After our Vancouver adventure, Mark and I decided to go for a hike at nearby Golden Ears Provincial Park on our way home to Seattle. I found and picked this park out pretty randomly, after searching National and Provincial Parks in the area. It seems like there are a lot of beautiful parks north and west of Vancouver that are easy driving distance. What drew me to this one was that it had both an easily accessible mountain lake and a good size trail to climb.
The lake was beautiful and we spent the first part of the afternoon there. A non-trivial number of families were there grilling, maybe having camped overnight. The Canadian system for campsites is phenomenal and extremely easy to use online both to find and reserve sites. We didn’t end up staying the extra night, but I feel like it would have been very easy to if we’d had the time.
After hanging out for a while by the water, we headed about a mile north to the trailhead. The full trail is called West Canyon / Golden Ears Trail, and leads to the Golden Ears peak for a 24km hike, which is apparently very challenging with the length and altitude. We hiked in around 5k/3mi to the Gold Creek Overlook where we stopped to each lunch before heading back.
I don’t think the maps were great at the trailhead, but the trails were all marked very clearly in the park, and it was super clean. A bit further from where we turned around to head back was the Alder Flats Campground, where the elevation really starts to pick up if you’re going all the way to the peak. Maybe I just really enjoyed this hike because we knew when to stop.
We headed home from there, driving inland along 11 South, and coming across the Sumas border crossing, which had very little wait for us (and a huge line going back into Canada, mostly cars with bikes or motorbikes strapped to them). The drive was beautiful, filled with farmland, and a great view of Mt. Baker on both sides of the border. It’s been a fantastic trip!