New group campsite in Strathcona Provincial Park's Paradise Meadows: Reserve the site by May 15 and win a free weekend of camping!

Just as camping season kicks off, BC Parks is opening reservations for its newest group campsite, a backcountry site on Croteau Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park. The hike-in campground sits within striking distance of Mount Albert Edward, Cruickshank Mountain, Circlet Lake and many other destinations in the Paradise Meadows and Forbidden Plateau area of Strathcona. It’s a great destination for groups up to 25 people including, classes, family reunions, outdoor education programs and groups of friends.

Several features make the 12 tent-pad site notable. It’s BC Parks first backcountry group campsite. There’s a yurt shelter, designed to withstand huge snow loads, functions as a kitchen space, complete with a sink. The composting toilet is state-of-the-art, separating solids from liquid, so it works better, doesn’t smell and requires less maintenance. There’s a dock on the lake to access water. As the only campsite on the lake, it’s a private space in a wilderness environment. And it’s reservable. 

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The latter is especially noteworthy. In recent summers campgrounds in Paradise Meadows have filled up on many weekends. The site is reservable now for summer through September via BC Parks’s website. As a bonus, any reservations made by May 15 go into a draw to win a free weekend of camping at any eligible BC Parks.

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute, Strathcona Park Public Advisory Committee, Island Coast Economic Trust, BC Parks Capital & Park Enhancement Fund Programs, Nyrstar Mine, Timber West and Island Timberlands all contributed to the building of the site. 

Building a new campsite at Croteau brings the history of the area full circle. The new campsite is close to the remains of a historic cabin built by Eugene Croteau in the 1930s. Until 1942 he used it as a base to guide thousands of guests by horseback around the trails of Forbidden Plateau. The cabin is now gone, but the group site promises to pick up where it left off for self propelled campers.

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From the trailhead at Mount Washington Alpine Resort’s nordic centre, it’s about 1.5 to two hours of hiking to reach Croteau Lake. From the campsite the hike and ascent of Mount Albert Edward is roughly a half day from the site, and approximately the same to return. Castlecrag Mountain, Cruickshank Canyon, and Circlet Lake are all moderate day hikes from the Croteau basecamp. As is a a day hike loop excursion taking in Kwai Lake, Murray Meadows, Helen Mackenzie Lake, Battlehshp Lake, Kooso Lake and Lady Lake.