There are three major provincial campgrounds located along the Sunshine Coast. Two of them are on the southern portion of the Sunshine Coast: Roberts Creek Provincial Park, has vehicle/tent sites and straddles Hwy 101, about 9 miles (14 km) west of Gibsons. Porpoise Bay Provincial Park, has vehicle/tent sites located 2.5 miles (4 km) north of Sechelt on East Porpoise Bay Road. (Note: In addition to the vehicle/tent sites there are also bike-in sites for those who are cycle-touring the region.) A third, Saltery Bay Provincial Park, has vehicle/tent sites, including double units, and sits beside the BC Ferries’ Saltery Bay terminal on Jervis Inlet south of Powell River.
A camping fee per site per night is charged at all of these parks. Although Roberts Creek and Porpoise Bay fill up quickly in summer months, you’ll stand a much better chance of squeezing into Saltery Bay Provincial Park, owing to its more remote location, which requires an additional ferry ride from Earls Cove.
In addition to these three major provincial parks, there’s also camping at Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial Park. Located about 9 miles (15 km) northwest of Sechelt, this small, sheltered marine park with walk-in campsites serves as a jumping-off point for paddlers wishing to explore several offshore islands in what is arguably the most scenic location on the Sunshine Coast. Watch for the well-marked approach to the park on the south side of Hwy 101, between Halfmoon Bay and Secret Cove. Follow Brooks Road 3 miles (5 km) to the parking lot, from where you can either paddle in or walk a 1-mile (1.6-km) trail to the campsites.
Okeover Arm Provincial Park, near Lund on the northern Sunshine Coast, is another small campground frequented by paddlers. This park is the choice of those intent on exploring Desolation Sound. Except in the busiest summer months, you’ll probably have your pick of any of the vehicle/tent sites and adjacent walk-in sites in the forest beside Okeover Arm, a long neck of water along the east side of Malaspina Peninsula, 3 miles (5 km) south of Lund. There’s a federal dock and boat ramp here and, unlike in Lund, plenty of parking, should you be heading out for an extended paddle. The park lies 3 miles (5 km) east of Hwy 101 on Malaspina Road.
There are more Forest Service recreation sites concentrated around Powell River on the northern Sunshine Coast than in almost any other similar-sized area in British Columbia. This is a testament not only to the dozens of lakes surrounding the town but also to the amount of logging that has taken place here for the past 70 years. Where there is logging, there are Forest Service recreation sites. Much of the forest is still in recovery, particularly at higher elevations, but where industry first cleared the easiest-to-reach trees, the second growth is beginning to re-establish itself.
One of the best sites includes Dinner Rock. The entrance to the site is on the west side of Hwy 101, 2.5 miles (4 km) south of Lund. Drive slowly as you approach Lund and watch for the sturdy wooden campground sign at the entrance to a dirt road that leads 0.5 mile (1 km) downhill to a dozen beautifully positioned sites. (Note: A gate bars access to the site October 15-April 15.) With plenty of firewood, freshwater, and a car top boat launch, this is where you want to be when a full moon lights up Malaspina Strait and shooting stars strafe the night sky.
Along forest roads east of Powell River, you’ll find more good camping at Forest Service sites at Inland Lake, including award-winning cabins designed for people with disabilities. South of Powell River there’s camping at Lois Lake at the start of the Powell Forest Canoe Route, at Khartoum Lake, also on the canoe route, as well as at Nanton Lake and at Dodd Lake, both located on the Welwood Mainline Forest Road.
Other public campsites along the Sunshine Coast include Katherine Lake Regional Park, near Garden Bay and Irvines Landing, and Haywire Bay Regional Campground, near Powell River. To find Katherine Lake Regional Park, turn west off Hwy 101, about 3.4 miles (5.5 km) north of Madeira Park. Follow Garden Bay Road about 2.5 miles (4 km) west of the highway to Katherine Lake, the smallest of four lakes ringed around Pender Harbour. Haywire Bay Regional Park is reached by driving east of Marine Avenue (Hwy 101) in downtown Powell River on Duncan Avenue, north on Manson, and east on Cassiar to Yukon. Follow Yukon to Haslam. Turn east on Haslam, then north on Inland Lake Road. Haywire Bay Road branches west of Inland Lake Road and leads in short order to the campsites.
Campgrounds & RV Parks
Information on Provincial Park Campgrounds and Reservations, National Park Campgrounds and Reservations, Camping on Crown Land in BC Recreation Sites, Frequently Asked Questions on Parks and Campgrounds, and Provincial Park User Fees. Go to Campgrounds & RV Parks.