Golden ears canyon loop has become one of the famous hikes near Vancouver especially after the construction of the bridge which joins the west canyon loop to the east canyon loop. Situated in the Golden ears provincial park, the golden loop trails offers a very nice view of the mountains, river, waterfalls etc.
From Vancouver to the Golden Ears trailhead
Driving from Vancouver to the Golden ears takes around an hour and 20 minutes to reach to the trailhead. Though there are a number of campgrounds and parking lots, however, this is the parking lot where we decided to park our vehicle. Here is google map location of the parking lot. Initially, we had parked much further from the trailhead and we had to return to the parking lot again to go to this parking lot to start our hike.
Golden Ears Hike and Trails
Basically, there are two trails which you can take for the Golden ears hike. These trails are called East canyon loop and the west canyon loop. The East Canyon loop is situated east to the river and the accordingly, the west canyon loop is situated to the west of the river.
However, I would suggest you start your hike along the lower falls trail. This trail is very scenic and offers some of the breathtaking sceneries of the mountains, forest, and river. Here is the hiking trail profile that you would want to have a look at:
Here is the list of landmarks that I followed:
- Lower falls trail starting point
- Lower falls
- Bridge over gold creek
- viewpoint beach
- gold creek lookout
- West canyon trail fork and,
- Golden ears west canyon trail
Golden Ears hiking trail summary
- Total hiking distance: 11 Km
- Hiking time: Around 5 hours
- Highest point: 381 meters (1250 feet)
- Dogs allowed on leash
- Camping: there are a lot of camping sites near the parking lot. Check their website for more details
- Best season to do the chief hike: March to November
- Elevation gain: 13 meters (40 feet)
Golden Ears Hiking in more details:
Lower falls trailhead to lower falls
From lower falls trailhead to lower falls, the walk is pretty flat with a lot of viewpoints. You would want to stop and take a lot of pictures on the way. Lower falls is really beautiful and misty.
Lower falls to viewpoint beach
From lower falls, look for the markers towards your right for the further trail. Also, the trail here is pretty steep but not so long. Eventually, this trail joins the East Canyon trail. Once you meet the East canyon trail, the walk is simple. You can hear the water stream sound from the creek to your left but you might not see the water because of the forest.
Once you will reach the bridge, you can take the west canyon loop but just a km ahead of the bridge, there is a Viewpoint point. I covered that too. It was nice.
Viewpoint beach to Gold Creek lookout
From viewpoint beach, you have to return to the bridge. This is a new bridge which now joins the west and the East canyon loop so it has become pretty easy to do the canyon loop hike now. A little after the bridge to the gold creek lookout, the trail is uneven, narrow, and sometimes can become steep too. Keep watch of the markers. Gold Creek lookout offers a very nice view of the creek.
Gold Creek lookout to the parking lot
After Gold creek lookout, the trail is a descend and wide. Please mindful that once you reach the West Canyon trailhead, you have to walk another 2 Km to reach back to the parking lot where you parked your vehicle. But that’s an easy walk.
Overall, I would say that the East Canyon loop trail was much prettier than the west Canyon part.