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Old 03-31-2016, 11:52 PM   #1
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Squamish campsite recommendations

Right after tax filing season ends (I'm still a working accountant!), we're planning a short trip to Squamish (May 4 - 10 or maybe longer), while Wendy is taking a four-day course in her field of art there. Looking for recommendations for campsites, to stay while in Squamish and as we maybe explore Pemberton, Duffy, Bralorne, after her course ends. Thanks for any feedback.

Lotar & Wendy / Tumbleweed
Qualicum Beach, BC
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Old 04-01-2016, 02:12 AM   #2
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BC Provincial Parks:

1. Alice Lake, just a few km's north of Squamish on Hwy 99. Really nice campsite. There are some sites with water and electrical I believe.

2. Porteau Cove - between Squamish and Horseshoe Bay on Hwy 99. Right on the ocean, beautiful views. Some water and electrical hooks ups. If there is a down side, the railway tracks run along the edge of the park, between it and the highway. I think the trains are quite infrequent, maybe 2 a day??

3. Nairn Falls - just south of Pemberton near the Green River. No hookups I believe. Nice location.

4. Birkenhead Lake - about 60 km north of Pemberton off Hwy 99. May not be close enough for your needs but perhaps a weekend. Somewhat remote area. No hookups. Right on the lake.

Private RV/Campgrounds:

I have not used any of the private campgrounds. There are a few in the area, some of which are:

1. Squamish Area - Klahanie Campground - on Hwy 99, south of Squamish near Shannon Falls.
There are a few other campgrounds, which you can Google to finds.

2. Squamish - Whistler - there is one about 2/3 of the way to Whistler from Squamish called whistler RV Park and Campground. It is a relatively new place, within the last 5 or 6 years I think.

3. Whistler - Riverside Resort on the north edge of Whistler. A typical private RV campground with the sites close to each other. Have not been into the park but ride our bikes past it. Great location if you want to tour Whistler and camp. If you like to ride bicycles, Whistler is a great place for that. They have everything from flatter valley trails to insane bike park on Whistler Mtn and several other trails in between. It is a very easy ride from the campground into Whistler Village.

Most of the camping we have done is in BC Provincial Parks. We much prefer the type of camping available in these parks. You no doubt have experienced BC Parks on The Island.
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:34 AM   #3
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Porteau Cove is great. The rest...not so great.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:02 PM   #4
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BC Parks reservations -- bah, humbug!

Think we're going to give up this idea! Probably just hotel it, and save the ferry costs for the trailer.

Looked at a few of the RV Parks websites -- parking lots is more like it. And one of them charging $70/night for a serviced site.

We're long fans of the BC Parks -- but not their reservation system. Once upon a time, shortly after introducing reservation capabilities, the policy was certain campsites were reservable and some were kept on a first-come first-served (FCFS) availability basis.

Apparently not any more. Some popular campgrounds -- including Alice Lake & Porteau Cove -- are now 100% reservable sites only, no FCFS! And both these campgrounds are already, as of this morning, fully reserved for our desired dates.

I thought first week in May might still be shoulder season not high season -- apparently not, that close to Vancouver!

On a slightly different note, a great campsite in the area we've stayed at a few times is BC Hydro's Seton Lake campground, just west of Lillooet (too far away for our purposes this trip). Rustic, no hookups, but great boondocking sites -- and free!

I was hoping I might find something similar nearer Squamish.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:32 PM   #5
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My first night camping with my trailer after the morning walkthrough with Dave April 10, 2012 was at Porteau Cove. I've returned for a few days every year usually as part of a ski trip to Whistler. Nov 12 to the end of Feb $24 CDN nightly including 30amp power and tax. No reservations required :-)
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:40 AM   #6
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We ARE going to stay at Porteau Cove and Alice Lake -- once I figured out, after a call to BC Parks, how to read the reservation system. On first looking up campsites, there were no sites available for the contiguous block we wanted. There WERE sites available for every individual night for the period we wanted, though, so at the expense of moving between parks and campsites during our week, we are able to do it, two nights at Porteau, two at Alice Lake, then back to Porteau, just different sites, for the remainder. I wouldn't want to do that as a regular camping experience, but as "accommodation / camping" while Wendy's at her workshops I decided it was doable.

But the fees OMG! $35 for the site plus the mandatory $8 surcharge for electric (we don't need / won't use it but there are no non-electric sites at Porteau and you cannot opt of the surcharge, even if you're tenting or bicycle touring) plus the mandatory $6 reservation fee (because you cannot camp without reservations, ALL sites are reservation-only, no FCFS) = $49 per night to use (these) BC Parks.

Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to the trip and exploring again the Squamish/Whistler area where I hiked and camped as a youngster growing up in Vancouver. I'm remembering among other trips a winter camp in my Boy Scout days, by train from North Van to Mons Landing, snowshoe across the lake and tent camp on the shores of Alta Lake, long before a ski resort there was a gleam in some developer's eye, just below where the main lift station was built later.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by maurerl View Post

But the fees OMG! $35 for the site plus the mandatory $8 surcharge for electric (we don't need / won't use it but there are no non-electric sites at Porteau and you cannot opt of the surcharge, even if you're tenting or bicycle touring) plus the mandatory $6 reservation fee (because you cannot camp without reservations, ALL sites are reservation-only, no FCFS) = $49 per night to use (these) BC Parks.
Yup, hate those add-ons. We do go to Porteau sometimes because it is nice to be in a place with water lapping at your campsite. But we go in the off season when it's 50% off.

Sure is a real difference between provinces and states in the camping fees/services. The two we give best marks to are the Yukon and Oregon.

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Old 04-09-2016, 01:50 PM   #8
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Unfortunately you can only get the 50% off if you are a BC resident over 65 and are not camping with anyone younger than that unless they are your spouse. Fairly restrictive unfortunately.
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
Unfortunately you can only get the 50% off if you are a BC resident over 65 and are not camping with anyone younger than that unless they are your spouse. Fairly restrictive unfortunately.
Yes.. in the summer.. but Nov 12 to Feb 28/29 50% off for all, power and taxes included. Lots of escapes have the extra insulation and dual pane windows, perfect for a midwinter Porteau Cove jaunt.. we should organize a midwinter rally
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:26 PM   #10
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Maurerl...If you get stuck with out campsite somewhere between Porteau Cove and Alice Lake there is a Walmart (not far from Alice Lake).
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