The campfire burns lower, the coals red and white and ready. The mustard, relish, and, most importantly, ketchup, lay waiting beside the bag of buns. The package of all-beef (a none-too-comforting description) hotdogs is open, beside the veggie-dogs that only you will eat. The roasting sticks, the long ones with the wood handles and double prongs, lean against the picnic table, their many years of use evidenced by their blackened tips. The marshmallows are hidden out of sight, for now. You look around, satisfied that everything needed is there. Oh, except the salad – absolutely required, if only to crush the small tinge of guilt you feel about the hotdogs. OK, got it. Now, you are ready. “Kids! Who wants to roast some hotdogs?”
Campfire cookouts are a great way to pry the kids away from the screen for a while, to get outside and spend some time together with friends or family, and to eat deliciously healthy, or deliciously unhealthy, food. Whatever your motivation, we encourage you to try a campfire cookout. Evenings spent roasting hotdogs and marshmallows and running around with cousins, friends or siblings are childhood memories that can last a lifetime.
There are strict rules preventing open fires within the metro Vancouver area. These rules exist to keep people and public parklands safe and carry heavy penalties if broken. Gas burning portable barbeques designed specifically for cooking are allowed in most parks. But if you want a real campfire, you can legally do so at select Metro Vancouver Regional Parks. Below is a list of legal campfire pit locations in Metro Vancouver where you and your family can enjoy a good old-fashioned campfire cookout! Please read the safe fire practices and booking information from Metro Vancouver at the end of this article and remember that day-use sites are first-come-first-served, but are also available for booking.
Here’s a list of where to have a campfire in Vancouver!
Aldergrove Regional Park
Aldergrove Regional Park straddles the Langley/Abbotsford border. This large park is popular for horseback riding and short family-friendly hikes. Aldergrove Bowl, an old gravel pit, has been reclaimed with a picnic area, trails and marshlands. Exploring one of the many trails with the kids is a great activity before starting your cookout. There is a fire ring at the Blacktail Picnic Shelter, in the north-west corner of the park that can be used on a first-come-first-served basis if it is available.
Firepits: 1 day-use (first-come-first-served) fire ring at the Blacktail Picnic Shelter
Where to Have a Campfire in Vancouver – Belcarra Regional Park
Belcarra Regional Park sits on the eastern shore of Burrard Inlet. This park offers oceanside beaches, a large pier, swimming and fishing at Sasamat Lake, and over 22 kilometres of hiking trails. There is so much to explore here, but we recommend the 5km (return) hike to Admiralty Point before settling into your cookout. There is a first-come-first-served fire ring and two picnic shelters available at the Belcarra Picnic Area unless already reserved.
Firepits: 1 day-use (first-come-first-served) fire ring at the Belcarra Picnic Area
Municipality: Belcarra/Port Moody
Boundary Bay Regional Park
Boundary Bay Regional Park is your best bet for a beachside campfire cookout. Four fire rings are available at Centennial Beach, near the southern end of the park. For bird watchers, hiking along the 12 Ave Dyke Trail can be rewarding, as this park is known for the thousands of migratory birds that stop to rest here on their route along the Pacific Flyway. Oh, and if your campfire cookout crashes for some reason, there is a beachside café available during the summer months.
Firepits: 4 day-use fire rings at Centennial Beach
Where to Have a Campfire in Vancouver – Brae Island Regional Park
Brae Island Regional Park is situated on an island in the Fraser River. The island is easily accessed by a short bridge from Fort Langley. Pre-booking is required to use the single fire ring located at the events site. Additionally, each of the 156 campsites and lone group camping site have fire rings for use, though booking is required. While the island has a short network of trails, it is the sandy beach located on a slow-moving side-arm of the Fraser River that attracts most visitors. Kayaking and cooling off in the water are popular activities at the beach. A short stroll across the bridge will lead you to all the amenities Fort Langley has to offer.
Firepits: 1 fire ring at the events site (booking required); 156 fire rings in the campground (booking required); 1 fire ring at group campsite (booking required)
Municipality: Township of Langley
Campbell Valley Regional Park
Campbell Valley Regional Park is located in south Langley and is bisected by the Little Campbell River. With 23 kilometres of hiking, biking, and horse-riding trails, the park offers a great place to get out and explore this unique river valley landscape. Accessed off of 8 Avenue, the Old Orchard picnic area in the south-west corner of the park has a fire ring available on a first-come-first-served basis. For a fun family activity, check out the nearby Campbell Valley Nature House, a beautiful red barn turned education centre and the surrounding Rowlatt Farmstead.
Firepits: 1 day-use fire ring at Old Orchard picnic area; 1 fire ring at Camp Coyote Group Camp (booking required)
Municipality: Township of Langley
Where to Have a Campfire in Vancouver – Deas Island Regional Park
Just north of Highway 99, near the George Massey tunnel, Deas Island Regional Park is another Fraser River island park. A single fire ring is available at the Fisher’s Field picnic shelter. Additionally, a booking required fire ring is available at the Muskrat Meadow Campground. A number of short trails wander throughout the small island. This park offers some unique nature program activities, including Nature Watch by Canoe and Bats of Burrvilla.
Firepits: 1 day-use fire ring at Fisher’s Field; 1 fire ring at Muskrat Meadow Campground (booking required)
Derby Reach Regional Park
Derby Reach Regional Park, on the banks of the Fraser River, is a favourite riverside camp cookout spot for many families in the Langley area. It offers a large number of firepits, especially during the off-season when the campsites are not fully booked. The Trans Canada Trail and the Canyon to Coast Trail run through the park. A ride along the Edge Farm Trail or, if you want a longer ride, the Fort to Fort Trail or Houston Trail, is a great way to spend some time before dinner.
Firepits: 38 fire rings in the campground (booking required, though they are accessible on a first-come-first-served basis if facilities are not booked); 3 day-use fire rings in the Edge Picnic shelter; 1 day-use fire ring in the main picnic area; 1 fire ring at the Marpole picnic shelter.
Municipality: Township of Langley
Additional Information from Metro Vancouver:
Please follow smart burning guidelines at our fire rings:
- Use only bundled firewood (don’t burn forest wood, waste wood, garbage or anything else)
- Stay with the fire at all times
- Extinguish the fire completely before leaving
Metro Vancouver may close fire pits if there are air quality concerns or if the park is in high or extreme wildfire danger rating. Visitors are encouraged to search “fire rating” at www.metrovancouver.org to check conditions before they arrive to see if the fire pit is open or not.
To book any of the bookable campsites, picnic areas and picnic shelters, visit www.metrovancouver.org and search “Reservable Facilities,” or call 604-432-6352.
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