Goat Mountain Trail
The Goat Mountain Trail is a picturesque hike into the Lynn Headwaters backcountry that will take hikers past several mountain peaks before reaching the final summit. Starting from the top of Grouse Mountain, the trail passes by some beautiful landscapes and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area from the summit of Goat Mountain. For an added challenge, try starting this hike at the base of the Grouse Grind.
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Route Description for Goat Mountain Trail
The Goat Mountain Trail is an intermediate-level hike that sets out from the top of Grouse Mountain and heads into the Lynn Headwaters backcountry. Because of its starting point, it is best to arrive early to secure a parking spot at the base of Grouse Mountain and beat the crowds up its slopes. As with all Lynn Headwaters backcountry trails, the Goat Mountain Trail is closed in the winter due to dangerous trail conditions. If you are planning to complete this hike early/late in the season, be sure to bring proper hiking gear, such as sturdy hiking boots, crampons or microspikes to better manage along the icy/snowy trail.
This route is a perfect half-day hike along a picturesque route that offers some beautiful views of Vancouver and the surrounding area. As you make your way along the gentle incline of the trail, you will pass by several nearby peaks, including Grouse, Dam, and Little Goat mountains. As you make the final push up Goat Mountain, you will be greeted with amazing views of the city, as well as Vancouver Island to the west and Garibaldi Provincial Park to the north. If you feel like tacking on a bit of an added challenge, skip the gondola ride and start this hike with a trek up the Grouse Grind to really get your heart rate up.
After making your way up Grouse Mountain either by trail or a ride on the gondola, set off down the paved trail, making your way toward the Peak chairlift off in the distance to the left. Shortly after the Grouse Mountain Grizzly Bear Enclosure, the trail will link up with a gravel path. Follow this as it veers to the left and begins to gradually climb uphill alongside the cliff to your left. From here, you will have views that stretch out over the Capilano Watershed below.
Continue on the trail and you will soon reach a wooden sign with a map of the hiking trails in the area. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the network of trails before continuing past the sign to climb uphill through a series of switchbacks along the trail. When you get to the junction for Dam Mountain, follow the sign to the right to continue on the route to Goat Mountain.
Along this portion of the route, the trail will level out and provide hikers with an easy-going stretch of terrain to traverse while they look out at the scenic mountain views. Eventually, you will reach another junction with a sign pointing right for Goat Mountain. Follow this trail as it makes its way downhill to another junction. Continue straight along the clearly marked trail, and you will begin to see the peak of Goat Mountain ahead of you, with the distinctive, jagged peaks of Crown Mountain off to the left.
After you have made your way along the flat terrain, you will reach a steep uphill climb with ropes and chains in place to assist you as you navigate the rocks and tree roots. Making your way over these obstacles, continue on the trail as it heads to the right, skirting around Goat Mountain before reaching a sign for Goat Ridge. Taking this brief detour to the right will lead you up the ridge, providing some nice views down into Hanes Valley.
Continuing on the main trail, you will begin the steep final ascent of Goat Mountain. This section of the trail is difficult but short, allowing you to make it to the peak in a few minutes. As you pull yourself onto the summit of Goat Mountain, you will find beautiful 360° views of the North Shore. Looking back along the trail, you will be able to see each of the peaks that you passed on the way in, including Grouse, Dam, and Little Goat mountains. The city of Vancouver can be found nestled between the water and the mountains below, and on a clear day you will have views that stretch west to Vancouver Island and north into the expanse of Garibaldi Provincial Park.
Take some time to enjoy the views from the summit and find a spot overlooking the backcountry to savour a quick lunch before saying goodbye to Goat Mountain and making your way back along the same trail to reach the parking lot at the base of Grouse Mountain.
Hiking Route Highlights
Crown Mountain is probably the most distinctive peak on the North Shore, next to the famous Lions. At a height of 1,504 m, the unique pyramid-shaped peak and lower rock formation that looks like a camel make this challenging mountain instantly recognizable.
Grouse Mountain Grizzly Bear Enclosure
Located at the top of Grouse mountain, this wildlife refuge has taken in numerous wild animals over the years. The most famous of these are Grouse Mountain’s resident grizzly bears Grinder and Coola. These 19 year-old bears were orphaned as cubs and brought to the mountain sanctuary to live out the rest of their lives.
Insider Hints for Goat Mountain Trail
- As with most BC trails, it is best to bring bear spray along this route.
- Lynn Headwaters backcountry trails are closed during the winter season due to dangerous trail conditions. Bring proper gear such as crampons or microspikes to combat snow and ice if you are planning a trip around the time these trails close/reopen.
- Wear proper hiking footwear, as sections of the trail are technical and covered in rocks and/or roots.
- Remember to bring money for the Grouse Mountain gondola ($15 on weekdays, $20 on weekends and holidays). Alternatively, you can access the trailhead via the BCMC Trail or Grouse Grind.
Getting to the Goat Mountain Trail Trailhead
To get to the parking lot at the base of Grouse Mountain from Vancouver, drive north on Trans Canada Highway/ BC-1 W and cross over Ironworkers Memorial Bridge to reach North Vancouver. Take the exit toward Capilano Road, and turn right to follow Capilano Road for 4.5 km, where you will reach the parking lot at Grouse Mountain.
Goat Mountain Trail Elevation Graph
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Goat Mountain Trail Reviews
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