BC is known as one of the most scenic and naturally breathtaking places in North America, and with that comes some of the best hiking and camping options around. So with that in mind, toss your tents and gear into the car and hit the road, because these BC campgrounds deserve a spot on your summer bucket list – and we’re here to tell (and show) you why.
We’re starting off with one of the most storied and scenic parks in the province. Known for its vast wilderness trails and variety of ecological marvels ranging from rich tide pools to old-growth forests – Juan de Fuca Park is full of summertime adventures in the making – and it’s near impossible to choose just one campground to focus on.
A total of 66 reservable front-country sites and 79 vehicle-accessible sites are available across a variety of campgrounds, including beach and forest options. Beach lovers can head to Mystic Beach, Bear Beach, China Beach, and Sombrio Beach (east).
Those who prefer to set up in the forest can do so at Little Kuitsche Creek and Payzant Creek. Note that backcountry hike-in camping is also available along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.
Where: West of Jordan River, BC
Experienced hikers who are up for a bit of wilderness hiking or vehicle-accessible hiking ($20 per party per night) have an absolutely breathtaking backyard in Stone Mountain Park. Surrounded by the northern Rocky Mountains, the park features an extensive trail network, which is decorated with alpine meadows and lakes along the way.
There are pit toilets and campfire rings available for use at the Summit Lake Campground.
Where: Northern BC
Situated on the scenic and charming Salt Spring Island, Ruckle Park is one of the most scenic parks in the southern Gulf Islands area – if not the most. With seven kilometres of shoreline and hidden coves and bays to explore, you’ll definitely keep yourself busy with a stay here. Plus, with 78 walk-in campsites, you won’t have to make a reservation to enjoy the rich, vibrant tide pools.
The park also has 10 reservable front-country sites, three group sites, and 8 RV-accessible sites.
Salt Spring Island is accessible by a quick flight from Coal Harbour or Richmond via Harbour Air or Seair Seaplanes. Alternatively, you can hop on a ferry to Long Harbour from the Tsawwassen terminal.
Where: Salt Spring Island, BC
Located 111 km north of Vernon in the North Okanagan, Monashee Park features some of the oldest rock formations in western Canada – so you’re essentially experiencing a piece of history with every step you take. As far as camping goes, visitors cans set up anywhere at Spectrum Lake, Little Peters Lake, Big Peters Lake, and Margie Lake – with a $5 backcountry fee per person in effect.
Each campground offers visitors lakeside tent pads, with open sub-alpine meadows and old-growth forests to explore as well. Otherwise, the park is open to free wilderness camping year-round.
Where: Near Cherryville in Northeast Okanagan, BC
A hidden gem of the camping world, Muncho Lake Park offers visitors spectacular natural landscapes to explore, from scuba diving in Muncho Lake to hiking up towering limestone mountains.
There are a total of 10 reservable front-country sites, 30 vehicle-accessible sites, and backcountry options available at the Strawberry Flats and MacDonald Campgrounds – as well as a slew of cabins and huts at the Northern Rockies Lodge.
Note that there are pit toilets and campfire rings available for use at each campsite.
Where: At km 681 of the Alaska Highway, BC
Wells Gray Park has plenty of natural wonders that make it well worth the trip – and a whopping 500 campsites to choose from, making enjoying it all even easier. From some of the most famous waterfalls in the province (including Helmcken and Dawson Falls) to a range of refreshing mineral pools, extinct volcanoes and lava beds, and glaciers – this park is truly a must-visit.
Of the 500 campsites throughout the park, 164 are vehicle-accessible and 126 are boat-accessible – the latter of which you’ll find at Azure, Clearwater, Mahood, and Murtle Lakes.
Reservations are accepted at Clearwater Lake, Falls Creek and Mahood Lake group campgrounds, although first-come, first-served sites are also available here.
Where: Clearwater, BC
And now, for a family-friendly pick. Comox Valley’s Miracle Beach Park is situated between Courtenay and Campbell River, and has 192 reservable front-country campsites and 202 car-accessible sites.
As well, the campground has three walk-in and cycle-in campsites and a handful of first-come-first-served sites for those who planned a more spontaneous trip out. And if you love exploring the coastline and tide pools, you’ll definitely want to do some wandering during low tide.
In terms of amenities, visitors can access clean drinking water through cold water taps throughout the campground, hot showers, a sani-station, campfires (firewood available for purchase), pit or flush toilets, and designated picnic areas.
Where: Comox Valley, BC
Located along the Sunshine Coast, Porpoise Bay is a local fave among campers and visitors alike, separated by a unique isthmus at Sechelt. Whether you want to lounge on sandy beaches all day long or use the opportunity to explore the Sechelt Inlet, you’ll have plenty to enjoy here.
All in all, there are 72 reservable front-country sites, 84 vehicle-accessible sites, and 10 walk-in sites to choose from.
Where: Sechelt, BC
You can use the official BC Parks Map to locate BC campgrounds near you and check for any last-minute availability.