 and allow one or the other parent to ski with their Y2Play pass-holding child per day.
Y2Play Pass Benefits
There are many benefits to having a Y2Play pass in addition to the more than a full season’s access to the ski slopes.
Some of the passes benefits in the 2020/21 season are the following:
- A free ski lift ticket for a friend (who must be of the same age group)
- Discounts (including 10% off food services and 20% off Starbucks purchases, ski and snowboarding lessons and equipment rentals).
- One free rental of skates, snowshoes, skis or snowboards and Sliding Zone sled.
Note: Some restrictions do apply. Click Grouse Y2Play Pass for more information.
Grouse Tips and Suggestions
Grouse Mountain is one of the best places to spend the day in the Lower Mainland. Below you’ll find some tips on how to make the most of your experience and time on the hill.
TIP #1: If you plan to go up the Grouse aerial tramway at least a couple of times (other than to ski), consider getting an annual pass. Non-skiing annual family passes cost around $300, while a one-day adult pass costs close to $60!
TIP #2: The only way up Grouse other than via the Grouse Grind trail and its 2800+ stairs is by aerial tram which makes it very accessible as it means little need for snow tires in the winter. The Skyride tram is not the best though for people who are truly claustrophobic or afraid of heights.
TIP #3: If heights don’t bother you, when boarding the Skyride Tram try to get close to the front of the line and sit or stand near the windows at the end facing the city to enjoy the scenery or get one of the few benches to sit on.
TIP #4: When visiting Grouse in the summer, get there early in the day – not late afternoon – so you’ll have time to see the Lumberjack and Birds in Motion shows.
TIP #5: The lower parking lot in the non-ski season is often free. On other lots you always have to pay. If you plan to visit the place more than just a few times, consider buying an annual parking pass which isn’t very expensive.
TIP #6: Grade 4 & 5 BC students can ski at Grouse Mountain (and many other Canadian ski hills) up to 3 times for free with a SnowPass, which costs only about $30.
TIP #7: Grouse Mountain offers a special season ticket each year starting around the end of February – the Y2Play Pass. It’s available for purchase for just a limited time and it’s valid for skiing until the end of the season when purchased plus the entire following season as well. The price is unbelievably low compared to a regular full season pass, so it’s highly recommended if you plan to ski lots at Grouse.
If you want more details about Grouse Mountain at different times of the year, or information on other similar places and things to do in the Lower Mainland, then check out the following:
- Click Grouse Mountain in the Summer for information on activities in the late spring, summer and early fall including daily live entertainment, hiking, grizzly bears, the Grouse Grind trail, Theatre in the Sky movies, mountain disc golf and ziplining.
- See Mountain Ziplines for more details specifically on the ziplining adventures at Grouse.
- Check out the Peak of Christmas for information on festive activities at Grouse Mountain from late November, throughout December and into January.
- Click Grouse Mountain for the ski hill’s website and more information.
- To learn about other local places to ski at check out the Lower Mainland’s various ski hills where you’ll find a comparison of the different mountains.
Year-round, Grouse is used for weddings, private receptions, and a wide range of both public and private activities. Want to include ziplining on your wedding (year-round), then this would be a memorable place to go!
Grouse Mountain is fairly wheelchair accessible in the non-ski season – just not when there’s snow, although many people with mobility issues that have the right equipment find it an exceptional place to ski. Wheelchairs can’t get everywhere in the summer, but there are paved pathways to most places of interest.