Last month we released an article regarding the best times of the day/week to do the Grouse Grind. It broke down the pockets of time by your preferences regarding crowds and so forth. View the specifics here.
However, when it comes to the optimal occasion in a general sense, you’re looking at it. Here we are at the onset of September, with school back in session and pumpkin spice lattes lining the tabletops of your favorite local cafe. Yes indeed, you won’t find a much better opportunity to seize the day and hit the Grouse Grind and other Lower Mainland area hikes. Here’s why.
5 Reasons Why September is One of the Best Times of the Year to Hike the Grind
1. Back to School Crowd Levels
Sorry kids, as much as we loved you packing up the beaches, parks and hiking trails through the summer, we can’t say we don’t miss the serenity that comes from a SnapChat free outdoor experience.
All kidding (pun intended) aside, with school back in session, summer vacation and tourism season is over for most. That equates fewer crowds all around. That means that the popular hikes of Greater Vancouver will be uncrowded from Monday to Friday. Sure, things get busy again on sunny Saturdays and Sundays, but the numbers will be exponentially lower. Simply put, you can plan your hike on any day that suits your schedule best, without worrying about being in the background of someone’s Instagram post, unless you happen upon ours, of course.
2. It’s Even More Beautiful
While the summer affords us a lush green bounty on the mountains and trails, September takes things up a notch. The scene is still delightfully green, but you’ll begin to notice the leaves begin to change on some of the 50+ species of native trees that grow in BC and along the North Shore. The result is a natural canvas with a color palette that is unmatched practically anywhere else in the world. Looks like you’ll have to break out the SnapChat and Instagram apps after all.
3. The Weather is Optimal
Many think that hiking in the thick of summer is the way to go but anyone that braved the warm temperatures of this summer can attest to how much more challenging the heat and humidity makes the hike. While there are still warm days ahead, you can’t help but notice a new crispness in the air, making it more breathable, resulting in a less cumbersome cardiovascular experience. The early mornings and early evenings are especially optimal, so plan accordingly.
4. The Air Quality is Better
Yes, the haze of BC’s forest fires remains here at the beginning of September 2017, but for the most part it is being ushered out fast. In addition, fewer crowds equates better air quality. There are fewer smokers (and vapers) up on the mountain and there is an overall reduction in intake of natural oxygen and exhalation of carbon dioxide. When you add this to the cooler weather noted above, you’ve got far better air quality conditions for intense mountain hiking.
5. Bye Bye Bugs
Pests such as mosquitoes and other bothersome insects are summer tourists in BC. Of course, you can avoid such critters altogether in the autumn and winter, but when you want to hike in the best moderate climate conditions (cool in the AM, warm in the day) then September is it. This month you’ll be able to hike in shorts and a Grindaholic t-shirt (here) without worrying about your arms and legs looking like a connect-the-dots workbook the next day.