Home Vancouver’s Sea to Sky Region Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Porteau Cove is a provincial park with a rocky beach, campground and world-class views located on the Sea-to-Sky Highway less than an hour from Vancouver.

The park is just south of the Britannia Mine Museum and Squamish.


Sea to Sky’s Porteau Cove

The campground is amazing, not so much for its rocky beach, but for its stunning views. From Porteau Cove, the waters of Howe Sound, the rising mountains and the striking islands are truly spectacular.

While the campground is open year-round, full fees apply from March to mid-November. There is full service as well. The place is dog (on a leash) friendly, and fairly close to good hiking trails. The park is also an exceptional place for scuba diving, especially as there are three underwater vessels in the area for exploring. Fishing of any kind within the park, however, is not allowed (although there are salmon and cod for catching outside the park boundary if you have a boat).

The main drawback to the campground (and it’s not a minor one) is that it is close to the highway, and the railroad tracks. When we stayed there not so long ago, we were told that the trains no longer go through there at night. However, one did. At least, though, it was only one. Years ago, there would have been multiple trains.

What makes the possible noise worth putting up with is if you can get one of the campsites right on the water. Over half of the sites are oceanfront, and the views from them are stunning.

In addition to campsites, Porteau Cove has a couple of wonderful and very comfortable cabins for rent, each with a bedroom, loft, kitchen and bathroom. Linens are supplied and the maximum occupancy per cabins is four people. The cost used to be about $259 (plus taxes and fees) from mid-May to mid-October, and $189-ish at other times. Click Sea to Sky Accommodations for details about the cabins and current prices.

Of the 44 campsites at the park, about 28 of them are right along the beach (so their views are amazing). You can park your vehicle in most of the sites. A few, though, are walk-in only. To see where the campsites are located, click Campground Map.


RV Camping at Porteau Cove
Waterfront Campsite at Porteau Cove


Squamish Polar Bear Swim

The Squamish Polar Bear Swim takes place at Porteau Cove on January 1st each year. A couple of hundred people show up, and about half of those go in the water. The swim usually happens at noon and the event is over within just a few minutes.


Tips & Advice

Below are some suggestions to help you make the most of your visit to Porteau Cove Provincial Park.

TIP #1: As mentioned above, the two drawbacks about Porteau Cove for camping are the train tracks and proximity to the highway – so it might be good to take earplugs. Also, book a campsite on the water, both for the million dollar views and the fact that they are slightly further away from the tracks.

TIP #2: Porteau Cove has a fair number of campsites with views of the ocean. They are incredible, but also understandably very popular. To get one of these you’ll need to reserve your spot well in advance. Good luck!

TIP #3: At the end of the park farthest from the entrance is an open space and a small hill with a path up to the top. It’s a small hill, but nice to hike up. From top to bottom, it’ll take you less than five minutes. Be sure to check it out.

TIP #4: There are lots of interesting places to explore within a half-hour drive of Porteau Cove. Some of our favourite places include the following:



Dock and Beach at Porteau Cove
The Dock at Porteau Cove


TIP #5: Porteau Cove is a nice place to spend the night, but also for just a short visit. When driving between Vancouver and Squamish or Whistler, it’s a good spot to stop at for a break and to stretch your legs.

TIP #6: The views of Howe Sound are beautiful, but the beach itself is rocky. If you plan to play in the water you’ll want to take beach shoes. The water doesn’t get deep quickly, and the rocky ground goes out a long ways.

TIP #7: Porteau Cove is a nice place to stop for a stretch when driving between Vancouver and Squamish or Whistler. Another popular place that’s not far away is Murrin Provincial Park (which is at the side of the highway between Britannia Beach and Squamish).

TIP #8: The park is in the shadow of the mountains in the mornings, and for a fair bit of the day in winter. It’s an incredibly beautiful spot. If you want sunshine, though, don’t expect a lot of it between November and the end of January.


Porteau Cove Campsite View at Low Tide
View from a waterfront campsite


Porteau Cove Video

To get an idea of what Porteau Cove Provincial Park looks like, check out the video below. It was taken in the summer of 2020. The weather was cloudy on the day we visited, which was unfortunate. When it’s sunny the scenery is even more spectacular!

As you can see in the video, there is a fair-sized day-use parking area near the pier. There is free parking in the area for both cars and over-sized vehicles. The campground is just a short distance away.

Also as you can see in the video, there is a very large rocky beach. It goes out for a long ways when the tide is out. Along the shore are the campsites. The views from most of them are impressive. The park itself is long and narrow. You are never far from the water.

The pier is a popular spot to walk around. From it you can admire the views of the mountains, islands and waters of Howe Sound.



Other Information

To learn more about the park see the BC Parks website.

See the Porteau Cove website for a park map and brochure.

To learn more about the area see our articles about Squamish or the Sea to Sky Region.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: