Climbing up the face of Vancouver‘s Grouse Mountain, a hike called the Grouse Grind, attracts over 100,000 visitors each year. The route is (aside from an all-natural cardio workout) well-marked, steep but doable, and rewarding with sweeping views.
Though not too long of a distance (1.6 miles/2.9 km), it’s dangerous on your muscles to be overconfident with the incline. A good time with which to judge your progress is if you can make it to the halfway mark within 45 minutes to an hour or so. (The fastest time this season so far is 32:23 for the whole thing.) Starting the hike early is a good idea, since the Grind’s popularity is constantly increasing and crowds are becoming fairly large.
It’s wise to choose appropriate clothing; comfortable shoes are a must, and workout pants are something you’ll thank yourself for after you’ve been sweating your way to the top. As with any outdoor exertion, bring water (or a sports drink) to make sure you stay hydrated while you’re huffing and puffing.
The time to go is from June to September, and you can check weather conditions beforehand. You can hike up for free, but the cable car down costs $5.