Golden Ears Provincial Park

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Golden Ears Provincial Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Golden ears summit.jpg
Golden Ears Summit
Location British Columbia, Canada
Nearest city Maple Ridge, British Columbia
Coordinates 49°28′0″N 122°27′0″W / 49.46667°N 122.45000°W / 49.46667; -122.45000Coordinates: 49°28′0″N 122°27′0″W / 49.46667°N 122.45000°W / 49.46667; -122.45000
Area 609 km²
Established 1967
Governing body BC Parks

Golden Ears Provincial Park is a Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada at 555.9 km². It is named after the prominent twin peaks which are commonly referred to as Golden Ears (Mount Blanshard) (Elevation: 1716 m or 5630 ft). The park's southern end is located on the northern edge of the district municipality of Maple Ridge on the north side of the Fraser River.

The park was originally part of Garibaldi Provincial Park (established 1927) but was split off as a separate park in 1967.[1]

Attractions[edit]

The park is often used for hiking, horseback riding, camping, and boating.

Camping[edit]

There are three main campgrounds at Golden Ears Park, with a total capacity of 409 vehicle accessible campsites. There are also backcountry campsites available at the park, also known as "Walk-In/Wilderness Camping". These Campsites are available at Alder Flats on the West Canyon Trail and Panorama Ridge on the Golden Ears Trail, but no facilities are provided. Finally, there are two group campgrounds available for reservation, by any group booking a minimum of 15 adults, with a maximum total of 50 persons.

Alouette Campground[edit]

The Alouette campground is the largest of the three main campgrounds in the park, with 206 campsites on it. During the summer season, park operators host security patrols. Only during the summer months the park provides drinking water that is regularly monitored, water is not available during the winter or fall season. The summer season is considered to be between June 19 - September 7, and reservations can be made between June 19 - September 6. There are 83 reservable campsites in Alouette. In the campground, there are amenities such as:

  • Visitor Parking (1)
  • Pit Toilets (7)
  • Flush Toilets (4)
  • Self Guided Trails (1)
  • Playgrounds (1)
  • Shower Buildings (2)
  • Drinking Water Taps (23)

Gold Creek Campground[edit]

Gold Creek campground is the second largest of the three main campgrounds in the park, with 148 campsites on it. During the summer season, park operators host security patrols. Only during the summer months the park provides drinking water that is regularly monitored, water is not available during the winter or fall season. Gold Creek is the only campground of the three that is open year-round, however like the other campgrounds, amenities are restricted during the winter months. The summer season is considered to be between April 1 - October 12, and reservations can be made between May 8 - September 6. There are 74 reservable campsites in Gold Creek. The winter months are considered to be between October 12 - March 31. In the campground, there are amenities such as:

  • Visitor Parking (1)
  • Pit Toilets (8)
  • Self Guided Trails (1)
  • Shower Buildings (2)
  • Drinking Water Taps (15)

North Beach Campground[edit]

North Beach campground is the smallest of the three main campgrounds in the park, with 55 campsites on it. During the summer season, park operators host security patrols. Only during the summer months the park provides drinking water that is regularly monitored, water is not available during the winter or fall season. The summer season is considered to be between June 19 - September 7, and reservations can be made between June 19 - September 6. There are 53 reservable campsites in North Beach. In the campground, there are amenities such as:

  • Visitor Parking (1)
  • Pit Toilets (3)
  • Drinking Water Taps (1)

Walk-In/Wilderness Camping[edit]

Wilderness/walk-in camping is permitted at Alder Flats on the West Canyon Trail and Panorama Ridge on the Golden Ears Trail, but no facilities are provided. The distance from parking to the walk-in sites at Alder Flats is approximately 5 kilometres; and to Panorama Ridge is approximately 9 kilometres. Camping is on individual gravel pads in wooded area at Alder Flats and in an undeveloped wooded area on Panorama Ridge. There are no campfires are allowed in Wilderness/walk-in camping, only portable camp stoves are permitted. In addition, you must pack out what you pack in, as there are no garbage removal services. Because of the very remote location of these campsites, park operators are not able to provide current information on the sites.

Rustic Marine Campsites[edit]

Rustic marine campsites are located on Alouette Lake at Moyer Creek, The Narrows and Alouette River (north end of the lake). There are no campfires are allowed in Wilderness/walk-in camping, only portable camp stoves are permitted. In addition, you must pack out what you pack in, as there are no garbage removal services. Because of the very remote location of these campsites, park operators are not able to provide current information on the sites.

Hiking[edit]

There is an extensive network of hiking trails in the park ranging from short walks to strenuous backcountry trips.

Golden Ears Trail[edit]

This trail takes you to the Northern summit of the Golden Ears massif. The trail is approximately 12 km one-way from the west canyon parking lot with an elevation gain of 1500 meters. This is mostly a wilderness trail after the Alder Flats campsite, which is located a few kilometers from the parking lot. Past Alder Flats camp, there are no facilities other than an emergency shelter and a seasonal outhouse on the ridge below the peaks. There are plenty of great camping spots along the ridge, however there is no permanent source of water. Depending on the season, water can be melted from the snow fields that remain in the northern shadow of the peak. Views from the top are panoramic, overlooking the Fraser Valley to the south and surrounding peaks.

Canoeing[edit]

Canoeing is very popular on Alouette Lake. Canoe/kayak/pedal boat rentals are available for rent in the Alouette (South Beach) day-use area on weekends only from May long weekend to late June and daily from late June to Labour Day (weather permitting).

Climbing[edit]

There are no recommended technical climbing opportunities in Golden Ears Park. There are two mountains accessible by official trails that require intermediate skills to reach the peaks. Both are long strenuous hikes requiring proper equipment and experience.

Horseback Riding[edit]

There is an extensive network of over 20 kilometres of gravel/dirt horse trails in the park. Check the park map for horse specific trails. [PDF 458KB] Horses are not permitted on trails other than those designated on the park map. A permit is only required for commercial use of the horse trails.

No camping with horses is allowed in park frontcountry (parking lots, day-use areas, or any area less than 1 km from a park road), or in the vehicle accessible campgrounds. Day-use stopover is permitted at the South Beach corral area, but horses must remain within the corral or on a designated horse trail.

Camping with horses is permitted in the designated camping area on the East Canyon Trail, approximately 5 km north of Gold Creek parking lot.

This park provides trails only; horseback riding lesson/rentals, stables etc. are not available within the park.

Incidents/Deaths[edit]

While the park has its natural beauty, some of the park's attractions are inherently dangerous. These dangers have resulted in the injuries and deaths of many park patrons.

Missing Boater Feared Dead[edit]

On Sunday September 20, 2015, Ridge Meadows RCMP were called to Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park. This occurred after a boat capsized on the lake. Four friends were travelling down the lake by boat, from the north end of Alouette Lake after an overnight camp. They began experiencing engine troubles with their 15-foot craft, and pulled in to North Beach to check it out. Able to get it operational again, the foursome manoeuvred back out on to the water and were headed for the boat launch when they were swamped by a large wave – believed the result of higher than normal winds. The boat began taking on water and sunk quickly, at least from all that emergency responders were able to glean from the three survivors who managed to make it back to shore. Two of the boaters made it to shore and found campers at Gold Creek, while the third made it to shore and headed into the Alouette campground (which was all but vacant because it was closed for the season). The three survivors were treated for hypothermia, and released from a hospital a day later.

For the rest of that day, members of the Maple Ridge Fire Department, Ridge Meadows RCMP, British Columbia Ambulance Service, Ridge Meadows SAR, RCMP Air 1, British Columbia Ambulance Service's Air Ambulance were on scene into the night aiding in the rescue efforts. This search was called off that evening and then resumed the next day. After three days, it turned into a body recovery mission. The woman was never found and presumed deceased.

Young man drowns in Golden Ears Provincial Park[edit]

Thursday, July 18, 2013. A 21-year-old man has drowned in what appears to have been an accident in Golden Ears Provincial Park. The young Port Coquitlam resident died while swimming in Alouette Lake. Reports suggest he may have been underwater for 20 minutes before being discovered. Police and paramedics were called to the scene, but could not revive him. Authorities said there is no indication of foul play.

See also[edit]

Movies Filmed[edit]

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