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a girl explores the wilderness while camping near Vancouver.

Camping Near Vancouver: Ten Wilderness Escapes

If you’re looking for the perfect outdoor getaway, camping near Vancouver offers a plethora of options to explore.

In this article, we’ll highlight the ten best places for camping near Vancouver, providing you with a diverse range of scenic destinations, serene lakes, and majestic landscapes. 

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-timer, these Vancouver camping spots promise unforgettable adventures and unforgettable memories.

Top Places For Camping Near Vancouver

Imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing or birds chirping in a lush forest – this is what camping near Vancouver offers. And the best part? There is a wide variety of campgrounds at arm’s reach from the Lower Mainland.

Just a short drive from the city’s hustle and bustle, you’ll find yourself in the heart of nature’s playground, surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes, and the Pacific coastline.

Join us as we uncover the best campgrounds near Vancouver that are conveniently close yet worlds away from urban life.

body of water in porteau cove provincial park in bc canada

Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Area: Sea to Sky Corridor | Total Campsites: 66 | Distance from Vancouver: 38 km

Porteau Cove Provincial Park offers a picturesque 56-hectare oceanfront escape, attracting scuba divers, kayakers, paddleboarders, and beach enthusiasts seeking relaxation. The park is just a 40-minute drive from Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler.

During the day, visitors can explore driftwood beaches, marine life, sunken ships, and artificial reefs while admiring stunning views of Anvil Island. 

At night, the park becomes a haven for stargazers, as it boasts some of the darkest skies in the Sea to Sky Corridor, with accommodation options including cozy Olympic Cabins and various campsites.

lindeman lake in bc canada

S⨱ótsaqel / Chilliwack Lake Park

Area: Fraser Valley | Total Campsites: 175 | Distance from Vancouver: 138 km

S⨱ótsaqel / Chilliwack Lake Park is one of my favourite places to camp near Vancouver. It is situated just 2 hours southeast of the city in the picturesque Chilliwack River Valley.

The park offers a stunning landscape with a valley-bottom lake, old-growth forested slopes, and breathtaking subalpine and alpine ridges. Pristine Chilliwack Lake provides an array of recreational opportunities, including motorboating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing. 

vancouver whale tour banner

For nature enthusiasts, the park’s extensive trail system spanning 40 km allows for hiking, bird and wildlife viewing, and a deeper appreciation of the natural surroundings. 

With 175 reservable campsites and additional backcountry camping options at Greendrop, Lindeman, Flora, and Radium Lakes, visitors can choose between a comfortable stay or a more immersive wilderness camping experience.

alice lake in bc canada

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Area: Sea to Sky Corridor | Total Campsites: 110 | Distance from Vancouver: 75 km

Alice Lake Provincial Park is a picturesque family destination embraced by majestic mountains, lush forests, and expansive grasslands. With its four freshwater lakes, the park is ideal for swimming and fishing, just an hour from downtown. 

Visitors can take leisurely walks along the scenic trail encircling Alice Lake or opt for more adventurous hikes like the Four Lakes Trail and DeBeck’s Hill Trail, which offers breathtaking vistas of the Squamish River and the Tantalus Range.

The park is located along the Sea to Sky Highway, just outside Squamish. So it’s another great stop-off point between Vancouver and Whistler.

snowshoeing individuals on top of a snowy mount seymour in bc canada

Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Area: North Shore | Total Campsites: Dispersed (no facilities) | Distance from Vancouver: 27 km

Mount Seymour Provincial Park, conveniently located just 35 minutes from downtown Vancouver, has been a beloved destination for generations of Lower Mainland residents. The park’s viewpoints provide stunning vistas of Vancouver, Mount Baker, and Indian Arm Park. 

With various lakes, including the largest one, Elsay Lake, the park offers opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing, along with four designated day-use picnic areas. The park’s extensive trail network caters to both hikers and mountain bikers on the lower mountain trails, while upper mountain trails are reserved for hiking. 

capilano suspension bridge and grouse mountain tour banner for 2024

Just be aware that there is no formal campground, meaning you can set up shop wherever you like. And the best part? Camping north of Brockton Point is free! All you need is a Mount Seymour backcountry camping permit.

The rugged alpine terrain with limited facilities isn’t for everyone. But, if you’re looking for free camping near Vancouver amongst rugged, mountainous terrain, this is the spot for you.

picnic area beside alouette lake in golden ears park in bc canada

Golden Ears Provincial Park

Area: Fraser Valley | Total Campsites: 443 | Distance from Vancouver: 55 km

Golden Ears Provincial Park, one of British Columbia’s largest parks, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of recreational activities. Moreover, with well over 400 sites for the taking, the park is one of the largest sites for camping near Vancouver.

With three spacious campgrounds and an extensive network of hiking and horseback-riding trails, visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of the coastal western hemlock forest. 

Alouette Lake is a popular hub for water-based activities like swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing, boating, and fishing, while the park’s rugged backcountry presents a challenging and picturesque landscape for adventurous explorers.

small waterfall with a stream in sasquatch park in bc canada

Sasquatch Provincial Park

Area: Fraser Valley | Total Campsites: 169 | Distance from Vancouver: 144 km

Sasquatch Provincial Park, situated north of Harrison Hot Springs, captivates visitors with its enchanting features, including pocket lakes, second-growth forests, and picturesque mountain ridges. 

Hicks Lake and Deer Lake offer fantastic opportunities for motorboating and canoeing, while the serene Trout Lake invites fishing enthusiasts to indulge in a tranquil experience. And you’ll also have access to the Green Point day-use area along Harrison Lake.

The park’s diverse attractions, ranging from camping and hiking to wildlife viewing and picnicking, make it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a memorable Vancouver camping experience.

people kayaking in porpoise bay park in bc canada

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park

Area: Sunshine Coast | Total Campsites: 66 | Distance from Vancouver: 70 km

Looking for an oceanic camping adventure further afield? Porpoise Bay Provincial Park, located on the Sunshine Coast, is a beloved destination for families seeking coastal enjoyment. 

The park’s diverse landscape, featuring second-growth forests, open grassy areas, and sandy beaches, offers a delightful setting for various outdoor activities. It also serves as an ideal starting point for paddlers looking to explore the scenic Sechelt Inlet.

The only catch? The park is separated from Vancouver by the Strait of Georgia. So you’ll have to take an hour ferry ride to Langdale from Horseshoe Bay. All in all, the entire journey should take you around 2.5 hours.

body of water in fort camping in bc canada

Fort Camping

Area: Fraser Valley | Total Campsites: 156 | Distance from Vancouver: 38 km

Would you prefer to stay closer to home? Langley’s Fort Camping is ideal for families looking to experience camping near Vancouver. Located an hour from downtown, the site is nestled in the Fraser Valley along the mighty Fraser River.

Moreover, this campground near Vancouver is across from the Fort Langley National Historic Site. You can also access local restaurants, golf courses, and Langley wine tours. So, if you’re local, consider it more of an outdoor staycation than a true nature retreat.

The site caters to all campers but is recommended for those looking for an RV park near Vancouver. Once you arrive, you’ll find 156 sites with wifi, laundry, fire pits, five tent cabins for a special “glamping” experience, and a General Store for convenience.

cal cheak suspension bridge

Cal-Cheak Recreation Site

Area: Whistler | Total Campsites: 63 | Distance from Vancouver: 110 km

Looking for a quick wilderness escape on your way to Whistler? Cal-Cheak Recreation Site offers a first-come, first-served camping experience with over 60 campsites available between Callaghan Creek and Cheakamus River.

And the best part? The activities and attractions of Whistler Village are a mere 20 minutes away! The site charges a campsite fee of $15 from April 1st to October 31st annually and provides a heavily treed environment with plenty of shade during the hot summer months. 

While many sites can accommodate RVs, there are no power or sewage services on-site, and campers are required to self-register and pay camping fees using the yellow collection box. 

nairn falls park in bc canada

Nairn Falls Provincial Park

Area: Pemberton | Total Campsites: 94 | Distance from Vancouver: 150 km

Cal-Cheak not doing it for you? Then why not give Nairn Falls Provincial Park a try? Conveniently located just 20 minutes north of Whistler within the Village of Pemberton, it serves as an ideal base for exploring Whistler, Pemberton Valley, and Garibaldi Park.

2024 Warning: You must buy tickets online for this attraction.

Using the links below, you can even get no-risk free cancellation tickets:

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Lock in a time for your dates ASAP or it’s likely you’ll be shut out.

A perfect overnight stopover before heading to Duffey Lake Road or other destinations, the park’s main attraction is the impressive 60-meter-high Nairn Falls.  A 1.5km hiking trail leads to a viewpoint where visitors can marvel at this natural wonder.

The park provides an opportunity to camp in the warmest and driest climate of the entire Sea to Sky area. And the surrounding mountain scenery is simply spectacular.

Vancouver Camping FAQs

Where are the best places to camp near Vancouver, Canada?

The best places to camp near Vancouver include Mt. Seymour Provincial Park with its stunning mountain scenery, and Golden Ears Provincial Park, known for its lush forests and water activities.

For ocean views, Porteau Cove Provincial Park is a must-visit. Each of these locations provides a unique camping experience close to the urban amenities of Vancouver.

What are the best Vancouver camping destinations for families?

When it comes to family-friendly camping near Vancouver, several destinations stand out. Cultus Lake Provincial Park is a favourite for its water activities and family-oriented facilities. Alice Lake Provincial Park is another great choice, with easy hiking trails and swimming areas perfect for children. These spots offer a safe and enjoyable environment for a family camping adventure near Vancouver.

Are there any Vancouver RV campgrounds?

Yes, numerous RV campgrounds near Vancouver cater to those who prefer a home-on-wheels experience. Capilano River RV Park, located close to downtown Vancouver, is popular for its convenient location and amenities.

Another great option is Fort Camping in Langley, which offers full-service sites and is situated near the Ft. Langley Heritage Site and public transit routes to explore Vancouver easily.

How do you book campgrounds near Vancouver?

Booking campgrounds near Vancouver can be done through various methods. Many campgrounds offer online reservation systems on their websites, which is the most convenient way to secure a spot. You can book through the BC Parks website or the Discover Camping portal for provincial parks.

It’s advisable to book well in advance, especially during peak camping seasons, to ensure availability. Typically, bookings can be made up to 4 months before arrival.

Is there any free camping near Vancouver?

While most established campgrounds near Vancouver have fees, there are options for free camping, known as “wild camping” or “dispersed camping.” Areas like Mt. Seymour Provincial Park and the backcountry of some provincial parks offer such opportunities.

However, it’s important to be fully self-sufficient and adhere to Leave No Trace principles to protect these natural environments. Always check local regulations and land ownership before setting up camp.

Have you found a place for camping near Vancouver?

In wrapping up our exploration of Vancouver camping, it’s evident that the Lower Mainland’s proximity to such diverse natural landscapes makes it a camper’s paradise.

From oceanfront vistas to mountainous backdrops, these camping sites provide a perfect blend of accessibility and escapism.

So why wait? Our top ten spots for camping near Vancouver are calling, ready to offer you a slice of wilderness beyond the city’s skyline.

Happy Trails 🙂

Julian

I've used online guides on five continents to find the world's greatest travel spots and this is my chance to give back - with insider info on my home, the mighty Vancouver BC!

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