Strathcona Park Wilderness Camping

Type: Backcountry / Backpacking / Wilderness Camping

Open: Year round

Fees: None

Reservations: No

Toilets: None, Leave no Trace
Showers: No
Potable Water: No, Water is available from streams but must be boiled, treated or filtered before drinking.
Pets: Yes, on leash
Garbage: Pack it out
Fire Pit: No, fires are not permitted
Hydro: No
Sanidump: No
Accessible: No
Description: Random wilderness camping is allowed within Strathcona Park provided you do not camp within a fee collection zone and you camp more than 1 km from a main road. Strathcona park is a rugged mountain wilderness comprising more than 250,000 hectares. Mountain peaks – some perpetually mantled with snow – dominate the park. Lakes and alpine tarns dot a landscape laced with rivers, creeks and streams. Summer in Strathcona is usually pleasantly warm, while winters are fairly mild except for the higher levels, where heavy snowfalls are the norm.

Things to Do: 

Boating - Canoeing and kayaking is popular on Buttle and Upper Campbell Lakes. Buttle Lake is subject to strong afternoon winds that may be hazardous to small craft. Canoeists and kayakers should exercise caution at all times. Two boat-launching ramps are located on Buttle Lake at the Buttle Lake boat launch and the Karst Creek boat launch. Boaters should exercise extreme caution at all times because the lake is a reservoir and submerged stumps may be encountered, particularly close to shore. Boaters must keep clear of swimming areas.

Biking - Some mountain bike opportunities exist on the west side of Strathcona Park through Gold River in the vicinity of Kunlin Lake. Near by Mt. Washington also has a Mountain Bike Park

Climbing - Crest Creek Crags offers more than 150 climbing routes for various skill levels. Please ensure you and your climbing partner have the skills, equipment and experience to climb safely. Crest Creek Crags is accessed via Hwy 28 from Campbell River; approximately 11 km east of Gold River.

Fishing - Angling can be rewarding on Buttle Lake and on the other lakes and waterways in and near Strathcona park. Cutthroat and Rainbow trout are the primary catch. Tributaries to Buttle Lake are closed to angling. The Elk River is open to catch and release fly fishing only.

Hiking - Strathcona Park has abundant hiking trails both maintained and unmaintained. Buttle Lake Area TrailsForbidden Plateau TrailsNature walks, short trails, and other trails. The Barrier Free Centennial Trail is wheelchair accessible

Interpretive Programs - The Strathcona Wilderness Institute, the non-profit society who manages the Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre, has a great program lined up for the summer: nature walks, talks & hikes, including several new themes. The Wilderness Centre building is located at the Paradise Meadows trailhead in Strathcona Park, adjacent to Mt. Washington’s Raven Lodge, the nordic ski lodge. Check the calendar for the most up-to-date schedule

Skiing and Snowshoeing - Backcountry skiing and boarding exist in Strathcona park. Developed ski facilities can be found at Mount Washington Alpine Resort, adjacent to the park. Cross-country skiing is a popular activity in Paradise Meadows during the winter. More than half of the Nordic trails set by Mount Washington are within Strathcona Park.Snowshoeing is popular in Paradise Meadows during the winter. Mount Washington sets some snowshoes trails for beginners; more adventurous visitors can snowshoe at any point in the park. Rentals are available from Mount Washington or from various commercial outlets in the Comox Valley and Campbell River.

Swimming - Good swimming is available in Buttle Lake, near the Buttle Lake and Driftwood Bay campgrounds. Buoys mark the designated swimming areas. Although the water is cold, swimming is permitted in all the lakes in the backcountry except for Kwai Lake.

Waterskiing - Waterskiing opportunities exist on Buttle Lake.

Windsurfing - Windsurfing opportunities exist on Buttle Lake.

Rules: BC Parks Policy. Practice Leave no Trace and BC Backcountry Camping Ethics

Operated by: BC Provincial Parks

Number of Sites: 0

Park Map

BC Parks
RLC Parks
Strathcona Wilderness Institute
Friends of Strathcona Park

Search for Strathcona on the Interactive Google Map

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