Golden Ears Provincial Park
- Public Advisory updated April 23, 2015
BC Hydro continues work on the 250 kilometres transmission line from the Interior (Nicola Valley) to the Lower Mainland (Coquitlam). Known as the “ILM,” the project was 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 encounter crews and vehicles accessing the transmission line corridor from various locations within these three parks. Visitors may also hear implosions (very loud bangs) that are part of the stringing of the conductor (transmission line) which is scheduled to take place in May 2015. For your safety and the safety of the workers, please follow all construction signage and directions from the construction personnel. Following the stringing, the contractor will deactivate and restore the work sites and access roads. All works are scheduled to be completed by Fall 2015. 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.
- During the summer, Golden Ears Provincial Park is extremely popular, especially on weekends. Visitors are advised that the park is subject to periodic closure to day-users and/or boaters when the day-use and/or boat launch parking lots fill to capacity. Closures generally occur on sunny weekends and holidays during July and August, and usually occur between 11am and 4pm.
- Canoes/Kayaks/Pedal boats are available for rent in the park at 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)
- Cell phone service is poor or not available in many areas of the park, including the campgrounds and Alouette (South Beach) day-use area.
- Hikers entering the backcountry should ensure a responsible person is aware of their trip plans including destination, equipment carried, and planned return time.
- There is an emergency shelter on Panorama Ridge on the Golden Ears Trail, 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||June 19 – September 7 (only available as overflow during Spring and Fall seasons)|
|– Gold Creek campground||Year round|
|– North Beach campground||June 26 – September 7 (only available as 2nd overflow during Spring and Fall seasons)|
|Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees:|
|– Alouette campground||June 19 – September 7|
|– Gold Creek campground||April 1 – October 12 (Winter fee from October 12 to ~March 31; minimal services)|
|– North Beach campground||June 26 – September 7|
|Campground Reservable Dates:|
|– Alouette campground||June 19 – September 6|
|– Gold Creek campground||May 8 – September 6|
|– North Beach campground||June 26 – September 6|
|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 campsites 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.
The closest communities, towns and cities are Maple Ridge, Mission and Pitt Meadows.
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. For information on horse rentals and guided trail rides, please contact Equutrails at 604-376-0203.
Staff from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC will also be on site for summer sessions, loaning out fishing rods for free to anyone who wants to try fishing! If you're 16 years or older, you are required to have a freshwater fishing licence. Click here for information about the sessions. [PDF 75KB]
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.
Marked swimming areas are available from June 15 to September 15 at the Alouette (South Beach) day-use area and Campers’ Beach between Gold Creek and Alouette Campgrounds. Swimmers outside marked swimming areas should exercise extreme caution due to power boats operating on the lake. Please note it is a criminal offense to tamper with or damage life-saving equipment at the rescue stations.
Please note that there are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
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. Read the Youth Group policy about Criteria for Youth Groups.
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). Children under 6 are free!
- Alouette (South Beach) Day-use Area: Vehicle accessible area located at kilometre 7 along the main parkway. There is a sand/gravel beach with seasonal 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 seasonal 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
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Golden Ears campgrounds are extremely popular, and fill most weekends during the summer. Overnight stays are limited to 14 nights per calendar year per person. 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 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
On-line backcountry registration is required; registration facilities are not available in this park.
Backcountry Registration Fee: $5.00 per person/night
BC Parks Backcountry Registration System allows you to purchase a backcountry camping permit before leaving home. Although the system does not reserve a campsite, the system provides visitors the convenience of prepaying for their trip and not having to carry cash. We encourage all visitors to register online so we can reduce the need to collect fees in the field. ).
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 Pitt Lake on the west side is Pinecone Burke Provincial Park where camping is permitted at Dark Creek. All of these marine campsites are only accessible by boat, have tent pads, a pit toilet, some have picnic tables.
Please pack out what you pack in as there are no garbage removal services.
Please note that the Park Operator is not responsible for operating the backcountry or rustic marine campsites, and cannot provide current information on conditions.
South Coast, Ministry of Environment
10470 - 152 Street, Surrey BC V3R 0Y3, Canada
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