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Free Boondocking Campsite near Lillooet, British Columbia

Free Boondocking Campsite near Lillooet, British Columbia

Our drive back to the Lower 48 from Alaska took us through Yukon Territory and then south through British Columbia.  Since we were planning to tour the west coast, we took a route that had us ending up in Vancouver where we would cross the border back into the United States.  On our way to Alaska, we didn’t spend any time visiting Canada, but this time we did stop and spend a few days in British Columbia.  One our route, we stayed at two nice, free boondocking campsites for a few days each, as well as a few roadside stops.

Roadside Boondocking in British Columbia

As we headed south through British Columbia, we took Highway 37.  This is a more direct route than the more popular Highway 97 out of Watson Lake, but it is very windy and not great road conditions through parts of the drive.  That being said, it was a very pretty drive and well worth the slower driving, in our opinion.  The major downside of this drive is that there really is no cell signal, even through some of the small towns along the route.  We were without any signal for about two or three days (AT&T with International Plan).

The beauty of driving the less traveled roads.
The beauty of driving the less traveled roads.

One great thing about this drive is that a lot of the drive is through Provincial Parks.  There are several options for camping in the area as well as many very pretty, very quiet roadside turnouts.  Some of the rest stops were set up more as campgrounds, many even having picnic tables and back-in type parking spots.  We enjoyed being able to have a safe, quiet spot to pull out on the side of the road as we made our way south.  Although we did not keep GPS Coordinates for each of them, they are very frequent and can be spotted right on the road.

Boondocking in Lillooet: BC Hydro Camps

If you are coming into (or out of) Vancouver via Highway 99, you will come to a small town called Lillooet.  While there isn’t much in the town itself, there is a gorgeous lake and several rivers as well as a very nice free boondocking campsite.  The boondocking campsite in Lillooet is provided by BC Hydro as part of their community outreach.  There is a camp host (warden) onsite, and you just need to register at the self-registration post upon arrival.

The camp host does lock the gates at 10:00 pm each night and reopens them at 6:00 am each morning.  This helps cut down on noise from those driving in and out at all hours of the night.  During the time we were there, we had no issues with noise from other campers.  We did, however, see a few people get locked out at the gates.  There is a small parking area outside of the gates in case you do get locked out.

Boodocking in British Columbia
This is the free campsite in Lillooet. A stream runs behind it, and the Seton Lake is just about a quarter mile away where you can swim, paddle, or fish!

For a free campsite with activities and the beautiful Seton Lake nearby, we were very surprised at how well maintained this campground was and how few people were utilizing it.  We enjoyed the quiet for a few days and then moved on to Squamish.  I will note that we did have 1-2 bars of AT&T 4G cell signal, depending on where we were in the campground.

Boondocking in British Columbia
Lillooet is a gorgeous place to visit for a few days!

Boondocking in Squamish: A Scarce Resource

After finding amazing free boondocking in Lillooet, we were hopeful that Squamish or the surrounding area would provide similar fruits.  We were not so lucky, however, and we found that there is really only one spot for free boondocking in Squamish if you are in a large rig.  This campsite is south of Squamish on Highway 99 about 10 miles.  It’s right off of the highway and behind a large rock formation, which provides privacy from the highway.  The campsite overlooks the Howe Sound and provides gorgeous views.  There is a memorial site on the top of the hill for a young woman who passed away in a car accident near there, so please be respectful.  This is public land and camping is in fact allowed, but any decent person would understand that the family is entitled to some additional respect for the area.  It seems that others have not been respectful over the years and there are many signs of graffiti and litter.  This is very sad to see.

This campsite is not a pull-through, but the gravel road is plenty wide enough to back all the way down into the sites with a large rig like our 38-footer.  There is enough room in the pullout for 3-4 campsites, although the most privacy would be at the two at the very end of the road.  When we arrived, there was one other couple camping and a few others joined at different times during our stay.  There was never any issue getting around each other, as the road is wide enough for two cars wide.  The gravel road is fine for low clearance cars, however there is a bit of a drop-off from the pavement of the highway to the gravel, which needed to be taken at just the right angle in our Fiat otherwise it would scrape the bottom.

{GPS Coordinates: 49.507780, -123.258035}

Boondocking in Squamish

There is no posted stay limit at this campsite, so I would personally limit my stay to around 7 nights like most free campsites.  Again, that’s not posted so that is just my opinion.  This is a great option for stays near Squamish, but note that there are plenty of others who use this area so it may not be available.  In our time driving around, we did not find any other options for RV boondocking in Squamish and even the rest stops were posted with “no camping” signs.

Car Camping in Squamish

Although we did not find any other suitable options for RV boondocking in Squamish, we did find a road that had several spots for car camping or van camping.  These spots were on a gravel road and had little to no privacy, but they would have made for good overnight stays to explore the area around Squamish.  There were several spots along this road, so the GPS Coordinates below are simply the road’s entrance.  Exploring along that gravel road provided many options for car/van camping.

{GPS Coordinates: 49.709094, -123.105017}

Boondocking in British Columbia

This turned out to be a much longer boondocking post than normal, but I wanted to provide as many options as possible for those visiting British Columbia or just passing through.  This route was a much better option for free boondocking in British Columbia than the more traveled route, and in our opinion, it was much prettier.

We hope you found good information in this post and enjoy any and all campsites that we point you to. Subscribe below for all of our adventures and more boondocking campsites.

Valerie Tripp

Monday 28th of September 2020

Hi Steph! I was very interested in your comments about the free Hydro campsites in Lillooet. Are there any services at all there - thinking of outdoor bathrooms (even old style outhouses), or water. And is there a limit on how long you could stay?

Nate Yarbrough

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

My memory is a bit foggy on what was available in terms of amenities; sorry. I believe It was a max stay of 7 days, though.

Monday 18th of June 2018



Friday 1st of June 2018

Woohoo! I'm a Brit living on Vancouver Island, not far from Vancouver. I'm doing a ton of research into van life at the moment and love your videos and blog. I have a few questions - what camera do you use now? Who made your video intro? Why do you say "Live vicariously!"? Isn't part of van life and being outdoors that you're the one doing the experiencing? I guess at the moment I'm doing a lot of living vicariously, watching other people enjoy their van life, but the goal is surely to live it for myself.

Anyway, thanks so much for your awesome videos and words - keep up the great work!

All the best, Jim

Stephanie Yarbrough

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

Hey Jim! Thanks so much for the reply! I'll try my best to answer all of your questions, haha! Nate uses a Sony A7SII, along with a DJI Mavic Drone and various GoPros. Nate made the video intro. We dropped the "Live Vicariously" after a while. Our original intention of it was that not one single person can see every corner of our vast, beautiful world. But if we all come together and live vicariously through each other's eyes, we can experience a whole lot more than we could on our own. Unfortunately, it did get misconstrued more often than not, so we stopped saying nearly a year ago. We'd love to bring it back in a refreshed way, though, so we can all be living in our own moments as well as experiencing others' moments as well.

We really love British Columbia - can't wait to visit the area again!

Cheers, Steph