A vast wilderness of mountains, backcountry trails, temperate rainforests, and a sprawling waterfront.
It’s hard to describe British Columbia as anything other than wildly breathtaking—quite literally when you swim in one of the province’s many turquoise glacier lakes, ride a wave, or catch a glimpse of a bear in the forest. For camping experiences and road trips, BC offers privately operated campgrounds and RV parks; a major network of parks with reservable and first-come, first-served tent camping sites; yurts and cabins; and thousands of recreation sites and trails on beaches, lakes, mountains, and meadows. Thanks to the mild climate and some winter huts, camping is possible year-round.
The Pacific Ocean runs along the length of BC, offering plenty of oceanside spots to explore. On Vancouver Island, Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park are famous for cold-water surfing, whale watching, and hot springs, while nearby Ucluelet is a fisher’s paradise. Further inland, campers can find riverside camping in Squamish; backcountry huts around the resort town of Whistler; and reservable tent pads overlooking the jewel-toned Joffre Lake. For a true off-the-grid experience, head to Haida Gwaii's Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve—set about 100 kilometres off the northern British Columbia coast, this area is only reachable by sea or air.
The northern part of the province is all raw, rugged beauty, with unique culture and untouched natural beauty. Soak in Canada’s second-largest hot spring in Fort Nelson, watch salmon spawning in the many rivers, and peek at bears catching some themselves at Kleanza Creek Provincial Park in Terrace. Options for outdoor stays include vast wilderness resorts, remote cabins, and private beach, lakefront, or rainforest campsites—but note that cell service and WiFi are rare in these parts. Bonus: Given its far north location, it’s relatively easy to snag last-minute campsites that still offer peace and quiet.
With a blend of history, wildlife, adventure, and expansive grasslands, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is true Canadian countryside. Campers come to this wild western spot to spend time in the Great Bear Rainforest and at alpine rivers (whitewater rafting is big here), but travelers usually also visit lakeside fishing lodges and historic Gold Rush towns such as Barkerville. Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is a prime spot for the chance to spot a grizzly bear.
Set in the province’s southeastern corner and part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, the Kootenays are home to four national parks: Glacier, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, and Yoho. Here you’ll find unrivaled wildlife—think black bears, mountain goats, and elk—much of which can be spotted even from the highway. Throughout the region are glaciers, peaks, waterfalls, and quirky little towns such as Golden, Cranbrook, and Kimberley, the highest in Canada at 1,113 meters up. Camping and tenting is typically open between May and September, with limited winter options.
In British Columbia, camping is generally not allowed in public parks unless the park has designated camping areas or campgrounds. Camping in non-designated areas or outside of established campgrounds can result in fines, eviction, or other legal consequences. It is essential to respect the rules and regulations set by the park authorities to protect the natural environment and maintain the park's beauty. For legal camping options in British Columbia, including the Kamloops area, consider searching for designated campgrounds or sites on Hipcamp.
Yes, you can camp for free on Crown land in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Crown land comprises about 94% of BC's land base and is managed by the provincial government. Residents of BC can camp on Crown land for up to 14 days at a time, while non-residents are required to obtain a permit. It's important to note that not all Crown land is open for camping, and some areas may have restrictions. Always check the specific regulations and guidelines for the area you plan to visit and practice Leave No Trace principles. For more information on camping in BC, you can visit the British Columbia government website.
Several British Columbia provincial campgrounds offer electrical hookups for RVs and trailers. Some of these campgrounds include: 1. Cultus Lake Provincial Park: Located near Chilliwack, this park has a portion of its campsites with electrical hookups. 2. Porpoise Bay Provincial Park: Situated on the Sunshine Coast, this park offers a few campsites with electrical hookups. 3. Otter Lake Provincial Park: Located near Tulameen, this park has a limited number of campsites with electrical hookups. 4. Mabel Lake Provincial Park: Situated near Enderby, this park offers some campsites with electrical hookups. 5. Juan de Fuca Provincial Park: Located on Vancouver Island, China Beach Campground within this park has a limited number of campsites with electrical hookups. Please note that availability of electrical hookups may be limited, and it's always a good idea to get in touch with a campground for the most up-to-date information on their facilities and availability.
Yes, you can camp on Crown land in British Columbia, as long as you follow the guidelines and regulations set by the province. In general, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can camp on Crown land in BC for up to 14 consecutive days for free. However, there are some restrictions and guidelines to follow:
It's important to note that non-residents of Canada may need to obtain a permit to camp on Crown land in BC. Always check the specific regulations for the area you plan to camp in and follow all posted signage.
The cost to reserve a campsite in British Columbia, Canada, varies depending on the campground and the amenities offered. On average, you can expect to pay between CAD $20 to $45 per night for a basic tent or RV site. Additional fees may apply for extra services or facilities. To reserve a campsite in BC, you can visit the Discover Camping website, which handles reservations for BC Parks. For private campgrounds and unique camping experiences, you can explore Hipcamp options in British Columbia.
To book a campsite in British Columbia, visit the Discover Camping website, which is the official reservation system for BC Parks. You can search for campgrounds, check availability, and make reservations for provincial parks. For private campgrounds, you can visit Hipcamp to find and book a variety of camping options, including tent sites, RV sites, cabins, and glamping experiences.
Yes, there is free camping in British Columbia. Many of these free campsites are located on Crown land, which is public land managed by the provincial government. Some popular free camping areas in BC include the Squamish region, Whistler, and Vancouver Island. Keep in mind that these free camping spots are typically more rustic and may not have amenities like running water or toilets. It's essential to practice Leave No Trace principles and respect the environment when camping in these areas.
Yes, wild camping is legal in British Columbia. Dispersed or wild camping is allowed on Crown land, which makes up approximately 94% of the province. Campers can stay at a site for up to 14 days before having to move at least 100 meters away. It is important to follow Leave No Trace principles and adhere to any local regulations or restrictions. In addition to Crown land, BC also offers numerous provincial parks and recreation sites, where camping fees and regulations may apply. For more camping options in BC, visit Hipcamp.
Camping is allowed in British Columbia, but it is essential to check the most recent information before planning a trip. Some parks may have limited services or facilities, so it's essential to stay informed and be prepared for your camping trip.
Camping fees in BC Parks vary depending on the park, type of campsite, and the season. For frontcountry camping, fees typically range from CAD $13 to $45 per party per night. Backcountry camping fees are generally around CAD $5 to $10 per person per night. Group camping fees vary based on the size of the group and the specific park but can range from CAD $50 to $160 per night. Note that some parks may also require a reservation fee or a day-use fee in addition to the camping fees. You can find more information about BC Parks camping fees on their official fees page.
In British Columbia, many campgrounds operate on a first-come, first-served basis, where you don't need a reservation. Some options include:
1. Recreational Sites: Managed by Recreation Sites and Trails BC, these campgrounds are often more rustic and remote. You can find a list of these sites on their official website.
2. Provincial Parks: Some provincial parks have first-come, first-served campgrounds. Check the BC Parks website for details on specific parks.
3. Crown land: Dispersed camping is allowed on Crown land, which makes up approximately 94% of British Columbia. Keep in mind that there may be no facilities or services available, and you should follow Leave No Trace principles. Remember that popular areas can fill up quickly, especially during peak season, so it's always a good idea to arrive early or have a backup plan in case your desired campground is full.