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COVID-19 - Follow BC travel and medical guidelines. The provincial response to COVID-19 is evolving. Pay special attention to Provincial Travel restrictions, climbing area closures, and Health Authority directions for gathering sizes and physical distancing.
Parks Closures and Day Use Permits Parks were closed in 2020 then a day use permit system was instituted in some places. Please check Parks and Rec Site Closures for up-to-date information. Specifically, for the Stawamus Chief before using to ascend or descend for climbing.
The popularity of Squamish within the #vanlife community has increased to the point that there is great concern about the group’s collective environmental impact. “Wild” or “Freedom” camping has become unmanageable environmentally because of the high numbers of campers. This is a serious issue that causes conflict between locals, home owners, and climbers!
VAN CAMPING / WILD CAMPING
Within District Boundaries
The District of Squamish PROHIBITS camping within the municipal boundary, This includes sleeping in a vehicle anywhere within District boundaries. A bylaw gives the District the power to issue tickets for contraventions.
Camping on urban / residential streets is prohibited under pre-existing bylaws.
The “hot spots” that have been of most concern are below.
· the whole of the Mamquam Forest Service Road under the North Walls of the Chief between the junction with the 99 and junction with the Stawamus/Indian Arm Forest Service Road (as a salmon run and sensitive riparian area, camping close to the Stawamus River is especially inappropriate)
· the Powerhouse Springs Road including the parking area for the Fern Hill cliff
· the dirt road to the kitesurfing “Spit.”
Outside of District Boundaries
If you explore forest roads in crown land outside the municipal boundaries, it may be possible to find discreet roadside sites suitable for tents or van camping. However, the provincial authorities do have some restrictions ;
· Stays are limited to 14 days.
· Campers should follow Leave No Trace principles. HUMAN WASTE is a major issue.
· Strictly observe any current fire bans.
Please see the District of Squamish website for a comprehensive list of designated campgrounds.
Recommended affordable camping.
- At the Chief: Stawamus Chief Provincial Park Campground BC parks site, spots start at $10.00 CAD/person. No reservations.
- 7 minutes north: Mamquam River Campground A non-profit site, spots start at $15.00cad/night for a drive-in site. Reservations recommended, not required.
- 20 minutes north: Chek Canyon Recreation Site A public site; no fees, no reservations and world class sport-climbing. No running water. The road is steep and rough but 4x4 not required