Gordon Bay Provincial Park
Guide

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Introduction

Located on the shores of Lake Cowichan within one of Vancouver Island’s sunniest valleys, Gordon Bay Provincial Park is a family friendly RV getaway destination that you will love. First established in 1969, Gordon Bay Provincial Park is most well-known for its amazing views, old-growth forest, spectacular fishing opportunities and great camping amenities.

There are many hidden gems of Gordon Bay Provincial Park that aren't known to the average visitor. Some of these include the little museum located at Saywell Park that details the history of the area, guided tours of the Lake Cowichan Earth Satellite station and the forest industry also has a number of displays and demonstrations throughout the area.

Lake Cowichan is the centre of most recreational activities that you can enjoy during your stay, with swimming, boating, waterskiing, scuba diving and windsurfing all popular choices. For those looking to do something away from the lake the park also has a number of short walking and bicycle trails for you to explore. Animals are also in abundance within the 259 acre park (1.04 sqkm) so keep an eye out for deer, raccoons and red squirrels. Birdwatchers also love visiting Gordon Bay Provincial Park with juncos, steller’s jays, chestnut-backed chickadees, mergansers and golden eye ducks all being common sights.

The camping at Gordon Bay Provincial Park is fantastic and is situated in some of the second-growth Douglas fir stand that the park is known for. In total there are 126 RV friendly sites available for you to call home with all sites being primitive. Peak season at Gordon Bay Provincial Park runs from May until September.

RV Rentals in Gordon Bay Provincial Park

Transportation in Gordon Bay Provincial Park

Driving

Gordon Bay Provincial Park is located in the southern area of Vancouver Island and is situated around 65 miles (106km) north-west of Victoria. The park has one entry and exit point and the road that services the park is a loop road that allows you to access the campground.

Since the park is around an hour and a half to Victoria you can visit the city if you need to access any services, specialized amenities or stock up on supplies. In addition to Victoria there are also a few small towns near the park, including Honeymoon Bay (around three miles away or four and a half kms). Somenos (around 24 miles or 40 kms) and Ladysmith (around 40 miles or 65 kms away).

Accessing the park should be very straightforward as the access road to the park located right off Trans-Canada Highway One. Once you exit the road simply continue on Cowichan Valley Highway until you reach the park. All roads in and around the park are in very good condition and should have no obstructions that would make your journey difficult. The road into the campground (which is located off the loop road that goes around the park) is also kept in very good condition. During the winter the park remains open, however if you do plan on visiting the park during winter make sure you call the park in advance to confirm that you will have road access as snowfall levels can be high.

Parking

There is plenty of parking available at Gordon Bay Provincial Park.

Public Transport

There are no public transport options that will take you to Gordon Bay Provincial Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Gordon Bay Provincial Park

Campsites in Gordon Bay Provincial Park

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Gordon Bay Campground

Gordon Bay Campground is the only campground available for visitors to call home during their visit to Gordon Bay Provincial Park. The campground is located amongst beautiful evergreen trees and features multiple loops with enough space for large RV's to pull through and into their chosen site. This campground is popular with those who are looking for a quiet and private camping experience and is busiest during the months of July and August.

There are 126 vehicle accessible campsites campsites at Gordon Bay Campground and all sites are primitive with no water, electrical or sewer hookups. The campground has some great amenities that will delight you during your stay, including free hot showers, toilets, water collection points, picnic tables, a dump station and easy access to the beach.

Most sites at Gordon Bay Campground are available to be reserved online or by calling the park during the in season months. During the off-season select sites are available on a first come, first served basis.

Seasonal activities in Gordon Bay Provincial Park

In-Season

Picnicking

Gordon Bay Provincial Park is a dream picnic destination due to the picturesque views great amenities. The park has a purpose built day-use/picnic area that is very large in size. Within the area you will find picnic tables, an adventure playground, amphitheater, flush toilets and parking lot for you to use during your stay. The day-use area is also a popular spot for those who live in the area, so you might even be able to make friends with the locals during your stay!

Boating

If you are looking for even more fun in the sun we recommend that you check out the boating opportunities that are on offer at the park. You have the option to take out a canoe, kayak, go waterskiing, windsurfing or even scuba diving! If you want to launch a boat onto the lake you are able to do so via a boat ramp that is located near the main parking lot. For more information about boat rentals please contact the park office.

Swimming

Cowichan Lake is an excellent place to go and take a dip during the warm summer months. The water is known for being very warm in the summer and there is a lovely sandy beach that has a designated swimming area for you to splash around in and enjoy. Access to the swimming beach is via the day-use area and please remember that there are no lifeguards on duty so swim to your own abilities.

Off-Season

Birding

Nestled amongst the various forests within Gordon Bay Provincial Park are many different bird species that are appealing to those who love to go birding. It is common for birders to spot species such as juncos, steller’s jays, chestnut-backed chickadees, mergansers and golden eye ducks. If you are going to do some birding we recommend checking out the short trails that are located in and around the lake. For more information on birding please contact the park office.

Hiking

While there are no major hiking trails found within Gordon Bay Provincial Park there are a number of interesting short trails that will lead you to the lake. When you are exploring the trails keep an eye out for some of the local animal life, including deer, raccoons and red squirrels. Remember that when you are walking on trails within the park that you must keep to them as shortcutting trails destroys precious plant life and soil structure.

Fishing

Love to fish? If so, look no further than Cowichan Lake. The lake is known for spectacular fresh-water fishing, especially in the spring, fall and winter. During these months you have the best chance of landing a big rainbow, cutthroat and Dolly Varden trout. The park also has a Learn to Fish Program that teaches basic fishing skills to kids under the age of 16. Remember that fishing or angling in British Columbia requires you to have an appropriate licence.


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