The best camping near Nahanni National Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Nahanni National Park adventure.

Ride the wild whitewaters of the Nahanni River or marvel up at the Cirque of the Unclimbables.  

Popular ways to camp

The best camping near Nahanni National Park guide



True adventurers will find plenty to challenge them at Nahanni National Park Reserve, where 29,785 square kilometres of parkland include peaks for expert climbing and multi-day paddling routes for hardcore canoeing. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to the Dehcho First Nations community, is one of the most epic parks in Canada and one of only a few in the Northwest Territories with designated campsites in addition to dispersed camp-where-you-want options. Getting here can be a challenge that’s worth the reward—either arrive from the west by starting at the Yukon’s Finlayson Lake and taking a floatplane to Glacier Lake, or use Fort Simpson as a starting point before floatplaning in for a visit to the eastern side.

Notable campgrounds

Notable Campgrounds

  • Best for rock climbers: The Fairy Meadows area is all lush green grass and alpine flowers encircled by the formidable Unclimbables.
  • Best for unbeatable views: Camping space around the 92-metre Virginia Falls (Nailicho) is convenient with composting toilets, canoe racks, and food caches (bear boxes)—but also a two-night maximum.
  • Best for relaxing: The Kraus Hotsprings area features a check-in station, food cache, and an outhouse in addition to the natural hot springs surrounded by wilderness on the eastern side of the park.

Tips for snagging a campsite

Tips for Snagging a Campsite Reservation

  1. Advanced registration, reservations, excursion fee payment, and de-registration are all required for overnight stays in Nahanni. Camping reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis, and group sizes are limited to 12.
  2. Fairy Meadows can get quite busy, as climbers gather here before attempting to scale the heights of the Unclimbables. It’s best to book early to avoid disappointment.
  3. With canoeing, kayaking, and rafting all highlights on the Nahanni River, it’s recommended that those who want to partake coordinate with a licensed outfitter, especially if you’re planning on a multi-day trip on the river

When to go

When to Go

Nahanni receives just about all of its visitors between June and August, when the park experiences long days of sunlight and blooming Canadian wildflowers. Spring is an unsafe time to visit due to extensive flooding, and snowfall should be anticipated at any time.

Know before you go

Know Before You Go

  • Although not a designated camping area, the South Nahanni River’s Pulpit Rock (otherwise known as the Gate) is so popular among dispersed campers that a composting toilet has been installed.
  • Open fires are not permitted anywhere in the park—wood-burning fire pits are provided in some campsites and gas cooking stoves are recommended elsewhere.
  • Black bears and grizzly bears live here, so Parks Canada recommends carrying bear spray and bear-resistant food canisters at all times.
  • Snow can fall at any time in Nahanni—be prepared with the right clothing and gear.

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