Camping, an age-old tradition of immersing oneself in nature and seeking solace amidst the great outdoors, has captured the hearts of adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. In the stunning province of British Columbia, camping takes on a whole new level of wonder and excitement. With its breathtaking landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and boundless opportunities for outdoor recreation, British Columbia offers a paradise for campers seeking unforgettable experiences.
In this article, we present to you the “15 Best Campgrounds in British Columbia.” Our carefully curated list showcases the finest campgrounds that epitomize the essence of camping in this extraordinary province. These campgrounds have been chosen based on their accessibility, amenities, scenic beauty, and the array of outdoor activities they offer.
Table of contents
- Factors to Consider when Choosing a Campground
- Best Campgrounds in British Columbia
- 1. Golden Ears Provincial Park Campground
- 2. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park Campground
- 3. Alice Lake Provincial Park Campground
- 4. Kettle River Recreation Area Campground
- 5. Miracle Beach Provincial Park Campground
- 6. Cultus Lake Provincial Park Campground
- 7. Ruckle Provincial Park Campground
- 8. Kokanee Creek Provincial Park Campground
- 9. Manning Provincial Park Campground
- 10. Porteau Cove Provincial Park Campground
- 11. Haynes Point Provincial Park Campground (Osoyoos Lake)
- 12. Green Point Campground (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve)
- 13. Bear Creek Provincial Park Campground
- 14. Mount Robson Provincial Park Campground
- 15. Lightning Lake Campground (E.C. Manning Provincial Park)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Join us as we embark on a journey through the 15 best campgrounds in British Columbia. Discover hidden gems, embrace the untamed wilderness, and create lifelong memories amidst nature’s embrace. So pack your gear, pitch your tent, and let the adventure begin!
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Campground
When planning a camping trip in British Columbia, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you select the perfect campground that suits your needs and preferences. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:
Accessibility and Location
- Consider the proximity of the campground to your home or desired starting point.
- Evaluate the ease of access, including road conditions and distance from main attractions or points of interest.
- Decide if you prefer a remote wilderness campground or one closer to amenities and services.
Amenities and Facilities
- Determine the level of comfort you desire during your camping trip. Do you prefer basic amenities or more extensive facilities?
- Common amenities to look for include clean restrooms, showers, potable water, picnic tables, fire pits, and electrical hook-ups.
- Some campgrounds may offer additional perks like swimming areas, playgrounds, camp stores, and Wi-Fi.
Scenic Beauty and Outdoor Activities:
- British Columbia is famous for its stunning natural beauty, so consider the campground’s surroundings.
- Look for campgrounds near lakes, rivers, mountains, or forests that offer picturesque landscapes and opportunities for outdoor adventures.
- Research the available activities such as hiking trails, fishing spots, kayaking or canoeing opportunities, wildlife viewing areas, or biking trails.
Campsite Size and Privacy:
- Evaluate the size and layout of the campsites. Consider whether you prefer larger, more spacious sites or more secluded and private options.
- Look for campgrounds that offer a variety of campsite sizes to accommodate different types of camping equipment.
- Check if the campground provides sufficient space between campsites to ensure privacy and a peaceful camping experience.
Online Reservations and Availability:
- Determine if the campground accepts online reservations or if it operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Check the availability of campsites for your desired dates and make reservations well in advance, especially during peak camping seasons.
- Consider the popularity of the campground and whether it tends to fill up quickly, requiring advanced planning.
By considering these factors, you can surely make an informed decision when selecting a campground in British Columbia that aligns with your preferences and provides an unforgettable camping experience.
Best Campgrounds in British Columbia
1. Golden Ears Provincial Park Campground
Golden Ears Provincial Park Campground is a hidden gem for nature lovers and is located close to Maple Ridge. It offers a wide range of activities for campers of all ages with its breathtaking mountain panoramas, tranquil lakes, and huge network of hiking paths.
The campsite has roomy, well-kept sites that can hold both tents and RVs. Golden Ears offers possibilities to fit your interests, whether you choose a cosy area surrounded by tall trees or a seaside site with stunning views.
Campers can immerse themselves in the park’s natural wonders by embarking on one of the many hiking trails. The iconic Golden Ears Summit Trail presents a challenging yet rewarding trek, leading to breathtaking panoramic views from the summit. For a more relaxed stroll, the Lower Falls Trail takes you to a beautiful waterfall, perfect for cooling off on hot summer days.
With its tranquil ambiance and abundant recreational opportunities, Golden Ears Provincial Park Campground is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts in British Columbia.
2. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park Campground
Located on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park Campground offers a delightful camping experience by the ocean. This picturesque park is known for its expansive sandy beach, stunning views, and a wealth of recreational activities.
Tent sites, RV sites, and group camping places are among the camping choices available to campers at Rathtrevor Beach. A comfortable stay is guaranteed for tourists thanks to the campground’s well-maintained services and facilities.
Rathtrevor Beach’s stunning sandy beach, which stretches for more than two kilometres at low tide, is without a doubt its main attraction. The beach is ideal for taking leisurely strolls, creating sandcastles, or just lazing around in the sun. The shallow seas make it a great place for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding during high tide.
The park’s coastal forest trails, which meander between imposing Douglas fir and cedar trees, are perfect for nature lovers. These trails provide chances for wildlife observation, birdwatching, and tranquil nature strolls.
With its idyllic beach setting, natural beauty, and a range of outdoor activities, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park Campground is a coastal paradise that promises a memorable camping experience.
3. Alice Lake Provincial Park Campground
Nestled in the coastal mountains near Squamish, Alice Lake Provincial Park Campground is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Known for its crystal-clear lake, lush forests, and stunning mountain views, this campground offers a serene and picturesque setting for camping adventures.
There are many different camping options available in the campsite at Alice Lake Provincial Park, including walk-in tent sites and RV-friendly sites with electricity hookups. The locations are kept up properly and surrounded by nature, giving visitors a sense of peace and seclusion.
The lake bearing the same name is one of Alice Lake’s key draws; it provides chances for canoeing, swimming, and fishing. A network of routes for biking and trekking wind through the nearby trees in the park. A well-liked option is the Four Lakes Trail, which leads hikers on a picturesque loop that displays the park’s natural beauty.
Beyond the campground, the nearby town of Squamish provides access to a wide range of outdoor activities. From rock climbing and mountain biking to exploring the breathtaking Sea-to-Sky Corridor, adventure awaits just a short drive away.
With its stunning lake, lush forests, and a wealth of recreational opportunities, Alice Lake Provincial Park Campground is an ideal destination for campers seeking a peaceful retreat amidst British Columbia’s natural splendor.
4. Kettle River Recreation Area Campground
Located in the southern interior of British Columbia, the Kettle River Recreation Area Campground offers a unique camping experience along the scenic Kettle River. Known for its tranquil atmosphere and picturesque surroundings, this campground is perfect for those seeking a peaceful getaway in nature.
Tents and RVs can stay in the campground at Kettle River Recreation Area, which offers both primitive and serviced campsites. Campers have the option of staying along the river or selecting sites tucked away in the woods, which offer a sense of privacy and immersion in the natural world.
The main draw of the region is the Kettle River, which provides chances for kayaking, tubing, and swimming. It’s the perfect place to unwind because of the calm currents and lovely surroundings. Given that the river is a refuge for a variety of fish species, anglers will also value the prospects for fishing.
The surrounding landscape is characterized by rolling hills, lush forests, and grassy meadows, creating a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities. Hiking and biking trails crisscross the area, allowing visitors to explore the natural beauty and encounter wildlife such as deer, birds, and even the occasional black bear.
5. Miracle Beach Provincial Park Campground
Situated along the eastern shoreline of Vancouver Island, Miracle Beach Provincial Park Campground offers a delightful coastal camping experience. With its sandy beach, stunning views, and a range of recreational activities, this campground is a popular choice for families and beach lovers.
The campground at Miracle Beach Provincial Park features spacious campsites suitable for tents, RVs, and trailers. Some sites offer electrical hookups, and the campground provides clean facilities and amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for visitors.
The highlight of Miracle Beach is undoubtedly its expansive sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing, beachcombing, and sandcastle building. The warm waters of the Strait of Georgia beckon swimmers and water enthusiasts, while beachcombers can explore the shore for unique shells and marine treasures.
Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the park’s trails, which wind through old-growth forests and along the coastline. The forested paths provide opportunities for birdwatching and spotting wildlife, including deer and raccoons.
The town of Campbell River, which offers whale-watching tours, fishing excursions, and access to the intriguing Museum at Campbell River, are some of the neighbouring attractions in addition to the campground.
For those looking for a wonderful seaside camping experience in British Columbia, Miracle Beach Provincial Park Campground is a great choice because to its gorgeous beach, coastal beauty, and variety of outdoor activities.
6. Cultus Lake Provincial Park Campground
Nestled in the Fraser Valley, Cultus Lake Provincial Park Campground offers a picturesque setting and a wide range of recreational activities. With its pristine lake, scenic trails, and family-friendly atmosphere, this campground is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and vacationers.
The Cultus Lake Provincial Park campground offers roomy, well-kept campsites appropriate for tents, RVs, and trailers. For the comfort of campers, some sites include electrical hookups and provide facilities including showers, flush toilets, and a sani-station.
The park’s focal point, Cultus Lake, is ideal for boating, fishing, and swimming. There are many options for relaxing and having fun in the ocean thanks to its clean waters and sandy beaches. Rentable paddleboards, kayaks, and pedal boats are available for lake exploration or just relaxing laps in the water.
The park provides a vast network of hiking and bike routes that encircle the lake. The routes highlight the region’s natural splendour, including lush forests, picturesque views, and flowing waterfalls, and range in difficulty from easy strolls to strenuous hikes.
Families will appreciate the park’s picnic areas, playgrounds, and sandy beaches, which provide ample space for outdoor recreation and enjoyment. The nearby Cultus Lake Waterpark and Cultus Lake Adventure Park offer additional entertainment options for visitors of all ages.
7. Ruckle Provincial Park Campground
Ruckle Provincial Park Campground on Salt Spring Island provides a tranquil and quiet camping experience amidst breathtaking coastline vistas. This undiscovered treasure is renowned for its untamed beauty, old farm structures, and numerous outdoor exploring options.
Rustic campsites are situated in a calm, private setting among woods and meadows in the campground at Ruckle Provincial Park. Pit toilets and freshwater faucets are provided, allowing guests to fully enjoy a more rustic camping setting.
The park’s different ecosystems, which include woods, meadows, and rocky shorelines, will appeal to nature lovers. Numerous animals, such as deer, eagles, and aquatic life, can be seen in the park. Hikers may enjoy stunning beaches and breathtaking views of the Gulf Islands by exploring the park’s pathways.
In addition to camping, activities in Ruckle Provincial Park include beachcombing, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The park’s tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty make it an ideal spot for artists, photographers, and those seeking a peaceful retreat.
Visitors can also explore the vibrant community of Salt Spring Island, known for its art galleries, local markets, and unique shops offering handmade crafts and artisanal products.
8. Kokanee Creek Provincial Park Campground
The Kokanee Creek Provincial Park Campground is tucked away along the shores of Kootenay Lake in the West Kootenay area of British Columbia. This campground is a refuge for outdoor enthusiasts thanks to its breathtaking natural scenery, plethora of recreational opportunities, and rich wildlife.
Tent sites, RV sites, and group camping areas are all available in the campsite at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. The option of camping in a forest or beside a lake is available, and each has its own distinct beauty.
Kootenay Lake is ideal for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing due to its crystal-clear waters and sandy beaches. Kokanee salmon and other freshwater fish species can be caught by anglers in the lake.
The park offers a network of hiking trails that wind through lush forests, leading to scenic viewpoints and waterfalls. The Kokanee Glacier Trail is a popular choice for experienced hikers, providing a challenging yet rewarding trek through alpine meadows and glacial landscapes.
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the park’s diverse wildlife, including bears, deer, and various bird species. Kokanee Creek Provincial Park also features an interpretive center where visitors can learn about the local flora, fauna, and natural history of the area.
9. Manning Provincial Park Campground
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains of southwestern British Columbia, Manning Provincial Park Campground offers a breathtaking wilderness experience with its rugged mountain peaks, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. This expansive park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
The campground at Manning Provincial Park features a variety of camping options, including tent sites, RV sites, and group camping areas. Campers can choose from several campgrounds within the park, each offering its own unique atmosphere and amenities.
The park is well known for offering a wide variety of activities. A network of trails leading through old-growth forests, alpine meadows, and picturesque vistas is available for hikers to explore. The Heather Trail, the Lightning Lakes Chain Trail, and the strenuous Skyline Trail, which rewards hikers with breath-taking panoramic views, are a few well-known paths.
Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing at the adjacent Manning Park Resort, which is located next to Manning Provincial Park.
One of the park’s several lakes or rivers is a great place for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing enthusiasts. Summertime activities like swimming and picnics are very popular at Lightning Lake because of its crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches.
10. Porteau Cove Provincial Park Campground
Porteau Cove Provincial Park Campground offers a distinctive coastal camping experience with breath-taking views of Howe Sound and is located along the picturesque Sea-to-Sky Highway. With its breathtaking natural beauty and abundance of outdoor recreation options, this campground is a well-liked option for people looking for a peaceful retreat close to Vancouver.
Tents, RVs, and trailers can stay in the campground at Porteau Cove Provincial Park, which offers both waterfront and forest sites. The sites are kept up nicely, and campers can take advantage of amenities including flush toilets, showers, and a sani-station.
The highlight of Porteau Cove is undoubtedly its picturesque waterfront location. The park offers a pebbled beach where visitors can stroll along the shoreline, enjoy a picnic, or simply relax while taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and ocean.
Diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will find Porteau Cove particularly appealing, as it is known for its excellent underwater visibility and diverse marine life. The park features an underwater artificial reef, providing a unique opportunity for underwater exploration.
With its stunning waterfront setting, natural beauty, and proximity to Vancouver, Porteau Cove Provincial Park Campground is an ideal choice for a peaceful coastal camping experience in British Columbia.
11. Haynes Point Provincial Park Campground (Osoyoos Lake)
Located in the sunny Okanagan region of British Columbia, Haynes Point Provincial Park Campground offers a delightful camping experience along the shores of Osoyoos Lake. With its warm climate, stunning lake views, and a range of recreational activities, this campground is a popular destination for water enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Haynes Point Provincial Park’s campground offers lakeside campsites with easy access to Osoyoos Lake’s white sand beach and crystal-clear waters. The locations are kept up properly and include necessities like fresh water faucets and pit toilets.
A sanctuary for water sports like swimming, boating, and fishing is Osoyoos Lake. Paddleboarding, kayaking, and jet-skiing are all popular water sports that may be enjoyed in the lake’s warm waters. Bass and trout are only a couple of the fish species that anglers can try their luck at catching.
Beyond the lake, the park offers hiking trails that wind through the surrounding desert landscape, providing scenic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Wildlife enthusiasts may spot a variety of bird species and desert animals along the trails.
Haynes Point Provincial Park Campground is an excellent choice for a wonderful camping trip in the lovely Okanagan region because of its stunning lakeside position, pleasant climate, and a wide range of water sports.
12. Green Point Campground (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve)
Situated on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, Green Point Campground offers a unique camping experience within the stunning surroundings of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Known for its pristine beaches, ancient rainforests, and world-class surfing, this campground attracts nature enthusiasts, beach lovers, and outdoor adventurers alike.
The campground at Green Point is located near Long Beach, a stretch of sandy coastline that is famous for its beauty and surf breaks. The campsites are nestled among towering trees and provide a peaceful setting for campers. Basic amenities such as flush toilets and fresh water taps are available.
Green Point Campground’s proximity to the magnificent Long Beach is its primary appeal. This broad sandy shoreline is ideal for leisurely strolls, beachcombing, and watching the sun set. With steady waves luring wave riders from all over the world, it is also a well-liked location for surfers of all skill levels.
The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve includes a network of trails that meander through historic coastal rainforests in addition to the beach. A popular option is the Rainforest Trail, which lets tourists explore moss-covered trees, take in the sounds of nature, and find undiscovered waterfalls.
13. Bear Creek Provincial Park Campground
The Bear Creek Provincial Park Campground in the Okanagan Valley, close to Kelowna, provides a magnificent camping experience amidst dense forests and the glistening waters of Okanagan Lake. Those seeking outdoor activities, water sports, and a tranquil natural setting frequently travel to this campground.
Tents, RVs, and trailers can all stay at the well-kept campsites in the Bear Creek Provincial Park campground. For the comfort of campers, some sites include electrical hookups and provide facilities including showers, flush toilets, and a sani-station.
Okanagan Lake, with its clear and inviting waters, is perfect for swimming, boating, and fishing. Visitors can rent paddleboards, kayaks, or motorized watercraft to explore the lake or enjoy a leisurely cruise. The park has a sandy beach area where families can relax, build sandcastles, or have a lakeside picnic.
Nature enthusiasts can explore the park’s trails, which meander through the forested areas and offer opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting. The park is home to a variety of bird species, making it a great spot for birdwatching.
With its tranquil setting, proximity to Okanagan Lake, and a wealth of outdoor activities, Bear Creek Provincial Park Campground is an ideal destination for nature lovers, families, and outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy the beauty of the Okanagan Valley.
14. Mount Robson Provincial Park Campground
The Mount Robson Provincial Park Campground, located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, offers a beautiful camping experience amidst towering peaks, pristine wilderness, and the commanding presence of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. For adventure enthusiasts, hikers, and environment lovers wanting a genuine alpine wilderness experience, our campground is a paradise.
The Mount Robson Provincial Park campground offers both drive-up and walk-in campsites, letting guests select their ideal level of privacy. Campers have access to basic facilities like freshwater faucets and pit toilets.
The park is renowned for its hiking trails, which showcase the awe-inspiring beauty of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. The Berg Lake Trail is a popular choice, offering a challenging multi-day hike with stunning views of glaciers, waterfalls, and turquoise-colored lakes. Other trails in the park cater to various skill levels and provide opportunities to spot wildlife and marvel at the alpine landscapes.
With its majestic mountain scenery, pristine wilderness, and world-class hiking opportunities, Mount Robson Provincial Park Campground is a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable mountain camping experience in British Columbia.
15. Lightning Lake Campground (E.C. Manning Provincial Park)
Located within the stunning E.C. Manning Provincial Park, Lightning Lake Campground offers a serene camping experience surrounded by picturesque lakes, lush forests, and breathtaking mountain vistas. This campground is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, fishing enthusiasts, and nature lovers seeking a tranquil escape in the Cascade Mountains.
The Lightning Lake campground offers roomy campsites appropriate for tents, RVs, and trailers. For the comfort of campers, some sites include electrical hookups and provide facilities including flush toilets, showers, and a sani-station.
The campground’s main attraction is Lightning Lake, which provides chances for swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Since the lake has been stocked with rainbow trout, anglers frequently visit it. Visitors can explore the calm waters and take in the serene mountain scenery by renting non-motorized boats on-site.
For hiking enthusiasts, a network of trails winds through the park, providing opportunities for scenic walks, day hikes, and multi-day backpacking adventures. The Heather Trail is a popular choice, leading hikers through alpine meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers and offering panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. The park’s diverse wildlife, including deer, black bears, and a variety of bird species, adds to the allure of the hiking experience.
With its scenic lakeside location, abundant outdoor activities, and natural beauty, Lightning Lake Campground in E.C. Manning Provincial Park provides a serene and memorable camping experience in the heart of the Cascade Mountains.
In our exploration of the 15 Best Campgrounds in British Columbia, we’ve covered a wide range of locations, each offering its own unique features and experiences. Whether you prefer beachside camping, lakeside tranquility, mountain vistas, or dense forests, there is a campground to suit every preference.
From the Golden Ears Provincial Park Campground near Vancouver to the Lightning Lake Campground in E.C. Manning Provincial Park, these campgrounds provide a gateway to explore the province’s natural wonders. They offer a variety of camping options, including tent sites, RV sites, and amenities to ensure a comfortable stay amidst the wilderness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Do I need a permit to camp at these campgrounds in British Columbia?
A: Yes, a camping permit is required for most campgrounds in British Columbia. Permits can be obtained online or at the park entrance. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak seasons.
Q: Are campfires allowed at these campgrounds?
A: Campfire regulations vary depending on the location and time of year. Some campgrounds allow campfires in designated fire pits, while others may have fire bans in place during dry seasons. Check with the campground or park authorities for current fire regulations.
Q: Are pets allowed at these campgrounds?
A: Pets are generally allowed at the campgrounds in British Columbia, but there may be specific rules and restrictions. Some campgrounds require pets to be kept on a leash and have designated pet-friendly areas. Always check the campground’s guidelines regarding pets before your visit.
Q: Is drinking water available at the campgrounds?
A: Most campgrounds provide access to potable drinking water through taps or faucets. However, it’s recommended to bring your own supply of drinking water as a backup, especially for remote or backcountry camping.
Q: What amenities can I expect at these campgrounds?
A: The amenities vary by campground but typically include basic facilities such as restrooms, showers (in some cases), picnic tables, and fire pits. Some campgrounds may have additional amenities like playgrounds, hiking trails, boat rentals, or visitor centers. Check the specific campground’s details for a comprehensive list of amenities available.