Grouse mountain is a natural wonder of the world. However, not everyone gets to enjoy it as much as they’d like, given the price tag that goes along with the combo that includes hiked-up resort gift shop, cafe, restaurant, and gondola prices.
As an unofficial ambassador to the mountain’s biggest draw in the spring and summer, the Grouse Grind, we would hate to think that anyone is missing out on the whole experience because of money. After all, you should be able to enjoy the peak as much as the hike.
Whether you are looking to a low cost staycation idea for your outdoor-centric family, are visiting and keeping the travel budget in check, or are simply looking to take advantage of your own backyard without hitting the pocketbook, the following tips will help you enjoy the mountain without climbing into the $100+ territory.
4 Ways to Enjoy a Full Grouse Grind (and Mountain) Experience Without the Expense
1. Don’t Take the Gondola Down
Keep the $10 per person gondola ride in your pocket. Instead of feeling forced to cough up the dough after doing the Grouse Grind, hike back down. Of course, we know it’s frowned upon to descend down the Grind, especially when people don’t follow protocol and neglect to stay out of the way of those going up. Fair enough. Instead, you can simply take the BCMC trail down, which while challenging, is less busy and less likely to get you nasty stares. If anyone makes a snide comment about your on-foot return down from Grouse Mountain, tell them you’re doing it to spite the new billionaire ownership group. You’ll likely be applauded for sticking it to the man ;)
Note: Only skilled hikers should attempt to descend down from Grouse Mountain.
2. Save Money on Resort Food by Packing it In
We’re not trying to dissuade you from enjoying the dining experiences of Grouse Mountain if that’s what you’ve come for. This tip is for those doing the Grouse Grind, BCMC, or are there to enjoy the great outdoor experiences while only seeking out food for sustenance. You can skip the lines and keep from lining the pockets of the resort by packing in your own food and beverages. We’ve detailed some essential foodstuffs in our What to Bring on the Grouse Grind article in case you needed some guidance.
3. DIY Experiences
You could drop your hard earned dollars on the slew of activities and attractions that come with a hefty price tag. But you’re looking to save a few bucks while enjoying the great outdoors. Instead, do some homework ahead of time and see what you and your party can accomplish without ticket stubs.
There are so many exploratory experiences (hikes, trails, and sightseeing) that can be enjoyed on your own. Of course, you should not attempt to set up your own zip line (etc.), but you can have a great outdoor experience with a map of the local trails to and from Grouse and a healthy thirst for do-it-yourself adventure. Families and groups interested in learning all about wildlife common to the North Shore mountains need not join in on the official guided tours. Instead, you can build out a checklist of local wildlife to keep an eye out for, making a game out of it for the little ones in your troupe. A self-guided photo safari is also a fun way to enjoy the mountain for free.
Like the idea of keeping your budget in check but still feel comforted by the concept of guided tours? Do the Grouse Grind with our team (very affordable) and along the way we’ll load you up with some helpful tips on how to enjoy the rest of the mountain DIY style. Take the savings a step further by bringing five people (or more) along with you to qualify for a group rate.
Other activities offered at the mountain can be done with a DIY twist too. For instance, disc golf. Instead of dropping $45/person on the pass to play, bring your own frisbees and map out your own zone on the expansive mountain. A little imagination and creativity can go a long way up there.
4. Shop Independent When it Comes to Grouse Grind Apparel
Practically anyone who has done the Grouse Grind has at some point purchased a t-shirt to commemorate their successful hike and all around experience. But those resort gift shop price tags add up.
Instead, celebrate your affinity for the Grouse Grind by shopping local (and err…more fashionably) and grabbing your Grouse Grind apparel from locally owned and operated Grindaholic. Alternatively, you can sign up for the affordable guided tour and we’ll throw in a t-shirt for each person in your party, for FREE!