Situated on Grouse Mountain, this wildlife sanctuary has a pair of very famous residents: two orphaned grizzly bears named Grinder and Coola. Additionally, the refuge also houses birds of prey, including resident owls, plus a hummingbird feeding station, where researchers monitor the tiny feathered fliers in spring.
You’ll need an admission ticket to Grouse Mountain; you can buy one in advance that includes round-trip shuttle transportation from downtown Vancouver, the Skyride aerial tram, the Peak Chairlift (summer only), and a 45-minute lumberjack show, as well as access to the wildlife refuge, where ranger talks are held regularly in summer. For a special experience, book Breakfast with the Bears, which includes early access to the refuge, a ranger talk, and breakfast at the Grizzly Lookout Cafe.
The refuge can also be visited as part of North Shore day tours from Vancouver, which typically combine Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife is a must for wildlife enthusiasts.
- There are dining options at the mountain; the yurt-style Grizzly Lookout Cafe offers the best views of the grizzly bear habitat.
- The Skyride is accessible to wheelchair users, as is the refuge, which can be accessed via paved pathways.
How to Get There
Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife is located in North Vancouver, about a 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. Shuttle buses, free with a Grouse Mountain admission ticket, run from Canada Place in summer.
When to Get There
The best time to visit is between May and October when the bears are usually out of their den, and when rangers give talks. In winter, the bears go into hibernation and can’t be observed in-person, though you can watch them slumbering via a live webcam.
What to Do on Grouse Mountain
Known as the Peak of Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is an outdoor playground for nature-loving urbanites. Fit visitors can attempt the steep hike up the Grouse Grind, where they can check out all the mountain facilities, before taking the Skyride back down. In addition to lumberjack shows and the refuge, Grouse Mountain offers ziplining in summer and skiing and snowboarding in winter.