The best camping near Victoria, British Columbia.
BC’s waterfront capital is a base for Vancouver Island adventures—after teatime, of course.
At the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is known for its British heritage, and afternoon tea is still popular, at least among tourists. Yet the city also has funky restaurants, craft breweries, and shops throughout. Most camping spots are outside the center, from private RV resorts with washrooms and hookups to forested regional or provincial parks. GoldstreamRead more...
At the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is known for its British heritage, and afternoon tea is still popular, at least among tourists. Yet the city also has funky restaurants, craft breweries, and shops throughout. Most camping spots are outside the center, from private RV resorts with washrooms and hookups to forested regional or provincial parks. Goldstream Provincial Park (with flush toilets and hot showers) is near Langford, 16 kilometres from downtown, and Discovery Island Marine Park is offshore, reachable by canoe or kayak. On the Saanich Peninsula, Island View Beach Regional Park has RV camping spots on the beach.
Where to Go
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
This national park protects sections of Vancouver Island as well as several smaller islands offshore. Campers can choose from front country, backcountry, and boat-in campgrounds. The 49-site SMONEĆTEN (McDonald) Campground is closest to Victoria, on a biking trail and regional bus line, convenient to the Swartz Bay Ferry.
The Cowichan Valley
Vancouver Island’s wine making and agricultural center is a great region for food and wine-lovers to explore. For campers, you’ll find RV parks, provincial parks, and lakeside camping spots.
Hikers can tromp along scenic walking trails near Sooke on Vancouver Island’s south coast, with its rocky shores along the Pacific Ocean. Camp near the sea in French Beach Provincial Park.
Continue west of Sooke to the end of the road—literally. Highway 14 ends in this tiny town, where campers can park their RVs or pitch their tents by the Pacific, follow hiking trails through the rainforest, and watch the waves roll in.
When to Go
With one of the mildest climates in Canada, Victoria is a year-round destination. You can comfortably camp anytime between March and October, perhaps with just a little drizzle. During the mild, dry summer (late June to Labour Day in early September), Victoria is packed with day-trippers and camping areas are busy. September and October bring cooler weather and fewer crowds, while wildflowers bloom across the island from March through May. Although winters are rainy, temperatures rarely drop below freezing.
Know Before You Go
- BC Ferries transports cars, bikes, and foot passengers between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island. From Vancouver, catch the ferry at Tsawwassen, 36 kilometres south of the city, to Swartz Bay, 37 kilometres north of downtown Victoria.
- You can reach the Tsawwassen terminal by subway and bus from downtown Vancouver, and regular buses travel between Swartz Bay and Victoria as well. The Victoria region is well laid out for cycling, too.
- From Washington State to downtown Victoria, the Clipper high-speed catamaran transports foot passengers from Seattle, while the Black Ball Ferry takes cars and people from Port Angeles.
- At the Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites west of downtown Victoria, campers can sleep in oTENTiks, Parks Canada’s platform tents, on the grounds of a historic fort.