Outdoor camping in Canada is a favourite pastime for families, adventurers, and nature lovers. Spending time in the mountains and woods; beside beautiful lakes and oceans all while sleeping under the stars gives you plenty of opportunities to feed your soul. Discover some of the top spots for tenting in Canada and the best campgrounds from coast to coast that offer unforgettable outdoor experiences for everyone.
Please note: Before setting out on any type of adventure this year, always check your provincial and federal health and safety guidelines and stay up-to-date with the latest coronavirus travel information.
Best places for family camping in Canada
Thomas Raddall Provincial Park, Nova Scotia
Kids love outdoor camping and most of them thrive in the open air. Fun-filled days of clean air and camping activities is one of the best refreshers a family can get. And Nova Scotia’s Thomas Raddall Provincial Park is a great place for it. Situated 180 kilometres from Halifax on the beautiful South Shore, the provincial park boasts more than 1600 acres of wilderness playground. You’ll find days worth of camping, hiking, biking, kayaking, and more, including some secluded beaches to enjoy views of the stunning coastline.
Restrictions for the Atlantic travel bubble apply. For more information click here.
Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba
Pack the tent, sleeping bags, bikes, canoe, and a sense of adventure for an unforgettable family camping getaway. Located on Treaty 2 Territory, Whirlpool Lake is one of the best campgrounds in Manitoba and a perfect staycation for Manitobans at the moment. You camp the old-fashioned way here–campsites here are unserviced and might be partially in the woods for privacy and authentic wilderness experiences. Let the kids enjoy hiking, swimming, and campfire songs under the Prairie sky (remember to bring marshmallows).
Top waterfront camping spots
Kiwanis Oceanfront Camping, New Brunswick
Perched at the tip of jagged coastline near St Andrews by-the-Sea, this beautiful campground offers incredible views of Passamaquoddy Bay. Sit back and let the salt air breeze through your hair while doing absolutely nothing. If you’re feeling energetic, there is lots to do in the area: sightseeing, whale watching, fishing, kayaking, golfing, and more. Whether you’re tenting, RV camping, or want to do some glamping in a suite overlooking the ocean, this place covers all bases.
Reservations for this campground is currently available for New Brunswick residents only. For more information, click here.
Forillon National Park, Québec
Looking for some of the best camping in Quebec? Head to the fascinating Gaspé Peninsula and set up camp at Forillon National Park, the first national park in the province. This Quebec camping spot is full of outdoor experiences that will keep anyone inspired. Spend days exploring the many hiking trails, go on a bike trip, book a whale watching tour, and take in the beauty of this unique landscape where the St. Lawrence River meets the Atlantic, also known as “where the land’s end” by our First Nations. Tall cliffs hug the coastline offering amazing views, especially at sunset. Choose from tenting and RV camping fully surrounded by trees, or partially, or not at all. Other services and amenities include playgrounds, swimming pools, coin laundry, dumping stations, and powered sites.
Plan ahead and check with Forillon’s Parks Canada page for all the information you need before you go.
Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta
Camping in Alberta comes with many options. While many people may look for camping near Banff, why not go further south and check out Waterton Lakes National Park? You’ll still get stunning vistas, gorgeous waterways, climbable mountains and trails, and lung-cleansing oxygen in abundance. To sum up, it’s a hiker and camper’s paradise.
At the time of writing, Waterton is available for camping but at limited numbers and services. As always, it’s best to check before you go. Choose this link for COVID restrictions and updates for camping here.
Best yurt camping and glamping
Wya Point Resort, British Columbia
If you love the idea of camping but aren’t really in the mood for roughing it, this award-winning glamping spot in BC is for you. Wya Point Resort on Vancouver Island is the perfect location for all levels of comfort while camping. Located near the Pacific Rim National Park, this is where you can hike to your heart’s delight, enjoy the bike trails, take a dip in the ocean in one of the resort’s private beaches, and just explore that incomparable British Columbia beauty. Private yurts come complete with a double bed, tea and coffee maker, and a gas fireplace. Got a dog? This is a pet-friendly camping spot.
Outpost Co, Ontario
If you’re after next-level luxury camping in Canada, then make plans for Outpost Co in Ontario where you can get your glamp on in the wild. Limited to only 48 guests each year, this fly-in-fly-out, private campsite offers lakeside glamping in cotton canvas tents resting on timber platforms. To get here, it is a 1.5-hour seaplane flight from Toronto before landing in the Temagami region. You’ll be impressed by the Obabika Lake, and guests can indulge in a beach barbecue of lobster and oysters. And wine, of course. Other organized activities are canoeing, hiking, and history talks. Come experience life unplugged (there’s no WiFi or electricity).
Best backcountry camping in Canada
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
Think fjords are only found in Norway and New Zealand? Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park will shock you with its 1850 km2 of sheer cliff beauty, jaw-dropping summits, rugged tablelands, and coastal trails. Although visitor numbers are reduced for 2020, it’s worth trying to make a trip to this UNESCO World Heritage Site happen.
Backcountry camping here must be planned in advance. Email email@example.com or call 709-458-2417 for more information.
Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, British Columbia
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is like a cousin to the West Coast Trail (which is closed for 2020). The 47-kilometre hiking trail weaves in and out of the lush forest, along beaches, over logs, up and down man-made stairs, across rope-assisted rocks, and through muddy trenches. It’s not for the faint-hearted. But, if you are fit and active, the rewards of this multi-day hiking/camping trip are bountiful. Book campsites along China Beach in advance. All other camping is on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, check the BC Parks website here.
Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario
Even if you’re a newbie to backcountry camping in Canada, Killarney in Ontario’s Georgian Bay region has something for you. You can canoe or hike in. The hike is challenging here but you’ll be rewarded with epic views of the LaCloche mountains. Be prepared for basic services here at this Ontario provincial park. This means you’ll need to carry in everything you’ll expect to need and carry out all of your garbage on the way out. Remember, take only photos and leave only footprints.
Get the latest updates from Ontario Parks here.
Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan
Our Land of the Living Skies has so many natural wonders and surprising camping experiences for all you backcountry campers out there. Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park is where you can camp and enjoy views of the prairies, rolling badlands, and lots of camping activities like kayaking on the river. Wildlife spottings are also possible here, including bison, to admire and photograph. In Grasslands’ backcountry, it’s highly likely to set-up camp in a spot with no other humans nearby. Talk about social distancing. Yes, please!
Services are limited in 2020 and reservations are vital. Click here for more information.
Camping in Canada: FAQs
The average cost for camping in Canada is $50 a night. For provincial parks and national parks, this is typically the fee for one campsite with electricity. Non-electric can be as little as $20 per night.
It is around $10 for entrance to national parks in Canada, which are managed by Parks Canada. An annual Discovery Pass is available for $136, which allows unlimited admission to over 80 Parks Canada destinations. There is a recent initiative where new Candian citizens can enjoy free access to Canadian national parks to celebrate their first year in Canada!
Interesting fact: Did you know that almost 90% of Canada’s territory is also known as “Crown Land” (meaning it belongs to the monarchy), and all Canadian residents can camp on Crown Land for free for up to 21 days.
Stepping into the wilds of Canada may just be the vacation you never knew you were missing! We hope this list of the best camping in Canada spots has inspired you to explore this big, beautiful backyard of ours. Travel well and stay safe.
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