Olympic Legacy Cabins at Porteau Cove, BC: Camping for the Non-Camper

Legacy Cabin at Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Legacy Cabin at Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Although I really love tent camping, my husband does not. He does however love being outdoors and exploring new parts of BC, so how did we get to explore the amazing Porteau Cove Provincial Park without the tent?  Simple – we booked a weekend at one of the Olympic Legacy Cabins.  Cabin camping is the perfect way for non-campers to camp: you still get the opportunity to unplug from everyday life and relax in the outdoors but without sleeping in a tent.

In the loft of the Legacy Cabin

In the loft of the Legacy Cabin

Porteau Cove has two small cabins located right beside the campground check-in office at the entrance to the park.  These cabins are fully equipped: beds to sleep four people, a small kitchen with place settings for four as well as basic kitchen supplies (pots and pans), bathroom (with shower), sitting area inside, and a deck that looks out into Howe Sound complete with BBQ and outdoor table. The patio area is covered making it possible to eat all our meals outside and enjoy the view of Howe Sound, even though it was raining for most of our visit.

We stayed in the North Cabin for a family get away in Mid-April. There is something about pulling up to the campground and knowing that your space will be warm and dry – without having to pitch a tent, tarp the area, and unload the car – that is really appealing!  I could get used to this type of camping. The cabins really have everything you need (except food of course!) so it only takes a few minutes to unload the vehicle before you can start enjoying the beauty of the park.

Exploring on the driftwood

Exploring on the driftwood

Once you are all settled in and ready to explore, what is there to do at Porteau Cove?

  • Easy Hiking Trail to the Look Out.
  • Check out tide pools when the tide goes out.
  • Watch for sea life – each morning we watched a sea otter swim from the pier to the shore and then hang out on one of the rocks in front of the cabin (we named that rock “Otter Rock”).
  • Watch the divers, or go diving if you are a diver.
  • Geocache, there are a few larger sized caches here, as well as an earth cache to help you learn about how Howe Sound was formed.

    The Pier

    The Pier

  • Venture up to Squamish – possibly stopping at the Britannia Mine Museum, Shannon Falls, or the Sea to Sky Gondola. During our visit to Squamish we enjoyed a treat at the Sunflower Bakery and picked up some locally made craft beer at the Howe Sounds Brewery.

Porteau Cove also has 60 campsites for tents or trailers (in case cabin camping isn’t your thing).  This Provincial Park has drive-in sites, as well as walk in sites.  All the sites we saw when we took a walk around the park had great views of Howe Sound.

Legacy Cabin at Dusk

Legacy Cabin at Dusk

I’m not sure if cabin camping will ever replace tent camping for myself and my daughter, or if it will ever replace hotels for my husband but I do know that it is a really great half-way point between the two.  I can see us exploring more cabins in BC in the near future and my daughter is already planning a return trip to the Olympic Legacy Cabins at Porteau Cove for the family next spring.  See you then Porteau Cove!

Things to know:

View from the porch of the Legacy Cabin

View from the porch of the Legacy Cabin

  • The cabin is small and truly only sleeps four people. In the North Cabin there is a double bed in the loft and a bunk bed in a small room on the main floor (great for kids!).
  • The cabins don’t have a path to the beach from them, there is a bit of a drop off from the patio area to the beach below (a few feet) so if you are bringing small kids be prepared for that.
  • If you haven’t been to Porteau Cove you probably need to know that there is a train line that runs past the campground. Some nights the trains are pretty active, some nights they aren’t.
  • Camp office has some items for sale like ice and ice cream, but for actual groceries make sure you stop in Vancouver on your way up.
  • Cabins do have a Coffee Press but no coffee maker, so if you really need a coffee maker (like we do) – bring your own!
  • There is no fire ring at the cabins, so campfire cooking is not possible but you can rent a propane fire pit at the camp office to get the campfire experience.
  • Pets aren’t welcome – for this camping experience you’ll need to leave your pets at home.

For more choices on camping in BC go to Where to Camp.

Published: October 24th, 2017

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Heather Gardiner by Heather Gardiner

Heather was born and raised in the Kootenay region of BC and grew up camping, canoeing, skiing, beginning her career in the ski tourism industry. Life took her to Alberta and after being away from BC for ten years she and her family are back and looking forward to exploring BC - revisiting old favourites and discovering new ones. Heather is a mom, Girl Guide leader and community volunteer in her new home town of Kelowna.

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