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Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada

Facilities and Services

Vancouver Island | Inner Islands | Pender Islands | Prevost Island | Mayne Island | Saturna Island

Camping along the shoreline

Camping in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

All Park Facilities and Services Open
  • May 15 to September 30
High Season
  • July and August
Low Season
  • Thanksgiving weekend to May 1
  • Most day use areas, trails and backcountry camp sites remain accessible. However, services are reduced (fees are not charged).
Low Season Closures
  • Both drive-in campgrounds (Prior Centennial and McDonald) are closed during low season.
  • Sidney Spit is closed from November 1 to the end of February each year to facilitate traditional hunting by Coast Salish First Nations.
  • See Important Bulletins for current closure notices.
  • If you plan on visiting during the off-season, contact the park administrative office for more information on services.
Emergency Contacts
  • Ambulance, Fire, Police: 911
  • Marine Emergency – Via VHF Radio: Channel 16
  • Park Offenses or Emergencies: 1-877-852-3100


Vancouver Island

Park Facilities and Services

A tent set up at McDonald Campground

McDonald Campground

The table below indicates the seasons during which camping fees are charged and full services provided:

Facilities & LocationsOperating SeasonServicesActivities

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve Operations Centre (town of Sidney)

  • Address: 2220 Harbour Road, Sidney, BC V8L 2P6
  • Tel: 250-654-4000
  • Toll Free: 1-866-944-1744
  • Email
  • Year round
  • 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Mon to Fri
  • *Closed on weekends and statutory holidays
  • Phone or email to obtain visitor information.

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McDonald Campground

  • Address: 10740 McDonald Park Road, North Saanich, BC, V8L 5S5
  • Accessible by road only: Located 5 km south of the Swartz Bay ferry terminal on Vancouver Island (off McDonald Park Road near Blue Heron park)
  • GPS Coordinates: E468602 N5391527
  • May 15 – Sept 30 
  • *Gates are locked during the off-season and camping is prohibited
  • 43 drive-in campsites
  • Suitable for RVs over 35 feet
  • 6 walk-in campsites
  • Picnic tables
  • Fire rings
  • Pit toilets
  • Potable water
  • Reserve at Parks Canada Reservation Service or 1-877-RESERVE

Community Services

Accessible from the mainland by BC Ferries, the community of Sidney offers all the services you would expect in a large community, including medical services. For more information, visit the Town of Sidney’s website.


Inner Islands

Park Facilities and Services

The table below indicates the season during which camping and mooring fees are charged and full services provided:

Facilities & Location Operating Season ServicesActivities

ATTENTION: The following islands are either uninhabited or inhabited by a few land owners. No groceries, gas or medical services are available on site.

Sidney Spit (Sidney Island)

  • Accessible by water and via privately operated passenger ferry from Town of Sidney pier
  • GPS Coordinates: E475695 N5386986
  • May 15 – Sept 30
  • *Annual public safety closure from Nov 1 to the end of Feb to facilitate traditional hunting by Coast Salish First Nations.
  • 27 wilderness campsites – first-come, first-served
  • Reserve at Parks Canada Reservation Service or 1-877-RESERVE
  • Short walk in from Sidney Spit ferry dock
  • Wheelbarrows provided
  • Group (min. 10, max. 30 people) camping/picnic site by reservation only (1-877-944-1744)
  • Picnic tables
  • Pit toilets
  • Day use area
  • 21 mooring buoys
  • Dock (removed during the low season)
  • Potable water (high sodium content; not recommended for people with health conditions)

D'Arcy Island

  • Accessible by water only
  • GPS Coordinates: E479788 N5379452
  • May 15 - Sept 30
  • 7 wilderness campsites – first-come, first-served
  • Picnic tables
  • Pit toilets
  • No potable water

Isle-de-Lis

  • Accessible by water only
  • GPS Coordinates: E479597 N5389958
  • May 15 - Sept 30
  • 3 wilderness campsites – first-come, first-served
  • Picnic tables
  • Pit toilets
  • No potable water

Russell Island Day Use Area

  • Accessible by water only
  • GPS Coordinates: E470212 N5399696
  • Year round
  • Dinghy dock
  • Picnic table
  • Pit Toilets
  • Trail
  • No potable water
Princess Margaret (Portland Island): Royal Cove
  • Accessible by water only
  • Year round
  • Dinghy dock
  • Stern tie rings
Princess Margaret (Portland Island): Princess Bay Campground
  • Accessible by water only
  • GPS Coordinates: E472814 N5396498
  • May 15 – Sept 30
  • Open field camping (up to 12 tents) – first-come, first-served
  • Picnic tables
  • Composting toilets
  • Dinghy dock (removed in the low season)
  • Stern tie rings
  • Volunteer Marine Host
  • No potable water
Princess Margaret (Portland Island): Shell Beach Campground
  • Accessible by water only
  • GPS Coordinates: E471749 N5396598
  • May 15 – Sept 30
  • Open field camping (up to 6 tents) – first-come, first-served
  • Picnic tables
  • Pit toilets
  • No potable water

Princess Margaret (Portland Island): Arbutus Point Campground

  • Accessible by water only
  • GPS Coordinates: 473089 N5397977
  • May 15 – Sept 30
  • 6 wilderness campsites – first-come, first-served
  • Picnic tables
  • Composting toilets
  • No potable water


Pender Islands

Park Facilities and Services

Picnic benches and camping spaces at Prior centennial campground

Prior Centennial Campground

The table below indicates the seasons during which camping and mooring fees are charged and full services provided:

Facilities & Location Operating Season ServicesActivities

Prior Centennial Campground (North Pender Island)

  • Address: Canal Road and Driftwood Centre, North Pender Island, BC
  • Accessible by road only: Located on North Pender Island 6.7km from Otter Bay ferry terminal
  • GPS Coordinates: E468602 N5391527
  • May 15 – Sept 30
  • *Gates are locked during off-season and camping is prohibited
  • 17 drive-in campsites
  • Suitable for RV’s over 35 feet
  • Picnic tables
  • Fire rings
  • Pit toilets
  • Potable water
  • Reserve at Parks Canada Reservation Service or 1-877-RESERVE

Beaumont Campground and Moorage Area (South Pender Island)

  • Accessible by water or trail: Located in Bedwell Harbour on South Pender Island, across the harbour from the government dock or an advanced 3km hike from the Canal Road trailhead
  • GPS Coordinates: E482213 N5400138
  • May 15 – Sept 30
  • 13 wilderness campsites – first-come, first-served
  • Picnic tables
  • Pit toilets
  • 15 mooring buoys
  • Volunteer Marine Host
  • No potable water
  • Good anchorage

Roesland Day Use Area (North Pender Island)

  • Accessible by water or road: Located on North Pender Island, 4km from Otter Bay ferry terminal
  • GPS Coordinates: E477278 N5404623
  • Year round
  • Dinghy dock
  • Picnic tables
  • Flushing toilets
  • Trail

Community Services

Most of the population of Pender Islands clusters on North Pender. Here, you will find the BC Ferries terminal (at Otter Bay) and a range of services. Reservations for accommodations are recommended in the peak season. For information on local services, visit the Pender Island Chamber of Commerce's website.


Prevost Island

Park Facilities and Services

The table below indicates the season during which camping fees are charged and full services provided:

Facilities & LocationsOperating SeasonServicesActivities

James Bay Campground

  • Accessible by water only
  • GPS Coordinates: E470856 N5409710
  • May 15 – Sept 30
  • Open field camping (up to 10 tents) – first-come, first-served
  • Picnic tables
  • Composter toilets
  • No potable water

Mayne Island

Park Facilities and Services

The table below indicates the season during which full services are provided:

Facilities & Location Operating Season ServicesActivities

Georgina Point Day Use Area

  • Accessible by road: Located on Mayne Island, 5.8 km from Village Bay ferry terminal
  • GPS Coordinates: E478663 N5413407
  • Year round
  • Picnic tables
  • Toilets
  • No potable water
Bennett Bay Day Use Area
  • Accessible by water or road: Located on Mayne Island, 6.7 km from Village Bay ferry terminal
  • GPS Coordinates: E481461 N5410466
  • Year round
  • Pit toilets
  • Trail
  • No potable water

Community Services

The small community on Mayne Island provides many services. Reservations for accommodations are recommended in the peak season. For information on services, visit the Mayne Island Chamber of Commerce’s website.


Saturna Island

Park Facilities and Services

The table below indicates the season during which camping and mooring fees are charged and full services provided:

Facilities & LocationsOperating SeasonServicesActivities
Narvaez Bay Campground
  • Accessible by water or trail: Located on Saturna Island, 7.2km from Lyall Harbour ferry terminal
  • May 15 – Sept 30
  • 7 wilderness campsites (1.7 km walk from parking lot) – first-come, first-served
  • Picnic tables
  • Pit toilets
  • Bike racks at trailhead
  • No potable water

Winter Cove Day Use Area

  • Accessible by water or road: Located on Saturna Island, 5.4km from Lyall Harbour ferry terminal
  • GPS Coordinates: E486104 N5406317
  • Year round
  • Dinghy dock
  • Picnic tables
  • Pit toilets
  • Trail
  • No potable water

East Point Day Use Area

  • Accessible by water or road: Located on Saturna Island, 15.3 from Lyall Harbour ferry terminal
  • GPS Coordinates: E496657 N5403438
  • Year round
  • Picnic tables
  • Pit toilets
  • No potable water

Cabbage Island

  • Accessible by water only
  • GPS Coordinates: E493626 N545003
  • May 15 – Sept 30
  • 5 wilderness campsites – first-come, first-served
  • Picnic tables
  • Composting toilets
  • 10 mooring buoys
  • No potable water

Community Services

With its small population base, Saturna Island is one of the less developed areas in the Southern Gulf Islands. Reservations for accommodations are strongly recommended in the peak season. Services offered are limited. For more information, visit the Saturna Island Tourism Association's website.


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