On Saturday September 8th, 2018 I slept in and it was raining so I reigned in my hiking plans and headed out to Golden Ears Provincial Park. There is no reason to head to a peak when you can not see a thing so I thought a nice stroll through the East Canyon Trail would be a nice change of pace. Golden Ears Provincial Park is located in Maple Ridge a city not to far from Vancouver at about an hour drive from the city to park. directions to the park are really easy to find on google maps so I will direct from the park gates. From the park gates continue on the park road straight until you get to the gravel portion of the road. Continue here over the single lane wooden bridge and then turn into the Gold Creek parking lot for East Canyon Trail. You can even do this trail on horse back if that interests you. This will be your beginning point.
From the parking lot head through the big yellow gate that is usually open as horse trailer parking and head to the sign for the trail. This trail overall is fairly flat as hikes go although there are a few large hills. You start up a short section of uphill where you will get to a fork in the road. Make sure you take the left fork as the other way will just be a long cut. The trail is in really good condition to a little past the 4km mark. This was likely a logging road at one time and it shows. When you get to the next fork in the road again turn left this time actually having a sign telling you to go this way.
Along the way at about 3km you will see the fairly new bridge across Gold Creek that connects with West Canyon Trail and the trail up to the Golden Ears. I continued on my side at at 4km I got to my first view point aptly named Viewpoint Beach.
Beyond Viewpoint Beach very little trail maintenance is done these days. Washouts of the trail begin fairly soon with old bridges removed and weird convoluted diversions can be found. It is well marked with a mix of markers on trees and marker tape but it would be less fun to come out of here in the dark for sure. You follow near the river most of the time with a few adventures up the hill a bit.
My ending destination for this hike ended up being Halfmoon Beach at the 10km mark of the trail. This is one of the camping locations on this trail and a decent waypoint for the further trek to Hector Ferguson Lake. I hope to make it to the lake one day. But with rain threatening on and off and the light disappearing earlier and earlier every day I did not want to take my chances in the deep valley that is the Gold Creek Valley. Signs this far down the valley are non existent now but luckily a hiker had a pen and wrote it on a stump that is very visible otherwise it would be very easy to just walk right past the beach and camp.
In total this hike was 20km but with a fairly low elevation gain I made some pretty good time even if I found out my hiking socks were wearing out the hard way with blisters. It was a really nice stroll in the park with temperatures hovering around 15C with a sprinkle of rain. Rain did not start in full until I got in my car at the end!
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Well it only made sense to stop at the Halfmoon Beach for a brew and a snack so I did just that!
While I may not have found Zelda on my travels I did get a link back to my earlier summer hikes as the smoke has finally cleared the air here. It has been a rough time for hikers here in in Western North America as air quality has been way to bad for heavy physical exertion. The Legend Of Citra Double India Pale Ale was a collaboration between Boombox Brewing that brews out of Parallel 49 Brewing in East Vancouver and Kilter Brewing out of Winnipeg Manitoba. This double IPA pours into my B Cup a very murky orange colour with a white head. The aroma consists of tropical fruits, orange, mango and some sweetness but not much in the way of grain. The flavour is of herbal hops, citrus pith, tropical fruits, mango, pineapple, stone fruit, orange juice, sweetness, dankness and low bitterness. This beer not taste hugely alcoholic it does come in at a solid 8% alcohol. This is one solid collaboration and I hope it become a running collaboration relationship somehow as I would love to have more where this came from!
Commercial Description: 8% DIPA – brewed with our friends from Kilter brewing this 100% Citra DIPA features Cryo, T45 and T90 Citra hops. Draft and cans are available at Parallel 49 and select retailers next.
Disclaimer: Drinking while excising and hiking can be dangerous and can put you in serious danger or lead to your death. These posts do not recommend that you drink while you hike but if you decide too make sure to be a responsible adult.