Golden Ears (Maple Ridge, BC)

The Golden Ears hike was probably one of the hardest day hikes I have ever done. Not in terms of scrambling or terrain, mainly because of the elevation and length. The trail starts at the West Canyon Parking lot in the Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge. b


  • difficult
  • 26 km roundtrip
  • 1500m elevation gain
  • 1700m summit
  • 11-14 hours
  • back country camping
5km in- Getting in a stretch


It took us 6 hours to summit the Golden Ears going at a fairly fast and steady pace. It is 13km one way, with approximately 1500m in elevation gain. The whole hike with a couple 5-10 minute breaks and 30 minutes at the summit took 11 hours for this 26km journey.

Brandon using his Life Straw

The trail itself has a fairly steady incline for the first 5 kms until you reach alder flats. This is a nice little camp site equipped with outhouses. After Alder Flats you will walk up a rocky dry creek bed for a kilometer or so and then the steeper elevation gains kick in. It is pretty much all uphill at this point with several spots with nice views.

The trail is well marked with orange flags and diamonds, but some areas you really have to pay attention or you will get lost.                                                     There are some forks in the trail that are not well marked and we walked the wrong way a couple times and had to back track. There are also pink ribbons on the trail as well, but these trails veer off to emergency areas for the park rangers. If you follow the flags and pay attention you will be fine.

When you reach the 1500m mark you will find an emergency shelter sitting on a rocky bluff. This is a great rest stop and an area to take great pictures. there is also an outhouse here if you need it We took several photos at this area because there was great views of Pitt Lake and the surrounding mountains. You can also camp at this spot! It would be amazing to see the sunset and sunrise from this spot, and it would be nice to take a break and summit the mountain in the early morning.

Pitt Lake in the background at 1500m
Emergency Shelter- area to camp

My group did this as a day hike so we hiked to the top amidst the fog and snow. The trail became pretty difficult at this point. You had to use your hands to climb a lot of the way and it was really steep and rocky. It took about 45 minutes to reach the summit from the Emergency Shelter.  We didnt see any views at the top because of the weather but it felt great making it the whole way.


The way down felt alot longer than the way up, but I find that is pretty typical! The whole hike took us 11 hours from bottom to top.



Be aware that the gate to the park is only open from 7am-11pm. We got there at 6:40 and the guy at the entrance was not resilient at all, 7am on the dot he let cars pass. It is about a 11km drive from the gate to the parking lot Google Map Location.

The Golden Ears hike starts along the West Canyon Trail that is in the Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge. Once you get to the park stay on the Golden Ears Parkway until the road becomes a dirt road. You will see signs for West Canyon Parking Lot and there you will turn left, driving up the hill. You will arrive at the parking lot where you will see a trail sign for the Golden Ears, a water fountain, recycling bins, and an outhouse.


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