One of British Columbia’s largest parks, Golden Ears is an exceptional destination for all sorts of recreation. The park features three large campgrounds and an extensive system of hiking and horseback-riding trails. Alouette Lake, meanwhile, is a popular spot for swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing, boating, and fishing.
The landscape of Golden Ears Park offers an excellent example of B.C.’s coastal western hemlock forest. The park’s extensive backcountry is mountainous and extremely rugged.
For more information on staying safe in the backcountry, see our backcountry guide.
Campsite reservations are accepted at this park. During peak season, all drive-in and walk-in campsites are reservable and none are set aside for first come, first served camping. To learn more, see the frontcountry camping page.
Group campsite reservations are accepted at this park year-round. Each groupsite accommodates a minimum of 15 adults. The picnic area is available on a first come, first served basis only and is not reservable. To learn more about groupsite reservations, visit the group camping page.
Backcountry camping is allowed at designated sites only. You must register for a backcountry permit and carry it with you at all times. Sites are available at these locations:
|Viewpoint Beach||4.5km on West Canyon Trail||Pit toilets and bear cache|
|Alder Flats||5.7km on West Canyon Trail||Pit toilets|
|Halfmoon Beach||9.8km on East Canyon Trail||Pit toilets|
|Panorama Ridge Golden Ears||10.7km on Golden Ears Trail (near the emergency shelter)||Urine diversion toilet|
Campfires are not allowed in the Golden Ears backcountry.
There are two group campsites available for reservation. There is a covered shelter available at the Golden Ears groupsite by West Canyon parking lot. The Alouette groupsite is located near the boat launch by the lake. Groupsites can be reserved up to one year in advance through our reservation service.
For more information on groupsites, see the group camping page.
Youth group camping is available for parties of at least 12 people. To qualify, your party must be associated with a school, recreation centre, or non-profit youth organization located in B.C. Youth group camping charges per night are $1 per person (six years of age and older), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.
Regular group camping charges per night are $120 per groupsite per night, plus $5 per adult (16 and older) and $1 per child (six to 15). There is a minimum charge for 15 adults. Children under six camp for free.
Keys issued for both the Golden Ears and Alouette groupsites will not allow access to the main park gate on Fern Crescent. Please plan to have your entire camping party enter the park before the daily park closure time.
Golden Ears Park offers some campsites that are accessible by boat only. There are no mooring facilities. All sites have pit toilets.
To use these campsites, you must register for a backcountry permit and keep it with you at all times. The camping fee is $5 per person per night.
Marine camping is allowed at designated sites only. Campfires are permitted below high tide line only. Please take all your garbage with you when you leave.
For more information on responsible marine recreation, see our marine visitor guide.
Allouette Lake (west shore):
Pitt Lake (east shore):
There are three vehicle-accessible campgrounds in Golden Ears Park: Gold Creek, Alouette, and North Beach. Gold Creek Campground is open year-round, road conditions permitting. Alouette and North Beach campgrounds are gated and locked outside peak season unless they are required as overflow.
The campgrounds are for the use of registered campers only. 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 on the BC Parks reservation service.
Due to campground expansion in Gold Creek, some of the facilities shown on the campground maps have been relocated.
Two vehicles are allowed per campsite. Both vehicles must be registered. There is no parking for extra vehicles within the campgrounds. Visitor parking lots are available for day-parking at all campgrounds.
Campsite reservations are accepted. For information on making a reservation, see the frontcountry camping page. When not reservable, campsites are available on a first come, first served basis, if the campground is open.
During summer season (mid-May to mid-September), all campers check in at the ticket booth.
In shoulder season (April 1 to mid-May and mid-September to October 15):
|Gold Creek and Alouette|
|Vehicle-accessible camping||$35 per party per night|
|BC Senior Camping Discount rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only)||$17.50 per senior party per night|
|Vehicle-accessible camping||$23 per party per night|
|BC Senior Camping Discount rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only)||$11.50 per senior party per night|
When you book a site through our reservation service, you must pay all fees in advance to secure your site. For first come, first served camping, fees must be paid in cash at the park.
Golden Ears Park offers winter camping at Gold Creek Campground (unless the park road is closed due to hazardous conditions). Alouette and North Beach campgrounds are closed throughout the winter season.
All campsites are offered on a first come, first served basis. They cannot be reserved. The winter camping fee is $13 per party per night. An attendant collects the fee and completes your registration on site. Payment is accepted in cash only.
During the winter season, Golden Ears Park main gate is locked from 7pm to 7am daily. During these hours, a staff contact number is posted on the main gate for emergencies only. Campers exiting the park on an emergency basis cannot re-enter until after 7am the following morning.
The Spirea Universal Access Trail is wheelchair-accessible. Wheelchair-accessible toilets are available at all campgrounds and in the Alouette (South Beach) day-use area. There are wheelchair-accessible showers at Gold Creek and Alouette campgrounds. Four campsites at the Gold Creek campground are paved. Wheelchair access is also available to the beach from parking lot two at the Alouette (South Beach) day-use area.
There are four day-use beach areas on the shoreline of Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Park, which are ideal for picnicking.
This vehicle-accessible area is located at kilometre seven along the main parkway. It is open for summer season with full services (flush toilets, drinking water taps, change house) and open for winter season with minimal services (pit toilets only).
There is a sand and gravel beach with a seasonal roped-off swimming area. No lifeguards are on duty. Barbeque attachments are available on some picnic tables. Bring briquettes and barbeques as fires are not permitted. Canoe, kayak, and pedalboat rentals are available.
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.
This walk-in area is next to Alouette and Gold Creek campgrounds. Day-use visitors can park in the visitor parking lot beside the ticket booth. Dogs are not permitted. There is a sand and gravel beach with a seasonal roped-off swimming area. No lifeguards are on duty. Canoes, kayaks, and pedalboats can be rented. A water tap is available during the summer season. Pit toilets are available.
This area is next to the North Beach campground and accessible on foot from the East Canyon parking lot via the North Beach Trail. The beach is sand and gravel. There are no lifeguards on duty. Dogs are permitted on this beach, but must remain on leash. Pit toilets are available.
This area is directly across from South Beach and only accessible by boat. Pit toilets are provided and are located a short distance up from the beach at both the north and south ends.
Fires and overnight camping are not permitted at the day-use areas. There is no garbage removal at Campers Beach, North Beach, and East Beach, so please bring a garbage bag and pack out your trash.
Pit and flush toilets are available at Alouette and Gold Creek campgrounds and the day-use areas of the park. There are only pit toilets at North Beach Campground. During winter season, all flush toilets are closed. Pit toilets are located at all designated backcountry camping areas and marine campsites.
Please bring your own toilet paper and never place garbage in toilets.
Hot showers are available for no extra cost at the Alouette and Gold Creek campgrounds. There are no showers at North Beach Campground. During the winter season, all shower buildings are closed.
Cold water taps are located throughout the park. Drinking water from taps is tested on a regular basis. Water taps are shut off in the winter season. For water testing information, please contact the park operator at 604-466-8325.
All backcountry drinking water should be filtered, boiled, or otherwise treated before consumption. Wash all dishes and conduct personal hygiene at least 30m from any water source.
There is no permanent source of water past Alder Flats. Depending on the season, water can be melted from the snowfield that may remain in the northern shadow of the peak.
There is a playground near the shower building at the north end of Alouette Campground.
Golden Ears Park features a four-lane, cement-surface boat launch at the south end of Alouette Lake. The park also offers boat-accessible camping along the lake.
Vehicles and trailers can be parked overnight at the boat launch parking lot. There is no nearby marina to moor boats overnight. We do not recommend leaving your boat in the water overnight due to the risk of theft.
Outside the summer season, the water level in Alouette Lake can 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.
Golden Ears Park offers a sani-station, located off the main parkway, just before the campgrounds. The sani-station is closed from October 16 to March 31. There is a $5 per discharge fee, which must be paid in $1 and $2 coins.
Campfires are not permitted in the backcountry and marine sites of Golden Ears Park. Please use a portable fuel stove for cooking.
Campfires are only permitted within the metal fire rings provided at Alouette, Gold Creek, and North Beach campgrounds. Firewood can be purchased in the park from the park operator or you may bring your own. Limited burning hours and campfire bans may be implemented.
To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please do not gather firewood from the area around your campsite or anywhere else 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 valuable organic matter to the soil.
Golden Ears Park provides a variety of opportunities for walking and hiking among a setting of lakes, streams, mountain peaks, and valleys. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, please keep to designated trails and obey posted signs.
All campgrounds and day-use areas are conveniently located for swimming. Marked swimming areas are available from June 17 to September 5 at the Alouette (South Beach) day-use area and at Campers’ Beach between Gold Creek and Alouette Campgrounds. Swimmers outside marked swimming areas should exercise extreme caution as powerboats may be operating on the lake.
There are no lifeguards on duty at BC Parks. It is a criminal offence to tamper with or damage life-saving equipment at the rescue stations.
Canoeing is very popular on Alouette Lake. Canoe, kayak, and pedalboat rentals are available at the Alouette (South Beach) day-use area, weather permitting. Rentals are available on weekends only from May long weekend to late June. They are available daily from late June to Labour Day.
Please call the park operator at 604-466-8325 for more information about canoe rentals.
The park also offers boat-accessible camping.
There are fishing opportunities at this park. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
No powerboats or other motorized craft are permitted on Mike Lake.
Your dog must be under control at all times and on a leash no more than two metres long. This includes when you are in campgrounds and on trails within one kilometre of the Parkway Road.
Domestic animals are not allowed in picnic areas, marked-off swimming areas, or park buildings. Dogs are not allowed at the main part of Alouette (South Beach) day-use area. Dogs are permitted at just two of the beaches:
Trails beyond one kilometre of the Parkway Road are considered backcountry and dogs may be off a leash, if they are under control at all times. However, backcountry areas are not considered suitable for dogs or other pets due to rugged terrain and the potential for encounters with bears and other wildlife.
Cycling is allowed on roadways and marked biking trails in Golden Ears Park. Over 20km of trails in the park can be used for cycling. Check the park map [PDF] for specific trails.
For information on using bikes with electric assist motors in this park, see the e-biking section.
Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are allowed on signed or designated trails within Golden Ears Park, provided they meet the definitions and criteria outlined in our e-bike rules.
There are waterskiing opportunities on Alouette Lake.
Golden Ears Park features over 20km of gravel and dirt horse trails. Check the park map [PDF] for specific trails. Horses are not permitted on trails other than those designated on the park map. A permit is required for commercial use of horse trails.
No camping with horses is allowed in the park’s frontcountry (parking lots, day-use areas, or any area less than one kilometre 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.
It is hazardous for horses to go past Viewpoint Beach on the East Canyon Trail. The floodplain area of Gold Creek has mudholes. Horses are not permitted on the East-West Canyon Connector Trail or the Gold Creek Bridge.
There are no recommended technical climbing opportunities in Golden Ears Park. There are two mountains accessible via official trails. These require intermediate climbing skills to reach the peaks. Both are long, strenuous hikes requiring proper equipment and experience.
This climb is accessed via 11km of trail from Mike Lake using the Incline and Alouette Mountain Fire Access Trails. A return trip will take nine or 10 hours. Be sure to take water and expect snow well into June.
The climb to these peaks is accessed from the West Canyon parking lot via the West Canyon-Golden Ears Trail. This 12km trail has an elevation change of 1500 metres. Suggested one way time is seven hours. The round trip is an overnight expedition for all but the fittest.
Ascent of the North Ear is made from the east side across a permanent snowfield. Extreme caution is advised and proper equipment is essential. Water may be scarce beyond Alder Flats. Expect snow on Panorama Ridge well into July.
There are campsites at Alder Flats and Panorama Ridge. See the backcountry camping section for more information.
Golden Ears Park lies in the Coast Mountains, 11km north of Maple Ridge on the north side of the Fraser River. Access to the park is by vehicle via Dewdney Trunk Road through Maple Ridge. If heading west, turn right onto 232nd and if heading east, turn left onto 232nd. Then turn right onto Fern Crescent at the traffic circle and follow the road into the park. The campgrounds are approximately 11km north of the park entrance. The campground gatehouse is located at 17801 Golden Ears Park Campground.
The closest communities, towns, and cities are Maple Ridge, Mission, and Pitt Meadows.
This park is serviced by Parkbus, an environmentally friendly and affordable transportation service from downtown Vancouver to select BC Parks. To find out more about Parkbus, and see routes and schedules, check the Parkbus website.
Any maps provided on this page are for information only. They may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
This park operated by Alouette Park Management Ltd. For information on campgrounds and day-use or picnicking areas only, contact them at:
The lake and its forested surroundings are the traditional hunting and fishing grounds of the Douglas-Lillooet (Interior Salish) and Katzie (Coast Salish) First Nations.
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 B.C.’s greatest railroad logging operation until a disastrous fire swept through the valley in 1931.
The park was named after the twin peaks of Mount Blanshard. Originally part of Garibaldi Park, the establishment of Golden Ears Park in 1927 recognized the almost impenetrable mountain barrier between the two areas.
The park represents the Coastal Western Hemlock bio-geoclimatic 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.
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. For information on birds in Golden Ears, download the bird checklist [PDF].
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.