Hikers who insist on climbing the closed Grouse Grind trail are causing so much damage it could delay the opening for everyone else.

Officials shut down the popular trail every winter due to safety concerns, as wet weather leaves the Grind unstable and extra-susceptible to wear and tear.

But hikers eager to take advantage of the South Coast’s recent sunshine have been flouting the rules, and wreaking unintentional havoc in the process.

“They’re destabilizing the whole area even more so,” said Bob Cavill, watershed manager for Metro Vancouver.

“There’s rocks that are starting to roll, some of our constructed stairways are breaking away, and tree roots are being exposed.”

When hikers keep trampling on exposed roots, trees eventually die, Cavill added.

“It’s not a good idea to be hiking up there right now,” he said.

The destruction also requires additional trail maintenance, and officials warn the work often forces them to delay the Grind’s spring opening.

To check the latest Grouse Grind conditions, click here.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson