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My Vancouver #9: Hiking Dam Mountain & Thunderbird Ridge {in photos}

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My Vancouver #9: Hiking Dam Mountain & Thunderbird Ridge {in photos}
My Vancouver #9: Hiking Dam Mountain & Thunderbird Ridge {in photos}

I love to explore new places in and around Vancouver, get lost on the trails, and eat my way through the city! In the My Vancouver series I’ll share the latest places I’ve explored, eaten at, and adventured to. You can find previous posts on exploring Vancouver here.

The first weekend of September we lucked out with beautiful weather in Vancouver. What else to do but head to the mountains? 

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I had a 32 km long run on Sunday morning so I wanted to keep the hike relatively easy and short. I decided on Dam Mountain and Thunderbird Ridge at the top of Grouse Mountain.

Download the trail directions for Dam Mountain here and the directions for Thunderbird Ridge here.

It is easy to get to Grouse Mountain by transit from downtown Vancouver. You can also try and sneak on the free shuttle bus that leaves from Canada Place, technically meant for tourists. Once you arrive at Grouse Mountain, take the gondola up to the top of the mountain or if you’re feeling ambitious hike the Grouse Grind or BCMC trail to the top. I have an annual pass for Grouse, which includes unlimited rides of the gondola. Otherwise, I probably would have been hiking up to the top of the mountain as hiking is free and a roundtrip ride on the gondola is a little pricey.

Once you reach the top of Grouse Mountain, head to the gravel road left of the ski run to begin your hike up. On your left will be stunning views of Cleveland Dam down below. 

There are two main trails that lead up to Dam Mountain: Alpine Trail and Ridge Trail. Follow the Alpine Trail to add Thunderbird Ridge onto your hike. Find the full directions here.

The hike up to Dam Mountain is lovely on its own. By adding on Thunderbird Ridge you will just have a bit longer hike and more scenic views of Crown Mountain, Kennedy Lake, and Vancouver down below.

Soak in the views at the top of Dam Mountain before returning to the Grouse Mountain ski chalet. Watch out for kite surfers above you and screaming zip-liners on the way down.

If you are looking for a longer adventure many will continue past Dam Mountain to Goat Mountain and Crown Mountain.

Looking for some cheap thrills on your way down? Hike up to the peak of Grouse Mountain and take a free chairlift ride down.

Hungry? Stop in at the Grouse Mountain chalet before taking the gondola all the way down to the bottom. 

I don’t find the food the greatest at the chalet and I’ll usually bring my own snacks with me. If I am looking for some better eats I’ll head to Whole Foods at Park Royal in West Vancouver or Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.

What’s your favourite food or snack to bring on hikes? 

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  • While I love life on the west coast, it's never easy living on the other side of the country from many friends and family. Grateful for trips home, no matter how long or short (this weekend!) they may be. Back to YVR ✈️
  • Soaking up that Toronto sunshine ☀️
  • Had some of the best vegan food ever at @plantatoronto tonight! I've often been left disappointed (and hungry 😅) by new plant based eateries but this totally exceeded expectations. Loved all the dishes we tried from the cheesy queso dip (pictured here) to the peanut butter chocolate "terrarium" for dessert.
  • Springtime in Victoria #flashbackfriday meanwhile in Toronto... ❄️🌧☀️
  • Last night's surprisingly purple sunset, a welcome sight after a day of rain #tbt
  • From west coast to east coast (sort of! 😛) Toronto bound ✈️ where there is apparently a rainfall warning #cantescapeit
  • The ferry is fun, but these views can't be beat. YYJ ➡️ YVR ✈️
  • Thanks Victoria for the sunshine, great eats, good coffee, and those Island views. Now to the float plane!