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.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Porteau Cove Campground ceased operations temporarily back in March of 2020. On April 3rd, the entire park closed (including all trails, beaches, the dock, boat launch, parking lot and even the diving areas). The park reopened in the summer though and since then people can camp there once again.
To see more closed venues in the Lower Mainland click Impact of COVID-19 on Vancouver.
Sea to Sky’s Porteau Cove
The campground is amazing not so much for its rocky beach, but for its world-class views. From Porteau Cove the waters of Howe Sound, the rising mountains and the striking islands are truly spectacular.
The campground is open year-round, but with full service and full fees from March to mid-November. It is dog (on a leash) friendly, and close to good hiking trails. The park is also an exceptional place for scuba diving, especially as there are two 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. We’re told that the trains no longer go through there at night, but it hasn’t been confirmed. What will make the possible noise worth putting up with is if you can get one of the campsites right on the water. (Click Porteau Cove Campground for a map of the campground).
In addition to campsites, Porteau Cove has a couple of wonderful and very comfortable cabins for rent too, 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 $200 from mid-May to mid-October, and $140-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). To see where the campsites are located, click Campground Map.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out 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: There are lots of interesting places to explore within a half-hour drive of Porteau Cove. Some of our favourite places include the following:
- Alice Lake Provincial Park
- Stawamus Chief Provincial Park
- Shannon Falls
- Britannia Mine Museum
- Sea to Sky Gondola
- West Coast Railway Heritage Park
TIP #4: 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 #5: 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 #6: 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).
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’ll 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’ll 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.
To learn more about the park see the BC Parks website.
See Porteau Cove Info for a park map and brochure.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Camping in and around the Lower Mainland
- 12 Reasons to go Camping in an RV
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature
- Outdoor Recreation in the Lower Mainland
- Whistler Area