Best tent camping near Vancouver? You make the call!

Photo credit: CentreduQuebec | Flickr

It’s that time of year again.

With the weather getting warmer, thoughts turn to campfires, s’mores, sleeping bags and bug spray.  Camping is a celebrated summer ritual in Vancouver.  And no wonder – We’re spoiled with dozens of  provincial parks within a two-hour drive of the city.

And these aren’t just roadside campgrounds.  I’m talking about the electric-blue glacial lakes and soaring mountains of Garibaldi.  About the thundering torrents of Nairn Falls.  About the idyllic streams and untouched wilderness of Golden Ears (where, I should point out, Rambo was filmed).

Amenities in these parks vary.  Some offer only hike-in campsites; others have deluxe campgrounds with hot showers and electrical hookups.  But they all come fully loaded with exceptional scenery and access to beautiful B.C. wilderness.

Sadly, summer’s too short to explore them all – which is why I need your help:

Where’s the best camping near Vancouver?  Where’s your favourite place to camp with friends or family? Let us know below.

I’ll start things off with a place I visited recently, Porpoise Bay Provincial Park on the Sunshine Coast.  This waterfront park on the Sechelt Inlet has the advantage of feeling remote, even though it’s really not.  Catch the ferry at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast (about 40 minutes), then take a quick 30-minute drive up Highway 101 and you’re there.

Photo credit: DragonSpeed | Flickr

There are 86 campsites scattered throughout the park, but each one is nicely set back into the forest, so it doesn’t feel like you’re camping on top of your neighbour.  A nice sandy beach is suitable for swimming in the warmer weather and a network of trails winds along nearby Angus Creek.

Showers, flush toilets and a picnic area make Porpoise Bay a good family-friendly option.  There are big grassy fields to play in and three communal fire pits (but – alas – no individual campfires are permitted).  Sechelt is right next door if you need to stock up on supplies, and some great natural scenery – including the eerie Skookumchuk Rapids – is a short drive away.

Porpoise Bay definitely isn’t the flashiest place to pitch a tent (no glaciers or snow-capped mountains to speak of) but it does make for a relaxing, family-friendly choice.

What’s your favourite spot to tent camp near Vancouver?  Let us know below!

Want more updates on Vancouver and beyond?  Follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza

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