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Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Front Country Camping

Camping | Back Country Camping | Sidney Spit Camping

a family enjoying camping © Parks Canada

Drive-In Campgrounds

McDonald Campground

Located near the Town of Sidney on Vancouver Island, McDonald Campground is your base camp for exploring Victoria and the Gulf Islands. This forested campground is just minutes from the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay, and a half-hour drive from the tourist attractions in Victoria.

10740 McDonald Park Rd,
North Saanich, BC
V8L 5S5

 McDonald Campground
McDonald Campground, Printable Map (PDF, 139 Kb)

Prior Centennial Campground

This campground on North Pender Island is a great place to begin exploring park lands on the Gulf Islands. Set in the shade of a thick forest of ferns, cedar, fir, maple and alder trees, Prior Centennial’s campsites fill to capacity throughout the summer months.

Located on North Pender Island, off Canal Road  

 Prior Centennial Campground
Camping at Prior Centennial Campground, Printable Map (PDF, 452 Kb)

Campground: McDonald and Prior Centennial
McDonald CampgroundPrior Centennial Campground
RV sites / Tent campsites (drive-in) 43 drive-in sites 17 drive-in campsites
Tent campsites (walk/bike-in) 6 0

Sidney Spit Campground

Sidney Spit campsites are available for reservations, a group campsite is also offered at this location and can also be reserved.

Click here for information on walk-in, front country and group camping on Sidney Spit.


Making reservations

  • To reserve a site, visit our online campground reservation service
  • Or call 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783) between 7:00am and 7:00pm PST
  • Click here for information on camping fees.
  • 90% of campsites at McDonald Campground can be reserved ahead of time, and the rest are available on a first come, first serve basis. Reservations are highly recommended.
  • All campsites at Prior Centennial can be reserved ahead of time. Reservations are highly recommended. A few alternative campsites exist on the island, including two backcountry options: Shingle Bay (10 campsites, easy walk in) and Beaumont (13 campsites, access by 1.6km advanced hiking trail).
Reservations: McDonald Campground and Prior Centennial Campground
McDonald CampgroundPrior Centennial Campground
Operational Dates May 15 – September 30

Reservations can be made: January 5 – September 5
May 15 – September 30

Reservations can be made: January 5 – September 5
Check In Time After 2:00pm After 2:00pm
Check Out Time Before 11:00am Before 11:00am

Arriving at the campgrounds

Campgrounds in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve are not staffed. Park staff visit the site at various times during the day. When you arrive at the campground:

If you have a reservation:

  • Occupy the site number indicated on your reservation confirmation after 2:00pm.
  • Unsure of your site number? Consult the information kiosk after 4:00pm.

If you do not have a reservation, or are arriving at a backcountry campground:

  • Choose a vacant first-come, first-served site.

  • Complete a self-registration permit (look for a red vault.) Fill out required information and deposit payment in red vault. Display proof of payment at your campsite (there will be a clip on your table or site post)


  • Consult the information kiosk after 4 pm for a list of vacant reservable sites, or check the status of any reservable site using the online campground reservation service.

Note: vacant reservable sites may only be occupied for one night.

Facilities and Services

Facilities and Services: McDonald Campground and Prior Centennial Campground
McDonald CampgroundPrior Centennial Campground
Fire pits

Firewood for sale by park staff and at local stores
Yes &
Communal fire pit for walk-in campsites
Picnic Tables Yes Yes
Pit toilets Yes Yes
Drinking water Yes Yes
Electricity No No


Policies: McDonald and Prior Centennial Campground
Maximum Camping Units per Site Max 2 tents (or) 1 RV/camper + 1 tent
Maximum Length of Stay 14 nights
Quiet Hours 10:00pm to 8:00am
Fires Fires are allowed only in fire pits provided at McDonald and Prior Centennial campground.
Alcohol Moderate alcohol consumption is permitted on a registered campsite.
Pets Pets must be kept on leash at all times.

Click here for rules that apply throughout the park.

General Inquiries

For general park information and reservations for group camping, call 1-250-654-4000 or 1-866-944-1744 or email us.