Level: Difficult

Distance: 8.3 km

Time: 3 h

Elevation Change: 120 m

Season: April to Nov

Topographical Map: 92 G/6

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Access: #240 15th Street bus (or #246 Lonsdale Quay via Highland bus when available during peak hours Monday to Saturday) from West Georgia Street to the corner of Marine Drive and Capilano Road in North Vancouver. Change to (or stay on) the #246 Lonsdale Quay via Highland bus to the corner of Capilano Road and Woods Drive. Change to the #236 Grouse Mountain to the end of the line.

When you arrive at Grouse Mountain walk back east towards Nancy Greene Way and you'll see an information sign and probably a lot of stretching athletes up the hill and to the right [east] of the main offices. The trendy Grouse Grind and the Baden-Powell Centennial Trail share the same trailhead. The former route, which nearly everybody will take, goes straight up the face of Grouse Mountain. You are marching eastward to the sound of a different drummer. At first you'll gain 135 m of elevation on a moderate slope. After 40 minutes or so the trail will flatten out then begin sloping downwards, a tendency it will follow for most of the day. For the most part this section of trail is quite rough and poorly maintained though the signage, like all those sections in North Vancouver, is excellent.

This hike passes through typical second growth rain forest with very few viewpoints. If you wish to cut the hike short there are several escape routes along the way. The first one is 2½ km into the hike. Just before reaching Mosquito Creek you can follow the road down to Skyline Drive. At the corner of Montroyal Boulevard catch the #246 bus. Mountain Highway, 5½ km further on, is another obvious egress point. Follow the road down to McNair Drive where you can catch the #210 Vancouver bus bound for Burrard SkyTrain station. The dirt road is gated above the Baden-Powell trail and leads via a roundabout way to the back door of Grouse Mountain. This area is particularly popular with mountain bikers.

Continuing eastward from this point Baden-Powell trail soon becomes notably steep descending through a series of switchbacks. At the bottom of the steepest part the trail intersects paved Lynn Valley Road. Turn right here. You'll find the nearest bus stop just beyond the gate on Dempsey Road. The #228 Lonsdale Quay bus runs at half-hour intervals, more frequently during rush hours, and will connect you up with the SeaBus bound for downtown Vancouver. Alternately, if you walk a block west to the corner of Underwood Avenue and Dempsey Road you can catch the more direct #210 Vancouver bus every 30 minutes.

The End


Vanilla Leaf

Vanilla Leaf

While modern adventurers smear their skin with toxic chemicals to keep pesky bugs at bay, natives of the Pacific Northwest took a less carcinogous approach. The fresh-squeezed juice of common Vanilla Leaf was applied to fend off mosquitos and black flies. Dried leaves, smelling faintly of vanilla, were hung in bunches about the longhouse for the same purpose. A potion of boiled Vanilla Leaf was used to wash bedding to eliminate bed bugs and mites and as a hair treatment to fend off lice and fleas. Look for Vanilla Leaf at trailside in heavy forest wherever moisture accumulates.

Illustration by Manami Kimura