Golden Ears Provincial Park
- Public Advisory
BC Hydro has begun site preparation to twin 250 kilometres of their main electrical transmission line from the Interior (Nicola Valley) to the Lower Mainland (Coquitlam). Known as the “ILM”, the project has been approved by the BC Environmental Assessment Office and is required in order to reliably deliver clean and renewable energy and help meet the future electricity demands of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. The transmission line corridor is adjacent to Sasquatch Park, and it passes through the southern end of Golden Ears Park and Pinecone Burke Park. Park visitors may expect to encounter crews and vehicles accessing the transmission line corridor from various locations within these three parks until November 2012 to facilitate vegetation removal and work along the right of way, in advance of further electrical line infrastructure upgrade slated for 2013. Some traffic disruption may be experienced along roadways in order to facilitate access for workers and equipment to the transmission corridor.
For more information on BC Hydro’s initiative, please see: (http://www.bchydro.com/energy_in_bc/projects/ilm.html)
About This ParkAs one of the largest parks in the province, Golden Ears Provincial Park is prized for its recreational opportunities. The extensive system of trails within the park provides an excellent opportunity for hiking and horseback riding.
Alouette Lake is a popular spot for swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing. The park also has three large campgrounds. Vegetation is typical of the coastal western Hemlock forest of B.C. and the mountainous backcountry is extremely rugged.
Park Size: 62,540 hectares
- Park hosts and a security patrol are available during the summer months.
- Canoes/Kayaks/Pedal boats are available for rent in the park weekends only from May long weekend to late June and daily from late June to Labour Day. (weather permitting)
- In the backcountry hiking area of the park, there is a small hut on Panorama Ridge, available for emergency use situations only; no overnight use.
| Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
|Opening and Closing Campground Dates:
(campground is accessible but may not offer full services such as water, security, etc.)
|– Alouette campground||May 14 – September 1 (only available as overflow during Spring and Fall seasons)|
|– Gold Creek campground||Year round|
|– North Beach campground||May 15 – September 1 (only available as 2nd overflow during Spring and Fall seasons)|
|Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees:|
|– Alouette campground||May 14 – September 1|
|– Gold Creek campground||April 1 – October 13 (Winter fee from October 13 to ~March 31; minimal services)|
|– North Beach campground||May 15 – September 1|
|Campground Reservable Dates:|
|– Alouette campground||June 20 – August 31|
|– Gold Creek campground||May 9 – September 20|
|– North Beach campground||June 27 – August 31|
|Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:||Alouette = 206
Gold Creek = 148
North Beach = 55
|Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
|Alouette = 83
Gold Creek = 74
North Beach = 53
|Note: The above information is for the campgrounds only. Campgrounds will be closed if park road is closed due to weather conditions. Check the "Attention Visitor Notice" above for park alerts.|
ReservationsAll campsite and group site reservations must be made through Discover Camping. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.
Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
Group Campsite Reservations:
Group campsite reservations are accepted at this park (minimum 15 adults) year round. Picnic/day-use area is available on a first-come, first-served basis only and is not reservable at this park.
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Maps and BrochuresAny maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Nature and Culture
- History: The park was named after the twin peaks of Mount Blanshard near the peak’s western boundary. Originally part of Garibaldi Provincial Park, the establishment of Golden Ears Park in 1927 recognized the almost impenetrable mountain barrier between the two areas.
- Cultural Heritage: Human activity in Golden Ears, both past and present, has been confined to the accessible Alouette Valley in the south of the park. In the 1920s, the forested slopes of the valley became the site of BC’s greatest railroad logging operation until a disastrous fire swept through the valley in 1931. The lake and its forested surroundings were also the traditional hunting and fishing grounds for the Douglas-Lillooet (Interior Salish) and Katzie (Coast Salish) First Nations peoples.
- Conservation: The park represents the Coastal Western Hemlock biogeoclimatic zone and is characterized by a second-growth forest of western hemlock, western red cedar and Douglas fir. There are a series of sphagnum bogs at the south end of Alouette Lake.
- Wildlife: The park’s lush plant growth, numerous waterways, and mountainous terrain provide habitat to a variety of animals including beaver, deer, black bear, and mountain goat.
Click to view the Golden Ears Park bird checklist. [PDF 289KB]
Management PlanningManagement Planning Information
- A management plan was approved for Golden Ears Park in November 2013.
Golden Ears Park Management Plan - November 2013 [PDF 2.94MB]
Activities Available at this 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.
Alouette Mountain is accessed on 11 kilometres of trail from Mike Lake using the Incline and Alouette Mountain Fire Access Trails. A return trip will take 9 or 10 hours. Be sure to take water and expect snow well into June.
The Golden Ears are accessed from the West Canyon parking lot via the West Canyon/Golden Ears Trail. This 12 kilometre trail has an elevation change of 1500 metres. Suggested one way time is 7 hours. The round trip is an overnight expedition for all but the fittest. There are camping sites at Alder Flats and Panorama Ridge, see the wilderness/walk-in camping information. Ascent of the North Ear is made from the left (east) side across a permanent snowfield. Extreme caution is advised and proper equipment is recommended. Water may be scarce beyond Alder Flats. Expect snow on Panorama Ridge well into July.
No camping with horses is allowed in park frontcountry (parking lots, day-use areas, or any area less than 1km 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 5km north of Gold Creek parking lot. This park provides trails only; horseback riding lesson/rentals, stables etc. are not available within the park.
Pets on Leash
Pets/domestic animals are not allowed in the picnic areas, beaches, marked off swimming areas or park buildings. Dogs are strictly prohibited at the main Alouette (South Beach) day-use area, which is accessible from parking lot #2, and from Campers Beach, between Gold Creek and Alouette campgrounds.
Dogs are permitted (on leash) in only two beach areas: at the North Beach day-use area near the outflow area of Gold Creek into Alouette Lake and at the Alouette (South Beach) day-use area between the boat launch and the canoe rental shop, which is accessible from parking lot #1.
Trails beyond 1km of the parkway road are considered backcountry and dogs may be off a leash but must be under control at all times. However, backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to rugged terrain, wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
Facilities Available at this Park
During months outside the summer season, the water level in Alouette Lake may vary considerably due to water management by BC Hydro. Boaters should be especially wary during low-water conditions, as submerged stumps and other obstacles may be hazardous to navigation.
Firewood can be purchased in the park or you may bring your own wood. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary from park to park. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil.
Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $100.00/group site/night, plus $4/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15).
- Alouette (South Beach) Day-use Area: Vehicle accessible area located at kilometre 7 along the main parkway. There is a sand/gravel beach with roped off swimming area, no lifeguards are on duty; canoe/kayak/pedal boat rentals are available (see “Canoeing” above). There are barbeque attachments available on some picnic tables. Bring briquettes and barbeques, fires are not permitted. Dogs are not permitted in the main part of this day-use area. There is a beach area for leashed dogs between the boat launch and the canoe rental shop.
- Open for summer season May 15 – September 15 with full services - flush toilets, drinking water taps, changehouse.
- Open for winter season September 16 – May 14 with minimal services - pit toilets only.
- Campers Beach Day-use Area: Campers Beach is a walk-in area adjacent to Alouette and Gold Creek campgrounds. Day-use visitors can park in visitors’ parking lot beside the ticket booth. Campers Beach has a sand/gravel beach with a roped off swimming area, no lifeguards are on duty. Dogs are not permitted. A water tap is available April 1 to Thanksgiving. Only pit toilets are available.
- North Beach Day-use Area: North Beach day-use area is adjacent to the North Beach campground, accessible on foot from the East Canyon parking lot via the North Beach Trail. The beach is sand/gravel, no lifeguards are on duty. There are only pit toilets available. Dogs are permitted on this beach, but must remain on leash.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge, payment by $1 and $2 coins only.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Golden Ears campgrounds are extremely popular, and fill most weekends during the summer. You can find photographs and descriptions of all the campsites at Discover Camping. Maximum two vehicles per campsite (both must register); there is no parking for extra vehicles within the campgrounds. Visitors parking lots are available for day parking at all campgrounds. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available. Camping fees are payable in cash only at the park. Campers are reminded that they must “occupy” their campsite with a tent designed as sleeping accommodation or an RV (camper, tent trailer, RV trailer) in order to register.
- Summer season (mid-June to Labour Day) – all campers check in at the ticket booth.
- Shoulder season (April 1 to mid-June, and Labour Day to Thanksgiving)
- campers with reservations: check the reservation board at the ticket booth for your last name/site number, and proceed directly to your reserved campsite. Staff will come by to complete your registration.
- campers without reservations: locate an unoccupied campsite that does NOT have a “Reserved” sign, staff will come by to complete your registration. If you cannot locate a vacant campsite, check the reservation board at the ticket booth for reserved campsites that may be available on a one or two-night basis, or check with staff in the park.
Gold Creek Campground: open all year
Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $11.00 per party / night
Rustic marine campsites are located on Alouette Lake at Moyer Creek, The Narrows and Alouette River (north end of the lake). On the east shore of Pitt Lake the marine campsites are located at Raven Creek, Osprey Creek South and Osprey Creek North. Across from Pitt Lake on the east side is Pinecone Burke Provincial Park on the west shore. All of these marine campsites are only accessible by boat, have tent pads, a pit toilet, some have picnic tables. No campfires allowed. Cooking allowed with camp stoves only.
On-line backcountry registration is required; registration facilities are not available in this park.
BC Parks Backcountry Registration System allows you to pre-pay your overnight fees for backcountry and/or marine site usage, where designated. This system will not be used for vehicle accessible (ie front country) campgrounds or controlled back country permits (ie Bowron Lakes canoe circuit and Berg Lake Trail).
Backcountry Registration Fee: $5.00 per person/night
Please pack out what you pack in as there are no garbage removal services.
During winter season from Thanksgiving Monday to March 31, Golden Ears Park main gate is locked from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. daily. A call-out number is posted on the main gate to contact staff for emergencies only during closed hours. Campers exiting the park on an emergency basis during closed hours cannot re-enter the park until after 8:00 a.m. the following morning. Use the self-registration envelopes at the ticket booth for Gold Creek campground registration and fee payment during winter season. Payment is accepted in cash only, and no change is available.
Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $11.00 per party / night