Originally Posted by dbailey
I grew up in Campbell River. It's been many years since I've lived there, but we might be getting our 19' out to the Island this summer. Care to share any suggestions for camping locations?
Starting from Victoria head up the west coast to Sooke Area. There is a camp ground on the Sooke River just south of the town. If you have bicycles with you there is a rally great trail to ride called the Galloping goose. It is an old railway grade that once had a terminus at an old mining town called Leechtown. From Leechtown it is possible to ride all the way in to Victoria and then continue on to the ferry terminal at Swartz bay. That is a very long ride so you would not likely do it all but you can do parts of it with many places along the route where you can access the trail.
Further along is French Beach Provincial Park along the coast past Sooke. Then there is China Beach a bit further along towards Port Renfrew. China B|each is the southern end of the Juan de Fuca Trail. Several great beaches to hike into along the trail without having to hike the trail itself. Beautiful beaches and west coast vista across the strait to the Olympic Peninsula Washington State. At the right time of the year you can see whales traveling through the strait.
You can then continue on to Port Renfrew. There is a ccamp site there operated by the First Nations on the shores of the San Juan River. At Port Renfrew it is worth taking the hike into Botanical Beach and Botany Bay. Short hike in to one of the two then walk along he beach to the other and back up to the parking lot. Easy day trip if you don't get carried away lazing on the beach and enjoying the surf, tide pools, rocks, sand and more.
From Port Renfrew you can continue on to Lake Cowichan. There are a couple of Provincial camp sites between Lake Cowichan and Duncan then up the east coast to Parksville then west to Tofino or keep going north to Campbell River. This route allows you to do a circle trip up the coast north west from Victoria and returning down the east coast.
There are several Provincial camp grounds along the east coast of Vancouver Island. Englishman River Falls just north of Nanaimo, Rathtrevor near Parksville. Rathtrevor is a very popular one and you would definitly need reservations well in advance.
There is camping on Denman and Hornby Islands accessed by ferry south of Courtney. And Rebecca Spit on Quadra Island off Campbell River is beautiful.
Miracle Beach between Courtney and Campbell River.
The cost of all those ferry rides to the other islands does start to add up pretty quickly though!!
Vancouver Island is full of great and beautiful places to go. Would be easy to spend your whole six weeks just on the island!