Welcome to Sky Line Trail
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Distance, round trip: 5 km
- Elevation Gain: 550m
- Hiking time, round trip: 3 hours
Summer, I can’t get enough of you, I hope you could stay longer. I had a wonderful hike with my friends and I would like to share the experience with you. The place was awesome and beautiful. But seeing the beautiful view meant a little bit of a work hiking up 5km for about 2 hours, that’s including sightseeing and stop overs. Walk with me as we explore the wilderness in the Sky Line Trail in North Vancouver BC.
About Skyline Trail
The hike along the Skyline Trail begins from the top of Skyline Drive in North Vancouver and ends at the bottom of the chairlift of “The Cut” ski run on Grouse Mountain. There are several pieces of interesting history along this trail as the route follows the old chairlift that used to go up to Grouse Mountain before the Gondola was built, passes several old cabins that are no longer standing, and is also the site of the US Airforce F-86 Sabre Jet crash that happened in 1954. The hike itself is very steep and essentially goes straight up the mountain, but there is an incredible view of Vancouver from the ski run at the top on a sunny day. (Text: Taken from https://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/skyline-trail/)
Read, Get Set, GO!
A group of us went hiking in Sky Line Trail in North Vancouver. It was a perfect day, it was a little bit overcast and cool making the hike a lot better compared to when doing it in high heat. We took two cars and parked one car at the base of Grouse Mountain, then we all transferred to the second car to go to Sky Line Trail starting point, this way when we get to the top of Grouse Mountain, we have a car waiting for us at the base, and then we will all hop on to it to pickup the second car. That is the best way to do it because the start and the end point are from each other.
I would consider the hike intermediate level because of the up hill climb and the loose gravel trail. The first 15- 30 minutes of the hike was the hardest, the path was not well-marked, it was steep and the loose gravel pavement did not make it less easier. I wouldn’t suggest doing this path alone as this is not a trail that most people do. We only saw 2 other lady going down and that’s about it. It’s just us on the trail, just us in the woods. There were also quite a lot of areas where there were shrubs and tall plants, it’s not a clear area so it will help to wear something that will cover your legs and arms. You might be thinking I’m making to sound as uninviting, but It’s better that you know what to expect than be surprise like me. But there’s a reason why we choose this trail, and that’s what I’m going to share next.
Skyline Trail and F-86 Sabre Jet on Grouse Mountain
The only remaining significant piece of the jet is an engine which has been made into a memorial for the pilot, Second Lt. Lamar J. Barlow, who was killed in the crash. The engine sits in a beautiful part of the forest, which is located to the east of the Skyline Trail but is not easy to find. (Text: Taken from https://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/skyline-trail/)
We hiked this place to see the sight where the plane crashed happened way back 1954, and also to see the old lift that was used way back 1920’s. Yes, it’s like traveling back in time in this hike. The sight of the plane crash is not as way to find unless you are with someone who knows the area, and we were lucky to have a friend with us who knows the area. The actually crashed sight still have the plane engine on the ground, and just a few feet away is the remnants of the cabin where the 25 year old pilot was supposed to deliver the supplies.
Photo: (L-R) Wreckage of the cabin, parts of the old lift going up to Grouse Mountain, The Cut Skit run on Grouse Mountain
After this stop, we continued walking, next thing to find is the old chair lift (1950). The base was still standing and the chair lifts were still there, although not functioning anymore. The view in this area as we hike up the last leg leading to Grouse Mountain was expect actual. It gave almost the entire view on the city, it was truly amazing. Although the climb up was a little bit steep, it was a nice climb with the city view as our backdrop. I cannot stop taking photos, seeing this view made the hike worth it. As the saying goes, “No pain, No gain”, and we sure did get the reward of out effort, at least half of it.
We ended up in the top of Grouse Mountain, our final destination. Finally! I couldn’t be more happier. A good hike with friends, good view and good food. We devoured our favorite Nachos (without guilt), which is definitely a MUST try when you go to Grouse. What a nice way to end the day.
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