British Columbia Camping
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  Emerald Waters Englishman River   British Columbia has a seemingly endless number of campsites, both public and private. If you're going to explore some of the parks surrounding Vancouver make a point of taking advantage of the reservation system, since they are extremely popular in season (be aware that not all Provincial Park campgrounds accept reservations, and by no means do they all have sites accessible by RV or even by car).  Some parks have walk-in camping, which generally involves carrying your gear into the site on foot.  Distances to walk in sites may be only a few metres but they do vary significanlty and we try to distinguish between walk-in sites and back country sites.  
 
 

 Our distinction is that backcountry sites require some "real backpacking" to reach the tent site. Check with the park to ensure that the sites are what you expect in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. As may be obvious British Columbia camping is generally more rustic than what you'll find in eastern Canada and RVs, motorhomes and campers may have problems finding fully serviced sites.

 
 
  Ferry Passing Campground   If your visting Victoria, Goldstream is a good jump off point. Golden Ears is located close enough to Vancouver for day trips. Birkenhead and Alice Lake are handy to Whistler. The down side is that these are very popular parks. If you heading into the city watch the rush hours, particulary between Golden Ears and Vancouver, which sees lots of traffic.   
 

Camping in British Columbia Provincial Parks

Coast & Mountains Provincial Park Campgrounds

Alice Lake - Reservations, front country camping, hiking, swimming The park has 88 front country campsites. The park has its own trail network and with a short drive you can easily get access to the backcountry trails which will take you to the Black Tusk and Diamond Head areas of Garibaldi Provincial Park. The park is fften used by campers intending to visit Whistler, which is less than and hour by car. Make sure you have reservations in the high season. From Vancouver take the Lions Gate Bridge into West Vancouver then head up Taylor Way to the Upper Levels Highway and head west towards Whistler. The park is just off Hwy 99, approximately 13km north of Squamish less than an hours drive to Whistler.

Birkenhead - Sea to Sky, Off Hwy 99 north of Whistler and Pemberton. There are 85 front country sites as well as 6 walk-ins. Less than an hours drive to Whistler.

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park - Reservations, Front country camping, hiking trails, waterfall The park is located just 11km south of the town of Whistler on Highway 99 from Vancouver. The waterfalls are spectacular and well worth a visit. The park is perhaps the best base base camp you'll find for exploring Whistler, Garibaldi and the surrounding areas. Reservations are a must in high season. From Vancouver take the Lions Gate Bridge into West Vancouver then head up Taylor Way to the Upper Levels Highway and head west towards Whistler. Less than an hours drive to Whistler.

Chilliwack Lake - Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, Hwy 1 in the Fraser Valley. The park has 100 front country sites.

Cultus Lake - Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, Hwy 1 in the Fraser Valley south of Chilliwack. this is a popular park within an hour of Vancouver, there are 296 front country camp sites in the park.This is a very popular spot for campers.

Golden Ears Provincial Park - Reservations, front country camping, backcountry camping, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, horse packing, canoe camping, sea kayaking, swimming A spectacular park 48km east of Vancouver off highway 7, you'll find 343 front county campsites and 50 walk-ins.. The park has easy car access with trails into the backcountry and several significant peaks to scale. The park butts up against Mount Garibaldi Park at its north boundary providing a seamless corridor of untouched wilderness essentially surrounding the populous lower mainland... more

Kilby - Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, Kilby has 38 front country campsites.

Manning - Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, on Hwy 3, in the Fraser Valley south east of Hope. There are 355 front counrtry campsites along with 70 walk-ins. This is a spectacular park, very much representative of British Columbia's awesome natural splendor. The park has an excellent trail system... more

Nairn Falls Provincial Park - Front country camping, hiking, swimming, waterfall The park has over 80 front country campsites available. The Nairn Falls after which the park is named are a spectacular site at 60m in height. The park along with Brandywine Falls and Alice Lake are often used by campers who need a base station from which to explore Garibaldi Park or Whistler. Reservations are a must in high season. The park is located just off Highway 99 approximately 32km north of Whistler. From Vancouver take the Lions Gate Bridge into West Vancouver then head up Taylor Way to the Upper Levels Highway and head west passed Whistler. Less than an hours drive to Whistler.

Nicolum River - Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, the park has 9 front country campsites

Porpoise Bay - Sunshine Coast. There are 84 front country sites along with some walk-ins.

Porteau Cove - Reservations, front country camping, scuba diving, sea kayaking There are 44 Front Country and 15 Walk-in. A lot of the parks campsites are situated right on the water. The park and the surrounding area are well know to have great scuba diving. The park is locate on the shores of Howe Sound on Hwy 99 south of Squamish about 9km from Britannia Beach. From Vancouver take the Lions Gate Bridge into West Vancouver then head up Taylor Way to the Upper Levels Highway and head west towards Whistler.

Roberts Creek - Sunshine Coast. The park has 25 front country sites.

Rolley Lake - Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, there are 64 front country campsites in the park.

Saltery Bay - Sunshine Coast, the park has 42 front country sites as well as some walk-ins.

Sasquatch - Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, a total of 177 front country campsites.

Silver Lake - Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, there are 30 front country campsites.

Skagit Valley - Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley. Silver Tip is the closest campground to the park entrance and has 43 sites. Ross Lake Reservoir has an additional 88 front country sites in the south of the park. Sites are available along the Skyline II Trail (Manning) and the Skagit River Trail for backcountry enthusiasts. There is also group camping in the park... more

Smelt Bay - Sunshine Coast, their are 22 front country sites in the park.

Stawamus Chief - Sea to Sky, Hwy 99, Just South of Squamish. The park has 40 walk-in campsites as well as 15 front country sites. If you ever though about climbing the walls this is the place to do it. Just over and hours drive to Whistler.

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Gulf Islands Provincial Park Campgrounds

Dionisio Point Provincial Park (Coons Bay) - Galiano Island - Walk-in Camping (accessible by water only), hiking, biking, sea kayaking, scuba diving, sandy beaches, marine life observation. There are 30 walk-in campsites (no reservations) and a designated sea kayaking camping area. The campsites have access to water (in season) which should be boiled before drinking as well as vault toilets. The park is located at the northwestern tip of Galiano Island, access is from the water only (marine charts #3442, #3461, 43, 61 and 73). BC Parks

Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park - Galiano Island - 40 Front Country Campsites, 15 Walk-in Campsites, Drinking Water, Hiking Trails, Picnic Area, Beach, Boat Moorage - From the ferry terminal follow Sturdies Bay Road and bare right on Montague Road which will take you into the park. BC Parks

Pirates Cove Marine Provincial Park - De Courcy Island - Camping (accessible by water only), Hiking, Kayaking, Whale watching (seasonal) Located south east of Nanaimo just to the south of Gabriola Island. The park has 12 campsites, hiking trails and areas for swimming. BC Parks

Ruckle Provincial Park - Salt Spring Island - 8 Front Country Campsites, 78 walk-in Campsites, hiking, sea kayaking. There are 78 walk-in campsites in the park overlooking the ocean and running along the forests edge. The park also has 8 front country sites which are accessible by car. The campsites have picnic tables, access to water and pit toilets. Reservations are not accepted for the camping sites.From the Fulford ferry terminal take Fulford Ganges Road a short distance, then turn right on Beaver Point Road (there are signs) which will take you into the park. BC Parks

Wallace Island Marine Provincial Park - Wallace Island - Camping (accessible by water only), Hiking, Sea Kayaking Located between Galiano and the north end of Salt Spring Island in Trincomali Channel. The park has three camping areas, at Chivers Point, Cabin Bay and Conover Cove. BC Parks

Vancouver Island, Victoria, & Pacific Rim Provincial Park Campgrounds

North Vancouver Island

Elk Falls Provincial Park - North Vancouver Island - 122 Campsites, Flush Toilets, Sani Station, Hiking. The campground has sites along the river. From Campbell River follow the 28 towards Gold River. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Loveland Bay Provincial Park - North Vancouver Island - 31 Campsites, Group Camping, Lake Canoeing, Swimming. From Campbell River take Highway 28 4km to the west of Campbell River and follow the turnoff to Elk Falls then turn left right after the dam and drive about 12km to the park. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Miracle Beach Provincial Park - North Vancouver Island - 200 Campsites, 4 Walk-In Campsites, Group Camping, Showers, Flush Toilets, Sani-Station, Wheel Chair Access From Courtenay follow the old island highway along the coast towards Campbell River. The park is approximately half way between the two towns. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Morton Lake Provincial Park - North Vancouver Island - 24 Campsites, Swimming, Canoe Tripping, Hiking, Wheel Chair Access From Highway 19 north of Campbell River head west on the Menzies Main to Morton Lake Road which will take you into the park. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Schoen Lake Provincial Park - North Vancouver Island - 9 Campsites, Backcountry Camping, Hiking, Lake Canoeing The park is located off of Highway 19 north of Campbell River between Sayward and Woss. For the most current information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks No Reservations

Strathcona Provincial Park - North Vancouver Island - 160 Campsites (Butte Lake & Ralph River), Group Camping, Hiking, Canoeing, Climbing, Mountaineering, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Wilderness Camping From Campbell River follow Highway 18 west from Campbell River towards Gold River. The highway cuts through the northern section of the park. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Central Vancouver Island

Englishman River Falls Provincial Park - Central Vancouver Island - 105 Campsites, Hiking, Swimming (but it's cold) The park has a short hiking trail which takes you around the falls. Follow Highway 4 just north of Nanaimo towards Port Alberni and watch for Errington Road on your left which will take you into the park. Reservations For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park - Central Vancouver Island - 94 Campsites, Swimming, Lake Canoeing The park is about half way to Port Alberni from the cut off to Highway 4 north of Nanaimo. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park - Central Vancouver Island - 175 Campsites, 25 Walk-in Sites, Hiking, Swimming, Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani-Station, Group Camping, Picnic Shelters, Nature House, Gift Shop, Concession Well know for it's sandy beaches the park is amongst the most popular on the island so reservations are highly recommended. The park is located just north of Nanaimo off Highway 1. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Sproat Lake Provincial Park - Central Vancouver Island - 58 Campsites, Group Camping, Showers, Lake Canoeing, Swimming, Boat Launch The park has ancient petroglyphs. From Nanaimo head north to pick up the 4 west. The park is just a short distance passed Port Alberni. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Stamp River Provincial Park - Central Vancouver Island - 23 Campsites, Hiking From Nanaimo head north to pick up the 4 west. At Port Alberni follow Beaver Creek Road north into the park. The park is an excellent area to view spawning salmon in the fall. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

South Vancouver Island

Bamberton Provincial Park - South Vancouver Island - 50 Campsites, Wheel chair Accessible, Reservations From Victoria follow Highway 1 north towards NanaiFor the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Cowichan River Provincial Park - South Vancouver Island - 72 Campsites, 2 Campgrounds, 4 Walk-in Campsites (Stoltz Pool), Group Camping, Hiking, Swimming, Kayaking, Cycling, Horseback Riding The park is well known for it's water sports and activities including tubing (consult with the park regarding cautions). Cyclists and horse riders can take advantage of the Trans Canada Trail section which is accessible from the park. From Victoria head north on Highway 1 and then west at Duncan on the 18. There are three access points for the park. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

French Beach Provincial Park - South Vancouver Island - 69 Campsites, Group Camping, Sani-station, Hiking, Swimming (it's very cold) From Victoria head towards Nanaimo on Highway 1 then head southeast towards Sooke on the 14. The park lies beyond Sooke just off Highway 14. BC Parks Reservations

Goldstream Provincial Park - South Vancouver Island - 173 Campsites, Group Camping, Flush Toilets (day use area only) Showers, Hiking, Swimming, Yurts The day use area and the camping area have seperate entrances along the highway into the park. From Victoria head towards Nanaimo on Highway 1, the park lies along the highway just passed Langford. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Gordon Bay Provincial Park - South Vancouver Island - 134 Campsites, Group Camping, Showers, Flush Toilets, Swimming, Lake Canoeing From Victoria head north on Highway 1 and then west at Duncan on the 18 to Lake Cowichan. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Juan De Fuca Provincial Park (China Beach) - South Vancouver Island - 75 Campsites, Wilderness Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Yurts The park lies along the spectacular 47km Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Wilderness camping areas are available to backpackers along the trail. From Victoria head towards Nanaimo on Highway 1 then head southeast towards Sooke on the 14. The park lies between Jordan River and Port Renfrew just off Highway 14. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

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Thompson Okanagan

Bear Creek Provincial Park - 122 Campsites, Flush Toilets, Showers, Swimming, Hiking, Lake Canoeing and Kayaking. The Bear Creek Trail takes you around the rim of the canyon providing excellent viewpoints. The beach is  carpeted with course sand. The park is located on the west side of the lake. From Kelowna head south along the 97 then west along Westside Road. Follow Westside for about 7km. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Ellison Provincial Park - 71 Campsites, Flush Toilets, Showers, Swimming, Hiking, Lake Canoeing and Kayaking, Diving, 2 Yurts. The park has a designated diving area and three beaches for swimmers. The park is located between  Vernon and Kelowna along the lake shore. From Vernon take 25th Avenue west passed Okangan Landing. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Fintry Provincial Park - 100 Campsites,  Group Camping, Showers, Flush Toilets, Swimming, Hiking, Lake Canoeing and Kayaking, Diving (across from park), Yurt. The Shorts Creek Trail is a  canyon hike which takes you up to the falls (children must be accompanied by an adult).  The park is located on the east side of Okanagan Lake. From Kelowna head south along the 97 then west along Westside Road.   From Vernon head north on the 97 then take Westside road south to the park. The park is about half way between Vernon and Kelowna. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Gladstone Provincial Park - 63 Campsites, Showers, Flush Toilets, Swimming, Hiking, Backpacking, Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Kayaking. The park is located on Chistina Lake (one of BC's most popular warm lakes) and the campground is Texas Creek. There are wilderness sites accesible by canoe or kayak along the lakes shoreline. The park has extensive hiking and backpacking trails as well as designated mountain biking trails. From  Grand Forks head east along highway 3 to Christina Lake and watch for the signs for the road into the park. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Herald Provincial Park - 119 Campsites, Showers, Flush Toilets, Swimming, Hiking, Lake Canoeing and Kayaking, Sani Station. The park is located on the Salmon Arm of Sushwap Lake. There are two trails in the park, the nature trail to Margaret Falls and the trail to Upper Canyon. From Salmon Arm head west on the the Trans Canada (Highway 1) to Tappen, watch for the sign at  for the turn off on your right. Head along the lake shore for 14km to the park. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Kekuli Bay Provincial Park - 70 Campsites, Flush Toilets, Showers, Swimming, Lake Canoeing and Kayaking. The campgrounds have a nice view of the lake. Note: There is an active rail line through the park on the way to the beach. The beach it self is rocky. From Vernon head south on the 97 about 11km watch for the signs for the road on your left which will take you into the park. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Okanagan Lake Provincial Park - 168 Campsites, Showers, Flush Toilets, Swimming, Lake Canoeing and Kayaking. The park has two seperate campgrounds with a 1km trail connecting them. The swimming area has a pebble beach. The park is located off highway 97 about 11km north of Summerland on the shores of Okangan Lake. Watch for the signs. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Shuswap Lake Provincial Park - 272 Campsites, Group Camping, Showers, Flush Toilets, Swimming, Hiking, Biking, Lake Canoeing and Kayaking. The park has a number of hiking trails and designated cycling paths. The park is located on Shuswap Lake. From Salmon Arm head west on the the Trans Canada (Highway 1) to Squilax and watch for the signs for the road to the park on the right. At the intersection head to your right. For the most up to date information on the park as well as maps and photos (where available) see the official park site at BC Parks Reservations

Note: There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks. Swimmer's itch may be a problem at some lakes at different times of year, so towel down well. Consult with your park office.

Rattlesnakes may be present in areas of the province. High boots long pants and a little extra caution are helpful. Consult with your park office.

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Recreational Sites and Trails in British Columbia (Formerly Forestry Sites and Trails)


Recreational Sites and Trails BC

BC Forests have over a thousand camping sites scattered throughout the province. Some are managed and some are user managed, with some of the managed sites charging a fee for camping. Many of these sites are located in spectacular natural surroundings. In addition the there are a large network of trails, which include some of the finest hiking in the province.

Note: These backcountry sites are often isolated and access may require a 4x4, chains and the use of active logging roads (definately not recommended), which may be restricted (access may change overnight because of policy and/or road conditions). In addition austerity programs have trimmed the number of sites available and/or the type of management of the sites. Definately contact them before you go!


BC Hydro Recreational Sites 

BC Hydro maintains several campgrounds and recreational sites in the province. Campgrounds can be found at the following sites. 

  •  Alexander Mackenzie's Landing - Northern BC
  • Gun Creek (Bridge River)  - Coast and Mountains
  • Jones Lake - Coast and Mountains
  • Pend d'Oreille - Kootenay Rockies
  • Seton Lake Reservoir (Bridge River) - Chilcoten Cariboo
  • Stave Lake - Group campsites and lodge for registered non-profit youth groups, Coast and Mountains
  • Strathcona Dam - Vancouver Island

For more information on these and other Hydro recreational sites have a look at the BC Hydro website.

Camping - Private Campground & RV Parks


Gulf Islands Campgrounds & RV Parks


Salt Spring Island Map
Mayne Island Map

Islands - Victoria, Tofino & Ucluelet, Vancouver Island  & Discovery & Northern Gulf Islands

Vancouver Metro

Coast & Mountains


Whistler

Thompson Okanagan


Kootenay Rockies


Cariboo Chilcotin Coast


Northern British Columbia


 

Resources

  Trailer on Road to Robson  

Getting There

British Columbia is Canada's western most province. You'll find direct fleights are available from most countries into Vancouver or through connections  through Toronto or Montreal in the east. If your coming from the United States you have the option of flying, driving or taking a private boat or ferry depending on your place of origin. Small planes can reach the province from several of the northwestern states and boaters can make their way up the coast to Victoria or Vancouver. Ferries are also available from Washington State as anouther option. 

 
 

National Parks - Campground Reservations
Provincial Parks - Campground Reservations
Recreational Sites and Trails BC

Super Camping BC - Private Campgrounds

Out-There's Vancouver Island
Out-There's Vancouver
Out-There's Whistler
Out-There's Gulf Islands
Out-There's Pacific Rim, Tofino, Ucluelet

Drive BC
Tourism BC

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