Boot Lake Recreation Site Free Vancouver Island Camping

Photo of Boot Lake Recreation Site from the lake on Vancouver Island

Boot Lake Recreation Site lies central to a number of other excellent campgrounds on Northern Vancouver Island.

Once you set up camp at Boot Lake Recreation Site try travelling around to the many lakes near by.

Only minutes from the campground, lakes like Amor, Brewster, Campbell, Fry, Gosling, Gray, Merrill, Mohun and Patterson have excellent campgrounds.

All the roads in the area crisscross and lead to the other lakes and their campsites.

This provides you with many choices to camp at if you decide to try another campground.

It seems the locals use this campground as a temporary overnight stay until a campsite opens at their favorite lake.

photo of two tents set up at a campsite in Boot Lake Recreation Site on Vancouver Island

When I camped there, 3 different campers stayed only 1 or 2 nights before moving on to the spot they wanted.

Most of them used their ATV to travel to their favorite lake to confirm availability.

Some set up a tent at Boot Lake Recreation Site and than drove their vehicle around looking for their spot.

Personally I stayed at Boot Lake Recreation Site for 10 days and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to leave it.

A relatively small campground, I found the atmosphere what I looked for when I go camping.

The solitude and privacy afforded with smaller campgrounds holds true in this case also.

The campground consists of 3 campsites, one with a fire ring and picnic table, pit toilet and gravel boat launch.

Two other campsites have fire pits and level gravel areas with one close to the lake.

You could possibly place more than one camper in the larger campsite.

photo of my camper set up in the main campsite of Boot Lake Recreation Site on Vancouver Island

Boot Lake Demographics

Boot Lake is a fairly deep lake at 32 meters (105 feet).

The elevation for the lake lies at 240 meters (787 feet).

Boot Lake’s surface area is 858,000 square meters (212 acres).

The perimeter around the lake is 5500 meters (18,045 feet).

GPS coordinates for the lake: N 50.044875022242714, W -125.52468931321906

Fishing At Boot Lake

Photo of my boat beached on Boot Lake Campsite

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC stocks Boot Lake with Rainbow Trout from 1986 and most years since (2021).

Only 1989, 2001-2003 and 2007 don’t have data for stocking trout in the lake.

The average weight and quantity of Rainbow Trout released is 28 grams and 1423 respectively.

During 2004-2006, they stocked the lake with Coastal Cutthroat Trout only.

Average weight and quantity released consisted of 43 grams and 3000 annually.

During my stay I didn’t catch many fish but those I did catch put up a great fight.

A bait ban on the lake restricted my fishing ability to spoons and crocodile lures.

The day I left, a local informed me that using flies near the stream inflow and outflows produced good results.

He went on to say that matching the hatch in the mornings and evenings provided better catch rates.

Time to start packing the float tube gear and get up to speed with my fly fishing skills.

Beautiful photo of cloudy day at Boot Lake on Vancouver Island

Getting To Boot Lake Recreation Site

map of how to get to Boot Lake Recreation Site on Vancouver Island

There are three ways to get to Boot Lake Recreation Site.

The map to the left shows the two most popular routes.

Follow highway 28 towards Gold River and at the top of General Hill turn right onto Brewster Lake Road.

Cross the John Hart Dam and turn left onto Brewster Lake road.  

You know you’re on the right road if you see signs to Loveland Bay Provincial Park.

Follow the road for about 10 km and turn left onto Lower Campbell Lake Road.

Stay on this road until you find Boot East Road and turn right.

From there it is a short distance to the Boot Lake Recreation Site.

When they close the John Hart Dam access road everyone uses the second route.

Follow highway 19 towards Sayward and turn left onto Gordon Road.

Take Gordon Road until you come to the Brewster Lake Road turnoff and turn left.

Follow the road until you arrive at the portion of Brewster Lake Road that leads to Loveland Bay.

Turn right here and follow the road to the Lower Campbell Lake Road and turn left.

Again follow the road until you see Boot East Road and turn right.

The third is to go to Menzies Road that takes you to Morton Provincial Park and Mohun Lake Recreation Site.

Follow that road until you see the Lawson Lake turnoff and follow that to Brewster Lake Road and turn left.

Stay on Brewster Lake Road until you get to Boot Lake East Road and turn right.

Photo of Boot Lake Recreation Site from the lake.

Use the form below to find out how to get to Boot Lake Recreation Site using Google Maps.

photo of campsite at Boot Lake Recreation Site on Vancouver Island

Summary of the Boot Lake Recreation Site

Kudo’s are in order for Recreation Sites and Trails BC for their hard work maintaining these free campgrounds.

They seemed to maintain every campground I visited in the Campbell Lake and Sayward Forest Area.

Every campsite I saw had proper fire pits and picnic tables, along with pit toilets.

I found Boot Lake to be a nice quiet spot centrally located so when I decided to visit other campgrounds it was a quick trip.

I don’t imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to find a campsite here if you want one.  If the campground is full just ask the campers if they will be staying or moving elsewhere. 

During my 10 day stay I witnessed 5 different campers come and go within a day or two.

While motoring around in my boat I noticed a small secluded campsite on the west side of the lake so I parked and had a look.

Garbage strewn all over made for an eyesore. It had a decaying mattress and a homemade wooden table nailed to a couple of trees. 

It looked to me like a party place used by the local youngsters who came from Campbell River.  I found empty beer cans and wine coolers all over the place. 

The access road came in from the Merrill Lake road and was very steep with ruts on dirt and grass.  It looked like when the rain comes it becomes very muddy and a challenge to get back out again even with a 4×4.

A fallen tree from the shoreline served as a dock or place to fish from.  I used it to depart from my boat and found it a little slippery.

All in all I found Boot Lake to be a great camping spot and highly recommend it to all who may be interested.

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