Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park
Feeling the cold water run through my fingers, I look at the trees poking out from the water. I haven’t seen anything like this before as we paddle between the standing dead trees. My eyes dart between the shoreline and into the water where we pass over slow decaying tree stumps. I was enjoying this weekend trip more and more with every paddle stroke. Canoeing Alouette Lake was a day out on the water that I needed and cherished.
Kayaking is my boat of choice when heading out on the water but it is always good to mix it up a bit. The benefit with canoeing is that more than two people can fit in a single canoe. If you follow my blog, you might remember that Golden Ears wasn’t a planned trip but when I got injured my friends changed their plans so I could get away for the weekend too. Their generosity extended to doing the majority of the paddling when we went canoeing. I did paddle when able, but was allowed to sit back and soak in the views when I needed a break. I hopefully will be able to return the favour on future trips. We did experience a strong headwind paddling back but it wasn’t anything too challenging. This is something to be aware of when planning your return, as you’ll need more time on the way back. The wind can also be unpredictable and fairly strong at times.
Alouette Lake is located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, which is approximately one hour from Vancouver (non-rush hour). It’s easy to find by following the signs once you are in Golden Ears Park. We rented our canoes from Alouette Lake Canoe Rentals, the only option available and they are located directly in the park. They don’t have a website but their phone number is (604) 466-8325. This information is current as of August 2014. I couldn’t find this information when I was searching prior to the trip and hope it’s helpful for those planning to go. Please call them directly.
- Hours: Victoria Day to last weekend in June – 11:00am to 7:00pm, weekends only. From July to Labour Day, daily from 11:00am to 7:00pm. Weather Permitting
- Payment: Visa, Mastercard, Debit (Interac)
- Cost: First Hour: 1 person – $20.00, 2 persons – $35.00, 3 persons – $40, 4 persons – $45.00, 5 persons – $50.00. Large aluminum canoes – $50 per hour.
- Cost: Additional Hours: $15.00 per hour
- Cost: Daily Rate: 1 person – $70.00, 2 persons – $75.00, 3 persons – $80.00, 4 persons – $90.00, 5 persons – $100.00. Large aluminium canoes – $100.00
- You don’t need to commit to a certain number of hours after the one hour minimum as long as you are back before closing. You pay when you return but a credit card imprint is required before departing. They might require a cash deposit but contact them to confirm.
- Follow arrow on Canoe Rental sign to parking lot #2. If you park and walk to the lake, you’ll see them in a container, left from the beach.
- Animals aren’t allowed in their boats
- The wind can get strong especially in the afternoon and watch out for power boats
Our canoeing day adventure was part of a weekend camping trip. I find getting away from the city recharges me and I can’t imagine not being able to escape and be surrounded by nature. Golden Ears is a popular campground and day use area. If you are like me and prefer smaller crowds, stick to late May to mid-June. It was still popular when we were there in early June but in the summer months, the campground is full and the day use areas are packed. You can also venture away from the crowds to some of the marine rustic sites but those can fill up quickly too.
Even if canoeing isn’t your thing but you still want to go to Golden Ears, which I recommend, there is plenty to do. From relaxing on the beach, firing up a BBQ, windsurfing, fishing, easy walks such as the Lower Falls Trail or more challenging ones like the Golden Ears Trail, you can find something that suits you. Golden Ears is one of the more accessible provincial parks and is one of largest parks in the province. The park contains second-growth forest filled with Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar. You may see black bears, goats or deer, the further you venture from the crowds, the greater your chances.
If you are wondering why there are dead trees sticking up from the water, the answer is due to a dam being built. The lake was expanded and the area flooded. At times, it can be spooky seeing these trees sticking up through the water. If you are on the water, be aware that you will have to watch out for submerged stumps, deadheads and standing trees.
I’m surprised that it took me this long to visit Golden Ears Provincial Park in British Columbia, however I’ll be back to explore more of this park as it is beautiful and close to home. Do you explore parks close to your home?