Where city meets nature.
Located just north of Maple Ridge, Golden Ears Provincial Park is one of the largest; and is the busiest of the provincial parks in British Columbia by number of campers. Alouette lake is HUGE and popular for boating, swimming, paddle boarding, wind surfing, and many other water-based recreational activities. The park is also criss-crossed by an abundance of trails that make for great hiking. Park users hoping to stay the night will find 409 vehicle-accessible campsites of which 350 are reservable. These sites are divided among three campgrounds: Alouette (where we were), Gold Creek, and North Beach.
Alouette is the largest of the three, and as I noted, where we camped. Site A36 was ours. It is important to note there are multiple sites with the same number, and only the letter in the front differentiates specifically where they are. Some people entering and were looking for A16 camp came across C16, then got confused thinking someone had taken their site, before getting lost trying to find A16. The letters correspond to the road that the site sits on, A for Alouette, B for birth, C for cedar, and so on. This is ditto for Gold Creek so pay attention to the letter in front!
With us this weekend was friends and their son, who is also one of Maddy’s classmate. Most sites are large enough to accommodate RVs, and our site was easy to manoeuvre into. Our site was large enough to easily park 2 vehicles, and setup a large 10’x12x tent in front of the trailer. Directly behind our site was a small creek and trails that the kids loved exploring behind. Some felled trees left behind provided some nice gym equipment for the kids to climb and play on, and towering cedars and hemlock provided cover from the light rains that fell on Saturday.
Alouette Lake itself is a huge and beautiful piece of paradise so close to home. Cool but not glacier cold, it is a perfect place to take a dip on a hot summer day. Day users be warned, they sometimes close access if the parking lots become full. The beach at the campground area is between Gold Creek and Alouette campgrounds. It contains a mainly rocky beach, and a roped off swimming area for safety. Be warned, none of the provincial campgrounds have lifeguards on duty so watch your children and weaker swimmers closely. For those looking to get on the lake, and hopefully not into it. The day use area has a rental hut where kayaks and canoes can be rented for hourly, or overnight excursions at Alouette Lake Canoe Rentals.
Furthering family fun is a children’s playground in the Alouette campground, located between Dogwood and Cedar drives. This adventure playground says its for kids 5-12 years old but being nearby we had no concerns with Jacob making his way up and sliding down on his own. We found that the many kids there were respectful with the younger climbers. If you’ve been to other campgrounds, like Alice Lake, you might recognize the climbing structure itself as they are almost identical. It seems the province got a discount on them and the same main structure can be found at several campground playgrounds.
Three negatives we noted during our weekend. First, people seem to drive around the campground with total disregard for safety. The speed limit is 20km/h. 20! People were often zipping around at what appeared to be close to double that. There are kids trying to play and ride their bikes around and these people only care about getting somewhere fast. What’s the rush? Secondly, the site directly across from us in a Cougar half-ton, running your generator at 10pm is against park regulations in EVERY provincial campground, shame on you for the me, me, me attitude you displayed. Finally, on clean up day, the right hand sani-dump stopped working, it was backed right up and not draining. Luckily, we were in line early and for the left side, which worked, albeit barely. The ticket booth also stopped working and was just eating people’s $5 without providing proof of payment. Speaking of which, better have two toonies and a loonie, or 5 x loonies to pay otherwise you’ll also be out of luck. Come on, either have a park staff there to give out change or update to a new drop coin operated sani-dump that will take a variety of coins. For such a major park I’m shocked its not a newer system like we’ve found elsewhere.
I’m going to give this park an overall score of 7 out of 10. While they have some things to work on, such as their sani-station, and better enforcement of park regulations; it is an undeniably beautiful gem close to home. Located just over an hour east of Vancouver, 40 minutes north of our home, Golden Ears Provincial Park is a beautiful playground nestled in our backyard. Its pristine forests make for amazing hikes, while its cool and clean lake make for fun water activities or relaxing beach days.
Been there a few times and always had a good time. You blog is great, well composed and written! Congrats on that. Looks like the new trailer is working our just fine.
Thank you for sharing 🙂 Can’t wait to visit!
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