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Busy long weekend at Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks

Sunday was slower due to the rain
Golden Ears Provincial Park (Roxanne Hooper/Black Press Media)

Thousands made their way to both Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks for the Canada Day long weekend – including on a soggy Sunday.

But, given the amount of people, the weekend was pretty much uneventful, said Stu Burgess, operations manager for the two parks.

Burgess said staff had a busy day on Sunday, the slowest day over the weekend, getting the beaches cleaned up after a busy Friday and Saturday, and checking in and out campers with nearly 300 campsites turning over.

Burgess estimated Friday 3,200 cars entered Golden Ears park, on Saturday there were 2,800 , and on Sunday 1,200 still made their way to the park in the rain – although that number included campers.

At Rolley Lake about 800 cars entered the park on Friday, about 750 on Saturday, and 260 on Sunday of which 55 or so of those were campers.

Last year was much busier over the Canada Day long weekend, added Burgess – however, the holiday fell on a Thursday. On July 1, 2021, about 3,000 vehicles entered Golden Ears Park, 2,200 on the Friday, and both Saturday and Sunday had about 3,400 vehicles enter each day.

“Busier last July long weekend, but I think that was through the tail end of the heat dome and the weather was way nicer,” he said.

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Day passes are now in effect in Golden Ears, but people are still showing up without one, said Burgess.

Passes become available at 7 a.m. and are now issued up to two days before arrival at the park.

If someone arrives without a pass, it can be downloaded at the checkpoint, if passes are still available.

Passes were all spoken for for the entire Canada Day long weekend, noted Burgess, adding they were all scooped up within an hour of them becoming available on Friday.

And, he said, the passes are cutting down on the sheer volume of people arriving at the park.

“That’s basically the intent of it,” he said.

On Canada Day itself, there were a couple of minor incidents involving fireworks in the park, but Burgess’ staff managed to put a stop to it.

Burgess is expecting more fireworks to be let off Monday, July 4, by American guests and he is reminding those who are planning to shoot them off that they are prohibited.

There is no fire ban in place yet and Burgess is not expecting a ban to be in place any time within the next couple of weeks, at least.

It would take about a couple of weeks of really warm weather before a ban would be put into effect, he said, and it’s not just this area, a ban would also be dependant on weather conditions within the whole south coast area including Southern Vancouver Island, and areas around Lillooet and Pemberton.

Campgrounds were completely full all weekend. There were a couple of cancellations Monday and Tuesday, but those were taken by people who just showed up looking for spots.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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