A river-front camping spot located the ideal distance away from others
By CJ Sommerfeld, Staff Writer
Summer’s wrapping up and the Delta variant is swirling, so what better way is there to avoid the crowds and give your soul a little TLC than head out into the bush for a last camping trip or two? I recently found a river-front spot not too far of a drive out of the city, that—unlike most BC Parks camping sites—was incredibly vacant. September is on the horizon but remember: we were handed the Junuary card a few months back, so my fingers are crossed that this summer heat lingers early into October, and we have a few more weeks of camping weather.
Location: 49º05’30.0” N 121º36’40.4” W is located in Chilliwack, just off Chilliwack Lake Road, along the Nesakwatch Creek Forest Service Road.
Accessibility from the city: Service Roads are often pothole-encased and require a 4X4 to navigate—but this spot, fortunately, does not fit said description. 49º05’30.0” N 121º36’40.4” W is only a 15-minute drive into Nesakwatch Creek Forest Service Road, so if you do not have a 4X4, no worries, you will still be able to make it. Not to mention, it is only a two-kilometre drive, even if you drive super slowly, it won’t take you much time at all.
Cost: Since this camping spot is just off a service road—and is not a designated camping site—there is not a nightly fee. This also means that there is no reservation system—which has both its pros and cons. You really do not know if this space will be available until you arrive, however, if someone snags it before you do, there are quite a few spaces all along the river that you could instead stay in. But remember: no nightly fee also means that the space is not maintained by anyone other than those who use it, and that makes it that much more important to leave the space cleaner than when you arrived.
Proximity of campsites to one another: While this space is not a designated camp spot, people still know about it. Regardless, it is a world lot emptier and serene than BC Parks spots, but there is a chance that you will still have camping neighbours.
Water bodies: As mentioned previously, this spot is right on the Chilliwack River. Not only does the river provide A/C for the camping spot via its river breeze, but it also supplies a make-shift fridge to keep your beer cold.
And, while some portions of the river are deep enough to swim in, quite a few rock bars appear throughout, providing areas to do some gentle hiking.
Bathroom situation: This camping space is literally wedged between Chilliwack River and Nesakwatch Creek Forest Service Road, so do not expect a washroom or Jiffy John. Once while travelling in 2015, I met a gal who told me that she pooped in bodies of water every chance she got—and if you think similarly to her, the river is there for you! For those who do not agree with using a river as a toilet, there is plenty of dirt to dig a hole (don’t forget your shovel). Upon exploring the grounds enveloping the service road, I did find an outhouse cabin that another camp user had constructed.
While this log outhouse cabin was a pleasant surprise, not too far from it, I found another make-shift washroom…
Remember that this camping spot is not maintained by anyone other than its users. If you create a washroom like the above photo, try not to be an asshole, and clean up after yourself. Happy camping!