Vancouver Island is a top destination for outdoor lovers worldwide. The island has splendid nature and sandy beaches and is full of fun activities like wildlife viewing, hiking, and camping.
Being the largest island on the west coast of North America, Vancouver Island offers a cost-effective way to travel, explore and experience magnificent sceneries. Guests can visit the destination all year round as there is no shortage of campgrounds; there are full-service RV campgrounds on-site and several glamping options for visitors with luxurious tastes.
Let’s have a look at the top ten camping grounds on Vancouver Island.
What is the best time for camping on Vancouver Island?
Camping on Vancouver Island is possible year-round. The campgrounds are less busy in spring and autumn, and the weather is generally quiet and peaceful. It can get busier, especially in summer, so it’s wise to book your trip in advance.
Winter camping on Vancouver Island is possible, although most campsites are seasonal and only operate from April to October.
Campgrounds on Vancouver Island
Juan de Fuca Provincial Park
Located between Victoria and Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island, Juan de Fuca Provisional Park offers scenic beauty, wildlife, marine viewing, and a spectacular 47km Jan de Fuca Marine Trail.
Visitors can access the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail at four trailheads; Parkinson Creek, China Beach, Sombrio Beach, and Botanical Beach. Although the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was designed for strenuous and multi-day hiking, you can easily access less demanding hiking opportunities from any of the trailheads mentioned above.
Amenities on-site include parking and pit toilets. Note that you cannot camp at the Western trailhead of the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail at Botanical Beach.
Goldstream Campground is located within Goldstream Provincial Park, 15-minute drive west of Victoria. It sits on 1,200 acres of the prime old-growth forest, making it one of the largest and probably the best campgrounds in British Columbia.
The destination offers terrific hiking trails and breathtaking sights like the 47-meter-high Niagara Falls. If you are lucky, you might see bald eagles fishing salmons when you visit in late fall to witness the salmon spawn.
Goldstream Campground operates year-round and is open to RVs, camping, and day-use. Amenities on-site include washrooms and hot shower bathrooms.
West Coast Trail
The 75km long West Coast Trail was in the past used by traders from Huuay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht First Nations. The trail also served as a rescue route for ship-wrecked sailors and their rescue teams.
Currently, the West Coast Trail is a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for multi-day hiking activities along the rugged Pacific coastline. The site is open from May to October yearly. Hikers get a chance to connect with nature as they camp on sandy beaches near creeks under the canopy of the mangrove rain forest.
Wya Point Campground
Wya Campground is the best place to visit if you want a private campsite with scenic views and sandy beaches. The campground sits on the south side of the Pacific Rim National Park, near Tofino.
The campsite mainly operates as a tent campground, though small tow-behind RVs can also fit. Guests access Wya Campground by hiking a short distance to the site. Pets are allowed, but at a fee, and reservations are accepted in advance.
Amenities on-site include hot showers and flush toilets.
Green Point Campground
Green Point Campground is just a short drive to the town of Tofino and is the only camping site in Pacific Rim National Park. Hiking and surfing are the main activities on-site.
The campground opens from March to October, and reservations are made earlier between May and September. Green Point Campground offers private camping space, though sometimes the site gets dark because of the heavy forest canopy.
Tents and RVs are welcome on site. Other facilities available include flush toilets and showers.
Goldstream Provincial Park Campground
Goldstream Provincial Park is a perfect weekend getaway from the busy city life. The site is located a few minutes from Victoria and is home to some of the best hiking trails.
Although the campground borders the city, the site is perfectly set deep in the forest. Visitors can enjoy a quiet and relaxing evening around a campfire. Furthermore, its proximity to the city has added advantages- you can drive to the city to shop for groceries or other camping essentials.
Sproat Lake Provincial Park
Located 15 minutes west of Port Alberni, Sproat Lake Provincial Park is perfect for those who want a less complicated camping experience. Main activities on Sproat Lake include fishing, swimming, waterskiing, and on a windy day, windsurfing.
Although the camping ground has little or no privacy, the park’s accessibility and scenic views make up for it. Guests can access the campsites via different short access trails around the park, including a short walk from the famous panels of prehistoric petroglyphs.
Sombrio Beach Campsite
Sombrio Beach is a popular spot for hikers and surfers because of its fauna and flora on the coastal trail, the beach campsites, and its proximity to the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.
The campground at Sombrio Beach sits about 1.5 km from the car parking area next to the highway. Amenities on-site include a bear canister to protect food from bears, pit toilets, and clean running water.
Quinsam, Elk Falls Provincial Park
A camping trip to Quinsam Provincial Park allows you to explore the ‘gateway’ of North Vancouver Island.
The campground is located a short distance from Campbell River, and most of its campsites are set in the sun-dappled forest, while some sit next to the soothing Quinsam River. I strongly recommend taking a trip to nearby Elk Falls-a 25-meter waterfall cascading into a deep canyon.
There are outhouses, flush toilets, and water taps on-site.
Jordan River Regional Park Campground
Jordan River Regional Park Campground is less than a half-hour drive from Victoria and is a favorite camping spot for surfers and kiteboarders. The campsites overlook the ocean, offering easy access to the beach.
The destination is open year-round. Bookings are made on a first-come, first-serve basis. Facilities on-site are limited to pit toilets only.