North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain is a snow sport paradise in winter with skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing, a sliding area and fantastic ski conditions.
Because of COVID-19, things were different from normal this past season. Face masks were mandatory in all indoor spaces, lineups and other places where physical distancing isn’t possible. Also, for the 2021/22 ski season, proof of vaccination was required at this resort.
See below for a description of Grouse Mountain in winter including details on the following topics:
Ski Conditions | COVID Safety Measures | Grouse Mountain Video | Admission | Ski Hill Features | Resort Accessibility | Winter Activities | Christmas Activities | Night Skiing | Snowshoeing | Outdoor Skating | Sliding Zone | Other Information
Winter Activities at Grouse Mountain
One of the region’s most popular destinations year-round, Grouse Mountain is Vancouver’s most accessible ski hill. It offers a wide range of activities twelve months of the year. During winter the resort becomes especially popular!
For information about Grouse Mountain in the non-snowy season, check out Grouse Mountain in Summer. For information on Grouse Mountain in the winter, see below.
Ski Conditions at Grouse Mountain
The 2021/2022 ski season began on November 20th. It ended on May 15th.
Conditions as of 10:00 am on May 17th, 2022, were the following:
- Fresh snow in the last 24 hours: 0 cm
- New snow in the last 7 days: 0 cm
- Total snowfall this season to date: 860 cm
- Total snow making: 77 cm
- Snow depth at peak: 420 cm
- Snow depth at plateau: 290 cm
- Weather Conditions: 2 degrees (C), unlimited visibility and mixed skies.
- Next Day’s Forecast: mixed skies with temperatures between 5 and -1 degrees.
During most of the season in a typical year, hours of operation for skiing and snowboarding are between 9:00 am and 10:00 pm on weekdays and on weekends.
Below is what the weather currently looks like up at Grouse as well as what is expected within the next few hours. (Note: If you click the down arrow within the chart you’ll see the currently weather conditions at Mt. Seymour, Cypress, Sasquatch and Whistler too.)
COVID-19 Precautionary Measures
In the 2021/22 winter season all guests had to be fully vaccinated, and proof of vaccination was required (although when we last went nobody actually checked for some reason). Although the Skyride was no longer operating at a reduced capacity, masks were mandatory indoors (and inside the tram) as well as while waiting in line.
For more details about the winter season see the Grouse Mountain website.
Grouse Mountain Video
For an idea of what Grouse Mountain looks like on the slopes in winter, check out the following video.
Admission at Grouse Mountain
For 2021/22, a full day of skiing at Grouse on weekdays cost $75 for adults, $55 for youth and seniors, and $29 for children (ages 5 to 12). On weekends and holiday breaks each ticket cost a few dollars more. Rates for night skiing were $55 for adults, $47 for youth and seniors and $27 for children on weekdays. Weekends were, again, slightly more expensive. Children under 5 were able to ski for free.
As of February, 2022, if you went up Grouse Mountain for the day but didn’t want to ski or snowboard, it still cost between about $34 and $61 depending on your age if you’re from outside BC. If you’re a BC resident, you got around $10 off. With this general admission you could snowshoe, skate, play in the snow and enjoy all the special Christmas activities in December, but not ski or snowboard.
Before the event was cancelled, Grouse was going to offer a Peak of Christmas family pack for two adults and two children for $99 in 2020. The resort’s Christmas attraction returned in 2021, and the family pack cost $109 this season.
Parking at Grouse in winter costs about $8 for 3 hours or $10 for the day.
Ski Resort Features
Grouse is one of the North Shore‘s three local ski hills. The others are Cypress (which has the most lifts and terrain) and Mt. Seymour (which is arguably the best for beginners). Grouse Mountain receives over 1 million visitors per year, or at least it does in years when there isn’t a global pandemic.
Grouse Mountain has 26 runs and 4 chairs. Its terrain parks are considered the best on the North Shore. In fact, in 2018, Newschoolers, considered by many to be the world’s top skiing website, named Grouse Mountain the #3 terrain park in the Northwest corner of North America! Whistler was number one, but Grouse was close behind!
The mountain has runs of all levels, but it’s not a huge ski hill. During the day expect to ski some of the same slopes at least a couple of times. The resort is big enough though for people to have a wonderful time (including skiers with season’s passes).
Grouse finished the 2018/19 season with just 259 cm of snow still remaining at the peak. For comparison, on the last day of the 2020/21 season the hill had 387 cm of snow at the peak. More recently, the 2021/22 season ended with 290 cm of snow at the plateau and 420 cm at the peak.
To learn more about the mountain and its year-round activities click Grouse Mountain. Click Lower Mainland Ski Hills for information about all the region’s various ski resorts including a comparison of the different mountains.
With most ski hills in the area you have to drive by car (or pay for a shuttle bus). With Grouse Mountain, however, there is easy public bus access, and the parking lot is usually well below snow level.
At Grouse you park in the pay parking lot, get on the aerial Skyride 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.
Note: In winter, indoor areas of Grouse Mountain are also accessible by wheelchair including the resort’s indoor theatre and restaurants. With all the snow though, it’s not so easy to get around outdoors if you have mobility issues. You will, however, sometimes see folk flying down the hill in ski equipment adapted for people normally in wheelchairs.
Grouse Mountain Winter Activities
Of course there is great skiing and snowboarding in the winter at Grouse Mountain, but there is also snowshoeing and outdoor skating. Grouse offers some exceptional skiing as well as stunning views, including sights of the city below.
Other year-round activities on the hill include movies in the Peak Chalet’s Theatre in the Sky, and fine dining at a couple of great restaurants. (Note: Because of COVID-19, what’s operating and what’s not may be different in 2022/23.)
Grouse Christmas Activities
December is usually a particularly special month at Grouse Mountain when the resort offers its Peak of Christmas event starting in late November. During this time, in years when there isn’t a pandemic, there are music concerts, gingerbread house displays, sleigh rides, live reindeer to look at, sparkling lights, Santa Claus to visit and other festive Christmas activities.
Note: The Peak of Christmas as a “formal event” was cancelled for the 2020/21 winter season, but it ran from November 25th in 2021 until January 3rd in 2022.
Night Skiing & Evening Activities
Night Skiing at Grouse Mountain can be a wonderful experience, especially on clear nights when the lights of Vancouver sparkle in the distance. In addition to skiing, on winter evenings there is also snowboarding, ice skating and crazy carpet fun in the Sliding Zone. Most years, like when there isn’t a global pandemic, there are also sleigh rides and other fun activities too.
For more information, click Night Skiing at Grouse Mountain.
Snowshoeing & Snowshoe Social Nights
Grouse Mountain has some great snowshoe trails. There are a couple of easier routes and a couple of more serious ones. The resort also hosts weekly snowshoeing events, although not recently due to COVID-19.
Mondays and Wednesdays are usually drop-in Snowshoe Social Nights from mid-December until the end of March.
The 90-minute sessions are usually free with a ski pass, membership or general day admission to the resort. Headlamps are required and snowshoes are available for rent. Participants sign-in at the main chalet in time to start snowshoeing at 7 pm sharp.
Note: Snowshoe Socials were cancelled for the 2020/21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They didn’t appear to be happen in 2021/22 either.
Click Snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain to learn more about the trails.
Skating at Grouse Mountain
To begin the 2021/22 winter season, the Mountaintop Skating Pond was open daily from 10 am until 9 pm. Towards the end of the season the rink sometimes had shorter hours of operation, and at times it even closed completely when temperatures got too high.
Although called the “Mountaintop Skating Pond,” it’s not actually a pond. It’s just an outdoor skating rink, although an exceptionally nice one. It looks like it could be a pond, but there is no risk of the ice getting thin and you falling into icy cold water. It’s just a very nice outdoor skating rink.
Access to the skating rink is included with admission to the resort. You don’t have to pay extra to skate. Unless you bring your own skates though, you do have to pay for skate rentals. You can rent them from the Fireside Hut at the edge of the rink.
For a glimpse of what the Mountaintop Skating Pond looks like just after dusk, check out the following video clip.
The Sliding Zone
The Sliding Zone is a hill where you can slide down on a sled-like contraption. The Sliding Zone is near the main lodge and outdoor skating rink.
To access the Sliding Zone you have to use an official Grouse Mountain Sliding Zone sled. You can’t bring your own sled or crazy carpet. You have to rent one, but they aren’t expensive. Sleds cost $5 per session, or $10 for the season per person, or $25 for a family rental package, again for the full season.
The Sliding Zone is usually open from around 11 am until 7 pm. Exact times do vary, however, and the activity only operates when snow conditions permit. If the snow gets too icy, too slushy, too fast or too sparse, the Sliding Zone gets shut down until conditions improve.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your visit to Grouse Mountain in winter.
TIP #1: Night skiing at Grouse is fantastic. It’s a few dollars cheaper than skiing all day, the crowds are minimal, and on a clear evening the views of Vancouver below are breath-taking. Also, with night rates starting at 3 or 4 pm, if you go late in the season, like at the end of March, you can still get a couple of hours of beautiful sunshine.
TIP #2: Unlike some mountains, a fair portion of the resort’s runs are lit up and open at night. Over half the mountain’s terrain is accessible daily until closing, including popular runs like Centennial, The Cut, Heaven’s Sake and Peak.
TIP #3: If you don’t want to ski but still want to go up the hill, make a reservation at The Observatory. Complimentary Skyride tram rides up to the top are included with the reservation. (Note: The restaurant closed in the 2020/21 season due to COVID-19, and it remains closed to start the 2021/22 winter season.)
TIP #4: Grouse Mountain offers a special season ticket, the Y2Play Pass, which is available for just a limited time each spring. The pass is good for skiing until the end of the season, plus the entire next season as well. The Y2Play is popular with locals and it makes Grouse a favourite for families and young skiers.
TIP #5: If someone in your group has an annual pass, up to two guests can usually get 50% off the price of the tram ride up the hill, although the discounts don’t apply to ski tickets.
TIP #6: Ski equipment can be expensive. If money is tight, to save money, buying second-hand equipment can be a good idea. A great place to do that is at one of the Lower Mainland’s various Ski Swaps which take place in the spring and fall.
For further information about the resort and Metro Vancouver skiing opportunities, see the following:
- Click Grouse in Summer for information about other activities in the late spring, summer and early fall.
- See Mountain Ziplining for details about ziplining opportunities at Grouse Mountain.
- Click Grouse Mountain at Night for details about night skiing opportunities at the resort.
- See Grouse Mountain Snowshoeing for more information about winter trails on the mountain.
- Check out the Peak of Christmas for information on festive activities at Grouse Mountain in December.
- Click Grouse Mountain for the ski hill’s official website and more information.
- Check out Lower Mainland Ski Hills to learn about the region’s other various places to ski.
- For a list of places to stay if you are from out of town, see our articles about North Vancouver Hotels and Downtown Vancouver Hotels.