Again, I discovered Laura Bancroft via Instagram, that most social of all networks. I instantly fell for her feed detailing her adventures in the PNW and headed over to her blog, where I was sucked in even more.
Read on to discover Laura's Great Outdoors or click here to view the previous posts in the series.
"The Pacific Northwest holds countless unreal trails and desolate destinations where the hum of the city is halted and the fresh air is rich with the smell of the outdoors.
I'm sharing with you one of my newly discovered favourite places to spend a weekend afternoon. It's not too far away from Vancouver (Canada), and you don't have to be a mountaineer to experience and enjoy it. I think it's refreshing to learn that, no matter how much you think you've seen, there will always be places within hours of where you live that are new to your eyes. I also know huge hikes in unknown places can be daunting and I believe people of all different experience levels should be able to experience the beauty of the outdoors.
This 'hike' in Golden Ears Provincial Park is about an hour outside of Vancouver, in the mountains lying behind Maple Ridge. It's a long windy rode through a seemingly endless mass of tall trees until you reach a parking lot where you can start your walk. It's about a 45min trek along a gravel trail to Gold Creek lower falls. Depending on what time of the year you're there the waterfall might be a frothy, uncontainable explosion, or a subtle trickle over the cliffs. Either way, be sure you walk to the top of the waterfall where there lies a crystal-clear, icy pool of water that resembles a melted green jolly rancher in colour - seriously beautiful. We love to pack a little lunch and warm drinks to eat on the rocks by the falls.
I hear rumours of the second waterfall not being too far away and I'm definitely going to head back here to check out some of the less-traveled, more wild hiking routes. On your way out of the park make sure to stop by Alouette Lake. In my opinion it's the most beautiful in the quiet winter months when it's not crowded with campers. There's a solitude that comes along with quiet, open bodies of water that can't be beat.