Classic Canadian Lake Camping At Weaver Lake BC
Written by Jaillan Yehia
If you’re looking for a scenic yet rustic Canadian camping experience, within a 2 hour drive of downtown Vancouver – and one that doesn’t require a 4×4 to access – this small picturesque lake offering trout fishing, boat rental and hiking near Harrison Mills, is a great option for adventurous locals and holidaymakers alike.
Let me tell you about camping at Weaver Lake BC…
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, my time in Canada has really changed me.
I recently shared a photo via Instagram of my tent perched on shore alongside a rushing river – only for one of my childhood friends from back home to ask who I was and what I had done with the real Jaillan.
That’s because when it comes to travel styles, I have a reputation as a hotel hoarder, a boutique babe and a luxury lover rather than a happy camper. Sleeping in the great outdoors hasn’t always been at the top of my to do list.
But when I moved to Canada, a new-found love of camping came along with me.
The saying goes ‘When in Rome’ – but if you transpose this to when in Beautiful British Columbia you’ll find that the BC should really stand for ‘Been Camping’ ( – or maybe Been Crabbing, take your pick).
So now like most Vancouverites I’m always looking for somewhere to get into the great outdoors on short getaways from the city, but with so many different lakes and national parks within easy reach of Vancouver, it can be difficult to know which to choose.
Having tried out camping at various places around BC such as Nootka Sound and Golden Ears Provincial Park, I recently visited Weaver Lake and discovered that it’s a good option if you’re looking for a straightforward and peaceful getaway from Vancouver – or anywhere else in the area for that matter – and don’t have a 4WD vehicle to tackle dirt roads.
There are of course plenty of lakes to visit in BC, and it can be quite time consuming to get all the info you need: which offer camping, whether the sites are open year-round, if they can be reserved in advance or are already full, what facilities they offer, whether they are popular with those looking for a quiet retreat or with more of a party crowd – and probably most importantly, whether you actually need a 4×4 to reach the campground.
So let me fill you in on taking a short break at Weaver Lake BC to help you decide if it’s right for your next BC camping trip.
Getting To Weaver Lake BC
The drive from Vancouver is very straightforward and on highway or tarmac roads nearly all the way. You simply drive towards Harrison Mills and the lake is in the elbow of the area between Harrison Lake and the Harrison River.
If you pop Weaver Lake into Google Maps on your phone before you leave, as I did, the directions are sound and take you straight to the campsite/s, and there’s only one turn you need to look out for.
Near the end of the drive, turn onto Morris Valley Road – it isn’t easy to miss it, and it’s only from here on in, at this last portion of the drive, that you’ll come to a short section of gravel road on a steep hill. This may present you with a small challenge but is completely passable (weather permitting of course) in a normal car.
Camping At Weaver Lake BC
There are a number of small lakes and campsites in this area which are administered by the same people but Weaver Lake itself has two sets of sites – one for regular campers and one for groups.
This isn’t a provincial campsite – it is privately run so they have their own sets of rules and booking requirements but they can all be found on the West Harrison website.
We just turned up without booking and scored a decent site – it was a Friday but it was also outside of high season and by Saturday the small site had filled up completely.
They do have a minimum 2 night stay on Friday and Saturdays and the cost is $15 per night. The campground is open until October 31st.
You can drive around and check which spots are reserved before selecting yours just note that a sign saying ‘reserved’ doesn’t mean exactly that – these are in situ permanently ready to have reservation dates marked on them so as long as your dates aren’t written on the sign you’re fine.
Every site has a fire pit and a large picnic table but we noticed that on a couple of sites the grates weren’t suitable for cooking on, so if you’re planning on cooking over the fire I’d definitely advise you to bring your own grill.
Only a couple of the sites are right by the lake here – 17,19 and 20 – and those clearly book up well in advance. However as the lakeside sites are near the entrance, close to the host and the day use area and the dock, you may prefer to take a site a little further away, where it is more likely to be quiet.
We chose site 28, close but not adjacent to one of the only outhouses – and there are no showers or running water here, so its properly rustic. Worth knowing, as you’re going to want to bring wet wipes and lots of them.
Firewood is for sale at $20 for a load, which is enough for one good night of cooking and keeping toasty warm and once outside the grounds your’re free to pick up dead wood of which there’s no shortage and bring it back to camp.
Fishing At Weaver Lake BC
Weaver Lake and the other surrounding small lakes (Francis, Grace and Wolf) are stocked with Rainbow Trout so it can be fun to bring a rod and give trout fishing a go – we got a couple of nibbles but didn’t catch anything this time, and access can be a bit tricky as there’s thick forest right up to the water’s edge most of the way, but you can easily take on the two and a half hour hike around the lake and find your own perfect spot.
They also rents out boats at $10 per hour (minimum of 2 hours) so if you don’t have your own vessel that would be a great way to get out onto the water and make the most of your time camping at Weaver Lake BC.
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