Explore BC: Crown Mountain x The North Shore

For my tenth hike of the year, we finally managed to conquer the grueling trail up the amazing Crown Mountain. Located on the North Shore, you must either navigate the Grouse Grind, Hanes Valley, or BCMC trail in order to reach the trailhead of the Crown Mountain hike. Since we didn't feel like forking out $45 for a gondola ride up Grouse Mountain, we decided to brave the Grind prior to our almost-six-hour hike up Crown Mountain. While Eva and I usually run up the Grind, our heavy packs full of water and snacks meant that we had to ascend at a much slower pace (we ended up getting to the top just after one hour rather our usual time of approximately 48-50 minutes). Luckily, the ride down the gondola would only cost $10-- a nice relief after finishing the main hike!

Crown Mountain, which is located behind Grouse Mountain, rises to lovely elevation of 1504 m and provides you with spectacular views of the Capilano Watershed, the Lions, the city of Vancouver, and many other backcountry coastal mountains. Both Eva and I agreed that this was one of our most perfect hikes yet-- the weather was superb, the flies were non-existent, we managed the avoid the one bear in the area, and there were just the right amount of people on the trail to keep us company (without making it overcrowded). 

After we had finished the first hour completing the Grouse Grind, we continued on with barely a break towards the trailhead of the Crown Mountain hike. For about the first two kilometres, Eva and I were wondering whether this trail was "difficult"-- the Alpine Trail that we were following was far from challenging. However, as we neared the Crown Pass, things began to become a lot more interesting.

The descent into Crown Pass is extremely steep and quite intimidating due to an abundance of razor-sharp rocks and tangled tree roots. We took our time going down this area as we were in no hurry to initiate any unnecessary injuries on that lovely day. Once we reached the bottom, we reached the first boulder field and began a slow ascent up and down some forested areas until we reached the second and more difficult boulder field. 

Along the way, there are numerous breathtakingly beautiful viewpoints to keep one going and motivated. Once we reached the second boulder field, it was hard not to stop and just admire the incredible view.

The side of Crown Mountain as we slowly neared the summit. Below are two pictures of the second, more difficult boulder field where we had to follow splashes of yellow spray paint over the rocks and use basic rock climbing skills to navigate the rocks. By the end of the hike, my hands were almost black with dirt as I had to use them constantly to climb up rocks and roots.

A picture attempting to describe the incredible steepness of the trail. While Eva and I were working hard on this trail, we enjoyed almost every challenging moment of it. We would both say things like: "This is so crazy hard but I LOVE IT!" (It's possible that we are not mentally sound.)

When we finally reached the summit, the unbelievable panoramic view from the top was worth every ounce of pain and drop of sweat. It's hard for these pictures to do the true beauty of this view any justice-- these photos just don't show you the height of our viewpoint, the depth of the green valleys, and the soaring horizons full of faraway mountain ranges.

Once we had finished our little lunch and had drunk our fill of the view, we slowly and carefully made our very steep way down the mountain. While this hike isn't as long as many others I have done, the sheer steepness of the trail is challenging enough to make a intermediate hike of 18 km seem easy. Luckily, I had my amazing hiking buddy Eva to keep me company with fun chit-chat. We also played music for most of the hike after hearing from several other hikers that there was a black bear feeding around the pathways. Happily, we never saw our furry companion, even if he might have seen us from afar. 

All in all, a most perfect hike that had Eva and I daydreaming of its beauty for days!


  1. Beautiful photos dear!

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  2. Ahhh well written friend! Such a wonderful well spent tuesday!

  3. Wow, these are such amazing images -- I love nature, and it looks like you have a great hike/venture. /Madison
    Seasonal Change

  4. wow, i like those posts! everything is natural and that beautiful countryside! it looks amazing. and yeah - you did it! wow, it must be amazing to be on the top of the mountain.


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