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Camping on Vancouver Island


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#1 G-Man

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 09:28 AM

This thread is for discussion of where you like to go and where you don't like to go.

I'll start with a place I just went to for the first time last week. The Sooke Potholes Campground which is run by the Land Conservancy.

I had been to the potholes tons of times in the past but had not been up to the campground since it opened last year. We made reservations online and it is a good thing we did because it was completely full. Still we got a great site right next to the river.

The swimming holes up at this part of the river were really good and there were some cool channels you could swim up. My wife and I walked up the Goose to Leechtown which is only aout 40 minutes from the campground.

Our only complaint was that some of the other sites we saw were quite small. The best part is that this is only like a 30 minute drive from our place downtown.

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#2 Lover Fighter

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 11:45 AM

18 of my friends were camping there this week, they took up 3 campsites apparently. I couldn't make it, but I've never camped at the Potholes before.

#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 12:09 PM

I don't camp.
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#4 Mike K.

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 12:13 PM

Whenever I go camping I head out into the boonies several hours away from civilization. The Island is reknowned for remote camping, hiking and exploring opportunities so might as well make the most of this neck of the woods. One of my favourite regions is around Nitinaht Lake on the west coast.

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#5 Jarrod

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 12:23 PM

I don't camp.


Ditto. I don't do the outdoors.

Hell, whenever I went to Miracle Beach I used to say "I ****ing hate camping...." The thing is that ummm...it was a 2 minute drive from my house...

#6 Jada

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 03:22 PM

Whenever I go camping I head out into the boonies several hours away from civilization. The Island is reknowned for remote camping, hiking and exploring opportunities so might as well make the most of this neck of the woods. One of my favourite regions is around Nitinaht Lake on the west coast.


I love Nitinaht Lake! I love all the people out there.

You know what Ive wanted to do for years? Take a little boat out from Nitinaht out to the west coast trail, and do a four hour hike from the basin of the lake out to Tsusiat Falls, and spend a few days out there. Tsusiat falls are right on the coast, and you can camp right out on the beach. Its seriously the best place on the west coast to camp. Ive been there before, when I was a teenager I hiked the west coast trail and spent a few nights at the falls. Ive always wanted to go back out there and take some friends.

#7 Jarrod

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 06:19 PM

I really don't like camping due to the fact that I would have to be dirty and be away from a shower. I am obsessive about how I smell. I usually have 3 showers a day. It's been cut down from like 6. And I like to have a bath around 2am...lol...

Anyway, I ultimatly don't like camping.

#8 Carewser

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 04:04 AM

That's cool that the potholes have campgrounds now though. I'll have to camp there someday.

My favourite place to camp was Pine Point at Lake Cowichan. Camped there a few times, but the last time was MANY years ago. Would love to go back, but ain't got no car.

#9 captain highliner

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:40 PM

Some good spots:

Sombrio Beach, though busy kicks ass. The rest of the Juan De Fuca trail can be seen as a poor man's West Coast Trail. That's not meant to hack it at all, it's just cheaper and a bit easier to access. You can do smaller 2-3 day hikes starting at sombrio and heading in either direction to China or Botanical beaches. Great fun and hard work.

Lizzard and Fairy lakes, off the Renfrew-Lake Cowichan road are nice car camping spots.

If you have a truck, Bear Creek resevoir on the Juan de Fuca ridge has rustic camping and kick ass trout fishing.

Weeks Lake, in behind Shawnigan lake is another good unserviced site, though it has a get pissed, jump through the fire and run someone over in their tent vibe. If that's not your style, don't go on a long weekend.

That's just a few of the spots my wife and I have camped at in the past few years. I've always been torn between the city and the land. Camping is a way of reconnecting with the bulk of our history as a species. Knowing how to exist on the land entails getting in touch with nature in a way that you can't experience in a city or suburb.

It's more because of my love of nature than for any other reason that I support policies like urban containment. You don't know what you're losing through sprawl unless you actually get out there and live within it for a while.

#10 gumgum

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 09:12 PM

I camped here friday http://www.portrenfrew.com/pacheedaht/, as I have many times before. A great place if you enjoy beach camping at its best. A gorgeous, relaxing spot. And a great place if you have a dog.
And because it is not an official park, but a native reserve, rules such as campfire bans don't apply. In`fact, because there is a stead supply of driftwood, firewood is just a matter of gathering around the perimetre of your tent, (unless you happen to visit soon after a busy weekend. If so, they do sell firewood.)
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The view is the coastline of the beginning of th West Coast Trail; the portion where hikers still haven't a clue what the **** they're getting themselves into.

#11 &lt;avril&gt;

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 04:01 PM

Parksville is a relly nice area to go camping, but unfortunatly it's about two and a half hours drive from Victoria. :(

#12 Walter Moar

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 04:15 PM

I prefer Strathcona for "multiday hiking" -- to me that's different from what most people call "camping", which usually involves being within sight of one's car. I only made it up a couple of times during the past couple of summers, too darned busy. Next year looks good for at least half a dozen trips... I love alpine hiking!

#13 &lt;avril&gt;

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 04:23 PM

Wow, that beach looks beautiful....what is the name of it again?

#14 rayne_k

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 11:04 PM

Lizzard and Fairy lakes, off the Renfrew-Lake Cowichan road are nice car camping spots.


Ahh Fairy lake.. used to canoe across the lake and through the channel to the the San Juan River. Holy memories... we also used to camp at forestry's Caycuse site (Cowichan) when I was a kid. There were two huge logs that stuck out into the lake as a breakwater; in calm water we (kids) would fish for bullhead off of them, and in rough water we'd jump into the wavy side wearing life jackets and spend the afternoon bobbing up and down.

For me, the natural backyard we have here is at least 1/2 the reason why I love the island.

#15 gumgum

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:22 PM

Has anyone camped at Lizard Lake near Port Renfrew?

Is so, is it nice there? Are the camp sites nice and private? Are they drive in sites, or walk in sites?
Is this place worth camping?

#16 G-Man

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:26 PM

I have. They have both walk-in and drive in.

It is nice but the sites at Fairy Lake, closer to Renfrew are much more private. Also Fairy is less busy and just as nice a lake. Was there a couple of weeks ago.

#17 vandervalk

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:52 PM

For the past 5 years we've camped at Fairy Lake and we keep going back because we enjoy it so much.

I've never stayed at Lizard Lake though.

#18 gumgum

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 08:05 PM

Thanks guys. Should we book a spot or is it first come first serve at Fairy?

#19 Dinya

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 08:33 AM

When my family used to go camping when I was much younger, we used to prefer the provincial campgrounds, usually the ones with good toilet/shower facilities. Goldstream was great for a quick getaway (and still within 15 - 20 minutes of home just in case you forgot something!) However, my favourite was Rathtrevor in Parksville. With the tide going out for a couple of miles, the beach was the absolute best place to have fun. The water was usually nice and warm too.

#20 victorian fan

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 03:33 PM

I never went camping as a child. :(

Mom rented a cottage once in Cordova Bay. Across the street from what is now McMorran's. Then, just one tiny store. It was pretty far our of town and consisted of mostly beach houses. Those stairs down to the beach were very unsafe according to today's standard. I was allowed to drink a bottle of orange pop on the beach. What a treat!

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