Steve Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
Cal-Cheak Recreation Site

I stayed here frequently in the summer of 2021. It's close / practically in the middle of a lot of trails, there's a suspension bridge and it's actually quiet. Rate is now $15/nt. The signboard at the first campsite ("Callaghan Camp") has a good map of the 3 campsites.

The third site (South Camp) is in the midst of being expanded.

Owl Creek

Nice camp site that wasn't busy in early October. Has a mix of forested sites and sunny sites. The mosquitos were bad when I was here in July, but not a problem in October.

Brandywine falls

Nice waterfall after a short walk. Actually found a quiet non-busy day to visit which was nice. This place is usually packed in the summer.

Whistler RV Park

Well run campground. Hot showers included in nightly rate, and the tent/van (unserviced) sites have access to outdoor kitchen sinks at the shower building. Staff are helpful. You're paying "Whistler Prices" here for sure though. Note it's not in Whistler but about 15km south. There's a few trails near here and one can hike to Brandywine falls. They also have a whiffle golf and disc golf course, with clubs, balls, discs available for use.

The RV serviced sites are in a typical RV park configuration and have no shade, but have nice views. The unserviced sites are in a wooded area and are closest to the shower building.

Rest Area Taylor Arm, Hwy.4 West to Tofino

This is indeed a nice rest area. There's a "rules" sign that has no camping listed as #2 or 3 but I suspect one could stay here no problem if pulling in late - it is a rest area after all.

There's also a forest service road (Upper Taylor) off the access road into the rest area, and another across the bridge if heading west. These roads are typically crown land, where camping is allowed.

I didn't try the WiFi, but there is Telus LTE and 3g here so if you're on that network or can roam on it you'll be good.

The water in the river is crystal clear - this is a very nice place to stop.

Campground Point Green

Not much to add to the other check-ins; however note the following COVID changes:

* No warm showers (but plenty of warm water at the dishwashing station sinks which can be loaded into a shower bag)

* The overflow lot and walk-in camping along with their washroom building are closed.

* It's pretty much booked out this year. Apparently they had to use a queue based system similar to big event ticket sales when reservations opened up, which is apparently now the norm for this campground.

* Last evening of 2020 operations is October 12th, the Canadian Thanksgiving Monday. Seasonally closed from Oct 13th to next spring. It opened up in June this year due to COVID but apparently May 1st is typical.

Saltery Bay Provincial Park

This is a really nice campground just a few hundred meters from the ferry terminal. Lots of ferns and other undergrowth on the ground in a mature forest provide reasonable privacy at most sites. There is running water, and cold freshwater showers down at ocean front (Mermaid Cove).

The ocean here has bioluminescent organisms in the water similar to fireflies which glow at night, particularly when stirring the water by the rocks (at least in mid-Aug). Maybe this is why it is called Mermaid Cove? Dunno. This is also a popular SCUBA diving place.

We stopped in after unloading from the ferry expecting to spend the afternoon, and ended up staying 3 days! :) It's a really nice place

Practicalities -

It's about 50/50 reserved and non-reserved (first come first served) sites here. Unbooked reservable sites will be marked with a green available tag.

Cost without a reservation is $20 even - cash only. There's a store about 14km up the highway that has an ATM, along with a small selection of food and beer/wine.

Good cell signal down at the water's edge (on TELUS), but very patchy to non-existent in the campground.

Sani-dump is $5 if actually dumping - water is free.

Porpoise Provincial Park

This is a busier provincial park campground, with more families and activity overall - typical of campgrounds that are in the vicinity of an urban area. Some of the sites at the far end back on to people's backyards in an adjoining suburb, complete with the noise of landscapers, people vacuuming, etc. Kinda weird.

Most of the campsites are reservable and competely booked out this year, but we lucked in to a first come first served site.

Showers seem to have two settings: Melting; and ice cube. The beach at the lake is nice, and is a good safe place for kids.

The park operator posts a sheet at the entrance each day showing which sites might be available, so check that on the way in.

All in all, a good place if you want to spend a day or two in the Sechelt area and just need somewhere to sleep; but there's nicer and more natural places to be on the Sunshine Coast.

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Day use area report: The entire parking lot is now open, including the back section. However it seems much busier than usual and finding parking past about 10am or so is challenging despite the size of the lots. Park staff were implementing a 1-in-1-out policy, which helped a lot since there isn't a need to drive in circles forever. It was also funny watching a BMW and Mercedes driver try to cut the queue and get turned around! Expect a 30 minute wait once you reach the group camping driveway.

Parking starts to become abundant again around dinner time, and the hordes start to dwindle too. It gets tranquil again around sunset.

Be advised that the website says the day lot gate is closed at 11pm, but it actually closes at 10pm.

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Day use area report (Sunday): The entire parking lot is now open, including the back section. However it seems much busier than usual and finding parking past about 10am or so is challenging despite the size of the lots. Park staff were implementing a 1-in-1-out policy, which helped a lot since there isn't a need to drive in circles forever. It was also funny watching a BMW and Mercedes driver try to cut the queue and get turned around! Expect a 30 minute wait once you reach the group camping driveway.

This increased traffic also naturally resulted in the beaches and trails being crowded. I'd attribute this to it being 32C that day.

Parking starts to become abundant again around dinner time, and the hordes start to dwindle too. It gets tranquil again around sunset.

Be advised that the website says the day lot gate is closed at 11pm, but it actually closes at 10pm.

Mamquam River Forest Service Rd

District of Squamish has now passed a bylaw prohibiting any camping within it's boundaries. Per the community services manager at last week's council meeting, enforcement will be "complaint driven", but probably still best to not list free spots within the DOS any more.

Soo River Hydro Dam

Unfortunately it is my ghost typing this, since the real me was eaten alive by mosquitoes!

This is a great spot and never seems to be "too busy", however if it is there's additional pullouts further along the road.

It is also possible to get LTE service on TELUS at this location if you position your phone in just the right way (ie; propped up on the hood/roof of the vehicle, while you are standing on your head and wearing only one shoe).

Squamish Valley Campground

I've been here twice this year. There were large groups partying well into the night with large (dance-floor sized) sound systems on both of the weekends I was here.

The cost is pretty insane for what ya get too. $15 per person plus $5 per vehicle and $5 per dog. A family of 4 with a car and a dog would pay $70/nt for a camp site that realistically doesn't have any amenities other than port-o-potties and (not even bear proof) garbage bins.

It's a shame because this campground has so much potential - there are some incredible views from the river that have waterfalls visible during the day and excellent stargazing at night (saw NEOWISE from here!).

Mamquam FSR No-camping Zone Boundary

This is the point you need to drive past in order to be outside of Squamish's July 2019 anti-camping bylaw zone. Camping along to road or at pull-outs between this point and the highway is illegal. Past this point there are a number of good pull outs and a few recreation sites.

Kite Surfing

The road continues to be very potholed all the way in.

Garibaldi Lake Barrier Hazard Zone - Northern Terminus

This is the northern end of the Garibaldi Lake Barrier Hazard Zone.

Any overnight use is not permitted in this zone - you will get hassled.

This zone continues until just north of Brew Creek FSR, and for the first few KM of Chance Creek FSR (up to the first switchback).

What is the Garibaldi Lake Barrier? It's a natural lava formation from ancient volcanoes, which forms the western edge of Garibaldi Lake some 1000m elevation above the highway. In the 1960s geologists became concerned this formation could collapse and cause what is known as a debris torrent - an avalanche of water, rock, mud and trees - similar to what happened at the Hope Slide (only bigger). The town of Garibaldi immediately below was relocated and then razed by the government - but there's some ruins in the area if you go looking.

Garibaldi Lake Barrier Hazard Zone - Southern Terminus

This is the southern end of the Garibaldi Lake Barrier Hazard Zone.

Any overnight use is not permitted in this zone - you will get hassled.

This zone continues until just north of Brew Creek FSR, and for the first few KM of Chance Creek FSR (up to the first switchback).

What is the Garibaldi Lake Barrier? It's a natural lava formation from ancient volcanoes, which forms the western edge of Garibaldi Lake some 1000m elevation above the highway. In the 1960s geologists became concerned this formation could collapse and cause what is known as a debris torrent - an avalanche of water, rock, mud and trees - similar to what happened at the Hope Slide (only bigger). The town of Garibaldi immediately below was relocated and then razed by the government - but there's some ruins in the area if you go looking.

Chek canyon recreation site camping

** NOTE: As of July 2020 there is logging truck activity during the day. Use extreme caution when driving up the hill **

Alice Lake Provincial Park

** Note: The day use parking area has been reduced in size as a COVID-19 control. If your intent is day use then get here early (before 11am) or after dinner time, or expect to wait to get in. Towing is in effect on the road.

** Note 2: BC Park campsites are pretty much booked out this year and Alice Lake is NOT currently offering "First Come First Served" sites, however cancellations do happen so be sure to check the res website daily.

Porteau Cove Prov Park

The first half of this campground is open year round and all sites (except walk-in) have 15A/30A power hookups. The walk-in area has a common kitchen facility with electrical outlets that can charge phones.

During the winter the showers and flush toilets in the campground are closed but there is a pit toilet in the campground and flush toilets back at the day use area. Potable water is available year round in the campground. The Sani-Dump is also closed in the winter despite what the website might imply.

This campground is pretty busy and booked out every summer, but not busy at all in the winter. There's also a couple of cabins here for rent if you need a night away from the tent or van.

The campground is sandwiched in between the ocean (nice!) and the railway (doh!) which also has a quarry on the far side of it. I've stayed here a few times and it seems like there's a 12:30am train most nights and then that's about it for noise until morning when the quarry started up. It's just far enough from the highway to not hear noise from that.

Fort Langley

Meh on this one. It's not worth what they charge, especially if you don't need hookups (all sites have 'em). Sites are close together and basically in a grass field. No real tree cover during the day, and $50 per night for 2 people. Ohh, and you still have to pay to use the showers.

The vibe of this place was really weird too. Kinda hard to explain but it seemed to be popular with boomers and keep-up-with-the-jones suburban types with large and expensive RVs. Not the place to be social.


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