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Travel & Outdoors

BC Parks And Lakes That Now Require Passes For Entry

port moody summer

Photo: GoToVan / Flickr

Outdoor enthusiasts will once again need a park pass to visit three of the province’s most scenic hiking destinations.

Implemented by BC Parks, the pass system is now in effect during peak hours at Garibaldi Provincial Park, Golden Ears Provincial Park and Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. In addition, a new parking system has also been implemented at Buntzen Lake.

Here’s what you need to know.

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Garibaldi, Golden Ears and Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

campsites near vancouver
Photo: GoToVan / Flickr

According to BC Parks, the free day-use pass program is designed to “maintain a balance between growing numbers of visitors and conserving the natural environment.”

The passes are available online and can be reserved at 7 a.m., two days prior to the planned visit. Visit their website to reserve a pass.

And people will be able to cancel a pass if they don’t intend to use it.

Visitors exploring Golden Ears Park and three trailheads at Garibaldi Park (the Diamond Head, Rubble Creek and Cheakamus access points) require vehicle passes, while each person visiting Joffre Lakes Park requires an individual trail pass.

The free passes are required during peak hours and will be checked by Discover Parks ambassadors.

Buntzen Lake

port moody summer
Photo: GoToVan / Flickr

As of June 27, all vehicles are required to book a free parking pass before visiting Buntzen Lake.

Passes are available to book starting at 12 a.m. one day in advance of your planned visit on the Metro Vancouver website.

There’s no cellular or internet service at Buntzen Lake, so it’s encouraged to have a copy of your parking pass saved on your mobile device or printed and ready to present upon arrival.

There’s 3 types of passes available, based on arrival times:

AM A Morning parking pass is valid between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Morning pass holders must arrive by 1:30 p.m. earliest. Depart before 2 p.m. to ensure space is available for Afternoon pass holders.
PM An Afternoon parking pass is valid from 2 p.m. until park close.
All-day An All-day parking pass is valid for arrival any time of day, from 8 a.m. to park close.

Visitors are required to arrive at least 30 mins before the end of your timeslot to gain access to the park.

Reservation Systems

Managing high numbers of visitors through day-use passes is common in many other provincial park systems.

BC Parks says although these provincial parks are large, most recreational activities occur on developed trails and trailheads that become highly congested. An increase in visitors can cause damage to trails, as well as disrupt wildlife.

During the next three years, BC Parks is investing $21.5 million to expand and enhance opportunities for outdoor recreation, including adding new campsites and trails and upgrading facilities.


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BC Parks Day-Use Pass Program

When: In effect during peak hours this summer

Where: Garibaldi Provincial Park, Golden Ears Provincial Park and Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Buntzen Lake Parking Pass Program

When: Daily, as of June 27


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