The Grouse Grind has officially opened for the 2018 season, but early bird hikers are being warned there could still be some snow on the mountain. 

Recent rainfall and warming temperatures have melted most of the ice and snow on the gruelling trail, allowing officials to open the gates Wednesday morning to eager outdoors enthusiasts.

Justyna Matracki was among the first to take advantage of the trail's opening. She said the views from the Grind are hard to top.

"I just love it," Matracki said. "You're in nature and you have an amazing workout and the sights up top are beautiful."

But anyone thinking about heading up the popular 2.9-kilometre hike is advised to dress for the weather – even though temperatures are heating up, it can still get cold at higher elevations.

"It's warm down here but it's chilly up top, so folks should be prepared for that," said Tom McComb, park operations supervisor. "They should dress in layers, bring along some proper footwear, and some nutrition and some hydration."

Proper footwear means no flip-flops, McComb said – hikers are encouraged to wear supportive footwear with good ankle support any time of year they attempt the Grind.

Hikers should also know they only have a few weeks to take advantage of the trail before it closes for safety maintenance on May 22.

Crews will be removing trees, repairing steps and replacing safety netting, an annual process that usually takes about three weeks to complete.

As always during trail closures, hikers are urged to respect the rules and keep off the Grind when the gate is shut. McComb said officials are looking at improving the fence to prevent people from jumping over before it's safe on the trail.

"We're still developing some concept plans, so we haven't firmed up what that's going to look like – but we need a better system here for protecting the public," he said.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim