Authentic West Coast Camping – Minutes from Downtown Vancouver

flickr-damon-west

Night Sky Porteau Cove Provincial Park Photo: Flickr, Damon West

On a daily basis, I awaken to hear the mountains and ocean calling.  There is something deep inside me that craves to be outside.  I am confident that those closest to me would agree that without my regular dose of Nature, I can be extremely difficult to live with.  Often, when time is tight, and I can’t find my way to the back country, I look closer to home, to one of Vancouver’s best seaside attractions – Porteau Cove Provincial Park!    Located on North America’s most southerly fjords, Porteau Cove is famous for views of Howe Sound and the surrounding mountains, scuba diving, waterfront campsites, beachcombing, star gazing and Aurora Borealis viewing.  All this, and only 38 km north of Vancouver on Highway 99.  Unbelievable.

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Authentic West Coast Camping – Minutes from Downtown Vancouver

Finding the Best Stargazing Spot in Vancouver

NightPhotoClass-52If you’ve ever looked up at a night sky from downtown Vancouver, you’ve probably noticed a lot of nothing.  Even on a clear night, you’re unlikely to see stars.  The city lights are just too bright for stargazing.

So what’s a star lover to do? Get out of town.

There are some incredible starscapes out there. The key is finding a dark place, far from the ghostly glow of city lights, which can carry for miles and miles.  The usual suspects for great Vancouver views – like Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour – won’t do because the sky is still too bright. But one of the most popular spots for hobbyists and amateur astronomers – and people who just like to spot the Big Dipper – is Porteau Cove Provincial Park, approximately one hour northwest of Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway.

I checked out Porteau Cove on a recent night, which happened to correspond to forecasts of Northern Lights … the wavy green streaks in the night sky common at higher latitudes and on rare occasions even visible in the Lower Mainland.   Continue reading:
Finding the Best Stargazing Spot in Vancouver

Defence Islands

Photo: Sea Kayak Association of BC

Porteau Cove, Photo: Sea Kayak Association of BC

By Stephen Pearce. Another installment of our series on scuba diving near Vancouver. This time Stephen explores Defence Islands.

SpongeBob’s ultimate fantasy…

Imagine soaring over ivory towers, parapets, walls and cities – majestic, beautiful, awe inspiring – and all made entirely out of delicate sponges!

Welcome to the stunningly beautiful underwater landscape of Defence Islands.

Defence Islands are two small islands in Howe Sound easily seen on the far horizon from Porteau Cove on the Sea to Sky Highway. Both are under the administration of the Squamish Nation. And both are only accessible by boat.

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Defence Islands

Take a Day Trip to Porteau Cove

Photo credit: krwoll | Flickr

Now that fall is here, make the most of dry days with a daytrip out of Vancouver. We all know the rain will soon be here in full force, so get outside for the last few sunny days.

Porteau Cove Provincial Park is an ideal place to spend the day outside of the city. Just a couple hours drive from Vancouver, Porteau Cove is a beautiful spot on the water where you can explore, walk around, and enjoy sunsets and stunning views of Howe Sound.

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Take a Day Trip to Porteau Cove