Porteau Cove Provincial Park

 

Porteau Cove Provincial Park is located on the Sea-to-Sky Highway, 40 km north of Vancouver. This park offers oceanfront camping on Howe Sound, with spectacular views of the water and the Tantalus Range mountains on the Sunshine Coast. This park is a destination of choice for many scuba divers, as the waters of the Howe sound are teeming with rich marine life. An artificial reef was constructed and 3 ships were sunk in the waters near the park to provide a habitat and a shelter for over 100 of species of sea life, including octopuses, anemones, lingcod, and shrimp. Swimming, boating, and fishing are also popular at this park. The BC Museum of Mining at Brittania Beach nearby provides tours of an underground mining tunnel and exhibitions that explore BC mining history.

Facilities

Vehicle Accessible Camping Walk-in / Wilderness Camping - - - Picnic Areas Campfires Flush Toilets Pit Toilets Showers Drinking Water RV Sani Station Electrical Hookups - Boat Launch Wheel Chair Accessibility Beach Managed Site / Facility Operator

Activities

Fishing Hiking Swimming Scuba Diving Boating Canoeing / Kayaking - Wind Surfing Bicycling - - - - - Wildlife Watching - Winter Recreation - - -

Rating

Campsite privacy
Fun for kids
Lots of shade
Peacefulness/Quietness
Activities

Number of campsites: 60, reservable: 42, nearest town: Squamish (20 km), Vancouver (40 km)

Additional Information

Location

This park is found 40 km north of Vancouver on Hwy 99, 20 km south of Squamish, 8.5 km south of Britannia Beach.

Contact Information

Sea to Sky Park Services Ltd
Email address: info@seatoskyparks.com
Phone: (604) 986-9371
Please go to www.discovercamping.ca to reserve a campsite.

Camping Information

Fees

Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $24.00 per party / night. For sites that provide electricity, there is an extra fee of $6 / night.

BC Senior Rate (Labour Day to June 14 only): $12.00 per senior couple/night.

Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $15.00 per party / night.

Walk-in/Cycle-in Frontcountry Camping Fee: $10.00 per party / night.

Mooring (to buoy) Fee: $10.00 per vessel / night. Dock Facilities Use Fee: $2.00 per metre / night.

Operation Dates

This park is open for camping year round, but services, such as water and firewood, are not provided during the off-season.

Campground dates with full fees and services: March 1 – October 31.

Campground reservable dates: April 14 – September 15.

Facilities

Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This park offers vehicle accessible campsites, 5 of which are double sites and 2 are pull-through sites. There are also walk-in campsites. There is extra parking in the day-use lot available for a fee. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-serve sites are also available. This park is extremely popular and busy during peak-season months (beginning the May long weekend through to Thanksgiving weekend). Reservations are highly recommended as there are a limited number of first-come first-serve campsites available.

Walk-in / Wilderness Camping

Walk-in / Wilderness Camping

There are 16 walk-in campsites are available. There is a flat path to the camping area, approximately 5 minutes from the parking lot. The majority of these campsites are small, ocean front sites. There are no picnic tables at these campsites, only sitting benches. There are communal fire rings. These sites are located adjacent to the day-use area.

Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This park has a day-use/picnic area. There is a beach that is mostly pebbled and rocky with large driftwood. There are several picnic tables located along the ocean front of Howe Sound. There can be quite strong in and out flow winds along the Howe Sound. Garbage bins are provided. There are no covered shelters or change houses in the day-use area. Flush toilets are available. There are no fire pits. The gate is locked between the hours of 11pm and 7 am. Day-use Area Vehicle Parking Fee: $1.00 per vehicle / hour to a maximum of $3.00 per vehicle per/day.

Campfires

Campfires

Campfires are permitted in designated fire rings only. Firewood is available for sale, or park visitors may opt to bring their own. Collection and burning of driftwood is prohibited.

Showers

Showers

There is a shower building located in the campground that provides hot water and electrical outlets for hair dryers, razors etc.

Drinking Water

Drinking Water

Cold water taps are located in both the day-use and campground areas. Park visitors are requested not to wash dishes at the water taps. Taps are shut off during the off-season.

RV Sani Station

RV Sani Station

A sani-station/dump is available in this park all year, although, due to freezing, the water may be shut off during low season. It is located just past the gatehouse at the entrance to the campground. Sani-station Use Fee: $2.00 per discharge.

Electrical Hookups

Electrical Hookups

Porteau Cove Provincial Park offers electrical hook-ups at 44 vehicle accessible sites. Serviced campsites cost an additional $6/night.

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

There are 2 paved double-wide boat launches. It may not be possible to launch during low tide. It may be difficult to launch during the winter months due to the high volumes of driftwood that accumulate on the boat launches. There is parking available for vehicles and trailers in the day-use area. Boats are prohibited in the Dive Area. There is also one mooring buoy and a float available for moorage in the small cove. Mooring (to buoy) Fee: $10.00 per vessel / night. Dock Facilities Use Fee: $2.00 per metre / night.

Wheel Chair Accessibility

Wheel Chair Accessibility

There are both flush and pit toilets for disabled visitors. No sites are designated specifically for the disabled, however, most sites are comprised of small crushed gravel which does allow for wheelchair mobility. The BC Ferries Emergency Ferry Pier located within the main day-use area provides a paved walkway to provide viewing opportunities of Howe Sound. There are disabled parking stalls. A few of the picnic tables are on paved table pads.

Activities

Fishing

Fishing

Outside the park boundary, fish for salmon and bottom feeders such as cod in the ocean area. No harvesting or collection of marine life within the park foreshore boundary.

Hiking

Hiking

There is an easy walking trail to a lookout that overlooks Porteau Cove and Howe Sound. There is a slight elevation gain with a series of rock and wooden steps. The walk to the lookout is approximately 300 metres.

Swimming

Swimming

The park has a rock and pebble beach for ocean swimming; sneakers or beach shoes are recommended.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

A series of man-made reefs and two sunken vessels provide excellent scuba diving opportunities. Depths vary from 6m to 18m (20' to 60'). Be cautious of changing tides and strong in and outflow winds. Penetration of vessels is not recommended. The diving area is marked by a series of marker buoys. Various fascinating marine life has established itself throughout the dive area. Harvesting or harassment of marine life is prohibited within the park's marine foreshore. Diving from a boat is prohibited within the park boundary. There is a diver's building located within the park which provides cold showers and a change area. These showers are turned off during the summer months because two outdoor showers are provided for the same purpose. There are steps that lead down to the water's edge that are located in the main parking lot.

Canoeing / Kayaking

Canoeing / Kayaking

Canoeing and kayaking are available in ocean area; know the ocean currents. The nearest kayak/canoe rentals are in Squamish.

Wind Surfing

Wind Surfing

The strong winds of Howe Sound can create excellent windsurfing opportunities. A very popular windsurfing area known as the "Spit" is located in Squamish at the confluence of the Squamish River and Howe Sound.

Wildlife Watching

Wildlife Watching

A short walking trail leads to a lookout, which provides a spectacular view of Howe Sound and Porteau Cove. There are also good opportunities to observe marine waterfowl and an occasional seal.

Winter Recreation

Winter Recreation

Day use is open with limited facilities. Winter camping is permitted, but services are limited. Only portions of the campground may be vehicle accessible; access may be restricted due to snowfall.

User Reviews

Campsite privacy
Fun for kids
Lots of shade
Peacefulness/Quietness
Activities

Very popular park

Submitted by yas on September 22, 2010

This park really is tiny and can be quite noisy due to its proximity to Highway 99 and the railroad. All activities here are centered around the water. The park is popular with scuba divers, and there is a small beach for campers to enjoy. Privacy is really an issue here, especially for the walk-in sites, which are squished close together and have group fire rings only. On the positive side, this park is only a short drive from Vancouver.

 

Campsite privacy
Fun for kids
Lots of shade
Peacefulness/Quietness
Activities

I am not too impressed

Submitted by Guest on August 6, 2009

I can't quite figure out why people come to this park. Ok, vehicle-accessible sites are nice, but walk-in sites truly are an embarrassment! The whole walk-in campground area looks like a single not-so-large group campsite. Swimming in the ocean in pleasant only when it has been hot outside for a while, otherwise the water is cold.

 

User Images

View of Howe Sound from Porteau Cove.

yas
Sep 22, 2010

Walk-in sites don't even have tables. :(

Guest
Aug 6, 2009

Walk-in sites. This pictures shows probably 10 separate campsites!!!

Guest
Aug 6, 2009

Vehicle-accessible sites are very nice with view of the ocean

Guest
Aug 6, 2009

The beach

Guest
Aug 6, 2009

Picnic tables at the day-use area

Guest
Aug 6, 2009

Guest
Aug 6, 2009

Beach at the day-use area

Guest
Aug 6, 2009

 

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