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Vancouver’s Golden Ears Provincial Park

Golden Ears Provincial Park

At over 62,000 hectares, Golden Ears Provincial Park is one of the largest parks in British Columbia, and one of the most impressive in Metro Vancouver.

 

Beautiful Golden Ears Park

Mountainous Golden Ears Provincial Park is home to three campgrounds: Alouette, Gold Creek (open year-round) and North Beach. From mid-October to April, however, the park is open only from 8 am to 5:30 pm. During the warmer months, the gates are open from 7 am to 11 pm.

The park is located about 10 km north of Maple Ridge and connects with the even larger Garibaldi Provincial Park to the north, which itself stretches up past Whistler.

 

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Alouette Lake

In the summer, kayaks and canoes are available for rent most weekends at the Alouette Lake Beach day area, and daily during the heart of the season.

The place also has a large boat launch for folk with their own watercraft. Overnight parking is allowed but it’s not recommended to leave boats in the water overnight due to theft.

Other popular park activities include hiking, cycling, mountain climbing, fishing, camping and horseback riding. Alouette Lake is also popular for water-skiing and windsurfing, and dogs are permitted in most areas of Golden Ears, on leash, but not at the beaches.

TIP: The day area at Alouette Lake Beach has a huge parking lot, which on hot sunny days in the summer can still fill up due to the venue’s huge popularity. To improve your chances of finding a parking spot on a sunny weekend or statutory holiday, try to arrive before 11 am.

If you arrive later in the afternoon, on an especially busy day you might find the park actually closed to late-comers due to overcapacity. It can be a very popular place!

 

People Swimming at Alouette Lake
Alouette Lake

 

Gold Creek

A little further up by car from the Alouette Lake day area and campground is Gold Creek. There you will find a second campground, plus a beautiful river area that’s popular for playing in on hot days.

Close to the gravel parking lot is a great 2.7 km trail to Gold Creek’s Lower Falls. The hike is fairly level the whole way and takes about one hour in each direction. Dogs on leash are welcome, but not bikes or horses (both of which have plenty of other trails elsewhere in the park to go along).

Halfway up the trail to the Lower Falls is a beach area by the river, which is a great rest spot and popular place for picnics.

 

River at Golden Ears Park
Gold Creek at Golden Ears Provincial Park

 

NOTE: Cell phone reception is poor or non-existent in parts of Golden Ears Park, which makes for an especially nice escape, unless you need to stay connected.

Golden Ears Park is not far from the much smaller Rolley Lake Provincial Park, which also has a great campground, and Stave Falls, a BC Hydro Powerhouse with an interesting visitors’ centre.

 

Camping in Golden Ears Park

Golden Ears Provincial Park offers over 400 sites for campers across its three main campgrounds at Alouette Lake, Gold Creek and North Beach. Amenities at each campground vary, but all three areas have pit toilets at the very least. Unlike North Beach, the campgrounds at Alouette and Gold Creek also offer flushable toilets and hot shower facilities during camping seasons.

There are special metal rings for campfires at each of the three main campgrounds. Campfires are prohibited elsewhere in Golden Ears Park. Water taps can be found at most points of interest in the park, though they become unavailable in winter.

As of March, 2021, the only main campground that is open year-round is Gold Creek. The others are typically open from early June to early September. Sani-stations cost about $5 per use and only accept loonies and toonies.

For folks looking to camp with a large group of friends and family, two group campgrounds can be reserved in advance. One is located near the West Canyon parking lot, while the other is near Alouette Lake’s boat launch. (Note: Until COVID-19 is no longer a problem, only go camping with people from within your immediate bubble.)

Note: The information above is subject to change. Click Golden Ears Provincial Park for the most up-to-date information. For maps of the three main campgrounds, click Alouette, Gold Creek or North Beach.

 

Other Information

Click Golden Ears Park Information Guide for more details on the park, or check out the BC Parks website.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following:

 

 

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