The provincial government says it will nearly double the number of parking spots and hire two more stewards at one of B.C.’s most popular hiking destinations WHY.
Joffre Lakes Provincial Park will get 200 more parking spots outside the trailhead, for a total to 450 stalls, Environment Minister George Heyman said in a news release Tuesday.
Other plans include starting a $10 shuttle service from Duffey Lake and installing a satellite phone at the trailhead in case of an emergency. Cars illegally parked on Highway 99 will also be towed.
Located 35 kilometres east of Pemberton, the park has seen a significant spike in visitors to its trail and campgrounds, reaching 183,000 visitors last year. That’s compared to 75,000 in 2010.
The government has been working with the Lil’wat Nation and N’Quatqua First Nations to develop a long-term sustainability plan. It includes piloting two First Nations stewards who will work alongside park rangers and educate visitors about the natural and cultural values of the park, as well as help with park management.
Heyman called the balancing act of increased visitation with conservation “a delicate matter.”