Friday, February 03, 2012

Gold Creek Falls and Alouette Lake, February 2012

We awoke today to another day of glorious sunshine.  I couldn’t spend the whole day on a walk due to other work commitments but I was able to get out this morning and make the most of it.

My recent walks to Pitt Lake with Buddy & Mojo and to the Alouette River Dykes reminded me of Golden Ears Provincial Park which is just beyond the ridge on the East side of Pitt Meadows. I hadn’t revisited this park since walking with Mum and Dad back in September of 2008. I remembered that there were good views and that Charlie had had a wonderful time in the creek and so thought on this bright winters day it would be a great spot to visit.

The peaks of Golden Ears Provincial Park form a magnificent backdrop to the town of Maple Ridge, East of Vancouver.


Access to the park is through winding country roads and the trailhead for our walk is the furthest road-access point into the park, about 12 kms from the park entrance.


The first 8kms or so are paved while the last approximately 4km are good quality gravel roads.  It’s an easy drive in with virtually no other traffic in the park on a February weekday.  Very different to an August weekend I’m sure !

IMG_6897We reach the Gold Creek day-use area and park the car.  To reach the parking lot we have crossed a quaint wooden bridge.

IMG_6898 We cross back over the bridge on foot and down the grassy embankment so that Mojo can get to the river and have a drink.  The views here from the edge of Gold Creek over the wooden bridge to the peaks beyond. When we were here in 2008 there was an upturned car in the creek as the site was being used as a movie filmset… such activity today.  I wonder what happened to that movie and if it was ever made ?


We re-cross the bridge again and head for the Lower Falls trail.  As I only had a couple of hours for a walk I decided to follow the same route we had previously as I knew it was manageable in the time we had and less likely to be snowy than some of the higher trails in the park.   The destination of the Gold Creek Falls walk is nice, they’re very pleasant waterfalls but the actual walk and views enroute are really much more impressive.


The trail is fairly flat and easy walking.  There are also many watering holes for the four-legged ones.

IMG_6908 However, the initial section of the trail in the forest was very wet underfoot.  It wasn’t the stick-to-your-shoe type muddy but tree-mulch-squishy so your feet sink in when you walk.  It wasn’t a huge obstacle though and you could often pick your way around the sides of particularly wet sections.

IMG_6909 Stopping for a break to catch our breath (him not me !)

IMG_6913 Soon we reach the large beach area where there are good views.  Charlie had enjoyed swimming here in 2008 and Mojo is happy to keep the tradition  alive, well by having a paddle anyway.


Looking North up Gold Creek.


Views West from the beach area.

IMG_6919 A clip of Mojo playing in the river and a panorama of the view from the beach.

We continue along the trail, as usual there are many sticks in this park and they all need fetching.

IMG_6920 Views North along the creek


We get excellent views to the West along the creek, of the Blanchard Range, beautifully snow covered at this time of year.




A little further on, more views of the peaks in the park.


We soon reach Gold Creek Falls.  They only drop 10m so they won’t put Niagara out of business for tourist $’s anytime soon but they’re quite impressive at this time of year and a good destination for the walk.

IMG_6932 Movie clip from the base of Gold Creek Falls.

We continue a little further on the trail to the top of the falls.

IMG_6941 The creek rushes through the canyon it has carved out shortly before making the quick descent.

IMG_6942 Video from the top of the falls.

After taking in the falls we turn around and retrace our steps along the trail.  We stop again to spend some more time searching for sticks that were chased but mysteriously disappeared (sunk).


Once back in the car we stop again for a brief detour into the Alouette Lake day-use area of the park.  Alouette Lake looked good in the summer but this time of year with some snowy mountains as the backdrop the views were stunning.


Beautiful reflections.


Panorama from the beach at the southern end of the lake.

The picnic area would be a fantastic place to stop and have some hot soup or sandwich with Mojo, but alas we didn’t bring lunch as we needed to get home and back to work. Another day for sure…..    It was a lovely, very scenic and easy walk and a reminder how beautiful Golden Ears Provincial Park is.

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