Tag Archives: golden ears provincial park

Golden Ears – Astrid’s First Camping Trip

Alouette Lake Selfie

Astrid’s first camping trip was a mild success. We came close to making a midnight getaway with the tent strapped to the car roof, but we were glad we stuck it out.

We went camping on the July long weekend in Golden Ears Provincial Park. We only stayed for one night because because reservations were hard to come by when we booked 2 months ago, but that ended up being a blessing in disguise.


Astrid had fun during the day, but had a hard time sleeping in the tent. She wouldn’t nap (thank god for Ergo naps), struggled to fall asleep at night, woke up at 11:30 pm, and cried on-and-off for 2 hours. We were close to bailing, but once she finally settled down, she slept until 8 am the next morning. It was cold overnight, but Astrid was bundled up and warm in the tent.

Getting Ready to Camp

Camping with a 1-year old is a lot different than the camping trips we are used to. We needed a bigger tent, a car accessible spot, and a lot more stuff (like diapers, toys, and a cooler). We spent more time in and around our campsite than we normally would and our big tarp came in handy as a play surface for Astrid.

Food time

Golden Ears was a good spot for a first camping trip – close to Vancouver (only a 1-hour drive), with some nice hiking trails, a beautiful lake, and a family friendly campground that was pretty quiet (when Astrid wasn’t crying). The only downside is the beach has no sand – only rocks and goose poop.

Creek Hiking

It was nice to spend so much time outside in nature. We split our time between the beach/picnic area, doing small hikes in the forest (often while Astrid napped in the carrier), and hanging out at our campsite. We even had an adventurous, off-trail “shortcut” down a stream that involved a lot of fallen trees and bushwacking.


Astrid had a rough night, but enjoyed the rest of the trip enough that we are looking forward to going again next summer. By then Astrid will be walking and able to explore more. Maybe we’ll try 2 nights for her 2nd birthday.

More photos

Greater Vancouver Hike – Gold Creek

Gold Creek Campsite
Date: June 19-20, 2010

Location: Golden Ears Provincial Park (map)

Description: Our first overnight hike of 2010 was a trek into Golden Ears Provincial Park along the Gold Creek on the East Canyon Trail. The trail follows the creek on the valley floor, so there isn’t a lot of elevation gain but there aren’t any sweeping vistas either.

We stayed at a beautiful beach at the 10km mark of the trail that is popular with campers (there is even an outhouse). The first 5 km of the trail are well marked and wide enough for 2 or 3 people to walk abreast. After that the bushes encroach on the trail and there is a lot of wind-fallen trees that you need to climb over or under. We were hoping to leave our packs at the campsite and continue on to Hector Ferguson lake, but the trail very overgrown after the 10km mark and we weren’t willing to bushwhack a further 9 km to the lake and make a creek crossing. Instead we spent a lazy afternoon suntanning and playing in the ice cold creek. It was the most relaxing hike-in I’ve ever been on.

There’s more trail descriptions here, here, and here.

Hiking Time: 4 hours 30 minutes (one way, wearing overnight packs)

Not accessible by public transportation. You need to drive to the Golden Ears Provincial Park and park in the Gold Creek parking lot. The drive takes about 80 minutes from Vancouver (map).

Cost: $21 per car ($15 for gas plus $6 for parking).

Pictures: Golden Ears – Gold Creek 2010
Hiking Ladies Backpacks in the bush Lunch Break Gold Creek Campsite Suntanning Hikers Campfire Story Time Happy Candles Gold Creek Bonfire Getting Ready to Hike Hump-A-Tree Hiking Lunch Break Hiking Feet