Camping in Vancouver
May 5, 2009 4:10 PM   Subscribe

camping filter: where to camp in/around vancouver, BC?

We're going camping! Yay! But I'm not familiar with the area and we're not sure where exactly to camp near Vancouver, BC. We're planning on staying for about three days and would like to find a campsite that we wouldn't have to hike too terribly far to get to. However, awesome hiking trails in the vicinity would be a plus. Suggestions? We're planning to camp close to Vancouver but anything between Seattle and Vancouver could be considered.
posted by pedstel to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, BC (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How far is "close"? Seattle's pretty far, all things considered.

You could easily head up to nice areas around Agassiz, Mission, or Hope if you want to head east. The area near Yale (north of Hope) is amazing in summer. If you head North, you can camp around Pemberton, Lilooet or Lytton...though it's a drier area that doesn't appeal to me much. However, if you want nice areas to the north of Vancouver that aren't too dry or too far away, the Squamish area is very nice. Take a look at this link for that..
posted by Kickstart70 at 5:01 PM on May 5, 2009

My wife says Manning Park is nice.

South of the Border there are lots of State Parks, here's some of the closer ones:
Larabee State Park south of Bellingham is nice and right on Puget Sound. Birch Bay State Park in Blaine isn't much to see but it's easy to get too. Deception Pass State Park is great.
posted by bajema at 5:16 PM on May 5, 2009

I myself would like to check out Indian Arm, or Golden Ears. These are both right near Vancouver.

Going towards Whistler, I myself would like to try outGaribaldi. I've always wanted to hike up to Black Tusk.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:21 PM on May 5, 2009

Seconding Golden Ears, but you might want to check out Vancouver Island (the Juan de Fuca trail northwest of Victoria), or one of the Gulf Islands.
posted by Beardman at 5:40 PM on May 5, 2009

What are you looking for in a campsite? There are so many different options in the area that it seems silly to recommend one without knowing what you are interested in. Do you want to camp near the ocean (rocky shoreline or sandy beaches)? In the mountains? In the coastal rain forest? On an island? Do you prefer to drive to your site or walk a short distance? Do you want long hiking trails, short hikes, sightseeing, or something else entirely? How close is fairly close to Vancouver?

BC has a pretty extensive provincial park system, so it would be worth your while to check out the BC Parks site.
posted by ssg at 5:52 PM on May 5, 2009

ohh - depends on what/how far you want to go. We go to birkenhead lake which is north of whistler. Not far from vancouver is Porteau Cove. Just of the highway yes but oceanside. Quick excursion (barring roadwork) to Whistler and Squamish.

More info and I could give you a better idea of where to head ( is Sunshine Coast, inland etc)
posted by Country Dick Montana at 6:11 PM on May 5, 2009

I really like Alice Lake, it's a short hop from Vancouver, still close enought to Squamish to get supplies, and close to some great hiking, like The Chief...Enjoy
posted by chromatist at 7:12 PM on May 5, 2009

If you want to spend more time along the water rather than the forest, take the ferry to Galiano Island and camp at Montague Harbour Provincial Park. It does get busy so making reservations for a camp spot is probably recommended. The ferry leaves from Tsawwassen, which is about a half hour south of Vancouver and the sailing takes about an hour. Have fun!
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:02 PM on May 5, 2009

Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park is tremendously beautiful, and there's a great campsite near the Lakes but you'll have to carry in your gear and its a fairly long hike up. But once you're there, there's a bunch of other great hikes from the campsite, including one to Opal Cone, an extinct volcano.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 11:24 PM on May 5, 2009

Whoops, didn't read your question as closely as I'd have liked (the bit about a short hike in). Sorry, retract my answer.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 11:25 PM on May 5, 2009

i came here to say what ssq and KokuRyu said. bc parks has lot of great info on their website, but their maps are *terrible*. Here's a google map of some local camping places. yay have fun!
posted by bellbellbell at 12:23 AM on May 6, 2009

Seconding Golden Ears, but you might want to check out Vancouver Island (the Juan de Fuca trail northwest of Victoria), or one of the Gulf Islands.

Living on the Island as I do, I would always recommend people make the trip here, but, strictly speaking, the Juan de Fuca Trail is not in the Vancouver/Seattle area. Traveling to the Trail from Vancouver would take about 5 or 6 hours.

I do have some awesome memories of Mystic Beach, though.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:57 AM on May 6, 2009

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