Thousands of people have been flocking to Golden Ears park. (Roxanne Hooper-BLACK PRESS)

Thousands of people have been flocking to Golden Ears park. (Roxanne Hooper-BLACK PRESS)

New reservation system for Golden Ears Provincial Park amid controversy

Will allow campers to reserve spots live online

Golden Ears Provincial Park will soon offer the ability for last-minute campers to reserve a campsite – so long as any are available.

As of Wednesday, June 17, Golden Ears park will be considered a tier-one park, so campers can reserve available campsites as they are driving to the park.

This comes after BC Parks made the decision to remove first-come-first-serve camping spots, sparking outrage among local residents in the form of a petition.

However, there are very few vacancies at Gold Creek Campground, said park operations manager Stu Burgess.

Around June 21 and 22 there are a few vacancies, he said, then after that the campground is pretty much booked solid until August 9.

And, he added, the park has been busy lately, despite the bad weather.

READ MORE: Selected B.C. parks set to open for day use May 14

On Sunday more than 3,300 vehicles passed through the park’s gate, including campers, visitors and those just out for a drive.

“We came close to the occupancy limit but we didn’t quite get there so we didn’t need to close at all,” said Burgess.

On Saturday about 1,700 vehicles went into the park.

Burgess is not sure what to expect anymore when it comes to the amount of visitors to the park and when they tend to visit.

Last Friday, he said, 2,300 vehicles passed through the gate, 1,000 more than usual.

READ MORE: Only British Columbians allowed to camp in provincial parks this summer amid COVID-19

“We’ve never had that before, especially in June,” said Burgess.

And on Monday, even in the pouring rain, he still saw 1,000 vehicles in the park.

“The visitation patterns have changed. Well, it’s increased every day basically. We’re just seeing more and more cars through here,” said Burgess.

However, despite all the people, there have been no problems for staff.

“Everyones having a great time,” he noted.

Although, Burgess wishes the weather had been better for those camping. A few people, he said, have packed up in the middle of the night because of the rain.

Burgess and his team are still trying to anticipate what is going to happen on the first nice day of summer when people flock to the park to take a dip in the lake or cool off in Gold Creek.

“We’re anxious to see what is going to happen,” he said.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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Golden Ears Provincial Park

 

Thousands of people have been flocking to Golden Ears park. (Roxanne Hooper-BLACK PRESS)

Thousands of people have been flocking to Golden Ears park. (Roxanne Hooper-BLACK PRESS)

Thousands of people have been flocking to Golden Ears park. (Roxanne Hooper-BLACK PRESS)

Thousands of people have been flocking to Golden Ears park. (Roxanne Hooper-BLACK PRESS)