Posts Tagged ‘gold creek’

Lower Falls Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park

Lower Falls and the emerald pools of Gold Creek at Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.

lower falls and emerald pools of gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Lower Falls in Golden Ears Provincial Park

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   One of the easier hikes to do in Golden Ears Provincial Park is the Lower Falls Trail (map) along Gold Creek. The trailhead is easy to find at the northwest end of the parking lot (the grey spot just after the Gold Creek Bridge on the map linked earlier). This hike is only 5.5km (round trip) and has minimal elevation change which makes it much more accessible than some of the other trails in Golden Ears Park. The trail has also been upgraded in recent years, so much of it is crushed gravel. Personally I dislike walking on crushed gravel and prefer a natural trail even with tree roots, slugs and the occasional puddle. I guess the resurfacing does have some benefit in initial parts of the trail that were often filled with puddles and mud in the spring and fall, but I would have preferred they left the rest as is. I have previously hiked to Alder Flats on a number of occasions, and while that is a nice hike, it doesn’t have the scenery one gets to enjoy along the much easier Lower Falls Trail.

   After walking about 1km up the trail from the parking lot I came to the first spot where I stopped for photography. There are many small side trails down to the creek along the entire Lower Falls Trail (be sure to follow those instead of making your own). My first stop was only about 5 meters from the trail and showed a nice summer view of Gold Creek. This looks to be a good spot to stop during fall foliage colors as well.

   My next stop was probably the most famous spot along the Lower Falls Trail – the viewpoint where one can see Gold Creek and parts of Mount Blandshard. Just before this viewpoint you’ll see a number of side trails to a beach which is a great spot to stop and eat lunch or just relax.

lower falls and gold creek with a flowering streambank arnica

Lower Falls and Streambank Arnica

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   After a 10-15 minute walk from the viewpoint I arrived at my ultimate destination: Lower Falls itself. The water levels shown here are probably more typical in late August, but were this low in late June due to our lack of winter snowpack in the mountains and a drought this spring/summer. In normal years this waterfall will be a raging torrent in fall, winter and spring – and can be quite dangerous. I was able to get up on a rock and photograph Lower Falls from a nice vantage point but only due to the lower water levels and lack of strong currents (and depth) in the water below. In far too many of the past years people have fallen into the water at various points in Gold Creek and died as a result.

   Many of the cracks in the rocks near Lower Falls had Streambank Arnica (Arnica amplexicaulis) growing in them. I was lucky that one of the Arnica plants was in a good position to include in the above composition along with the waterfall. On my way back to the main viewing platform I photographed one of the other Streambank Arnica plants growing in a crack in one of the boulders beneath the falls.

streambank arnica growing out of rocks near lower falls

Streambank Arnica (Arnica amplexicaulis) flowering next to Lower Falls

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For more of my photographs from the Golden Ears area visit my Golden Ears Provincial Park Gallery.

Gold Creek and the Golden Ears Mountains

Gold Creek winds through the mountains and forests of Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.

gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Gold Creek along the Lower Falls Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park

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   If one were to point to an “iconic” composition from Golden Ears Provincial Park most would choose the second image here, showing some of the peaks of the Golden Ears mountains. While this may be the most popular scene, I decided to feature a slightly different composition in the photograph above. Even without the mountains in the background, I still like the impact of this scene. I have a few different compositions of this, but I think the wider panorama above shows off the area more effectively. In conditions where there were clear skies and/or some snow on the mountains, I think the bottom scene might prevail.

   I have previous photographed this area, but never really have encountered “perfect” conditions for doing so. I had planned on photographing this area in the snow last winter, but snow wasn’t really part of our 2014/2015 winter unfortunately. I headed to Golden Ears Park a few weeks ago on a cloudy day, as I knew my main goals were wildflowers, waterfalls, and Gold Creek itself. When I reached this view, about half way to Lower Falls along the Lower Falls Trail, I decided that the iconic view was worth a photograph regardless. The slight haze in the sky and the clouded background still allowed for enough contrast to photograph Evans Peak (left) and Edge Peak behind the foreground of Gold Creek and the many Red Alder (Alnus Rubra) trees lining the edge of the forest.

emerald green waters of gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Emerald waters of Gold Creek in Golden Ears Park

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   Which one of these compositions do you prefer? Do you think the second composition here is effective despite the imperfect conditions in the sky?

For more of my photographs from this area visit my Golden Ears Provincial Park Gallery.

Golden Ears Provincial Park – Gold Creek

Gold Creek winds through the trees and rocks at Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.

gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Gold Creek near the Lower Falls Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park

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   Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia has almost all I want in a photo location – everything from tall mountains and forests to creeks, lakes and waterfalls. A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon and evening hiking and photographing in Golden Ears Park, mostly along Gold Creek. The first photo above shows Gold Creek along the Lower Falls trail in a spot where I had intended to stop and take a water break, but ended up photographing as well.

   Downstream from Gold Creek Bridge the bed of Gold Creek narrows into a rock lined “canyon” with fewer boulders to stir up the surface of the water. The emerald green pools of the creek are on full display in this stretch up until it empties into Alouette Lake at North Beach. The colours here are from minerals suspended in the water from its journey down from the mountains. This photograph was made along the North Beach Trail in one of the few pools I was able to find not filled with swimmers and boaters. The water levels here are what you would typically see in late August, but due to drought were at this level in late June. This did make for my best time shooting at Lower Falls, but I’ll make that its own blog post coming soon.

emerald green waters of gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Emerald waters of Gold Creek in Golden Ears Park

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For more of my photographs from this area visit my Golden Ears Provincial Park Gallery.

Gold Creek in Golden Ears Provincial Park

gold creek in golden ears provincial park - maple ridge - british columbia

Gold Creek in Golden Ears
Provincial Park

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   A few weeks ago I headed to Golden Ears Provincial Park to hike to Lower Falls on Gold Creek. The trail was very muddy, and hard to walk on for much of the way but it was one of the first really nice days this Spring. To be out walking without the heavens pouring down was nice. I was never able to find the trail from Lower Fall to the above trail that I had intended to hike though. This gave me more time to make photographs between the Gold Creek bridge and Lower Falls. I made this photograph next to the Gold Creek bridge at the end of the Golden Ears Park road. Gold Creek is pretty wide in parts at this location, and while I did concentrate on some details of rocks and ripples, this wider view shows the overall look of this part of the creek.