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A Guide To Alouette Lake Camping: Best Campgrounds, Backcountry Camping & More!

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Alouette Lake is located within Golden Ears Provincial Park in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s one of the most popular locations to camp or to visit during the summer months, due to the natural beauty of the area and the wide range of activities available at Alouette Lake and the surrounding park.

You can swim, kayak, canoe, and take your boat out to water ski, fish, or just explore the lake, and even visit some of the boat-accessible backcountry campgrounds. Hiking, cycling, and even horseback riding are all available around Alouette Lake, which is why it’s such a popular destination during summer.

And if you’re planning your own Alouette Lake camping and fishing adventure then you’re in the right place!

Why? Well we know this area well, and so want to share with you everything we know about the island. Below we show you the best campgrounds at Alouette Lake, explain the rules around backcountry camping at Alouette Lake, and even show you the best places to hike there and more.

So read on to begin your Alouette Lake camping adventure!


  1. The Best Campgrounds at Alouette Lake
  2. Backcountry Camping at Alouette Lake
  3. The Best Time to Camp at Alouette Lake
  4. Scenic Hiking Around Alouette Lake
  5. Horseback Riding Around Alouette Lake
  6. Mountain Biking Around Alouette Lake
  7. Boating On Alouette Lake
  8. Fishing On Alouette Lake
  9. Birdwatching Around Alouette Lake
  10. Wildlife Around Alouette Lake
  11. Bear Safety
  12. Free Scavenger Hunt Game
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The Best Campgrounds At Alouette Lake For Fun, Views & Adventure

Alouette Lake has three vehicle-accessible campgrounds; the rest of the Golden Ears Provincial Park is limited to backcountry campsites or marine-accessible campsites.

All three primary campgrounds at Alouette Lake are extremely busy during the summer, and reserving a spot is very competitive.

1. Gold Creek Campground

Gold Creek Campground is located on the west shore of Alouette Lake, with Gold Creek running alongside the north end of the campground. There are 148 drive-in campsites with a maximum length of 32 feet, but none have electrical hook-ups. And there are 22 walk-in campsites.

The campground is open year-round, unlike the other campgrounds near Alouette Lake. But you need to register online during peak season, which is May to September, and pay once you arrive at the campground. You can only reserve a spot up to 2 days in advance of your intended stay.

Outside of peak season, the campground is first-come, first-served, so get there early to grab the spot you want. You can only stay in any of the Golden Ears campgrounds for 14 days total per year.

Amenities and Facilities

Flush toilets and hot showers are available during peak season but are closed during the off-season, and you’ll only have access to pit toilets at that time.

Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire pit. You can only light a fire in your fire pit, and firewood is available from the camp store. You can’t collect firewood from the surrounding area.

Fresh drinking water is available from taps throughout the campground, but they are turned off outside of the peak camping season.

What’s Close By

A short walk from the Gold Creek Campground is the Golden Ears store, which provides all of the available camping supplies and snacks in close range of the campground.

And eight minutes drive from Gold Creek Campground is Alouette Lake boat rental which provides kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats to get out onto the water and explore the local area. You can hire your boat for a single day or multiple days at a discounted rate.

The Important Info

Rates: $35 per night

Address: Thompson Street, Alouette Lake, AB

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2. Alouette Campground

Alouette Campground is the most southern campground along the shore of Alouette Lake. It’s split into two distinctive areas, North Alouette and South Alouette. There are 206 drive-in campsites available, with a maximum length of 32 feet; there are no electrical hook-ups or walk-in sites.

The campground is fully open from May to September, but the gates to the campground are locked at other times of the year unless there is a specific need to add overflow from other campgrounds.

Amenities and Facilities

Hot showers and flush toilets are available within the campground. Each campsite gets a picnic table and a fire pit; you must only light a fire in your fire pit as open fires are not allowed in the park.

Water taps are available throughout the campground though, so you’ll want a large container to bring water back to your campsite.

A playground for kids is available at the north end of the campground.

What’s Close By

Right in front of Alouette Campground is Campers Beach, a beautiful sandy beach for relaxing on and enjoying the summer days by the lake.

And if you or your kids are interested in learning how to fish, you can visit Learn To Fish on the shore of Alouette Lake and right by Campers Beach. It’s a great introduction to fresh water fishing and a fun start to your camping trip, a fishing license is required for anybody over 16.

Alouette Campground is also the closest campground to the Alouette Lake boat launch, so if you’re planning to launch your motorized boat, it’s a great location. You can explore the lake, visit the marine campgrounds, and even go fishing for trout, kokanee, and varden.

The Important Info

Rates: $35 per night

Address: Thompson Street, Alouette Lake, AB

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3. North Beach Campground

North Beach Campground is the most northern campground along the shore of Alouette Lake and is on the north side of Gold Creek. It’s also more primitive than the others as it’s without flush toilets or showers available, so it may be best for just short stays or self-contained RVs.

There are 55 drive-in campsites available without electrical hook-ups, and there are no additional walk-in campsites.

North Beach Campground is open from May to September, and the gates are locked at all other times unless there is a need for overflow from other campgrounds in the park.

Amenities and Facilities

Amenities and facilities at North Beach Campground are very limited, but you will have access to pit toilets, and each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring for cooking.

Water taps are available throughout the campground, but you’ll need a large water container to bring it back to your campsite.

What’s Close By

North Beach Campground is in a more remote area on the north side of Gold Creek, but it does have the fastest and easiest access to the full range of hiking trails, mountain biking areas, and horseback riding trails.

This is also the most dog-friendly area, and your dogs are allowed on North Beach but must remain leashed. Most other campgrounds don’t allow dogs on the beach in front of them.

The Important Info

Rates: $23 per night

Address: Thompson Street, Alouette Lake, AB

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Backcountry Camping At Alouette Lake: Everything You Need to Know!

DISCLAIMER: Below we give general advice, but we always recommend staying in an official campground. If you choose to go backcountry camping, then make sure you do so with someone who already knows the area where you’re planning on camping for your own safety.

Backcountry Camping is available at Alouette Lake and in the surrounding Golden Ears Provincial Park. Your options are to either hike into the primitive campgrounds or visit the marine-accessible primitive campgrounds by boat, which could mean hiring a kayak to access those locations.

You must camp at designated areas, not just “free camp” in the park. If you intend to backcountry camp, you’ll need a backcountry camping permit that you can purchase online and must present before entering the park. Cost is $5 per person per night.

You can’t start any campfires, so a portable camping stove is required to cook your food. You must also ensure that you take out all garbage that you bring in.

Pit toilets are available at all backcountry campgrounds. However, you must find your own water source and ensure that you filter the water appropriately, as it’s not guaranteed to be safe.

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Walk-In Backcountry Camping Sites

  • Viewpoint Beach Campground
    • Accessible via West Canyon Trail, it is a 4.4 km or 1-hour hike from North Beach Campground parking.
    • Pit toilets are available
    • Bear cache is available
  • Alder Flats Campground
    • Accessible via West Canyon Trail, it is a 6.6 km or 1-hour 30-minute hike from Gold Creek Campground parking.
    • Pit toilets are available.
  • Halfmoon Beach Campground
    • Accessible via East Canyon Trail, it is a 9.7 km or 2-hour 16-minute hike from the North Beach Campground parking lot.
    • Pit toilets are available.
  • Panorama Ridge Golden Ears Campground
    • Accessible via Golden Ears Trail, it is a 10.7 km or 2-hour 41-minute hike from the North Beach Campground parking.
    • Pit Toilets are available.
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Marine Backcountry Camping Sites

There are four marine backcountry campgrounds on the west shore of Alouette Lake. Unfortunately, you can only access these campgrounds via water, so you will need a boat, kayak, canoe, or anything else to get to the other side of the lake.

Campfires can be made below the tideline; otherwise, they are not permitted at any backcountry campgrounds. There is also no mooring at any of the marine campgrounds.

  • East Beach Campground
  • Moyer Creek Campground
  • The Narrows Campground
  • Alouette River Campground

There are also three marine backcountry campgrounds on the east shore of Pitt Lake, which is not especially close to Alouette Lake but is still within the Golden Ears Provincial Park.

  • Raven Creek Campground
  • Osprey Creek South Campground
  • Osprey Creek North Campground
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The Best Time To Camp At Alouette Lake

The best time to camp at Alouette Lake is during the peak season, from May to September. All campgrounds are open during this time, as are all facilities such as showers, flush toilets and camp stores. The ability to hire equipment such as kayaks can only be done at this time too.

You can camp at Alouette Lake during the off-season from October to April, but you can only camp at the Gold Creek Campground, and the facilities will be mostly turned off.

The other downside of camping at Alouette Lake during winter is that the front gates are closed between 7 pm – 7 am, so if you’re late returning or want to adventure out to anything nearby, you have strict deadlines, or you’ll end up being locked out.

Summer temperatures at Alouette Lake can range from 7 to 23 degrees on average.

Winter temperatures at Alouette Lake can range from -1 to 14 degrees on average, but it can rain for more days in a month than not.

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Scenic Hiking Around Alouette Lake

Hiking throughout Golden Ears Provincial Park is fantastic and is one of the primary activities campers spend time doing; there is a range of hikes available for different fitness and skill levels.

Check the BC Parks map to get an idea of where trails start and finish, and how to loop back home.

For most hikes, you’ll need to double the distance and time to include your return trip, so make sure you leave early enough on the longer hikes to get back to your campground.

Mike Lake Trail provides hiking and horseback riding along 4.2 km or 2 hours from the main corral by South Beach and up to Mike Lake.

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Incline Trail is a 1.2 km or 1-hour hike or horseback ride up a steep path from Mike Lake to Alouette Mountain Fire Access Trail.

Alouette Mountain Hiking Trail starts at the top of the Incline Trail and is a 10 km or 5-hour hike; the biggest challenge is the 1,000-meter elevation gain which can slow you down considerably. However, the views from the top of Alouette Mountain are phenomenal. The total return trip can take 9-10 hours, so it’s a significant full-day hike.

Alouette Mountain Fire Access Trail starts at the top of the Incline Trail and is a 7.3 km trail that takes you through an alpine forest.

Menzies Trail takes you from the Golden Ears Provincial Park headquarters at the start of the park to the Gold Creek parking lot or vice versa. It’s great if you’re backpacking in or out of the park. It’s a 9 km or 4.5-hour hike, bike, or horseback ride, and unless you’re just visiting, you won’t need a return trip straight away.

Viewpoint Trail is a 1.5 km or 1-hour hike from the West Canyon parking lot to a lake VIewpoint. It’s a short trail and easily accessible from all of the campgrounds; it provides fantastic views without too much effort required.

West Canyon Trail is a 5 km or 2.5-hour hike from the West Canyon parking lot to Alder Flats. You’ll go through old logging trails, and the elevation will change, so it’s not considered an easy hike.

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Golden Ears Trail is a 12 km or 7-hour hike; the elevation will change by 1,500 meters, so is a challenging hike, especially if you’re returning the same day. You will pass by two backcountry campgrounds, so staying overnight is an option for you. You leave from the West Canyon parking lot and travel through a broad range of different environments, and the elevation happens suddenly, so you may need to climb a little on your hike.

Lower Falls Trail is a 2.7 km or 1-hour hike that is considered very easy with minimal elevation change. You’ll leave from the Gold Creek parking lot and head towards the 10-meter-high lower waterfalls.

Horseback Riding Around Alouette Lake

Many of the trails around Alouette Lake also allow horseback riding, but you need to ensure that the trail you pick does allow it before setting out. There are over 20 km of trails available for horses, and you may be sharing those trails with hikers and mountain bikers.

Horses aren’t permitted to stay overnight, but you can take them into the dedicated corral area in the South Beach parking section, the Gold Creek parking lot, or the Mike Lake parking lot.

Trails that allow horses include:

  • Alouette Valley Trail
  • Mike Lake Trail
  • Incline Trail
  • Easy Canyon Trail

Mountain Biking Around Alouette Lake

Mountain bikes can be used along any of the roads within the park and through a number of the hiking trails that are shared with hikers, horses, and bikes.

You’ll find 20 km of trails available for bikes, and they’re a great way to get into the park rather than driving.

Trails that allow mountain bikes include:

  • Alouette Mountain Fire Access Trail
  • East Canyon Trail
  • Menzies Trail
  • Eric Dunning Trail
  • North Beach Service Road

E-Bikes are allowed on the trails as long as they meet the BC specifications for a true electronic bike. Motorbikes and other ATVs are not permitted in the park or the trails.

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Boating On Alouette Lake

Boating on Alouette Lake is a big attraction for many campers; there is one boat ramp at the south end of Alouette Lake to get yourself into the water. Unfortunately, there is no mooring or marina available in the park, so you need to take your boat out each day after use.

Theft can be a significant problem if you leave your boat in the water overnight, though dropping anchor offshore at one of the marine-accessible campgrounds is one option. The risk of theft is much lower at these campgrounds due to distance and accessibility.

Boaters can water ski, explore the lake, visit campgrounds on the west shore of Alouette Lake, or even go fishing for the day.

If you’re visiting Alouette Lake during the winter, the lake levels can be much lower, so tree stumps and rocks can be a problem that must be watched out for.

Fishing On Alouette Lake

Fishing on Alouette Lake can be an all-day activity for the whole family, and whatever you catch can be taken back to your campsite and cooked up on your fire pit and grill. You can fish from shore, but the best opportunities are found further out on the lake.

Anybody freshwater fishing in BC must get a fishing license or face fines. It’s also worthwhile to note that sport fishing in saltwater is not covered by this license, so depending on your travel plans, you may need multiple licenses.

Fish you’ll find in Alouette Lake include:

  • Kokanee
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Dolly Varden
  • Rainbow Trout

If you don’t have a boat and haven’t had good luck fishing from shore, you can rent a canoe, kayak, or paddle boat from the park operator or Alouette Lake Boat Rentals.

You can also drive or hike to nearby Mike Lake, but no motorized craft are allowed on that lake. So you’ll need to fish from shore or take a kayak with you.

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Birdwatching Around Alouette Lake

Alouette Lake and the surrounding Golden Ears Provincial Park provide a wide range of habitats for 137+ different bird species. If you’re up for a hike or two, you can cover most of the best birdwatching areas around Alouette Lake.

Mike Lake is one of the best birdwatching locations in the entire park; you have the lake and the surrounding forest for a combined and close habitat. Birds you’ll find can include Pied-billed Grebe, Cedar Waxwing, Willow Flycatcher, and a range of waterfowl and other seasonal birds.

Spirea Nature Trail is a short 0.8 km hike at the south end of Alouette Lake. It’s a forest bog habitat with Cedar Waxwings, MacGillivray’s Warblers, Sparrows, Swans, and you’re likely to see Vaux Swifts.

Alouette Day Use Area is easily accessible from the Alouette Lake campgrounds. It provides an open grassed area to watch Canada Geese, Brown-headed Cowbells, and you’ll often see Osprey hunting for fish over the lake.

Alouette Campground has a good selection of birdwatching options, including Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Swainson’s Thrush, Stellar’s Jays, and you’ll have a big range of songbirds to wake you up every morning.

Gold Creek has a number of trails, including the Lower Falls Trail and the West Canyon Trail. You’ll have a good chance of seeing Black Swifts, Rough-winged Swallows, Cooper’s Hawks, and Sharp-shinned Hawks looking for prey.

Trails Around Golden Ears are a more challenging hike that will require a lot more effort, but if you make it up to these sub-alpine trails you’ll have a great chance of seeing Blue Grouse, Hermit Thrush, and Three-toed Woodpeckers.

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Kurkutova

Wildlife Around Alouette Lake

You won’t find a lot of marine life in Alouette Lake aside from fish, but the surrounding area has an extensive range of interesting animals to watch out for while you’re hiking. One of the most significant and potentially dangerous animals you may encounter are Black Bears, so consider if you need bear spray while out hiking.

As you hike through the forests, you’re also likely to see Douglas Squirrels, Yellow Pine Chipmunks, and Northern Flying Squirrels. None of which are dangerous, but all are very cute and worth a photo to take home!

As you venture further away from the campgrounds, you’ll also see Black-tailed deer, mountain goats at much higher elevations, and you may even see coyotes roaming around, so it really does pay to keep your dog on a leash at all times.

Camping at Alouette Lake: Bear Safety

Like many areas of Canada, there are bears roaming around the Alouette Lake area. While encounters are rare, you must take steps to avoid attracting them to your campsite. 

With that being the case we advise:

  • If you have a vehicle nearby, store food there rather than in a tent.
  • Use a bear box or bear canister to store food, rubbish, and anything with a scent.
  • Don’t pitch your tent near where food is being stored.
  • Never approach any bear, regardless of its size.
  • Don’t spray anything with a scent – that can attract bears
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Alouette Lake Camping: Scavenger Hunt Game!

If you’re looking to keep little ones entertained while camping at Alouette Lake – or you want to have some fun for yourself – then we’ve created a printable scavenger hunt game!

Save the image and print it out, then tick off what you find and achieve during your camping adventures.

The game encourages players to get out and discover wildlife and nature, as well as make new friends and do fun camping activities. Enjoy!

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