Planning to go camping at Stave Lake? If so then you are about to make one of the best camping decisions of your life! Stave Lake is a magnificent lake set in stunning surroundings, and luckily there’s a number of campgrounds around it which give you superb access to the outdoors and activities.
The upper western side of the lake offers plenty of activities from hiking and biking to swimming, fishing and boating. While the lower western side of the lake has a boat launch and many picnic spots for day use. And the forests surrounding are full of wildlife spotting opportunities.
As we know this area well, we’ve put together what we believe are the best campgrounds at Stave Lake and the surrounding area.
All will provide a fantastic Stave Lake camping adventure with great views and lots of fun activities. We then explain the situation around backcountry camping in Stave Lake after and give you some bear safety tips.
Camping at Stave Lake: The Best Campgrounds at Stave Lake
1. Kearsley Creek Campground
Kearsley Creek Campground is a fantastic tent and RV campground to spend some quality time with your family. It has a total of 65 campsites including forested sites, sites right on the water with incredible views, and eight equestrian facilitated sites.
What you get here are campsites with a view. But it is definitely a rustic camping experience. The facilities are limited – there’s no tap water for example – but there are picnics and fire pits.
It’s also a quiet site, and after 10pm the campground gates are closed and a no-noise rule is enforced. That allows you to enjoy the sounds of nature, and experience the incredible stargazing opportunities at this rural spot.
Top Reasons For Staying at Kearsley Creek Campground
- Lakeside views
- Incredible stargazing
- Accessible for wheelchair users
- Discounts for differently abled campers and seniors 65 years of age and over.
Why You’ll Love Kearsley Creek Campground
Kearsley Creek Campground will give you a ‘rustic dry camping’ experience as promised. More than anything, you will love and enjoy the scenic views of the beautiful Stave Lake as many of the campsites are located on the edge of the lake.
What’s Close to Kearsley Creek Campground
You can pay a visit to the nearby 100-year-old Stave Falls Powerhouse which is now a museum. You will find photos, electric equipment and various other exhibits depicting historical times. It is also believed that this old powerhouse is haunted!
There’s plenty of hiking routes nearby too, and because this campground is right by the lake there’s many water sports opportunities to enjoy as well.
Rates: From $18
Address: 9 km, Florence Lake Forest Service Rd, Mission, BC V4S 1C4
2. Rolley Lake Provincial Park Campground
Rolley Lake Provincial Park is just an hour from Vancouver but encompasses lake and forest in a wonderful natural setting. The campground consists of 64 campsites surrounded by conifer trees and sits in an area that’s ideal for swimming (Rolley Lake has relatively warm water in summer), canoeing, fishing, cycling and hiking.
The history of Rolley Lake Provincial Park dates back to 1888, when James and Fanny Rolley stayed here. Today it’s home to various animal and bird species. And if you stay at the park’s campground there’s a high chance you will spot the likes of black-tailed deer and Douglas squirrels.
Some of the facilities at the campground include drinking water, picnic tables with BBQ stands, a playground, flush toilets in the campground area and pit toilets in the day use area, as well as hot showers. Campfires are also allowed in the fire rings.
Winter camping is also available on a first come first served basis.
Top Reasons for Staying at Rolley Lake Provincial Park Campground
- Vehicle accessible campsites
- Great facilities for rustic camping
- Winter camping
- Wildlife spotting opportunities
Why You’ll Love Rolley Lake Provincial Park Campground
One reason why you’ll love this place is the fact that it is well equipped with amenities despite being in the middle of nature.
On top of that the wildlife spotting opportunities are some of the best in the area, while the views across the lake from the campground are very special.
What’s Close to Rolley Lake Provincial Park Campground
You will come across two trails close to Rolley Lake Provincial Park Campground. Just ten minutes away from the campground is Rolley Falls Trail, which will take you to a waterfall and natural swimming pool. Whilst the Lakeside Loop will bring you around Rolley Lake. At the lake you can also go swimming, fishing and kayaking.
Rates: From $35 per night
Address: Mission, BC V4S 1C6, Canada
3. Rocky Point Campground
Rocky Point Campground is yet another stunning location for campers. This place has 30 campsites, and as they’re quite large they can accommodate RVs, truck campers and tents. The best thing about this place? There’s wonderful waterfront sites that directly overlook Stave Lake!
This campground has fire pits and picnic tables but other than that the facilities are limited. In fact this is a ‘pack it in, pack it out’ campground. So make sure you have everything you need when coming.
If you do stay, then you will be able to enjoy swimming in pristine waters, kayaking, hiking and more. This is a wonderful Stave Lake camping option for those looking to get back to basics and enjoy true rustic camping.
Top Reasons for Staying at Rocky Point Campground
- Large campsites that can accommodate RVs
- Availability of group camping sites
- Incredible lakeside views
Why You’ll Love Rocky Point Campground
We are sure you will absolutely love the amazing lakeside views at this campground. You also get to swim, kayak, hike and do all sorts of outdoor adventures when staying here.
What’s Close to Rocky Point Campground
Why not go one of the many hiking trails that surround the Rocky Point Campground. Then end the hike in style by grabbing food at Sangam Restaurant or Sushi Te for some mouthwatering Asian cuisine!
Rates: From $18 per night
Address: Mission, BC V0M 1H0, Canada
4. Sayres Lake Campground
Located at the heart of the Stave West Recreational Area, Sayres Lake Campground comprises of 40 campsites, including 12 walk-in sites as well as a few sites for group camping.
However if you are thinking of taking your RV, think twice as this campground is smaller than most other campgrounds around Stave Lake.
This campground is set in the forest and really feels part of nature. There are a few sites located on the edge of Sayres Lake, which is a lake beside Stave Lake. As it’s a situated by this smaller lake, the campground certainly feels more private, rural and quieter than other campgrounds in the area.
This is rustic camping with few amenities, although there are picnic tables and two swimming pontoons on the lake beside the campground.
Top Reasons for Staying at Sayres Lake Campground
- Availability of group sites for larger camping groups
- Pet friendly
- A boat launch
- Set in wonderful forested surroundings
Why You’ll Love Sayres Lake Campground
Sayres Lake Campground is perfect for swimming and fishing. It is a family friendly campground with easy access to the recreational area.
Like over campgrounds at Stave Lake, you’ll find plenty of wildlife watching and water sports activities available in the area.
What’s Close to Sayres Lake Campground
Both Sayres Lake and Stave Lake are on your doorstep, so perfect for fishing, boating, kayaking and many more activities.
The beautiful Rocky Point Pool and Waterfall is a short walk away too. There you can find a waterfall with a natural swimming pool.
Rates: From $18 per night
Address: Mission, BC V0M 1H0, Canada
5. Rock Creek Campground
If you are someone who loves a background of lush green surroundings and forests then this is the campground for you. Rock Creek Campground offers 49 forest camping sites for you to get a true feel of forest camping.
The sites are quite large, so should be possible for many RVs. But this is rustic camping so apart from picnic tables and pit toilets, that’s about it.
While this campground isn’t by the lake, the fact it’s deep in the forest means you get fantastic wildlife watching opportunities alongside a quiet, very wild camping experience. The hosts at the campground are friendly too.
Top Reasons for Staying at Rock Creek Campground
- A unique forest camping experience
- Accessibility for RVs
- Quiet and family friendly
Why You’ll Love Rock Creek Campground
This place is perfect for camping in the wild, but as it has a few facilities you still have one step in civilization. The sounds of nature surround you, and it’s a very peaceful place.
What’s Close to Rock Creek Campground
When camping you must enjoy good food! You will get exactly that at Embers BBQ House which is near this campground. On top of that there’s plenty of hiking and biking trails around.
Rates: From $18 per night
Address: 7 km, Florence Lake Forest Service Rd, Mission, BC V4S 1C4
6. Kenyon Lake Recreation Site
For a really wild experience, then make your way to Kenyon Lake Recreation Site. This is tent only camping, but you’ll need a 4×4 to get there as the road to this sub-alpine lake which sits close to Stave Lake is difficult and tough.
The reward for getting there? Being completely by yourself in the Canadian wilderness. And you know that you’ll be by yourself as there’s only one campsite here.
You can’t get more rustic than this. But there is an area where you can launch a canoe or kayak into Kenyon Lake. The small island on the lake is suitable for camping too.
Top Reasons for Staying at Kenyon Lake Recreation Site
- Peaceful and serene camping experience
- No artifical light so perfect for stargazing
- Staying here is free!
Why You’ll Love Kenyon Lake Recreation Site
Unlike other Stave Lake camping options, camping here will give you the opportunity to be by yourself in a part of Canada very few people ever see. And as there’s no artificial light, the stargazing is unmatched.
What’s Close to Kenyon Lake Recreation Site
Nothing! And that’s why people camp here. It’s the chance to be out in nature and really disconnect from the rest of the world. At least for a day or two.
Address: Kenyon Lake, Fraser Valley F, BC V0M 1L0.
Backcountry Camping at Stave Lake and in Canada
Backcountry camping, also known as wild camping, is generally tolerated in Canada. Although there are certain areas you are prohibited from camping in. Rather you must stay in a designated campsite. These include:
- National Parks
- Provincial Parks
It’s worth mentioning that rangers and conservation officers do patrol regularly and will hand out hefty fines to people wild camping in these prohibited areas.
Sometimes it is possible to purchase a ‘backcountry’ camping permit. That would then allow you to camp in a park outside of a campground. Not all parks offer them – and they’re not widely advertised. If there’s somewhere you wish to camp, then get in contact with local authorities to see if these are available.
As for where you are allowed to camp, Canadian residents can camp for free on Crown Land – which is publicly owned land. Thankfully 89% of land in Canada is classed as ‘Crown Land’. However much of that is still off limits – National Parks, for example, are also Crown Land.
In general: If land is publicly owned, it’s not one of the prohibited areas that we listed above, and you are far from settlements – you’re likely to be on Crown Land that can be camped on for free. However, keep an eye on local maps for confirmation, and obey any signs that say camping is prohibited
There are rules for backcountry camping on Crown Land, however:
- You may camp in the same place for 21 days only in one calendar year.
- After 21 days you must move to a place at least 100m away if you wish to continue camping.
- While free for citizens and Canadian residents, non-residents must obtain a permit to wild camp on Crown Land.
In British Columbia it’s always worth looking out for ‘Recreation Sites.’ These are free campsites that can be used. Facilities will be limited, or non-existent, however.
Camping at Stave Lake: Bear Safety
Like many areas of Canada, there are bears roaming around the Stave Lake area. While encounters are rare, you must take steps to avoid attracting them to your campsite.
With that being the case we advise:
- If you have a vehicle nearby, store food there rather than in a tent.
- Use a bear box or bear canister to store food, rubbish, and anything with a scent.
- Don’t pitch your tent near where food is being stored.
- Never approach any bear, regardless of its size.
- Don’t spray anything with a scent – that can attract bears.