Boondocking in British Columbia

In British Columbia the Recreational areas are true gems – beautiful-  but hard to find and not easy to access. We found Sawmill Point on Dease Lake by accident and ended up staying two nights.

Dease Lake in BC

Dease Lake in BC

Most BC rec areas are small- 4 -5 spaces so Sawmill Point is large with 8 spaces. There are no hookups but there are picnic tables, fire rings and an outhouse. The best part is the sites are right on Dease Lake – it is ‘parkable’ all the way to the water’s edge so you can have the water lapping close by. Soooo nice for sleeping. Dease Lake is a big lake about 30 miles long with lush pine forests surrounding it. There is no development (houses, marinas etc) on the lake since it is so remote.

Right at water's edge

Right at water’s edge

The gravel road to get into it is in pretty good shape. It is a windy steep road going into the rec area and the sites are small so larger RV’s might not want to venture into it. The sites are free with no limit on the number of days allowed posted.

We met Ernie and Sheri, a couple from California who travel British Columbia, Yukon Territories and Northwest Territories for 3 months each fall. They are remote/solace seekers too so we picked up some ideas for future places. One of their favorite spots was on our way south so we decided we’d give it a try.

Tight fit going back into rec area

Tight fit going back into rec area

We finally found the entrance and turned the wrong way so 9 miles (two hours driving 2 miles an hour) back into the woods didn’t yield a lake.  We went the other direction and turned into a two-track road with bushes growing up over the sides of the road and grass growing in the middle of the tire tracks. This time we went about 3.5 miles (one hour drive) about idling speed because of all the potholes and small wooden bridges that had spots where the wood had broken away to see the water below.

Wooden bridges where you could see the water in the breaks

Wooden bridges where you could see the water in the breaks

I walked ahead several times to break branches ahead of us. We had no choice but to keep driving– there was no where to turn around in fact we discussed what would happen if we met someone coming towards us.

Just when we thought we must have SERIOUSLY misinterpreted what they said, we saw three secluded spots next to a very pretty small lake with woods ringing the edges. There is a canoe access and even a small dock.

Derrick Lake

View of lake from our site

We heard a solitary loon call each morning and evening. Loons mate for life so something must have happened to their mate since we only saw one swimming. We didn’t put the boat in to fish since it was chilly, windy and rainy so we enjoyed the quiet and read our books and took short walks in between the rain. A great recommendation and a real bargain since it is free.

Small dock at Derrick Lake

Small dock and canoe access

We put both of them on our list of places we’d come back to. In fact we think Northwest British Columbia and the Yukon Territories are wonderful. They just feel so good to us – you don’t pass any signs of civilization for hours and there are so many boondocking locations.


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4 Responses to Boondocking in British Columbia

  1. Bill Cornwell says:

    I like the way Glenn sent you out to cut brush, now there’s a gentleman for you! If I tried that the machete would be lodged in my head.

  2. Wow, Cait. That road would have brought John and I to our knees! We’ve been stranded on two-tracks before where we had to struggle to turn around and get the hell out of there, but never where I had to walk ahead with a machete to clear the trail! So happy that you had a happy ending – seems like it easily could have ended in a huge disappointment.

    It’s easy to see the advantage of traveling in your style of camper. Places like this would be off limits to us with our pickup/trailer combo.

    Bet you’ve got a fantastic sky out there in the wilderness.

    • gconthemove says:

      Sort of wish we had an older truck – it might make us a little less timid and go a little faster! We see 5th wheels and larger trailers get in some places and just marvel at their tenacity to forge ahead into some small, harry places.

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