A Favourite Camping Spot
This wonderful campsite is along the shores of Montague Harbour on the SW coast of long (near 30km), narrow Galiano Island, in the south Gulf Islands. Montague Harbour is a natural bay with some snug coves, and is further protected by Parker island, offshore just to the south. As you'll gather from the full name, this is a marine provincial park, and many of your neighbours will be of the nautical sort, moored on boats in the scenic harbour.
You're definitely on Island time here, with that special alternate vibe of a smaller, rural community peopled by artisans and those who wanted to get away from the bustle.
A 5 minute walk NW from the campground is this bay and tiny isthmus over to Gray Peninsula. Wonderfully scenic hiking trails to go with a fine beach for soaking in the sun.
When I visited in summer 2017, there were 28 campsites, 15 in a fabulous walk-in tenting area for hikers and cyclists, many right along the waterside with fabulous views and wooden tent pads. Their website (here's a link) says they've added an additional 15 reservable campsites for 2018.
There's a covered dining area, outhouses and potable water. Great hiking around nearby Gray Peninsula, and only a km+ to the marina, complete with store and pub (with giant ice cream cones!). The campsite also has a sizeable overflow area on a field, which no doubt comes in handy in the summer. Reservations for prime sites are recommended in season.
If I recall, the in season campsite fee was $25/night. The campground is open year round, but without services in winter.
Sturdies Bay ferry terminal. There's a little food kiosk, specializing in Indonesian, just off the loading pier. There's more shops and restaurants just up the hill in the little village. Check out the 2nd ferry in the background here: from the shores of Galiano Island you can watch all sorts of ferries wandering around
From Sturdies Bay Ferry Terminal at the SE tip of Galiano Island, it's ~9kms to Montague Harbour Campground. It's a bit hilly, but the road is paved, traffic sparse, and you don't get much over 100m elevation. Follow Sturdies Bay Road off the ferry for approx 3kms, then branch left on Georgeson for 1+km, and right onto Montague Road for the final stretches. Access into the Provincial Park and campground is well signed as you get close.
You can get to Galiano from either Swartz Bay (Victoria) or Tsawwassen (South Vancouver) BC ferry terminals. Check out the BC Ferries website. Be mindful that schedules change from day to day and season to season. It's common that you may have a stop or 2 at other nearby islands on your way. You can also connect to Galiano from the other south Gulf Islands - Mayne, Pender, Saturna or Saltspring. This is great as you can plan a leisurely longer trip, taking in a 2, 3 or even 4 islands. If you are driving a vehicle, you're advised to consider reservations at busy times.
My site at the walk-in part of Montague Harbour Campground, with great views out over the harbour and all the boats (see bottom pic below). There was a potable water tap just 30m away.
You can check out the companion fav ride that covered Galiano & nearby Mayne Islands.
Galiano Island has a population of around 1,200. It is big enough, with some backroads up over the island spine in the NW, that you can get in some good riding if you want to do some exploring. I rode up to the north tip, trying unsuccessfully to find my way into Dionisio Marine Provincial Park Campground. I've since been emailed the correct route by a site visitor (see fav ride link just above). I also rode along the SW coast, over a wonderful short forested stretch called the bluffs (see pic below).
The Penelakut First Nation has lived on Galiano since early days, and other Coast Salish Nations have traded and visited.
View SW from atop 'the Bluffs', a fine, forested stretch along the SW shores of Galiano
Montague Harbour Provincial Marine Campground - Location Map
Smaller map (lower left) gives the general location, zooming into Galiano in the big map
View out into the boats moored in sheltered Montague Harbour, from my campsite