Trail: Viewpoint Trail
Location: Golden Ears Park, Maple Ridge
Distance from Vancouver: Approx. 1 hour and 20 mins
Directions with a Link to Google Map: Click here for Google map
Ages of Children Hiking: 10
Stroller Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: Yes
Jelly Bean Rating: 4/5
If you haven’t spent time up at Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia yet- I highly recommend you go!
There’s beautiful lakes, camping, and TONS of hiking spots for the nature lover. To be perfectly honest, the Viewpoint Trail was the first trail I’ve visited in this park, but I’m definitely planning on going back for more!
My 10-year-old and I set off one Sunday morning in June for a Mom-daughter date! First things first, we stopped for some caffeinated fuel (for me).
We headed into the Golden Ears Park. I’ve seen this sign in photos so many times and figured that since I only had to take one kiddo out for a photo this time I’d take that opportunity!
One important thing to remember here: there’s no cell service past a certain point close to the entrance to the park. It was here that I realized I hadn’t done something SUPER important: telling my partner which trail we were going to. He knew we were heading up to Golden Ears Park but didn’t know our exact destination. I drove back to where I could get some service and gave him a quick shout before heading back to the trailhead. This is just one of the important step in making sure that you’re safe on the trails!
The Viewpoint Trail is at the same trailhead as the West Canyon Trail, so that’s the parking lot that you’re looking for. It’ll be on the left-hand side as you drive to the end of the road. Look for a sign for “West Canyon Trail Parking Lot” and take the road up to the parking lot.
Now, when we were there it was packed. We ended up having to park down the road a bit, but it wasn’t too far.
There aren’t any signs for the “Viewpoint Trail” in the parking lot that we could see, but considering that the Viewpoint Trail is the viewpoint on the Golden Ears Trail we followed the signs for that.
Continue on this trail for a bit. That’s where you’ll get confirmation that you are, indeed, on the right path for the Viewpoint Trail. I took a bit of a sigh of relief here knowing that all was right.
You’ll see a green silo on the right hand side. We spent a few minutes investigating this and trying to figure out what exactly is inside. There’s a little sign indicating what it stores- I’ll let you find out for yourself!
There’s a sign off the trail you’re on to indicate that you need to head to the left to get to the Viewpoint Trail. Stop here for a goofy photo, obviously.
The trail winds up the mountain here. There’s a little log bridge that’s pretty cool, but aside from that, there isn’t much that’s very exciting until you have to go down to the creek bed. It does drop down here a bit, so be prepared to get low.
Once you get to the other side and back on the path you don’t have long from here. Unfortunately, it’s still pretty unexciting. I was glad to have my eldest with me-we had some really good conversations. Truthfully, I think this would have been a bit grueling to get the younger kids going on. It wouldn’t be impossible, but it would require far more creativity and energy from me than I was able to give that day!
The trail gets quite flat and that’s where you know you’re almost at the end of the Viewpoint Trail. You’ll wind around a bit and then make a descent to a small spot where the trees open up. We stopped here and celebrated my daughter’s success with some lunch. We didn’t stay too long, as there were other people who wanted their turn taking in the breathtaking view, and the spot to enjoy it is quite small.
We headed back the way we came, but we did stop to splash around at the creek bed this time. We took off our shoes and enjoyed the refreshing water. It was definitely worth taking a few minutes to stop and just chill (literally) for a bit.
We continued on down the Viewpoint Trail until we got back to the trailhead.
Jellybean Rating summary for Viewpoint Trail
I give the Viewpoint Trail in Golden Ears Park a 4. On our rating rubric, it came out as a 3.4, but truthfully, my mother’s intuition said to give it a 4. It was fine to encourage my 10-year-old to keep going, but it wasn’t a very exciting trail. The trail isn’t very challenging- the elevation is very gradual and the terrain is easy to navigate. The views were beautiful (and difficult to capture in one photo) but young kids aren’t usually exactly motivated by that. The space at the viewpoint of the Viewpoint Trail is also limited with steep drop-offs, so there really wasn’t a place for little kids to be able to run around and celebrate their success. If you have older kids this trail would definitely be acceptable and just challenging enough for them!
Let us know what you think! Have you taken your younger kids on this trail?