East canyon trail and west canyon trail – Golden Ears Provincial Park
Golden Ears Provincial Park, in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, offers a variety of trails suitable for individuals with varying levels of hiking experience. Ranging from relatively flat and short hikes, such as Lower Falls trail to super long and higher elevation hikes like the trek to the namesake summit – Golden Ears Summit, and everything in between. You can pick trails that match your skills and physical ability and enjoy the scenery. Another trail in this park that I like is Evans Peak.
In this post I am introducing the East Canyon Trail and the West Canyon Trail. Hikers can start the hike in either the West Canyon Parking (doing the loop clock-wise) or Gold Creek Parking (doing the loop counter clock-wise). Hikers will pass through both parking lots if you are doing both the East Canyon Trail and the West Canyon Trail. Hikers will need to come early to park closer to the trails because the park is very popular. In the late spring and summer season, hikers will also need to reserve your day pass.
The order in which hikers take (first East Canyon Trail and then West Canyon Trail, or vice versa) is totally a personal preference. The west has more elevation gain and more “wild” than the east trail. The east trail passes through two water falls (the lower gold creek falls and the upper gold creek falls). There is a metal bridge connecting the east trail with the west trail on the north end of either trail. On the west trail, there is a nice lookout where you can see a big portion of the gold creek, and the bridge that you passed (or going to pass depending on which order you take the trail).
A little bit over 1 km north from the connector bridge (on the East Canyon Trail), there is a nice beach called Hikers Beach. 5 KM more from there, another beach called Halfmoon Beach. Nice beaches to chill out during the hot summer months, and nice places to camp.
Trails are muddy most of the time of the year. You have to cross several running streams. Crossing wider streams may require stepping on stones. Proper hiking shoes (waterproof) are a must.