It’s time for us to take another trip into the backcountry of the North Shore, exploring some of the hiking trails around Grouse Mountain. There are many great places to explore the wilderness around Vancouver, and the further you venture into the backcountry, the more incredible the views become. This was one of the toughest hikes we’ve done recently, but also one of the most rewarding destinations that we have explored this summer. This week, we did the grueling hike from the top of the Grouse Mountain Gondola up towards the incredible summit of Crown Mountain.
Crown Mountain is visible from Vancouver (the mountain to the right and behind Grouse Mountain) and it gets it’s name from the rocky peak that appear to form a crown at the top. The summit is 1504 meters (just over 4900 feet) above sea level, but fortunately the Grouse Mountain Gondola took us up the first leg of the journey. Along the way, we ended up seeing quite a bit of small wildlife (ravens, chipmunks and even a humming bird) and several bears; two of which were rescued bears as part of the Grouse Mountain bear sanctuary, and two black bear cubs along the trails.
During our hike, we only ran into 4 other hikers, which meant when we arrived at our destination, we had the summit to ourselves. The hike is quite challenging, both based on the time it takes to arrive at the top, and the treacherous terrain. To reach Crown Mountain from Grouse, you have to hike up towards Goat mountain and then enter (and exit) Haynes Valley, which means there was a lot of up and downhill portions to conquer. The reward was (eventually) worth it once we made it to the top.
When we began the hike, the weather was quite cloudy in the city, and there was lots of fog throughout the forest, but we put our trust in the weather report that said it was supposed to clear up in the afternoon. When we arrived at the summit, we had a few limited views, but it was still quite hard to see anything. So we waited…
It took us just under 3 hours to make it to the top, and we spent about an hour waiting out the weather to clear. Eventually, the thick fog lifted for us, and the views of the surrounding wilderness was revealed in all its glory. It was definitely worth the wait, and the views around us were some of the most incredible we have ever seen.
This was definitely not an easy hike, and should not be undertaken unless you are prepared for some serious backcountry hiking. Many unprepared hikers are rescued from the wilderness every year, so make sure you are ready for the challenge and don’t become another statistic. At times you will need to use all 4 limbs to climb up and down the rocks, but if you’re prepared, it is 100% worth the effort.
We hope you enjoy our latest adventure from the top of Crown Mountain. If things go according to plan, this post will help inspire you to build up some stamina so you can visit this place on your own; but until then, hopefully this photo essay will satisfy your mountain view needs.