Posts Tagged ‘Mount Seymour’

Springtime in Vancouver……Part 2 – Activities to explore.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

NORTH SHORE MOUNTAINS AND ACTIVITIES IN SPRING
Some of you may have heard that Vancouver just received a considerable amount of snowfall over the weekend although accumulations were at a premium in the downtown area, this was not the case for the rest of the greater Vancouver area. This comes as welcome relief for the Ski hills of Cypress mountain, Grouse mountain and Mount Seymour as the snow pack was looking a little thin up till this point, but with 3 days of constant snowfall it was the giddy up that the Ski hills sorely wanted.
This makes for excellent news for anyone who wants to see us in the Spring, and like we had mentioned in the first installment of this blog, in the Spring season you can get a few hours of Winter sports in – whether that be skiing, snowboarding or Snowshoeing, and then back down to sea level, you can enjoy a walk around the sea wall without feeling too cold, that sounds like a win win situation for us. It may also increase the chances of a late season for the hills, if we are to look at how last years season transpired, the hills were able to keep open until the first week of May, we are keeping everything crossed that this will happen again this year!

Grouse Mountain
This is one of the best seasons to visit Grouse and its not just for the Sporting activities which of course is the big draw up here. Grouse Mountain is home to many animals that cannot live in the wild due to injury or that fact that they were unable to learn the skills required to survive in their natural habitat. Grouse is home to many creatures who are now in a safe and comfortable environment where they are well looked after – you too can visit them when you are up there and as it is the spring season if they are the hibernating type of critter, they will be ready to wake up. The animals that you will get a chance to see are Grizzly Bears, Gray Wolves, Owls and the visiting Hummingbirds to name but a few.

Grouse Mountain endangered wildlife refuge: https://www.grousemountain.com/wildlife-refuge

Grouse Mountain Website: https://www.grousemountain.com/

Whale Watching
Whale watching season begins in March and typically runs till October. The Georgia Strait is in the direct path of these large mammals and have been wowing people for many many years. The various types of Whales that you can expect to see are Orca’s (Killer Whales), Gray Whales and various Dolphins which are the most common sightings. IOn some occasions we may even be treated to a visit from these amazing animals close to the Vancouver shoreline itself a very rare occurrence! A few years ago a single Gray Whale decided to meander its way up False Creek for a few days at a time, our guess is that there was a great deal on Fish at the Granville Island Market and the Whale wanted to see what was happening, and who can blame it?

There are various ways to watch the Whales with guided tours, we recommend Wild Whales Vancouver down at Granville Island, you can also make a reservation at the Front Desk at the Sunset Inn and Suites.

Wild Whales Vancouver: http://www.whalesvancouver.com/

VANCOUVER GARDENS
As you will have read in the previous Blog article before we wanted to share with you the sights that Vancouver has to offer when the plants and trees start their blooms. If you are into trees and plants then we highly recommend that you visit the local gardens in the area, and even take the trip over to Victoria to see what they have on show.
Queen Elizabeth Park – Van Dusen Gardens
Queen Elizabeth Park is located in the central area of Vancouver, its location is fantastic due to its elevation, you will find the park is on a hill that overlooks the entire city with unobstructed views of the Mountains and beyond. Van Dusen Gardens is such a delight for all plant lovers, the gardens are to be found among an abandoned quarry with some interesting geological features.

Van Dusen Gardens: http://vandusengarden.org/

Queen Elizabeth Park: https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

In our next post we will inform you of all the major events that will be happening in Vancouver during March

The mountains have a dusting of snow…Time to think about the North Shore Mountain Ski Resorts!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Earlier in the week Vancouver witnessed the very first dusting of snow high up on the peaks of the North Shore mountains that overlook the city. It’s a nice change to see first hand the beginnings of the impending Winter that will be soon upon us in over a month and half’s time, and we do not complain, when the wet stuff is falling on our heads down here, the White fluffy flakes of snow will be falling in abundance guaranteeing the locals and visitors alike some Winter Alpine fun.

In this blog we will give you a detailed look at the 3 popular Ski Resorts of the North Shore Mountains that dominate the Vancouver Skyline and bring in various visitors from all over the world who love to Ski, Snowboard and more….

CYPRESS MOUNTAIN
A popular resort for Skiing and especially for those who prefer the more challenging runs then this will be the place for you. Cypress Mountain Ski Area is located in the West Vancouver area and is part of the Cypress Provincial Park which is avery popular area for Hiking in the Summer and long distance Skiing in the Winter.

Cypress mountain was also used for certain events during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games that was hosted between Vancouver and Whistler Mountain resorts, the climate leading up to the games had some worried as the weather was unusually warm leading up to the games which had an impact on the amount of Snow on the hills, as the pack was very very low, it was decided that snow would be transported in and extra time was given for the Snow Making machines to salvage the events due – and thankfully it was a success…huzzah! Cypress hosted all of the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding competitions (Moguls, Aerials, Ski Cross, half-pipe, snowboard cross and parallel giant slalom)

The Ski hill have 53 different Alpine Runs and 19 km cross country of trails which are extremely popular for Snowshoeing. Tours are available for many of these activities.

For further information: http://cypressmountain.com/

GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Probably the most well known of all 3 Ski hills, Grouse Mountain sits directly above the city of North Vancouver and is just one Bus Stop away from the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Grouse Mountain is a very popular destination all year round due to its well known hiking paths such as the Grouse Grind and its Summer activities at the top of the peak such as the Lumberjack shows, Eye in the Sky (Wind Turbine) Theater & Restaurant.

Skiing on Grouse is certainly the most popular for all ages and abilities, so if you are a complete newbie then this will be the ideal location for you to fin your feet so to speak, some runs are much more gentle than others.

The resort has 26 runs, half of which are lit for Night Skiing and Snowboarding The most prominent run on the mountain is the Cut, one of two beginner runs, which is easily visible from the Vancouver area. It runs alongside the Screaming Eagle chairlift. East of the Cut are several intermediate runs, which take skiers and snowboarders down to the Olympic Express, which accesses the mountain’s easternmost expert runs, most of which originate from the mountain’s 4,100-foot (1,200 m) peak. Grouse Mountain features three green (beginner), 15 blue (intermediate), six black diamond (advanced) and two double black diamond. There is also an Outdoor Ice Rink located in the Village.

For further information: http://www.grousemountain.com/

MOUNT SEYMOUR
Located above North Vancouver, Deep Cove (a popular area for kayaking in the Summer season) and the Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm waterways The resort has 4 lifts, the Mystery Peak Express quad chairlift, Brockton, and Lodge double chairlifts, and the Goldie Lake covered magic carpet. Seymour also offers great Snowshoeing trails that are very popular with groups or just as a solo excursion.

For further information: http://www.mountseymour.com/

Enjoy the great outdoors & the spectacular scenery in and around Vancouver…

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

The Summer season is here so that means its time to get out there and explore the best scenery that the local surroundings have to offer…

THE NORTH SHORE and WALKING/HIKING TRAILS
The cities of North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Deep Cove are truly quite specalur areas to visit when you are coming to Vancouver. The North Shore is home to the the three Mountain peaks which are Cypress, Grouse and Seymour – and with the best weather soon to really dig in, we highly recommend that you visit these peaks for the incredible views alone.

The North Shore website: http://vancouversnorthshore.com/

It is also a great time of year to get the walking boots on and explore the multitude of trails and popular hiking paths.

We have some suggestions of a few trails that we feel are the most popular!

BADEN POWELL TRAIL
The Baden Powell trail connects Lynn Canyon to the gorgeous small town of Deep Cove…it is a relatively gentle trail that is 12km long and pet friendly. Along the way you will get to see the Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge (Which is smaller than the Capilano Suspension Bridge and FREE), also you will come across the Lynn Canyon and Indian Arm – the scenery is truly stunning.
Allow yourself around 5 hours or so to complete the trail.

http://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/baden-powell-deep-cove-to-lynn-canyon/

KAYAKING at DEEP COVE
We adore Deep Cove, it is a small town situated at the eastern side of the North Shore where the Burrard Inlet meets the Indian Arm Fjordway which separates Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain.
In the Summer this is a fantastic place to head out too (especially if you have a vehicle) It is also quite easy to get too via public transport (Ask the front desk for the details).

Deep Cove is also one of the best areas to go Kayaking, you can kayak your way around the natural cove itself and onto Indian Arm where you will be treated with some stunning Scenery.

http://www.deepcovekayak.com/

Deep Cove Website: http://www.deepcovebc.com/

THE GROUSE GRIND
Grouse Mountain is by far one of the most popular destinations to visit in Vancouver and it is just around the corner from the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Once all the snow has melted (usually all gone by mid July or so) then the Grouse Grind Hiking trail is open for business. many of us will have enjoyed this popular trail due to the challenge of tackling such a famous trail. It is one that you have to work at as it is a lot of steps to get to the top, but once there it will be well worth it. On average the regular person will complete that trail in 90 minutes to a couple of hours…the crazy fit professionals who run up the hill like there is no tomorrow can complete it in under an hour…sheesh!

http://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind

CYCLING & BIKE RENTALS
Vancouver is fast becoming a cycling kind of city and over the last few years it is very noticeable the changes that have been occurring with regards to encouraging people to cycle more and more – the evidence is with all the new bike paths that are plentiful around the city.

We do encourage you to do this as its a fantastic way to see the sights of Stanley Park, False Creek or even Granville Island, you can even transport your bike with the public transit system on the front of each bus and the skytrain (although at peak hours you are not permitted to bring the bike on the skytrain).

We recommend English Bay Bike rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

City cycling information: http://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/cycling-routes-maps-and-trip-planner.aspx

Translink Cycle Maps: http://www.translink.ca/en/Getting-Around/Cycling/Cycling-Maps.aspx

Folk Festival at Deep Cove

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Deep Cove is by far one of the best kept secrets of the Vancouver North shore area. The small village is literally built alongside a natural Cove nestled within the mouth of Indian Arm.

Indian Arm is gorgeous for sightseeing as it is nestled between Grouse mountain and Mount Seymour. Deep Cove is famous for being one of the homes of Dragon Boat racing, regular boating and yachting, its also an extremely popular destination for anyone who wants to go Kayaking. Wether you are experienced or not, this is the place to go on these long hot summer days that have finally arrived to greet us.

http://www.deepcovekayak.com/

Not only that, but Deep Cove will be holding its annual North Shore Folkfest. Now in its 38th year, that are plenty of musicians to be entertained by on the evenings of Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th.

http://www.deepcovebc.com

So here is a suggestion on how you can make a full fun packed day with your loved ones. Deep Cove and the North Shore are easily accessible from The Sunset Inn and Suites either by Public Transport or your own vehicle. And if you are unsure – do not hesitate to ask the staff at the front desk for information and directions, we will make sure you know how to get there.

On the way to the North Shore, take a quick detour around Stanley Park, whilst you are doing the loop, make sure you visit the Stanley Park Totem Poles, have time to spend a couple of hours at the Vancouver Aquarium, then onto Prospect Point for a breathtaking view of the city, English Bay, Bowen Island, Lionsgate Bridge and The North Shore Mountains. Once this has been achieved, you are now ready to move over the Lionsgate Bridge towards North Vancouver and onto Lynn Canyon then Deep Cove.

Lynn Canyon is located very close to Deep Cove and will be the next destination after Stanley Park. The Canyon boasts a smaller wooden Suspension Bridge in comparison to Capilano Suspension Bridge (Lynn Canyon is truly the spot the majority of locals will tend to go too), The Lynn Canyon Cafe which is home to an ecological centre that educates you on the local Flora, Fauna and ecology of the Canyon a few yards away. There are also some excellent hiking trails that follow the river from the Grouse Mountain, we highly recommend that you explore the trails.

From Lynn Canyon you can then make your way east towards Deep Cove, here there are more trails to explore, the cute village, and gorgeous beach that is part of this natural cove….here you will be able to sign up and go Kayaking for an hour or more. After you have enjoyed the dip…..evening time should soon be upon you, now you can sit back and enjoy the music from the FolkFest.

Ski Season comes early to Vancouver!!!!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

As soon as Daylight Savings time arrives to greet us, so do the very first falls of Snow begin to appear on the North Shore Mountains, and what a beautiful sight it is! It provides a stunning backdrop to the city skyline of Vancouver. As always, we really want our visitors to get the best of what the area has to offer and we sincerely hope that you come away with a little bit of knowledge about the surroundings, so we will explain in some detail about what you can expect to see when you visit these mountain areas.

The good news about the snow falling is that in the last few weeks the Ski Hills have been busy preparing for the new Ski Season of 2011/2012. It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Cypress Mountain has opened some of their runs as of TODAY! For further information on Cypress and the transportation options, please visit their website on www.cypressmountain.com. Cypress Mountain was a venue that took part in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, it hosted the Snowboarding and Freestyle events, however not with a glitch, as unbelievably so, the lack of snow on the Mountain during the Olympics led to Snow being transported by Truck and Helicopter so the games could still go ahead.

This is the earliest known date for Cypress to open for the upcoming Winter so we all feel confident that the Grouse and Seymour Ski hills will be opening very soon, for further information here you can visit their websites too, www.grousemountain.com and www.mountseymour.com. It has also been predicted that this Winter season could very well be one of the coldest in the past 20 years, so lets keep our fingers crossed as Skiing, Snowboarding or Snowshoeing on these hills is something you will never forget.

The North Shore Mountains are part of the Cascade Mountain Range that extend from Southern BC, over the US border travelling down through the States of Washington, Oregon and Northern California. When visiting the North Shore Ski resorts on a clear day you will be taken back by the breathtaking views of Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and the stunning Mount Baker at the head of the Fraser Valley. Another very popular and definitive landmark of these Mountains are ‘The Lions’. These are a pair of Peaks that are instantly recognizable landmarks and can be seen from a large area of the lower mainland, these distinctive twin peaks (also known as ‘The Sisters’ according to the local indigenous Squamish tribes of the area), overlook the Capilano Lake and Cleveland Dam. The Lions are the reason for the name of the BC Lions Football team.

The Cascade themselves are a mountainous region that is part of the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, this is a very active area of Plate Tectonics that are home to Volcanoes and ongoing seismic activity that encircles the majority of the Pacific Ocean, The Cascades are also home to the famous Mount St Helens situated in Southern Washington State. Mount Baker is an active Strato-Volcano and also happens to be one of the most snowy areas on earth, its location primed for the regular Pacific Storms that dumps a huge amount of rain on us and Snow on the summit each year, thus creating this incredibly white and imposing figure as a stunning backdrop to the South East of Vancouver, is is indeed our very own Mount Fuji.

The Grouse Mountain Ski resort added a new tourist attraction in 2010 that is also helping the resort to become a more environmentally friendly use of energy. On top of the peak you will see a huge Wind Turbine that is known as the ‘The eye of the Wind’, since the Turbine has been in use, its aim is to generate around 25% of the resorts energy so that the resort is able to function with sustainability at the forefront of its activities. Grouse Mountain is also home to the world famous ‘Grouse Grind’, although closed during the Fall, Winter and early Spring, this is worth a try if you are feeling daring and want to burn off some calories….it is called the Grind for good reason, as it is a trail that is 2.9km, and with just under 3000 steps and an incline in some parts of more than 40 degrees, it has become one of the most popular challenges for locals and tourists to complete, even a few of us at the hotel have managed to complete the Grind, so if we can do it so can you!

These Mountains also play a very important role with the weather here in Vancouver, the city and the whole of the Lower Mainland region is situated in an area called the Fraser Valley, and as we all know, rain is a very common weather event in this area. Due to the shape of the valley, the influence of the mountains is that they are a barrier to the incoming moisture from the passing storms, this enables the systems to drop more moisture on the city due to air funneling down through the valley from an easterly direction where it piles up against the North Shore Mountains, this in turn drops plenty of rain and snow on higher elevations on us during the Fall, Winter and Spring Seasons, Summer is commonly very dry as is typical of any Rainforest region.

This moisture is also what has helped influence the greenery that is associated with the Pacific North West, this area of the world is found among a Temperate Rain Forest, and if you do decide to go for hikes along the North Shore, you will get to experience the amazing green growth of a northern temperate jungle that is teeming with a wide variety of Wildlife, Flora and Fauna .

Vancouver is known for Raincity for a reason, and we have to be thankful for all this rain as it really makes this area unique and a wonderful playground for all ages.