Porteau Cove Provincial Park is located 26 km (16 miles) north of
Bay and 20 km (12.5 miles) south of Squamish
on the 'Sea-to-Sky' Hwy 99.
Porteau Cove is located on the east side of North America's most
southerly mountain fjord, Howe Sound. The setting is beautiful with
westerly views towards the Sunshine Coast against a backdrop of
snow-covered mountains along the east.
The park highlights at Porteau Cove include a large number of waterfront
campsites, an ocean walk to a lookout point on a small peninsula
jutting out into Howe Sound, ocean beachcombing, windsurfing opportunities,
fishing, hiking, relaxing, wildlife watching and one of the Lower
Mainland's most popular destination for SCUBA diving.
You'll find the SCUBA diving found at Porteau Cove Provincial Park
is very interesting with two sunken vessels, the Granthall, a 28-metre
(92-feet) steel-hulled tugboat originally built in Montreal in 1928
for the CPR and the Centennial III, a former crane barge acting
as artificial reefs. Along with other protections, Porteau Cove
attracts lots of various sea life such as ling cod, octopus, colourful
plumose anemones, crabs as well as an assortment of underwater plant
life among the artificial reefs.
The campground area at Porteau Cove, especially along the waterfront,
exhibits beautiful south and west panoramic views, are fairly large
and quite private. The facilities are open year-round and include
flush toilets, fire-pits, 44-vehicle-accessible sites with electrical
hook-ups, 16 walk-in sites, 2 cabins available for rent as a result
of the 2010 Olympic Legacy and a sani-station. The entrance to the
campground has a guardhouse that controls the campground very efficiently
by not letting traffic through unless the campsite has been registered
to that vehicle.
There is a very nice day-use area at the entrance to the park off
of Hwy 99 where there is a pier for an emergency ferry terminal
and a number of picnic tables and park benches with views of the
diving area and beach. The day-use area has a very large parking
lot near the park entrance and features a special washroom for SCUBA
divers that has a large change room with some showers available.
If you want to stay at Porteau Cove, the only way to be guaranteed
a site is getting reservations through Discover Camping. Considered
one of the most popular places to stay in the Lower Mainland, the
campground fills up fast with 80% reservable and only 20% non-reservable.
If you are not fussy and don't mind pit-toilets, some of the 16
walk-in sites are also non-reservable and often have vacancies.
Facilities and services that are close to the park include Britannia
Beach, 8.5 km (5.3 miles) north on Hwy 99 where there is the
Britannia Beach General Store, which has a liquor agency and lottery,
the CRS Trading Company, a Native Art Gallery, the BC Museum of
Mining and the Galileo Coffee Company, a real favourite in the area,
especially for people travelling on Hwy 99.
Railway and Hwy 99
Just remember, the SCUBA dive area can be very busy on some weekends
as a number of dive schools use Porteau Cove as part of their training
locations. Plus the campsites are adjacent to the CN Railway tracks
as well as Hwy 99 and, at times, can be a little noisy with vehicle
and train traffic throughout the evening but, all in all, Porteau
Cove is well worth the visit or to stay the night.
There is also the possibilities of encounters with bears, wolves
or cougars at Porteau Cove so please play it safe at all times.
on Porteau Cove