Every Vancouverite knows the mad dash when it comes to reserving a provincial campsite. I set my alarm nice and early at 6:45 AM, opened the laptop I placed next to my bed the night prior, signed in to my account, and rubbed the sleep from my eyes. Golden Ears Provincial Park was next on my camping list!
My friend, Megan and I, were both up early and on the phone together ready to nab a campsite. With the elusive Porteau Cove already under our belt, I was ready to try and get a spot at Cultus Lake while she was ready for Golden Ears.
And you can guess who was successful.
Cultus Lake was gone with a snap and I always have a moment of panic when I don’t think we’ll be able to get a spot anywhere. Being only about an hour away from central Vancouver, it’s no wonder why so many people want to visit Golden Ears. The second you’re among the trees, you forget how close you are to a bustling city.
But Megan pulled through and on a rainy summer weekend, we headed out to Golden Ears Provincial Park.
Golden Ears Campsite
At Golden Ears, there are 3 different campsites you can stay at: Gold Creek, North Beach, and Alouette. Since I knew there were a ton of spots, I assumed they would be packed closely together. Boy was I wrong!
We stayed at a site in Alouette campground and I couldn’t believe how much space there was. Perhaps because I’ve been staying at mostly walk-in tenting sites with little (zero) privacy, but the site itself could have held a large RV and our nearest neighbours were barely visible through the trees. It felt like our own little forest haven.
And thank goodness for all those trees. When the rain started to come down, they made setting up a dry area and tarp nice and easy. I also got the opportunity to hang my brand new hammock before the rain set in.
The site came with a large picnic table and a fire pit we, unfortunately, couldn’t use due to a fire ban. Staying in a tent, the ground was fairly rocky and uncomfortable for thin mattresses, but that’s pretty typical of a drive-in site.
Golden Ears Activities
Living in Vancouver, I’ve had the luxury of camping almost exclusively on the ocean. It was nice for a change to head east into the woods instead. Of course, I still had to have some water nearby and Alouette Lake is right there ready for some splashing.
While I wouldn’t say the sun was shining, I still went into the lake on a floaty. Yes, I was wearing a sweater while doing so, but I couldn’t not go in the lake while I was there. There’s an area for swimming just for campers that is a short and pretty walk from the campsite. At the park, there’s also a boat launch and day-use area for people to enjoy the water.
We planned to hit one of the many trails nearby, but the weather did throw a wrench in our plans. However, I have been to the park before for a couple of day trips and hiked up to Alder Flats and the Lower Falls. There are all kinds of trails there for every level, even spots you could backpack to and camp at.
Alouette Campground Amenities
I always have a little jump for joy whenever a campground has showers and flush toilets to use. If you’re not right next to a flush toilet, there will certainly be an outhouse nearby. Our site was also a quick walk to the drinking tap so we didn’t have to lug our water jugs far.
As a camper, that’s all I pretty much need for an enjoyable trip. But for RVs and trailers, there are no electrical hookups so you’ll have to rely on generator power. The sites themselves are quite large and accommodating for larger vehicles and they do have a sani-station.
For the kids, there’s a central park to keep them busy during your down moments. The short trip to the beach should also help to keep them entertained. They can also visit the concession to grab a treat!
Overall Thoughts on Golden Ears
While I do wish the weather was better, I had a wonderful time at Alouette campground in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Between the lake and extensive trails, there are lots to keep you busy. While this is by no means a fancy campground with plenty of amenities, it does the trick for me. I can easily get away for a weekend without having to commute too far. Being surrounded by trees and away from the hubbub of the city gives me a much-needed recharge.
Planning a trip to Golden Ears? Ask me any questions you may have in the comments down below!
Written by contributor, Holly Heuver.