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6 Vancouver Hill Climb Cycling Routes To Challenge Yourself

Cyclists pass High View Lookout on Cypress Mountain. Photo: RBC Gran Fondo

Vancouverites love biking. With tons of mountain bike trails, separated bike paths, and commuter bike lanes, there’s something for everyone. But dedicated road cyclists love to challenge themselves by riding up our region’s steepest hills. If you want to test your legs, try one of these Vancouver hill climb cycling routes.


Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

The stiff climb up Cypress Bowl Road to Cypress Mountain is one of the most popular hill climbs in Vancouver. The RBC Gran Fondo‘s most challenging option, called the Forte, adds the ascent of Cypress onto the already grueling route from Vancouver to Whistler, so you know it’s tough. The route gains 668 metres of elevation over 10.5 kilometres with an average grade of 6.4%, but some sections are as steep as 8%. Enjoy the views of Burrard Inlet and downtown Vancouver from the High View Lookout along the way.


Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver

The climb up to the base of Grouse Mountain is short but steep. The route follows Capilano Road from Marine Drive and ends at the lower Skyride station. You’ll ascend 223 metres over 5.7 kilometres. The average grade is only 3.9% but there are steep sections near the end with punishing grades of up to 9.5%.


Mount Seymour, North Vancouver

Follow Mount Seymour Parkway as it switchbacks up the flanks of the mountain, ending at Mount Seymour ski area. The view from the top is spectacular as you can see Vancouver’s eastern suburbs and Mount Baker across the border. The 12.2 kilometre route gains 893 meters with an average grade of 7.3% but some sections reach grades over 10%.


The Triple Crown, North and West Vancouver

For a truly epic challenge, Vancouver cyclists take on a route known as the Triple Crown. You’ll bike up Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Mount Seymour, descending back to near sea level in between. There are several route variations for navigating between the mountains, but most Triple Crown rides are 75 kilometres long with around 2,300 metres of climbing. That’s about the same elevation gain as the ride from Vancouver to Whistler, but over a much shorter distance! Each year you can participate in a charity ride on the route called The Triple Crown for Heart.



Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby

There are two main routes to climb to the top of Burnaby Mountain by bike. You can approach from the south on Gaglardi Way. The 4.29 kilometre route gains 261 metres and has an average grade of 6.1%. Or you can take Hastings Street from the east and join up with the main Gaglardi Route partway up the mountain. That route includes 270 meters of ascent over 5.2 kilometres.


Lower Grouse Mountain Highway, North Vancouver

If you’re up for an off-road adventure, head to Lower Grouse Mountain Highway in North Vancouver. Before the Skyride was built, this road was the main access route to the ski area. In the 1930s it had a toll and was a popular tourist attraction. Today the old gravel road is more of a trail and is closed to traffic, except for Grouse Mountain Resort employees. If you have a mountain bike or a gravel bike with wider tires ride the 13-kilometre-long road, gaining 800 metres along the way. For extra credit, start near sea level and ride the paved portion of Mountain Highway to the trailhead. That adds an extra 5 kilometres and 300 metres of elevation gain.



By Taryn Eyton 
Source Inside Vancouver

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