Stu Burgess, operations manager for Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks, says anyone planning to visit either park this weekend should expect lineups. (Colleen Flanagan-THE NEWS)

Record numbers flock to Golden Ears Provincial Park

Rolley Lake Provincial Park busy as well, lineups expected this weekend

Visitors to Golden Ears Provincial Park have reached an all-time high for the month of June.

In the last month, alone, “way more than” 50,000 vehicles will have entered the park, said operations manager Stu Burgess, who just finished tallying the numbers.

The last record for June was set in 2015 when about 42,000 entered the park.

“And my records tell me the weather was exceptional in June 2015. The weather this June, when you look at it on weekends, it’s been fairly awful,” said Burgess.

People, he said, are just coming out in record numbers.

READ MORE: Golden Ears park in Maple Ridge expected to be busy the first camping weekend of season

Last Sunday, added Burgess, was the busiest day ever experienced at Golden Ears park.

The gate to the park was closed from about noon to just after 4 p.m. and staff counted 3,750 vehicles that went through the park over the course of the day.

Saturday was not as busy due to the weather with only 2,343 vehicles.

Rolley Lake was busy as well with 525 vehicles in the park on Saturday and 611 on Sunday.

Numbers also include campers, visitors to the campgrounds, employees arriving for work and contractors.

“Everybody gets counted,” said Burgess.

READ MORE: Record numbers expected at Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge this summer

Burgess is still expecting both Golden Ears and Rolley Lake parks to be fairly busy for Canada Day on Wednesday, but, he said, if it’s raining visitors won’t be staying.

However, nice weather is being predicted again this weekend and, Burgess says, park users should expect lineups.

“I can’t tell you how long the wait is on average, but I can tell you that we expect lineups in excess of 4 kilometres long,” he said of Golden Ears park, adding that anyone arriving to claim their 1 p.m. campsite reservation, or to use the park in general, should arrive early.

“If you are coming up to Golden Ears Park late morning, early afternoon, in the summer on a nice sunny day you are probably going to be too late and get turned away,” Burgess noted.

Campsites are completely booked, he added.

Last week Burgess counted 60 available single nights through until mid-August. But, he expects those to be filled quickly.

Burgess and his team are planning for campsites to be filled into September if schools don’t return full-time.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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