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