Summer Camping Around Vancouver
You don't have to go far from home or bust your wallet to take off for the weekend and commune with nature. Our neck of the woods has so much to offer in the way of water fun activities and hiking through the forests to weave the memories of summer time. Check out these close by locations as enticing options for pitching your tent or parking your camper for a much-needed get away. These campsites get quite busy sometimes, so don't forget to book ahead here: http://www.discovercamping.ca/
Alice Lake Provincial Park
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 1 hour 20 minutes
Alice Lake is located about 10km north of Squamish. From Vancouver, drive towards Highway #1 (Trans Canada Highway) and taking the highway heading westbound towards Horseshoe Bay. Just before Horseshoe Bay, take Exit #1 for Highway #99 north to Squamish and Whistler. Continue driving along the scenic Highway #99 and pass through the town of Squamish. After passing through Brackendale, watch for signs to Alice Lake. Turn right at Alice Lake Road and follow the road into the park towards the parking lot.
Mountains, forest, open clearings and beautiful scenic lakes along the Four Lakes Trail are just a few amenities here. Popular with families, the Alice Lake campground features a swimming area and a lovely trail around the lake for evening strolls and a lively atmosphere.
Playground, fire pits, cold running water, firewood, recycling bins, double sites, outdoor theatre, dump, pit toilets, flush toilets, disabled accommodations, free showers, hot running water.
Golden Ears Provincial Park
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 1 hour 30 minutes
Gold Creek Falls is located in Golden Ears Provincial Park near Alouette Lake in Maple Ridge. To get to the park from Vancouver, take Highway #1 eastbound and take Exit #44 (before the Port Mann Bridge) toward Pitt Meadows / Maple Ridge. Head straight through the lights and continue along the Mary Hill Bypass. Turn right onto Lougheed Hwy and continue over the Pitt River Bridge towards Maple Ridge.
At the major intersection of Lougheed Hwy and Dewdney Trunk Road, turn left and continue until 232nd Street. Turn left on 232nd Street and continue for just over a kilometer, watching for a small park on your right. Just after the park, turn right onto Fern Avenue. Continue winding your way along Fern Avenue as the houses disappear and trees begin to appear. You have now entered Golden Ears Provincial Park. Continue along the road, passing the turnoffs to Alouette Lake to the last parking lot. The trail begins next to the parking lot.
Golden Ears Park is an interesting area ecologically because, although it is situated on the rim or metropolitan Vancouver, it contains intact wilderness featuring 3 biogeoclimatic zones.
Gold Creek Campground is the Four Seasons of campgrounds, complete with luxurious amenities (for the outdoors, that is) and easily hike-able trails. Take the Gold Creek Falls Trail to glimpse views of the Alouette, Blanchard and Edge mountains, and spend an afternoon lazing about at Gold Creek Falls, a scenic area perfect for picnicking.
Fire pits, cold running water, firewood, on-site camping host, recycling bins, double sites, covered theatre, pit toilets, flush toilets, boat rentals, disabled accommodation, free showers.
Garibaldi Provincial Park
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 1 hour 45 minutes
To reach the Rubble Creek parking lot, the start of the trail to Garibaldi Lake, take Highway #1 (Trans Canada Highway) west towards Horseshoe Bay. Just before the ferry terminal, watch for signs to Squamish and merge onto Highway #99 (Sea to Sky Highway) heading north. Continue driving along the highway until reaching the town of Squamish 45km later. At this point, it's a good idea to make sure you have enough gas, water, and food for the day as there are no other places to stop between here and the trail-head.
Continue along Highway #99 northbound towards Whistler for another 32km. Watch for Garibaldi Provincial Park signs on your right. The turnoff is a small, paved road on the right of the highway that is easy to miss. If you pass over a bridge with a large dam on the right, you have just passed it and will have to find a place to turn around and head back.
Once on Rubble Creek Road, continue for a couple of kilometers until you reach the parking lot. Make sure to buy a ticket from the parking meter before beginning your hike.
You just can't beat this kind of wilderness -- alpine flowers, turquoise waters of a glacial lake, volcanic rock and monumental mountains bursting out of the ground. Plus, it's backcountry all the way, so those who are searching for that corner of peace and quiet, you'll get nearly 200,000 hectares (4,942 acres) of it.
Pit toilets and nature (no drinking water, pack your garbage out, Leave No Trace practices).
Indian Arm Provincial Park
Estmated Driving Time from Vancouver : 1 Hour
Adjacent to Mount Seymour Provincial Park in North Vancouver, the park is situated on the eastern and western shorelines of the upper portion of Indian Arm. The park is primarily accessed by water and the logging access road (maintained by the Squamish Forest District Office) from Squamish is closed. The closest communities are Deep Cove, North Vancouver, Belcarra, Port Coquitlam and Anmore.
Who said the only way to get to a campsite was on foot? Kayakers have been doing overnights along Indian Arm for decades, and few spots are better for camping than Granite Falls (there's no road access to the campground, by the way). The site sits beneath a 50-metre waterfall, a reward for paddling the18 kilometres up Indian Arm. During spawning season, visitors can see some 60,000 salmon work their way up the inlet for a not-your-everyday experience.
Pit toilets, campfires forbidden, backcountry rules apply (Leave No Trace practices).
Indian Arm Provincial Park
Juan de Fuca Provincial Park
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 5 hours
Located on the west coast of southern Vancouver Island, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park extends from China Beach, just west of the community of Jordan River, to Botanical Beach near Port Renfrew. The park is accessed by vehicle at various points along West Coast Highway 14 between Jordan River and Port Renfrew. The China Beach campground is adjacent to Highway 14 just east of the China Beach day-use, 35 km west of Sooke and 36 km east of Port Renfrew. Nearby communities include: Port Renfrew, Sooke, Victoria, Duncan.
Sunset Magazine voted China Beach campground one of the top 19 sites in the Northwest, and who are we to argue? Situated right on the coastline of Vancouver Island, the campground is the gateway to trails that lead to scenic beaches and a wide-open sea. Better yet, camping on the beach is permissible, and there's nothing like sleeping to the smell of saltwater and waking up to hear the lapping of the ocean.
Fire pits, cold running water, firewood, recycling bins, double sites, pit toilets, disabled accommodations.
So there you have it! You are literally spoiled for choices very close to home for that last minute escape this summer. Check out my blog on Summer Safety - just to be sure. Be bear aware, bring a first aid kit, practice water safety - but get out into nature and enjoy!
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