Posted on July 11, 2013
Hometown Tourist: Grouse Mountain
It’s hard to beat Vancouver in the summertime with its verdant parks, sun-drenched community events and stretches of sand on the city’s many beaches. I imagine all of this is even better when you’re a tourist in Vancouver. However, being that it’s where I live, it’s not often that I get the opportunity to partake in our local attractions. That’s why having family visit can be a great opportunity for everyone involved.
Recently my brother and his daughter, my niece Sienna, came for a few days of sun in the city. I had promised Sienna that I’d take her to see real grizzly bears when she visited, so J and I packed her and my brother into our truck and headed for North Vancouver.
Half of the fun at Grouse Mountain is getting there. The tram ride offers expansive views across the city, the Strait of Georgia and as far as Vancouver Island. Rumour has it that you can even see Mt. Baker in Washington State on truly clear days.
One of the great features of a visit to Grouse Mountain is that there truly is something for everyone. While you can choose to dine on mile-high nachos with a cold beer from the “Peak of Vancouver,” there are also nature trails, a chair lift ride to the very top, tours of the wind turbine with a glass pod viewing deck, wolf and grizzly refuges and Grouse Mountain’s world-famous lumberjack show.
Sienna was no doubt pleased to see that her auntie got picked to participate – albeit reluctantly – in a portion of the lumberjack show. The competition came down between the Blue Mountain and Green River logging camps, and my lumberjack partner and I had to be the first to saw through log with a double-ended saw.
Sadly, my fashionable skirt and bonnet were not enough to save the day and we lost the competition for Blue Mountain…
However, the entertainment rolled on through various feats of lumberjack skills, including a very funny log-rolling contest. As I’m sure you can imagine, no lumberjack was left high and dry.
Sienna was thrilled to meet the lumberjacks after the show and learn all about what they do. If you haven’t had the chance to view the 45-minute show while on a visit to Grouse Mountain, I’d suggest you get on it. Apart from the wood skills, the lumberjacks had some comedic chops that kept our entire family raptured!
After the show, it was on to the wildlife! Grouse Mountain’s resident grizzlies, Coola and Grinder, poked their heads out of the woods to say hello but were mostly playing shy that day. We weren’t able to see the wolves in their habitat at all, but I suspect they were escaping the heat in the shade of the forest.
As a thank-you for participating in the lumberjack show, I earned us a free Beaver Tail dusted in sugar in cinnamon. Sienna only gladly devoured it on my behalf and may have shared a bite or two with her dear ol’ dad.
While visting Vancouver is always exciting for the tourist set, discovering one’s own backyard can also be a lot of fun as a resident. Typically J and I will do the ‘Grouse Grind’ and immediately make our way back to the bottom of the mountain. Instead, taking the time to explore all that Grouse Mountain offers was a really wonderful way to spend the day with our family, creating memories none of us will forget anytime soon.
Grouse Mountain is located at 6400 Nancy Greene Way in North Vancouver and can be accessed by vehicle, transit or free shuttle from downtown Vancouver. For more information, visit Grouse Mountain online, “like” Grouse Mountain on Facebook or follow their updates on Twitter.