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PostPosted: August 9th, 2009, 2:33 pm 
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Joined: March 27th, 2009, 3:22 pm
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Just wondering if anyone can recommend a good lake for a canoeing/camping trip within about 3 hours of Vancouver. Preferably it would be on Crown land instead of a provincial park, since the PPs around here seem to have a rules and regulations sheet longer than I am tall!

We'd like to just jump in the canoe, paddle around, find a nice place, set up camp, have a camp fire (fire conditions permitting of course!!!) and enjoy a weekend away. Having the freedom to pick our own camping spot and build a fire are pretty important to us, though this seems to be frowned upon in Southern BC. Some trout in the lake would be nice as well!

Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: August 9th, 2009, 4:56 pm 
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Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
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Location: Back to Winnipeg
Harrison Lake. Access from the logging area 45-60 mins up the logging road on the east side of lake. pass all the yahoo roadside Forest Rec Sites, put in and immediately corss the mouth of Big Silver Creek, beaches a few minutes ahead.

Stave Lake. Same deal - don't put in at the southern most access where the facilities are, drive up the east side of lake to a forest rec site and paddle in the north bit of the lake.

There's also Pitt Lake.

None of these places guarantee freedom from power boaters.

Pat.

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PostPosted: August 9th, 2009, 8:40 pm 
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Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
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Location: Back to Winnipeg
Nevermind Stave. Apparently the Forest Rec Site up the east side isn't accessible, and there is construction in the area - helicopters and barges working to install a run-of-river hydro project up the Stave River somewhere.

The Lower Mainland is not a great area for wilderness-like canoe camping. And that's whay I've had to buy a drysuit and embrace the rivers for the whitewater!

If you're not up for 10-hour drive, most of the canoeing I know around Vancouver of is whitewater rivers. For a few years I thought Vancouver offered me a lemon as far as canoeing goes, then I made lemonade by getting into whitewater. I do miss the camping that I was spoiled with in manitoba and NW Ontario, but I love the whitewater!

You could also consider the ocean: Indian Arm and Sechelt Inlet for straters, but don't expect to be either alone or unregulated there either.

Pat.

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Learning to paddle is like learning a language:
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PostPosted: September 8th, 2009, 1:54 pm 
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Joined: April 26th, 2006, 12:14 am
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Location: Surrey, BC
Pitt Lake is actually kind of wildernessy as you get further up it's 23km length, and past the dogleg. It's not patrolled, least I've never seen anybody going aroun d regulating anything. There's $5/night parking fee but at least you know your car is probably going to be there when you get back.

Here's a link to my TR's from most of your lower mainland options if you'd like to see what they look like:
http://picasaweb.google.com/tomfromvan

I've never made it up into Harrison Lake, though.

Good luck, enjoy!

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aka Cyberhun, callsign VA7FAB

Mariners must navigate these waters the same way a mouse negotiates a kitchen patrolled by cats: by darting furtively from one hiding place to the next.
"The Golden Spruce", John Vaillant


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PostPosted: September 21st, 2009, 12:13 pm 
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Joined: June 12th, 2008, 11:32 am
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Ok, well those are the 3 roughest lakes around -- when the waves kick-up, watch out! Was caught on Harrison Lake once, it was terrifying in 3 ' chop. Personally I don't canoe in the big lakes anymore. Pitt Lake can kill you if you're not super careful -- the tides and winds makes it treacherous at times.

In my view, a much better idea is any of the lakes on the Powell River canoe route -- some are just off the ferry from Egmont, maybe 2 and a bit hours total from Horseshoe Bay. Pretty lakes, no giant waves, no parks (serviced by the Ministry of Forests) lots of camping and few people around after the summer.


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PostPosted: September 24th, 2009, 9:08 pm 
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Joined: April 26th, 2006, 12:14 am
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Location: Surrey, BC
I keep meaning to explore those lakes you mentioned but so far haven't gotten around to it. The Skookumchuck rapids are an intriguing spot en-route to Powell River, too --- if I went there I'd probably stop for a look, if not a paddle.

I'm sure you know this already, but I found a very simple way to avoid the winds and waves on the larger lakes --- do my hours of paddling as soon as it gets light and before the daily adiabatic, thermal-driven winds start up. Unless there's a front moving through, it's almost always dead calm at first light, and I've found I can bank on there being a few hours of morning calm with as much certainty as I can count on the afternoons being windy.

I know what you mean about parks. I was going to paddle to Cape Scott but by the time I got to Cape Sutil I realized they'd turned the whole north end of Van Isle into a park and there'd be guys showing up wanting money every night and it just totally ruins any wilderness ambience when that happens. As a rule, if its a park, I don't paddle it.

Well good luck and wherever you end up going, take lots of photos - I'm looking forward to the trip report!
;)

_________________
aka Cyberhun, callsign VA7FAB

Mariners must navigate these waters the same way a mouse negotiates a kitchen patrolled by cats: by darting furtively from one hiding place to the next.
"The Golden Spruce", John Vaillant


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