The Basics: Where to Camp

Where to begin camping

British Columbia

Glacier National Park Glacier National Park
© Parks Canada

Glacier National Park

With more than 400 glaciers and some of Canada’s most active avalanche areas, snow is serious business in Glacier National Park! Connect with the park’s gentler side in the summer months, when quiet campgrounds and interpretive trails await you. Explore an amazing trail system and climbing routes originally laid out by Canada’s first guides and mountaineers and ski some of the deepest powder in North America.

A 6.5 hour drive from Vancouver and 3.5 hours from Calgary.

Must do

Wake up in the shadow of glacier-clad peaks. Stroll over an abandoned railway bridge to the ruins of Glacier House, a Victorian-age luxury hotel.

Wildlife you might see 

  1. Pika 
  2. American Dipper 
  3. Grizzly and Black Bears 
  4. Mountain Goat 
  5. Marmot

Insider’s Tip

Bring a pair of binoculars and watch for dippers, amphibious birds who spend their time “dipping” into icy-cold rivers in search of food. Keep an eye out for pikas, high-elevation cousins of rabbits who spend their time in boulder fields, collecting and drying grasses for winter.

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Glacier National Park website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
© Parks Canada

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is a peaceful refuge that is easily accessible from Victoria and Vancouver. Enjoy a mosaic of open meadows, forested hills, rocky headlands, quiet coves and sandy beaches, and use your kayak to explore the fascinating shorelines and sheltered bays.

Must do

Sit around a crackling campfire at your forest campsite. Bring a picnic and explore the white sandy beaches of Sidney Spit or visit East Point for your best chance to see whales. Go on a treasure hunt! Download the Parks Canada geocache and embark on a self-guided trail of discovery.

Wildlife you might see 

  1. Bald Eagle 
  2. Great Blue Heron 
  3. Banana Slug 
  4. Seal 
  5. Orca Whale (Killer Whale)

Insider’s tip

Campgrounds in the Gulf Islands National Reserve are unstaffed, but friendly park personnel do conduct daily rounds. Bring cash to pay for your camping fees (no credit cards or debit cards are accepted). We strongly recommended that you have a reservation before going.

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Kootenay National Park Kootenay National Park
© Parks Canada

Kootenay National Park

Enter into a world of amazing contrasts at Kootenay National Park, from glacier-clad peaks along the Continental Divide to semi-arid grasslands of the Rocky Mountain Trench, where cacti grow. After a day of adventure, relax in the natural mineral waters of Radium Hot Springs and enjoy a campfire under the stars.

A 2-hour drive from Calgary.

Must do

Explore the park by foot or on your bike. Discover the dramatic colours, sights and sounds of Marble Canyon and Numa Falls. Learn about historic aboriginal cultural through interpretive walks and see the effects of major fires across the park. Watch for towering mountains, turquoise rivers, bighorn sheep, and iron red cliffs.

Wildlife you might see 

  1. Bighorn Sheep 
  2. Black Bear 
  3. White Tailed Deer 
  4. Mule Deer 
  5. Moose

Insider’s tip

Discover trails that take you below glacier-clad peaks and beside a deep, narrow limestone gorge at Marble Canyon Campground. Relax in the heart of the Kootenay Valley at McLeod Meadows, and balance modern conveniences with the great outdoors at Kootenay’s only full service campground, Redstreak.

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Kootenay National Park website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Mount Revelstoke National Park Mount Revelstoke National Park
© Parks Canada

Mount Revelstoke National Park

Rainforest, “snow-forest”, and then no forest! Explore the Columbia Mountains from top to bottom in a single day at Mount Revelstoke National Park!

A 6-hour drive from Calgary and a 9-hour drive from Vancouver.

Must do

Enjoy an easy drive to a mountain summit with spectacular subalpine wildflower meadows, or wander up a trail to the treeline. In the valleys below, stroll through a towering grove of ancient red cedars, or walk through wetlands of strange skunk cabbage plants.

Insider’s Tip

There is no front-country camping in this national park. However, you can camp in nearby Glacier National Park and spend a full day here!
For more information on the experiences available, visit the Mount Revelstoke National Park website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
© Parks Canada

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Stimulate your senses and refresh your spirit in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Discover a rainforest that drips with water and teems with life. Explore the wind and water sculpted landscape that is home to the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.

A 3.5-hour drive from Nanaimo and a half-hour drive from Victoria.

Must do

Wander the rocky shores, tidal pools and wind-swept dunes of Long Beach. Glide in your kayak amongst the hundred islands, sheltered coves and bays in the Broken Group Islands. Hike the beaches and forests that stretch along the West Coast Trail.

Wildlife you might see 

  1. Black Bears 
  2. Bald Eagles 
  3. Banana Slugs 
  4. Humpback and/or Gray Whales 
  5. Stellar Sea Lions

Insider’s tip

Pack raingear and tarps! With the west coast’s annual rainfall of 3 metres, you need to be prepared!

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Yoho National Park Yoho National Park
© Parks Canada

Yoho National Park

Named after the Cree word for awe and wonder, Yoho National Park will take your breath away! Enjoy the splendour of great rock walls, spectacular waterfalls and soaring peaks. Discover the secrets of ancient ocean life, the power of ice and water, and unique plant and animal communities.

A 2-hour drive from Calgary.

Must do

Discover amazing mountains, incredible waterfalls, pristine glacier-fed lakes, abundant wildlife, and first-rate camping, biking and hiking. Visit one of the planet’s most significant fossil beds and the historic town of Field.

Wildlife you might see 

  1. Elk 
  2. Grizzly Bear 
  3. Black Bear 
  4. Moose 
  5. Mountain Goat

Insider’s tip

Visit the Spiral Tunnels near Kicking Horse Campground, enjoy the sounds of water tumbling over one of the highest falls in Canada at Takakkaw Falls Campground, or relax on the banks of the Kicking Horse River at Chancellor Peak Campground.

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Yoho National Park website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
© Parks Canada

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve is a place where time stands still. Wander through century-old totem poles at SGang Gwaay UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of five Haida Gwaii Watchmen village sites in the Park Reserve. Explore long stretches of beach or relax in peaceful oceanside natural hot pools.

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve is for experienced campers only. For more information, visit the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.