arrive in Vancouver for the first time at dusk, you may see twinkling lights
hovering about the night sky above the city. No, they’re not UFOs left over
from the days when The X-Files was filmed here. They’re the
lights of Grouse Mountain, tempting you from high above to come have a
bird’s-eye look from the 3,700-foot peak.
With the hefty price of the
eight-minute journey up the mountain, your best bet is to make a day of it. Up
top, you find a bar that hops year-round, a decent restaurant, a movie theater,
a playground, pony rides, hang gliders careening off the peak, a Grizzly Bear sanctuary and lumberjack demonstrations. In winter, there’s skiing, snowboarding, sledding and ice-skating all of which
are especially fun at night with the city lights below.
You won’t be bored, although
you may be a little put off by the blatant commercialism of it all. Hikers and
purists usually skip all that and do the very hip Grouse Grind, a near-vertical
ascent of the peak.
Tip: Combine the mountain with a visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge to make a full day of exploring Vancouver’s North Shore.