The management team that takes care of Golden Ears Provincial Park are making plans to deal with what they are anticipating to be the busiest summer ever.
Although there were no major issues at the park this past weekend, Stu Burgess with Alouette Park Management, park operator for both Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks, is expecting the entrance to be even busier when campers start arriving June 1.
Day-use areas won’t be affected by people heading to Golden Ears to camp, said Burgess, but they will increase the lineups at the entrance to the park when the gate is closed.
“They are all going to mix in together and just make it even busier at the park entrance,” said Burgess.
Burgess wants to encourage any campers with reservations to have their confirmation handy as soon as they arrive at the park entrance in order to be allowed through.
Camping this year will also look a little different.
Washrooms will be cleaned more frequently and B.C. Parks has put a limit on the amount of people allowed on a double site. In the past a double site would accommodate two full camping parties with up to eight adults.
This year only four adults will be permitted.
“Basically they are going to be treated as large single sites,” said Burgess.
This past weekend the main entrance to Golden Ears was closed briefly between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. There were no closures on Sunday, however, traffic had to be redirected to the day use and beach area parking lots because parking lots were full for the hiking trails at the north end of the park.
There were no issues at Rolley Lake either.
“It was busy but no closures, no turning anybody away,” said Burgess.
Burgess believes that the closure of Hayward Lake is contributing to the high amounts of people seen recently at Rolley Lake.
He is also seeing lots of demand for the Golden Ears hiking trails.
“Way more than we normally see,” noted Burgess, reminding people that right now people should only be visiting parks in their local communities for day trips.