Golden Ears

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Introduction

This is an amazing trip, that can be done as either a dayhike or overnight. It may be quite challenging, but it is well worth the tough slog to the peak. If you make it to the top on a nice day, you will have stunning views all around, and a good change from the views you get on the usual trails along the Sea-to-Sky highway. It is not frequented by many people, yet it is still relatively close to Vancouver, and if you go in late August, the blueberries and huckleberries are unbeatable! All in all, it is a great hike, but a good physical condition is required as it ends up being around a 9 hour day. But in the end, you get to swim in the wonderful waters of Alouette lake.


Route info

North ear summit: 1 706 meters


Panorama ridge: 1 000 meters


Trailhead: 160 meters


Trail length (round trip): 24 km


Difficulty: tough


Technical difficulty: steep grade, overgrown trail, loose rock scrambling near the top


Directions

Take the Lougheed Highway East from Vancouver and turn off at the second Dewdney Trunk exit. Follow Dewdney Trunk Rd to 232nd St and take a left. There will be a Golden Ears Park sign on the right at Fern Crescent. Take a right here and follow the main, windy road right into the park gates. Continue along the road and park at the West Canyon Parking Lot with signs for upper and lower canyon trails.


Trail description

The trail is well marked with yollow markers and pink and blue ribbons. Start by followinf the West Canyon trail, and stick to the main clear trail. Ignore all the little turnoffs to the sides, which you will notice for about the first 2 km or so. At a signed intersection, take the left, as the right will take you to Lower Falls. After about 5.5 km you will reach Alder flats, a small but nice campground beside a creek. Until now the trail was wide and relatively level. From this point and all the way to the ridge, it will be much steeper and more rugged. Also note that the creek is your last water source until about 3 km from the peak. As you come out onto the ridge, make sure to try some of the delicious blueberries.Going along the ridge, and already enjoying the great views, you will eventually reach a shelter, which can sleep about 6 people for one night, with a good water source. From here all the way to the top, you will have to do some scrambling and route finding, as the trail markers aren't always clearly visible, and there isn't an obvious route. Be careful along this section as you may have to cross some snowfields. After a nice break at the top, retrace your steps alll the way to the bottom.