In late September, after a few successful camping trips as a family of four, I decided that it was time for our first backcountry camping trip with baby N. Before her birth I had not thought that it would be possible for us to get into the backcountry until next spring, but with N being a super easy baby and the weather still summer like well into September there was nothing holding us back. I spend a bit of time surfing the web for a perfect location: low elevation, short hike, nice, but not to crowded campsite. I came across Viewpoint Beach in Golden Ears Provincial park. I had never hear of it before, but it seemed perfect.
We convinced two other families to join us for a total of 5 adults and 5 kids (age 5, 5, 3, 2 and 2 months). On the hike in we followed the Lower Falls trail, that starts at the Gold Creek parking lot. The trail was super easy, flat and strollerable. The kids was often distracted along the way, in particular by all the culverts. I lost count of how many of them they made it through. The last little bit towards the falls, F started to complain about her legs being tired, so we had a long break playing close to the falls.
We followed the connector trail to the East Canyon trail. The Connector trail was a whole other game, but a nice change. We climbed over lots of roots to make it up. The East Canyon trail was an old road with lots of loose rocks.
It took us around 5 hours to hike the 5km, so I guess our speed is now 1km/h when there is minial elevation gain. The campsite was a beautiful river beach with views of Golden Ears and Edge Peak. The rest of the afternoon and evening the kids played by the beach, while the adults relaxed and cooked dinner. There was only one other party at the campsite, but it was a group of 70 cadets. Luckily they stayed on the other side of the river and eventually half of them disappeared up to the alder flats campsite.
After more playing in the morning we packed up and headed out. As Tim had promised the return was faster. I was very proud of F for walking all the way with very little complaining. I guess she is capable of more than I thought - especially with a group of friends.
This was a great hike and an excellent option for a first self-propelled hike for F.
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