I have previously stayed at Porteau Cove years ago, at the Walk-In sites with my kids. Those sites were a little more rustic, smaller, and the campground had pit toilets.
The vehicle accessible campgrounds are less rustic, with flush toilets, heated bathrooms, and a shower that was even fancier looking than the one I have at home!
Campsites come with electrical services, that cost an extra $8/night.
It’s supposed to take an hour and a half to drive there from Chilliwack, but I didn’t realize there were multiple sporting events as well as an Elton John concert happening in Vancouver that Friday, so the Highway was very slow going, and it ended up taking me three hours instead.
Needless to say, arriving in the dark, I unloaded what I needed from the back of my truck, and then blew up my air mattress and slept in the backseat the first night. I was not in the mood to set up my tent and fumble in the dark blowing up my air mattress and making my bed. Especially after running to the bathroom and coming back to two raccoons working together on my picnic table trying to unlatch my food bin! My mistake for leaving it out, especially in the dark! These raccoons have no fear and will scavenge whatever they can – the second night I ran over to my neighbor’s site and saved a Rubbermaid bin that I swear they were working together to take off with!
I started a fire right away, got my camping chair out, and sat down to relax. The clouds started to lift and I could see some bright stars overhead for awhile, but it did not compare to the starry sky on Saturday night! Every direction I looked I could see stars, and when I looked on my star app, it said the bright one right above me was actually Jupiter!
Saturday morning I woke up and went to make my coffee. I guess the raccoons had gotten thirsty in the night, because my collapsible water jug had holes poked all through it! I walked down to the water taps at the bathroom and filled up my coffee pot, then got my fire started. They also got into my 3-drawer stand that I had left out, but I forgot I had dish soap and cooking spray in it, so that was my fault!
I set up my tent, layered my air mattress with lots of blankets, and cleared out my backseat so I could fit all of my kitchen bins in the back. This worked well, and before I went to bed I put on a second pair of socks and slipped a Hot Hands pack in between them, as well as put some mittens on. It got down to -1C the next morning, so I was glad that I had come prepared, but when I woke up I wasn’t freezing cold like I thought I would be!
I got a small fire going, and then started to slowly pack up. I sat in front of the fire, taking in the ocean views and watching a bald eagle swoop down onto the beach in front of my site, scaring the other birds away.
I had scored this spot last-minute as someone had obviously seen the rain in the forecast and cancelled, but I lucked out and other than a few rain drops on Saturday afternoon (just enough to make me pop up my shade tent and get it over my picnic table) I didn’t see any other rain the entire time, which was a nice surprise!
I always stop in at Porteau Cove whenever I get the chance, and love enjoying the ocean views and watching all of the wildlife! This little stellar jay was not afraid of anything either, and helped himself to some leftover scramble eggs in a pan soaking with water!
Leaving this place always feels bittersweet and I often leave wishing I had more time to enjoy it. This weekend was no different, although I was filled with gratitude for being able to get a spot not just for one night, but two!
My first experience with vehicle camping at Porteau Cove was a good one. Campground A is closest to the gatehouse, which was handy for carrying firewood back to my site. You are also closer to the day use area, which means more foot traffic on the beach in front of my site, which isn’t a big deal. Next time I’ll try to get a site in Campground B so I can do a full comparison.
Vehicle camping sites are $35/night with an $8/night fee for electricity, making it one of the most expensive provincial parks, but with the oceanfront views, heated bathrooms with showers, etc. it’s worth the money.
As always, thank you for reading!