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Porteau Cove Provincial Park: A Camper’s Picturesque Getaway

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Nestled on the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Porteau Cove Provincial Park offers pebbly beaches, pristine waters, and a mountain backdrop. It’s a unique spot that draws outdoor lovers and nature enthusiasts. 

So, if you need some help for your trip to Porteau Cove Provincial Park, we’ve made this guide just for you, which includes the best time to go, things to know, activities to enjoy, and so much more!

What is Porteau Cove?

Porteau Cove, which means ‘Water’s Gate’ in French, used to be a mining site led by John F. Deek, to supply Vancouver with sand and gravel in the 1900s.

People used to call this place home, with nice houses, a school, tennis courts, and a ferry that shuttled folks between Vancouver and Squamish. As time passed, Porteau Cove transformed into a summer resort.

Today, Porteau Cove is a well-known spot for divers as several vessels have formed artificial reefs that house more than 100 species of marine life. There are also tons of campsites and picnic spots in the area that offer stunning waterfront views.

Time Zone

Pacific Standard Time (PST) (UTC-8)

Best Time to Go

The best time to go to Porteau Cove is from July to September when the weather is pleasantly warm but not scorching, making it perfect for outdoor adventures like kayaking, camping, and canoeing.

May to June in the early spring months is also a wonderful time to visit, with the added bonus of lower accommodation costs compared to the bustling summer season.

Things to Know

Fees at Porteau Cove Park

Porteau Cove is a well-maintained provincial park, so it’s only reasonable that they charge some fees to help cover the costs of upkeep and improvements. So, let’s start with the campsite fees, shall we?

Campsite Fee
Drive-In – per party, per night$43.00
Drive-In (Winter) – per party, per night$26.00
Drive-In (Senior) – per couple, per night$25.50
Drive-In (Senior Winter) – per couple per night$21.50
Walk-In – per party, per night$20.00
Walk-In (Senior) – per couple, per night$10.00

As you can see, rates are lower during the winter months because the park is only operating partially. Meaning, there’s no washrooms or showers available, and some amenities may be closed.

They also charge a few visitor services for firewood and rental equipment. These fees contribute to the maintenance and preservation of the park’s facilities.

Visitor Services Fee
Firewood1 for $12 or 3 for $32
Propane Exchange$36.99
Propane Buy-In$74.99
Propane Fire Rings$15 per night

Parking Situation at Porteau Cove Park

Parking at Porteau Cove Provincial Park is limited, with some spaces available within the park itself and additional parking in the day-use lot. Here are the parking rates to give you an idea:

Parking and Docking Fees
Docking per meter$2.00
Second Vehicle (Drive-In) – per night$12.00
Second Vehicle (Drive-In – Senior) – per night$8.75
Second Vehicle (Drive-In – Winter) – per night$8.75

Just remember, if you intend to stay in the park past 11 pm, make sure to have a valid permit displayed on your vehicle.

Camping at Porteau Cove Park

To secure a campsite at Porteau Cove, you’ll need to make a reservation through BC Parks’ Camping Reservation System. Alternatively, you can also reserve a site by calling 1-800-689-9025 toll-free within Canada and the US, or 1-519-858-6161 for international callers.

Swimming at Porteau Cove Park

At Porteau Cove, you’ll find a rocky and pebbly beach where you can enjoy ocean swimming. The area also offers fantastic scuba diving opportunities, thanks to a series of man-made reefs and two sunken vessels.

Please keep in mind that there are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks, so exercise caution and stay safe while swimming and diving. It’s also a good idea to wear sneakers or beach shoes for a comfortable experience.

How to Get to Porteau Cove Park from Vancouver

By car: drive to the Sea to Sky Highway north from West Vancouver until you come across a sign for Porteau Cove Provincial Park. Once you do, turn left off the highway to enter the park.

By public transit: ride the 257 bus and line 262 bus to the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. From there, take a 15-minute taxi ride to the park.

Where to Stay near Porteau Cove Park

Porteau Cove Cabins

Address: Porteau Cove Provincial Park, Porteau Cove, BC V7G 1L3, Canada
Phone: +1 604-986-9371
Pricing: $$
Book Now

Right here in this stunning spot, you’ll find the Porteau Cove Cabins. We’ve got a pair of cabins, and they’ve got that perfect mix of rustic charm and all the modern comforts you need.

Plus, the scenery here is always shifting with the tides and weather. You can kick back on the cozy outdoor patio, complete with a long wooden table and a BBQ stove, and watch it all unfold.

Hotel Squamish

Address: 37991 2 Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0A8, Canada
Phone: +1 604-892-9584
Pricing: $
Book Now

Hotel Squamish is the epitome of quaint charm nestled in the heart of the picturesque Squamish Valley. Sure, the rooms are a little small, but it had all the basics—coffee and tea, fridges, TVs, and DVD players with a DVD collection.

As a bonus, parking is on the house (though spots are limited), and they’ve got daily housekeeping for those staying overnight.

Howe Sound Inn & Brewing

Address: 37801 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0A7, Canada
Phone: +1 604-892-2603
Pricing: $$
Book Now

The best draw to staying at Howe Sound Inn is having access to the Howe Sound Brewing and Brewpub. The rooms themselves are also lovely, featuring cozy beds, complimentary toiletries, a flat-screen TV, a mini fridge, and a coffee maker.

They also have pet-friendly rooms available (additional $25 plus tax) and four types of rooms available that each have their own unique charm and style—but all the same amenities.

Crash Hotel Squamish

Address: 38005 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0C3, Canada
Phone: +1 604-815-3403
Pricing: $
Book Now

The Crash Hotel is anything but your typical hotel. The check-in and check-out process is all done at their virtual reception, and the rooms feel like they were designed by a futuristic architect.

The designer rooms have scenic views of the Stawamus Chief Mountain, and the party rooms are designed with funky themes like Super Mario, graffiti, and lots of other bold and vibrant designs.

Sandman Hotel & Suites 

Address: 39400 Discovery Way, Squamish, BC V8B 0R5, Canada
Phone: +1 604-848-6000
Pricing: $$
Book Now

The Sandman Hotel & Suites exudes a trendy vibe and offers all the contemporary conveniences you could wish for, including a business center, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, an indoor pool and hot tub area, and a fitness center.

You can’t beat the location either. It’s conveniently situated near numerous restaurants and just a quick five-minute drive to downtown as well as the Stawamus Chief Hiking Trails.

Where to Eat near Porteau Cove Park 

The Copper Coil Still & Grill

Address: 37996 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0A7, Canada
Phone: +16048920646
Pricing: $$

The smoked meats at the Copper Coil Still & Grill are amazing—not oversmoked or too sweet—and the beef dip is immaculate. Try the smoked brisket and pulled pork, rack of ribs, and blackened chicken.

Pair your meals with a cold beer on tap, and they’ll top ’em up for you until you’ve had your fill. 


Address: 38005 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0S8, Canada
Phone: +16048983447
Pricing: $$

Peckinpah mainly serves slow-smoked meats, Southern appetizers, and whiskies. This casual spot will make you feel like you’re dining in a Texan restaurant, as it’s designed with rustic furniture, a chalkboard menu, and a cozy, laid-back atmosphere.

Our advice? Get the double-smoked brisket. It’s insanely good—smoked to perfection, tender, and served with their tangy, homemade BBQ sauce.

Chef Big D’s Restaurant

Address: 38042 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0A1, Canada
Phone: +16045673330
Pricing: $

This sunny breakfast spot along Cleveland Avenue is where you can score breakfast plates, sandwiches, and baked goods. Chef Big D’s Restaurant feels like those classic diners where the coffee keeps coming and servers make you feel at home.

Come here hungry and get the ‘Mountain Man’ breakfast. It’s packed with all the protein and carbohydrates you need to fuel your day, including eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and toast.

The Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar

Address: 37991 2 Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0R2, Canada
Phone: +16043901910
Pricing: $$

Set within a historic 1910 building, the Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar pays tribute to Squamish’s early days as a railway terminus and logging hub, capturing its aesthetic and spirit.

Get a little bit of everything on their menu— from fresh pasta, juicy hanger steak, delicious TSV burger, and a not too sweet lemon tart. And if you’re feeling indulgent, cap it all off with some after-dinner cocktails.

White Spot Squamish

Address: 1200 Hunter Pl #410, Squamish, BC V8B 0G8, Canada
Phone: +16048927477
Pricing: $$

Since 1928, White Spot has been a BC staple, and they’ve got a branch right here on Squamish. It’s a go-to for Canadian comfort food such as their famous Triple O’s burgers and Pirate Paks for the kids. 

Get their signature berry cheesecake, crafted from their own special recipe. It boasts a luscious and creamy graham cracker crust, topped with your choice of blueberry or strawberry topping, and whipped cream.

What to Do in Porteau Cove Park

Go Camping at Porteau Cove

Go Camping at Porteau Cove
Image by Sea to Sky Parks via

Address: Squamish-Lillooet D, BC V0N 3Z0, Canada
Phone: +1 604-986-9371 ext. 5

At Porteau Cove, you get to camp right in front of the ocean, with scenic views of Howe Sound and Anvil Island. There are a total of 16 campsites here, and it’s perfect for tent camping with a small group.

Every single one of these campsites has benches to chill on, communal fire pits for cozy evenings, pit toilets for when nature calls, and a picnic area that’s not too far off.

Take in the Sights from Porteau Cove

Take in the Sights from Porteau Cove
Image from Sonja Peterson via

Address: Squamish-Lillooet D, BC, Canada
Phone: +1 604-986-9371

Head to the Porteau Cove pier, climb the short viewing tower, and take in gorgeous views of Howe Sound, Anvil Island’s majestic peak, and mountains over on the Sunshine Coast.

The pier’s open for everyone to enjoy, and it’s not just a spot for taking in those beautiful views. You can do some stargazing and spot some wildlife.

Scuba Dive in Howe Sound 

Scuba Dive in Howe Sound
Image by Global News via

Address: Howe Sound, British Columbia
Phone: +1 604-329-3486

Remember when we told you that there are numerous vessels that had sunk here at Porteau Cove? Well, that’s exactly the reason why you should go diving here to discover sunken ships and underwater treasures.

There’s a whole world waiting under the waters of this park. You can dive down and spot over 100 marine species – we’re talking eels, octopuses, urchins, anemones, seals, and a bunch of different fish.

Give Windsurfing a Go in Howe Sound

Give Windsurfing a Go in Howe Sound
Image by Explore Squamish via

Address: 37813 Second Avenue Squamish, BC, V8B 0B7 Canada
Phone: 604-815-4994

If you’ve never given windsurfing a go, Howe Sound is the perfect spot to dive in. Just hit up the Squamish Windsports Society. They’ll sort you out with boat shuttles over to Spit Island, where you can grab all the windsurfing gear you need.

They also have a waterfront facility setup with lockers for your stuff, shower and changing rooms to freshen up, and even a hot tub and a private dock. 

Have a Picnic Right along the Waterfront

Have a Picnic Right along the Waterfront
Image by Explore Squamish via

Address: Squamish-Lillooet D, BC, Canada
Phone: +1 604-986-9371

Porteau Cove is packed with picnic areas in the day-use areas. These spots are right along the waterfront, where you can lay a blanket and have a picnic on the pebble beach. You can also buy firewood for a cozy beach bonfire in the evening.

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