B.C. Parks is issuing a warning for hikers and nature lovers on Labour Day, saying that if people would like to visit the very popular Joffre Lakes Provincial Park near Pemberton, they should be aware that trying to park may be a nightmare.
About 6,000 people visit the area every weekend, and the parking lot is usually full by 10 a.m.
B.C. Parks says anyone who parks on the side of the highway could get towed.
Local politicians and B.C. Parks have been grappling with ways to reduce the number of visitors to the park, considering ideas like banning dogs and implementing a reservation system to help decrease the volume of tourists in the area.
“It’s complete chaos,” Rafael Hambalek with Payless Towing told Global News. “There’s so many people coming up. There’s not enough parking for all the cars coming up.”
“Whether it’s social media that’s making it explode … we cannot take care of all this traffic and all this parking that’s coming up here.”
Earlier this year, the District of North Vancouver backed parking restrictions and a cap on the number of hikers allowed on Deep Cove’s hiking trails.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of a motion that includes putting more stringent parking regulations in place and allowing temporary closures of Quarry Rock.
Over the last four or five years, the community’s growing popularity has been a challenge for residents and businesses to navigate, Coun. Lisa Muri said during an April 16 council meeting.
“I remember hearing from a business owner in the cove who said: ‘We can’t have any more people come in our business because we are full.’ For a business to say that is astounding,” Muri added.