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Known for its abundant wildlife and beautifully varietal natural landscapes, British Columbia is without question an outdoor oasis and adventurer’s playground, making for an idyllic location to camp. Authentic to its core, Camping locations in BC are innumerable, grounds, and national parks to choose from. It is a significant problem, though, making it difficult to decide where to pitch a tent (figuratively or literally).

With that said, what follows is a detailed insight into what we believe to be the top 5 locations for camping in BC during the summer! With so many options, you can’t go wrong with whatever campground, national park, or reserve you choose to visit…

Below are the top 5 locations for camping in BC during the summer: 

  • Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
  • Wells Gray Provincial Park
  • EC Manning Provincial Park
  • Inland Lake Provincial Park
  • Silver Beach Provincial Park 

1. Gulf Islands National Park Reserve 

Gulf Islands National Park one of the top 5 places for camping in BC
A Parks Canada sign of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve location of Sidney Spit

If you know anything about the Gulf Islands, you know that it’s often deemed the Hawaii of Canada, not only because of its sheer natural beauty but because of its seclusion and isolation from the rest of the province. 

With that said, if you’re looking to unplug from reality and escape the sights and sounds of the city, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is the camping destination for you! 

Boasting a total of ten campgrounds across eight islands, only accessible by boat, might I add, the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is an outdoorsmen’s dream!

2. Wells Gray Provincial Park 

Well Grab Provincial Park a top destination for camping iduring summer n British Columbia.
Senior watching the spectacular ice and snow cone in winter at the bottom of Helmcken Falls on the Murtle River in Wells Gray Provincial Park 

Who’s up for a road trip? Getting to Wells Gray Provincial Park from Vancouver’s city center takes about 5 hours, so be sure to come prepared if this BC provincial park is your final choice… With that said, the drive is more than worth it! 

Upon arrival, you’ll immediately be flabbergasted at the sheer picturesque landscape that surrounds the park itself. Noted as the best back-country camping opportunity in all of British Columbia, Wells Gray Provincial Park is all but a postcard-like campground, boasting pristine lakes and mountainous backdrops.

Though beautiful year-round, Wells Gray Provincial Park becomes otherworldly in full bloom during summer. Whatever is in store for your camping vacation, it’s sure to satisfy the soul. 

Camping Essentials for you

3. EC Manning Provincial Park 

Scenic view of the dense boreal forest of EC Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia one of the top 5 locations for camping in BC
Scenic view of the dense boreal forest of EC Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia

Considered one of the more popular lower mainland camping destinations in British Columbia, Manning Provincial Park is considered a wilderness playground, providing its guests with a plethora of activities during both the summer and winter months. 

Requiring a 3-hour drive from east Vancouver, Manning Provincial Park Campground is far enough from the city to experience the desirable remote experience that is wilderness camping. From lakes, sandy beaches, and hiking trails, it’s all you can ask for in a campground. Its modern, clean, and abundant amenities make you as comfortable as you can be during your camping excursion. 

Notably, because of its sizeable acreage, Manning Provincial Park boasts a total of 5 separate campgrounds to choose from, so not to worry about a lack of choice…

4. Inland Lake Provincial Park 

Amazing orange sunset over lake with reflection at Inland Lake Provincial Park one of the top 5 places for camping in BC
Amazing orange sunset over the lake with reflection at Inland Lake Provincial Park 

Located along the sunshine coast sits Inland Lake Provincial Park, a 6800-acre provincial park featuring lengthy hiking trails, incredible wildlife-sighting opportunities, and of course, the provincial park’s very own Powell River for those who are seeking water-based activities such as swimming, kayaking, and trout fishing. 

Though this provincial park is ideal for those looking to escape the city, it does still happen to be ideally located near craft breweries, restaurants, and bars just outside the park itself. 

5. Silver Beach Provincial Park 

Based on its name alone, you can likely predict what to expect with camping on the grounds of Silver Beach Provincial Park. Withstanding the sandy beaches and the abundant water-based activities available for the entire family to enjoy easily making it one of the top 5 summer camping locations in BC. Silver Beach also boasts a tremendous amount of BC-related history, specifically as it pertains to the gold rush of the 19th century; if you’re a history buff, you’ll indeed be kept busy exploring the park’s acreage. 

On the smaller side of what a Provincial Park Campground typically is, this 300+ acre lot comes with 35 campsites, all of which can be accessed by vehicle. Whether it’s canoeing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, or stargazing that you’re looking for, all can be accomplished and enjoyed thoroughly at this BC camping destination. 

Your Summer Camping Vacation Awaits! 

Because of its popularity and the fact that BC has primarily become a hub for camping, reservations are now required for most campgrounds across the province, especially during peak season in the summertime. 

Though this is typically quickly done with a few clicks online, it does require you to be proactive in booking your reservation. As a general recommendation, seek to make the booking two months before your stay. 

With that said, while the above are certainly some of the best camping locations in all of BC, especially for those hoping to camp during the summer months, there’s much more where that came from. As such, it’s also recommended to do your own research and due diligence… 

Who knows, you might just find a more suitable, accessible, and appropriate campground for you, your needs, and your preferences. Whatever you choose, you’ll surely enjoy your memorable BC camping vacation! 

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