Trip 027 - July 27, 2010 (Tuesday)

Goat Mountain Trail

Lynn Headwaters Regional Park - North Vancouver BC


Distance From Vancouver (South End of Lions Gate Bridge) to Grouse Mountain parking lot:
7.4 km. Turn left on Capilano Road in North Vancouver right after crossing the Lions Gate Bridge. Or use Capilano Road exit from Highway 1 and go North. Upon arriving to the Grouse Mountain parking lot, either take a gondola (see rates here) or hike up via Grouse Grind (very tough trail) to the Grouse Mountain Recreational Area. Then follow signs to the bear habitat, and upon reaching a fork with three roads, take the middle one to reach the trailhead in about 5 minutes.

Liked: Mountain views.

Of note: The trail is moderately challenging, with dangerous climbing stretches closer to the end. Hiking boots and poles highly recommended. There was still snow on the ground. Flies were a minor nuisance. Directional signs are worn out and may not last for much longer. September 2010 Update: directional signs have been replaced, but can still be confusing.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Coordinates: Page 11 (North Vancouver) D6. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

Related Website: Grouse Mountain.

Other Trips in North Vancouver area: Crown Mountain Trail Hike, Mount Seymour Trail Hike, Grouse Mountain Recreational Area, Grouse Grind Trail Hike, Norvan Falls Trail Hike.



Gate Mountain is a fairly short hike of 3-3.5 hours return trip (from the top of Grouse Mountain and back), which offers good views. Getting to the trailhead is somewhat burdensome, as first you have to pay for parking, and then shell $$$ for taking the Grouse Mountain gondola up from the parking lot, or hike Grouse Grind before hiking Goat Mountain (which is exactly what we did). But you won't escape saying good-bye to your cash, as the gondola ride to the parking lot costs $10, and there is a note prohibiting downhill travel on Grouse Grind.

Also, once we got to the Grouse Mountain Recreational Area (the top destination for the gondola riders and The Grind hikers) we could not find any sign pointing to the hiking trails, including the Goat Mountain trail. It's not such a bad thing, though, as the lack of signage prevents hordes of unprepared vacationers, who come to Grouse Mountain Recreational Area, from hitting the trails and discovering that flip-flops are a poor choice of footwear. For that matter, anything but sturdy hiking boots (along with trekking poles) would likely lead to an ankle sprain at best, as the Goat Mountain trail is challenging, especially closer to the top.

1. Goat Mountain hiking trail is part of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. We hiked to Norvan Falls before, but that required a different access road, as described in trip #05. The two sides of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park are connected via the Hanes Valley Route (one way hike), visible on the map below. Our hike today was from the Grouse Mountain side of the Park up to Goat Mountain. The map is courtesy of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and was obtained before trip #05 about a year ago.


Goat Mountain Trail Map

2. Once you get to the Grouse Mountain Recreational Area either via the Skyride gondola or Grouse Grind, follow the signs to Grizzly Bear Habitat. Once you approach the habitat, you will see three roads. The road to the left goes around the habitat. The road to the right goes uphill to the wind turbine. And the road in the middle (as shown by the arrow) is the one you need, as it leads to the Goat Mountain trailhead.


Grouse Mountain Recreational Area North Vancouver British Columbia Canada

3. You know you have chosen the right road, if within a minute you are walking under the Scenic Chair lift.


Photo of Scenic Chair lift Grouse Mountain North Vancouver British Columbia Canada

4. In about five minutes, you reach the trailhead. The note advised that as of July 24, there was still up to a meter of snow on the trails. It is a good idea to use the registration service near the information stand.


Information Board before Goat Mountain Trail - Lynn Headwaters Regional Park

5. The trail looks easy at the beginning, but then gets worse.


Goat Mountain Trailhead Lynn Headwaters Regional Park North Vancouver BC Canada

6. You will pass the back of the wind turbine, and will hear the happy screams of zip-liners for quite some time.


Wind turbine seen from Goat Mountain trail North Vancouver British Columbia Canada

7. Hard to believe it's almost August, looking at this much snow.


Goat Mountain Trail

8. A local resident is checking us out.


Squirrel on Goat Mountain Trail Lynn Headwaters Regional Park North Vancouver British Columbia Canada

9. Here come the mountain views.


Mountain view from Goat Mountain Trail

10. Crown (left) and Camel mountains, as described in "103 hikes in Southwestern British Columbia" by Jack Bryceland. Some zoom used.


Camel Mountain and Crown Mountain seen from Goat Mountain Trail

11. After 45 minutes, a split arrives. Go straight to Goat Ridge and Goat Mountain. Or turn left and go to Crown Mountain and Hanes Valley.


Crown Mountain and Hanes Valley trail split with Goat Mountain and Goat Ridge

12. Goat Mountain ahead of us.


Goat Mountain Lynn Headwaters Regional Park

13. We are very close to the top, and now starts the most difficult part. There are two chains (hard to see on this photo) on this stretch of the hike. I slipped and fell on the way down while holding the top chain in my hands.


Goat Mountain Trail BC Canada

14. Once you conquer this climb, there is a sign offering you to go left or right to reach the top of Goat Mountain, or to go right to proceed to Goat Ridge.


Goat Mountain Trail North Vancouver British Columbia Canada

15. We went left, and soon faced another steep and slippery area.


Goat Mountain Trail

16. After this last obstacle, you are pretty much at the top and are rewarded with fine views.


View from Goat Mountain

17. Don't know the name of this mountain, but it looks like a camel.


View from Goat Mountain Lynn Headwaters Regional Park BC Canada

18. Lots of snow on top of Goat Mountain.


Snow on top of Goat Mountain

19. You can see much of Metro Vancouver too. Substantial zoom used.


Metro Vancouver seen from Goat Mountain

Trip to the top: 1 hour 25 minutes; Trip back: 1 hour 13 minutes.


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