Pay parking now in effect for Grouse Grind gravel parking lot

Many avid hikers of the Grouse Grind were surprised to find pay parking in effect for the first time in the gravel parking lot of the popular hiking destination.

Hikers made a double turn when they spotted the parking meter on the gravel lot, which used to be free. Many parked there instead of the adjacent paved parking lot because they didn’t have to pay for it.

“That’s why this is gravel and the other side is all cemented. I might come less because of this because it’s already a $10 downloading fee.”

The cost is $2 for three hours or $4 for the entire day. Officials say the money is part of a cost recovery effort, helping to pay for paving, new lights, and more security in the parking lot.

“It’s very important that our guests’ experience is the best that it can possibly be. For us, those parking fees reflect that cost recovery to resurface that lot and provide security, there is a cost involved. That fee goes directly back into delivering the best possible guest experience that we can,” said Jacqueline Blackwell, public relations manager at Grouse Mountain.

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But some hikers are skeptical about how much the fees will benefit them.

“Last year they increased the downloading fee from $5 to $10 and now they are charging for parking too, but they haven’t done anything to improve the parking lot , so it’s annoying.”

The lot will now have 1,000 parking spots painted on it.

People living near the popular hiking trail in North Vancouver fear the new cost measures will lead to more people parking in their residential neighbourhood.