Stamp River Provincial Park
Guide

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Introduction

Featuring peaceful waterfalls, lush forests and a famous salmon run, Stamp River Provincial Park is a fantastic RV getaway destination. Located on the eastern side of Vancouver Island, Stamp River Provincial Park was established when two smaller parks (Stamp Falls and Stamp River Money’s Pool) were amalgamated to form the present day 808 acre (3.27 sqkm) park. The park is named after Englishman Captain Edward Stamp, who built the earliest sawmill in the area back in 1860. Five years later he built Stamp’s Mill, the first on the south shore of Burrard Inlet.

The crown jewel of the park is the rushing waters of Stamp River. The river is a huge attraction to fish, with more than 40 million passing through the Stamp River waters each and every year. Starting in mid-August the river transforms into a major tourist attraction thanks to the annual Pacific salmon run. Thousands of Pacific salmon circle in the pool below Stamp Falls before they ascend the fish ladders on their way to spawning beds. The salmon run also attracts hungry black bears to the banks of the river so keep an eye out for them so you don't become food too!

The campground facilities at Stamp River Provincial Park is suitable for RV camping with 23 campsites available for use. All sites at Stamp River Campground are primitive, accept reservations and is open all year round. Peak season at Stamp River Provincial Park runs from May until September.

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Transportation in Stamp River Provincial Park

Driving

Stamp River Provincial Park is located in the eastern region of Vancouver Island and is west of Inland Island Highway. The park has one entry and exit point that can be accessed from both the north and the south of the park.

Those traveling to the park will be pleased to note that the city of Port Alberni is very close to the park (around 10 miles or 17kms away). The city features all of the services and amenities that you may need to use before your trip and we recommend stopping in here if you need to pick up any supplies. The other towns close to Stamp River Provincial Park are more than an hour away, including Qualicum Beach (around 34 miles or 55 miles away), Errington (around 36 miles or 58kms away) and Parksville (around 37 miles or 61kms away) and Parksville (around 37 miles or 60kms).

Accessing the park should be easy as the roads in and around the park are well maintained and all of the trees are trimmed to prevent overhanging branches damaging your RV. The road into the campground is kept in very good condition. During the winter the park remains open, however due to the weather we recommend calling to make sure that you will have road access to the campground.

Parking

There is plenty of parking at Stamp River Provincial Park.

Public Transport

There are no public transportation options that will take you to Stamp River Provincial Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Stamp River Provincial Park

Campsites in Stamp River Provincial Park

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Stamp River Campground

Stamp River Campground is the only campground at the park and offers visitors the chance to call the park home for the night. The campground consists of one small loop right near the river with 23 sites that are known for being quite wide, flat and offering privacy from other neighboring campers.

All sites at Stamp River Campground are primitive with no hookups available. There is one cold water hand pump that you can use for drinking water that is located at the entry to the campground. Other amenities in the campground include pit toilets and picnic tables. The campground is also pet friendly and you should be able to get cell phone service on all of the major providers within the campground. Please note that there is no dump station at the campground so you will have to take your waste with you.

Since the campground is quite small we recommend that you book a reservation in advance before you begin your journey to the park. If you don't book a reservation there may also be some sites available on a first come, first serve basis. The campground is open all year round but during the off season water access is not possible.

Seasonal activities in Stamp River Provincial Park

In-Season

Picnicking

One of the best ways to relax at Stamp River Provincial Park is to grab a packed lunch and head to the day use/picnic area. At the the day use/picnic area you will an assortment of picnic tables, pit toilets and a parking area for you to enjoy. There is no power at the day use/picnic area or water collection points. All of the picnic tables are available on a first come, first served basis so no reservations are allowed.

Salmon Run

Beginning in August, Stamp River Provincial Park is home to a wide variety of nearly half a million sockeye, coho and chinook salmon that pass through the fish ladder at Stamp Falls on the way to their spawning beds. Fishing is not allowed at Stamp Falls and there are numerous different view points that will give you the chance to see this amazing natural phenomena. During this time of year the fish will also attract black bears to the falls to try and catch some food so make sure you keep an eye out for them.

Fishing

While no swimming or boating is allowed at Stamp River Provincial Park due to the dangerous white water currents, the park is a very popular fishing destination. Fishing for salmon is very common and the river is open to fishing in all areas besides 200m above & 500m below Stamp Falls from June 15 to November 15. You will find boundary markers located on trees along the river to indicate where you can and can't fish. If you want to fish within Stamp River Provincial Park you must have a British Columbia fishing license.

Off-Season

Birding

Vancouver Island is home to many species of birds migrating up and down the Pacific Coast and Stamp River Provincial Park is no different. Most of the birds found within the park are either migrating waterfowl or forest dwelling birds, such as warblers, American Robins, Bushtits and hummingbirds. If you do want to go birding during your stay bring your own binoculars as there are none available for rent. For more information on birding opportunities within the park please contact the park office.

Wildlife Viewing

One of the main highlights of Stamp River Provincial Park is the diverse wildlife that calls the park home. Along with the salmon run the park is also home to animals including deer, black bears, cougars, grey wolves and river otters. If you are looking to spot salmon there is a viewpoint above the fish ladder that offers great views. For more information on wildlife viewing in the park we recommend that you contact the park office.

Hiking

Looking to explore more of Stamp River Provincial Park? If so, there are various interlinked hiking trails at the park that are available for visitors to enjoy. There is a short trail that leads from the parking lot to the fish ladder that will take you through some of the forest that is commonplace in the park. There is also a loop trail that overlooks the river that you can use to get some fantastic views and photos of the area. If you do hiking at the park please stay away from cliff and riverbank edges.

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