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Best Places to Camp near Vancouver

Best Places to Camp near Vancouver

Amidst the captivating landscapes of Vancouver, located in the heart of British Columbia, lie several enchanting camping venues waiting to be explored. From majestic mountains to tranquil lakeshores, these spots offer a diverse array of outdoor escapes.

These are the best places to pitch your tent and immerse yourself in the beauty of the great outdoors surrounding this vibrant city. So, let’s embark on a nature-filled adventure and uncover the top camping destinations near Vancouver.

1. Alice Lake Provincial Park

Media: Peter & Julia

Location: BC-99, Squamish, BC V0N 1H0


Contact Details: +1 604-986-9371

Operating Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30 AM–8:30 PM, Saturday & Sunday: Open 24 hours

Alice Lake Provincial Park, nestled in Squamish, boasts 108 campsites, offering a serene retreat surrounded by mountains and lush forests. With sandy beaches, swimming docks, and kayak/SUP rentals, the park offers diverse outdoor activities.

The landscape is dominated by four freshwater lakes, creating a perfect setting for swimming and fishing. The campground features amenities such as playgrounds, fire pits, hot and cold running water, and free hot showers.

Pro tip:
You can take a leisurely stroll around Alice Lake using the Four Lakes Trail. It’s a serene hike with beautiful views, perfect for unwinding and taking in the natural beauty.

2. Cat Lake Recreation Site

Media: Rebekah Ho

Location: Squamish-Lillooet, BC V0N 1H0


Camping Fees: $18 per site

Cat Lake Recreation Site, located just north of Squamish, offers 48 walk-in sites surrounding a warm, small lake. The campground features three swimming docks, pit toilets, and a first-come, first-served policy, especially filling up quickly on weekends.

For a quieter camping experience, it serves as an alternative to the bustling Alice Lake Campground. Here, you’ll have a serene environment with a loop trail, beach access points, day use picnic area, and fire pits at each campsite.

Pro tip:
Due to occasional bear activity, store coolers in your vehicle and use on-site food caches. Also avoid leaving food or garbage unattended to minimize the risk of attracting bears to the campsite.

3. Golden Ears Provincial Park

Media: Real Canada!🇨🇦🇰🇷

Location: 24480 Fern Crescent, Maple Ridge, BC V4R 2S1


Contact Details: +1 604-466-8325, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 7 AM–7 PM

Golden Ears Provincial Park, nestled in Maple Ridge, offers three expansive campgrounds with over 400 campsites. Situated along the serene Alouette Lake, all three campgrounds provide beach access and easy reach to scenic hiking trails.

Its Alouette and Gold Creek campgrounds feature showers and flush toilets, while North Beach Campground offers pit toilets. Other amenities include fire pits, cold running water, recycling bins, double sites, boat rentals, and complimentary hot showers.

Pro tip:
Golden Ears campsites fill up rapidly, making quick reservations crucial. You can use user-friendly apps like Campnab or Schnerp to streamline the booking process.

4. Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

Media: kim groebner

Location: 38049 3 Ave, Squamish, BC V0N 1T0


Contact Details: +1 604-986-9371, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday: 8 AM–10 PM, Sunday: 7 AM–9:30 PM

Situated at the foot of the towering Stawamus Chief mountain near Squamish, the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park campground offers 59 small walk-in campsites. The park is renowned for its rugged cliffs, attracting hikers and rock climbers alike.

With covered picnic shelters and pit toilets, the sites operate on a first-come, first-served basis. This British Columbia park spans 1,309 acres and features The Stawamus Chief dome, one of the world’s largest granite monoliths.

Pro tip:
Peregrine Falcons inhabit the area. So, keep an eye out for these majestic birds and enjoy the unique experience of sharing their habitat during your stay.

5. Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Media: sixbyehua

Location: Unnamed Road, Squamish-Lillooet D, BC


Contact Details: +1 604-986-9371, [email protected]

Porteau Cove Provincial Park offers waterfront campsites with vistas stretching from Howe Sound to the distant mountains. Here, divers can explore a sunken ship, adding intrigue to the marine environment.

While occasional train noises echo nearby, its proximity to downtown Vancouver make this park a sought-after camping destination. It has well-maintained facilities and amenities such as showers and flush toilets.

Pro tip:
Given its popularity, secure your campsite well in advance, especially if you have specific preferences, like an oceanfront location.

6. Garibaldi Provincial Park

Media: Sacha Berman

Location: British Columbia 99, Brackendale, BC V0N 1H0


Contact Details: +1 800-689-9025

Just 64 km north of Vancouver, Garibaldi Provincial Park is a haven for nature lovers and hikers. Located in the heart of the Coast Mountains, this pristine wilderness showcases the grandeur of Mount Garibaldi, a majestic peak standing at 2,678 m.

With over 90 km of established trails, it offers exploration opportunities, boasting rich geological history, diverse flora, and abundant wildlife. It spans 200,000 hectares surrounded by alpine flowers, glacial lakes, volcanic rock, and imposing mountains.

Pro tip:
Stick to established trails to preserve the fragile alpine ecosystem. Respecting nature ensures future campers can revel in the same breathtaking landscapes.

7. Juan de Fuca Provincial Park

Media: Surfing Junky

Location: 12287 BC-14, Capital H (Part 2), BC


Contact Details: +1 587-372-0427

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 8 AM–12 AM

Amidst roaring surf and captivating landscapes, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park is a testament to the raw beauty of the Pacific coast. It’s located on the west coast of southern Vancouver Island, offering stunning vistas.

The park unfolds in four distinct areas: the serene China Beach Campground, the rugged Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, the scenic China Beach day-use area, and the fascinating Botanical Beach.

The China Beach campground serves as a starting point for trails leading to picturesque beaches and expansive seascapes. What’s even more delightful is that beachside camping is allowed, offering a unique experience of waking to ocean sounds.

Pro tip:
If you plan to camp on the beach, check the tide timings beforehand. Setting up during low tide ensures a safer and more comfortable camping experience.

8. Say Nuth Khaw Yum Provincial Park

Media: Lawrence/Loz/Lozza/Larry

Location: Greater Vancouver A, BC


Contact Details: +1 519-858-6161

Operating Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30 AM–4:30 PM

Say Nuth Khaw Yum Provincial Park, also known as Indian Arm Park, stands at the heart of Tsleil-Waututh traditional territory. The park encompasses the shores of Indian Arm, an 18 km fjord boasting a rugged landscape shaped by ancient glaciation.

The flat beach areas along its Bishop Creek provide rustic camping options. On the other hand, kayakers can access unique campsites like Granite Falls which is surrounded by the breathtaking reward of a 50-meter waterfall.

Activities here range from motor boating, kayaking, and scuba diving to hiking in old-growth forests and enjoying wildlife viewing. The park adheres to backcountry rules, promoting Leave No Trace practices, with amenities like pit toilets.

Pro tip:
You can time your visit during the salmon spawning season. You’ll witness the incredible sight of around 60,000 salmon navigating their way up Indian Arm—an unforgettable natural phenomenon.

9. Nairn Falls Provincial Park

Media: Shauna Puchniak

Location: Whistler, BC V0N 1B4


Contact Details: +1 604-986-9371

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 7 AM–10 PM

Nairn Falls Provincial Park is just 20 minutes north of Whistler and within the boundaries of Pemberton Village. It serves as a convenient hub for exploring the scenic wonders of Whistler, the Pemberton Valley, and Garibaldi Park.

This camping venue offers a strategic overnight rest spot for travelers heading to destinations along the Duffey Lake Road or beyond. The park features the impressive Nairn Falls, a 60-meter cascade accessible via a 1.5km hiking trail.

Its campground, boasting 94 campsites, pit toilets, and a water pump, provides a base for nature enthusiasts. A captivating hiking trail to a beautiful waterfall and the option to visit the nearby One Mile Lake also enhance the allure of this camping destination.

Pro tip:
Nairn Falls Provincial Park is a haven for birdwatchers. Bring binoculars to observe the diverse bird species that inhabit the area–you might spot eagles, hummingbirds, or even a colorful Western Tanager.

10. Rolley Lake Provincial Park

Media: wizzy87

Location: Bell St, Mission, BC V4S 1C6


Contact Details: +1 604-466-8325

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 7 AM–7 PM

Rolley Lake Provincial Park, nestled near Stave Falls between Maple Ridge and Mission, offers a tranquil retreat with 65 campsites surrounding a small, inviting lake. The campground provides modern amenities, including flush toilets and showers.

A brief hike leads to a waterfall, adding to the park’s charm. Less than an hour’s drive from Vancouver, Rolley Lake serves as a convenient yet serene escape, inviting visitors to explore the flat, forested terrain and indulge in activities like swimming and fishing.

The campsites here which are tucked amid tall conifers, provide a peaceful setting just moments away from the lakeshore. All of these foster a perfect blend of nature and relaxation in this must-visit campsite.

Pro tip:
If you’re into paddling, bring a canoe. The lake is just waiting to be explored, and it’s a fantastic way to start your day.

11. Kilby Park Campground

Media: Susan Spurr

Location: 215 Kilby Rd, Harrison Mills, BC V0M 1L0


Contact Details: +1 604-796-9576, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 8 AM–6 PM

Kilby Park Campground at Kilby Provincial Park is a tranquil haven offering a glimpse into early 1900s rural life. With 41 sites positioned at the confluence of the Fraser and Harrison Rivers, the campground boasts picturesque views and sandy riverbanks.

Here, you can immerse yourself in a riverside retreat, with activities like beachcombing, fishing, and boating along the Harrison River and Harrison Lake. You can enhance your camping experience with a visit to the General Store Museum, located nearby.

Pro tip:
Kilby Park offers an exceptional environment for indulging in stargazing. During clear evenings, you can take a leisurely stroll outside your tent and immerse yourself in the breathtaking expanse of the starry sky, away from city lights.

12. Squamish Valley Recreation Sites

Media: Pabblo B

Location: Ashlu Rd, Squamish-Lillooet D, BC V0N 2L2


Squamish Valley Recreation Sites boast an expansive sandy beach hugging the tranquil Squamish River. Enveloped by a lush forest and framed by magnificent glacier vistas, this natural sanctuary emanates an unparalleled beauty.

Whether seeking a communal camping experience with friends or a solitary retreat, this site promises diverse offerings. Note that accessing the site involves navigating bumpy logging roads, but typical 2WD cars can generally manage the journey.

Pro tip:
Don’t miss the stunning glacier views. A short hike or scenic spot could offer breathtaking glimpses – perfect for photo enthusiasts.

13. Sunnyside Campground

Media: Andrea Duncan

Location: 3405 Columbia Valley Rd, Cultus Lake, BC V2R 5A3


Contact Details: +1 604-858-5253

Sunnyside Campground is a sprawling, family-friendly retreat with an impressive array of over 350 spacious sites. Far beyond the typical campground experience, Sunnyside resembles a mini-township with its extensive amenities and facilities.

This campground offers direct access to the inviting waters of Cultus Lake, enticing campers to enjoy a great swimming beach just steps away. It provides recreational opportunities with convenient proximity to attractions like waterslides and mini golf.

Flush toilets, showers, laundry facilities, playgrounds, and even boat rentals contribute to a well-rounded camping experience. Take note that reservations are a must for securing your spot in this charming lakeside retreat.

Pro tip:
If you’re up for a nautical adventure, consider renting a boat. You can explore the expanses of Cultus Lake from a different perspective, enjoying the tranquility of the water.

14. Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park

Media: Candace Chen

Location: Trans Canada Trail, Rosedale, BC V0X 1X0


Contact Details: +1 604-986-9371

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: Open 24 hours

Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park has an expansive campground divided into five loops. The 182 campsites are strategically arranged, ensuring a tranquil atmosphere just a short stroll from the beckoning beach and boat launch on Chilliwack Lake.

Surrounded by the lush Chilliwack River Valley, the park boasts an array of hiking trails, catering to outdoor enthusiasts. It also invites visitors to engage in various water activities, from motor boating and canoeing to kayaking and fishing.

For families, a playground adds a playful touch to the camping experience. The campground is equipped with pit toilets and water taps, ensuring a comfortable stay while maintaining a connection to the surrounding natural beauty.

Pro tip:
Explore and find your favorite spot as each loop at Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park has its own charm. Loop B offers a more secluded experience, perfect for those craving tranquility, while Loop E is close to the beach and amenities.

15. Coquihalla Campground

Location: 800 Kawkawa Lake Rd, Hope, BC V0X 1L4


Contact Details: +1 604-860-5330, [email protected]

Situated along the scenic Coquihalla River, Coquihalla Campground boasts approximately 117 sites, including around 32 with full-service hookups featuring cable. It’s a convenient and welcoming choice for camping in proximity to Vancouver.

This private campground goes beyond the basics. It offers amenities like showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, a playground for the young adventurers, and a BBQ shelter for communal gatherings.

The prime location also grants campers easy access to diverse fishing experiences, from tranquil fly fishing to exciting river boat fishing tours. Additionally, its central position makes it an ideal hub for exploring the nearby lakes and rivers.

Pro tip:
This campsite is just a leisurely stroll away from downtown Hope. So, you may inquire about any local events happening in Hope during your stay, as town festivities could add an extra layer of enjoyment to your camping experience.

16. Prior Centennial Campground

Media: WOODS on Pender

Location: 5714 Canal Rd, Pender Island, BC V0N 2M1


Contact Details: +1 866-944-1744, [email protected]

Prior Centennial Campground is a serene outpost within the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Comprising a modest 17-site layout, this forested haven serves as an ideal hub for those eager to uncover the island’s pristine beaches and scenic hiking trails.

With the convenience of pit toilets and water taps, the campground offers a simple yet comfortable setting. Situated on the tranquil Pender Island, it allows visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this peaceful retreat.

Pro tip:
You can venture beyond the campground and explore the island’s hiking trails. Each path unveils a unique aspect of Pender’s beauty, from lush forests to stunning coastal views.

17. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park

Media: Charles Kelly

Location: 1240 Rath Rd, Parksville, BC V9P 2E2


Contact Details: +1 250-474-1336

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 7 AM–11 PM

Rathtrevor Beach Park encourages a laid-back atmosphere where beachside relaxation mingles with walks through the wooded upland areas. All its campsites are within a brief five-minute stroll to the two-kilometer beach expanse.

As the tide gracefully retreats nearly a kilometre, the expansive shoreline becomes a playground for visitors of all ages. When the tide returns, the sun-kissed waters invite leisurely swims, creating a perfect aquatic haven.

The park further unfolds its charm with a spacious day-use and picnicking area, providing an idyllic backdrop for shared moments. In the spring, Rathtrevor transforms into a haven for bird enthusiasts, offering views of seabirds during the herring spawn.

Pro tip:
You can pack your yoga mat and embrace the calming sounds of the ocean for a rejuvenating seaside yoga session. The beach provides a serene backdrop, enhancing your practice with the soothing rhythm of the waves.

18. Fort Camping

Media: International Motorsports Motorcycle Company

Location: 9451 Glover Rd, Langley Twp, BC V1M 2R9


Contact Details: +1 866-267-3678, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: Open 24 hours

Fort Camping offers a distinctive camping experience in the vicinity of Fort Langley. The campground features 156 sites, allowing campers to seamlessly transition from their wooded retreat to the village for shopping or dining.

A stroll back to the campsite leads to various recreational options, from hiking to simply enjoying the serene surroundings. Equipped with essential facilities such as flush toilets, showers, laundry, and Wi-Fi, it provides a family-oriented retreat along the Fraser River.

It’s located on Brae Island Regional Park and welcomes diverse campers, including those with large RVs or seeking family tent cabins. Nearby points of interest within walking distance are museums, golf courses, antique stores, and dining establishments.

Pro tip:
You can take advantage of the proximity to Fort Langley by exploring the village. Visit local shops, indulge in delicious eats, and immerse yourself in the historic charm before returning to the tranquility of your wooded campsite.

19. Roberts Creek Provincial Park

Media: Marleen Vermeulen

Location: Roberts Creek, BC V0N 2W0


Contact Details: +1 604-885-3714

Roberts Creek Provincial Park offers a modest 21-site campground that serves as an excellent hub for exploring the surrounding areas. Situated just a short drive from the charming towns of Gibsons and Sechelt, it allows easy access to both coastal delights.

For those who prefer a more leisurely approach, a 20-minute walk downhill leads to the beach and day-use area. The park is divided into separate camping and day-use zones, enveloped by a lush forest of grand cedars, Douglas fir, and Hemlock trees.

During low tide, the cobblestone beach at the picnic area transforms into a fascinating viewing spot, unveiling sea stars, mussels, and oysters. Moreover, essential facilities such as pit toilets and water taps ensure a comfortable camping experience.

Pro tip:
You can take advantage of the proximity to Gibsons and Sechelt by exploring local eateries. Savoring the regional cuisine adds a delightful culinary dimension to your camping adventure.

20. Goldstream Provincial Park

Media: Josefina Antonieta Arellano Rafols

Location: Langford, BC


Contact Details: +1 250-474-1336

Goldstream Park attracts nature enthusiasts with its captivating features. These include the towering trees, cascading waterfalls, a meandering river merging with the sea, vibrant flowers, diverse birdlife, and fascinating fish.

Only 16 kilometers from downtown Victoria on southern Vancouver Island, it transports visitors to a realm far removed from urban life. Its tranquil campground, discreetly situated in the park’s southwest corner, boasts 173 sites, offering a serene retreat.

Here, you can embark on scenic hikes directly from your campsite or take a brief drive to explore the Lower Goldstream Trail and Nature House. Flush toilets, showers, and convenient water taps ensure a comfortable camping experience.

Pro tip:
You can take a short drive to the Nature House and Lower Goldstream Trail for an educational adventure. The Nature House provides insights into the local flora and fauna, adding depth to your camping experience.