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.
PARK STATUS AND COVID-19
In response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, BC Parks suspended services and closed facilities in most provincial parks throughout British Columbia in early April 2020. As of early August, 2020, however, Golden Ears Provincial Park was open again for both day-use and camping.
Beginning on August 5th, trailheads and some day-use areas at the park were open and accessible, but by reservation only. BC Parks adopted this new policy on a trial basis in an attempt to limit the number of people in the area, but still provide access. As of October 1st, the policy is no long in effect at Golden Ears Park. While it was in effect, reservations were free and could be booked online. For more details see the BC Parks website.
To learn about the effect of the virus on other places in the Lower Mainland, click COVID-19 Cancellations in Metro Vancouver. And for a list of all BC provincial parks and their expected reopening dates, click BC Parks Reopening Schedule.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Campgrounds Near Vancouver
- Vancouver Parks & Places in Nature
- Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows
- Lower Mainland’s Best Beaches
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- 12 Reasons to go Camping in an RV