Camping is one of the most popular Vancouver weekend getaways, which might be because of how much the majority of the city's residents love the outdoors, though it's more likely because of the plethora of beautiful places to set up a tent around this area of British Columbia.
Vancouver camping season runs from mid-May through September and offers a wide variety of camping options, from backcountry camping or staying overnight at one of the area's fantastic provincial parks to campgrounds and RV parks near major Vancouver attractions.
If you're camping in Vancouver at campgrounds and RV parks over holiday weekends or in July and August, make reservations ahead of time, as these sites can fill up. Also, not all campgrounds allow campsite fires and not all are pet-friendly, so do your research before you go. The best resource for researching B.C. campsites is the official Hello B.C. tourism site, which includes information on fees, facilities, and all B.C. camping areas.
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Camping in Provincial Parks
Provincial Parks near Vancouver are ideal spots for camping in the city, offering visitors a variety of camping options plus seriously gorgeous scenery without having to venture too far from civilization.
Just to the northeast outside of Vancouver, you can stop by the Sasquatch Provincial Park, which features multiple lakes, trout fishing, swimming, and easy access to the nearby Harrison Hot Springs.
Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge and E. C. Manning Park, which is about two and a half hours east of Vancouver, both offer guests extensive vehicle-access camping areas, spaces for backcountry camping, extensive hiking trails, and numerous small lakes for an afternoon of swimming.
Alternatively, you can take a drive and ferry over to the northwestern Porpoise Bay on the Sunshine Coast, which offers warm, sandy beaches, playgrounds, and cyclist-only camping or head straight north out of Vancouver on BC-99 N to Porteau Cove where there are special facilities for scuba divers.
A little further north, you'll find Alice Lake Provincial Park with multiple lakes, swimming, fishing, and hiking alongside several well-maintained campgrounds and some areas for backcountry camping.
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Backcountry and Wilderness Camping
It's no surprise that many outdoor enthusiasts want a truly authentic camping experience, which is what backcountry and wilderness camping is. Not for the casual camper, backcountry camping in Vancouver will make you feel like you're really living in nature—you probably won't even have cell reception.
Indian Arm Provincial Park near Deep Cove in North Vancouver not only allows for camping right by Granite Falls but also offers kayaking down the Indian Arm River where the park gets its name and access to Deep Cove restaurants, bars, and nightlife when you get down off the mountains.
However, the wildest you can get within a few hours' drive of Vancouver is the Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park on the Sunshine Coast, which is only accessible by water, making it popular with boaters despite offering minimal camp facilities.
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If you're hoping to camp near Vancouver without having to expose yourself fully to the wilderness, you can also try out one of the 60 RV campgrounds and parks located across Vancouver's coast and mountain region.
There are RV parks in provincial parks like Golden Ears and Alice Lake, as well as parks near Vancouver, and the best way to find them is via the official Hello BC site where you can search for RV parks based on location, your destination, its name, or the price.
If you need to rent an RV for your adventure, CanaDream RV Rentals is a great place to find your perfect temporary home on wheels at the most affordable prices around.