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Dam Mountain Trail, Vancouver

Dam Mountain Trail, Vancouver

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Dam Mountain is one of the most popular Grouse Mountain trails. Not only is it accessible during winter via the Dam Mountain snowshoe route, but it’s equally as good in summer too. Dam Mountain serves as a gateway trail to other awesome hikes near Vancouver such as Thunderbird Ridge, Crown Mountain, and Goat Moutain (the latter are closed during winter due to the seasonal backcountry Lynn Headwaters closures).

If you’re looking to hike the Dam Mountain trail on Grouse Mountain, here’s your Vancouver hiking guide!

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view from Dam Mountain summit

The Dam Mountain Hike

Dam Mountain is one of the smaller peaks that’s easily accessible from Grouse Mountain. You get good views from the top and it can be hiked both in winter and summer (and the shoulder seasons too!). In the winter, Dam Mountain is known as the Snowshoe Grind (think Grouse Grind, only snowy).

How to get to the Dam Mountain trailhead

If you’re hiking Dam Mountain in the winter, your best option is to take the Grouse gondola up to the ski area and then hike from there (following the guide below). Alternatively, and if you’re looking for an even longer workout, then you can take the BCMC or one of the other similar trails (like Flint and Feather) to the ski area rather than the gondola.

The Grouse Grind closes over winter, but you can hike up the Grind in the summer before doing Dam Mountain if you wish.

Check the latest information for the Grouse Skyride gondola, including booking, prices, and opening hours.

Hiking Dam Mountain, Vancouver

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Catch the chairlift down outside of ski season to enjoy the views even more

Arriving at the top of the Grouse Skyride, walk towards the grizzly bear area (wave to Grinder and Coola!) and then pass it, taking the gravel road (or signs if everywhere is covered in snow!) to the left of The Peak ski run and chairlift.

Follow the gravel road as it wraps around the mountain.

The trail comes to a bit of a sudden end and continues uphill on loose gravel to your left. This trail gets narrow quickly and you’ll reach a sign and a junction.

At the sign, head left to follow the Ridge Trail as you begin to climb steeply towards Dam Mountain. Alternatively, you can take the trail pointing towards the Alpine Trail.

If taking the Ridge Trail, things get steep pretty quickly. You’ll then pass a wooden helicopter pad on your right. And, depending on the time of year, you may hear screams from people ziplining through the forest!

Follow the trail to the left again and back into the trees. You’ll come out to a sign and a few more steps onto a rocky outcrop that marks the summit of Dam Mountain.

A lot of the views are obscured by trees, but if you’re hiking in summer and can safely climb up on the rocks, you’ll get a few views still!

If you want to hike Dam Mountain as a loop trail, you can take the other trail you didn’t hike on the way up. From the Ridge Trail, you’ll need to look for trail markers on the opposite side of the rocky outcrop. You can also just follow the trail you took to return back to the ski area.

Extending the hike to Dam Mountain

Grouse wind turbine

Once you’ve reached Dam Mountain, you can extend your hike to one of the other great Grouse Mountain and Lynn Headwaters backcountry trails.

  • Thunderbird Ridge
  • Crown Mountain
  • Goat Mountain
  • Little Goat Mountain
  • Grouse Mountain (where the wind turbine is)

I hiked on to Thunderbird Ridge and then summited Grouse Mountain too. Three peaks on an after-work hike isn’t bad!

Dam Mountain hike stats

Distance: 5km
1.5-3 hours
Total Elevation Gain:
260m (from Grouse ski area)
Grouse Mountain trail maps: winter | summer

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What to know before you go

  • Best time for Dam Mountain: Good all year round. Snowshoes/spikes used in the winter
  • Snow: Snow sticks around up here for a while. I hiked in mid June and there was still a lot of snow! Beware of postholing (legs punching through the snow).
  • Be adventure smart: Remember to respect the terrain, environment, and other users while you are enjoying the trails. Follow the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials AdventureSmart is a great resource to help you get informed before heading outdoors
  • Take bear spray, you’re hiking in bear country! And remember your bear safety tips
  • Remember to leave no trace.

What to pack for the best hikes near Vancouver

Make sure you look at these packing lists for your Crown Mountain hike.

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