Camping in Canada

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Camping in Canada is the ultimate experience when yearning for a feeling of oneness with nature.
Check out the different types of Canadian campgrounds.

Whether you are tenting or travelling by RV, you will have plenty of choice where to go camp in Canada.

Backcountry campsites
Frontcountry campsites

Four types of Canadian campgrounds
     Private campgrounds
     Parks Canada campgrounds
     Provincial / Territorial Parks campgrounds
     Free campsites

Camping etiquette


Important 2017 information

This year, Parks Canada is inviting Canadians and visitors from around the world to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. To mark this special year, Parks Canada is offering free admission to all Parks Canada locations! Therefore we expect 2017 to be a busy year. Campsites will fill up fast! Start making reservations as soon as possible.
Some campgrounds (for example BC Parks) offer visitors a reservation system that allows booking a site 4 months ahead of your stay. It is recommended doing so!



Canadian campgrounds

backcountry campsite
backcountry campsite

You will find Canadian campgrounds in every province and territory.

They are located

  • Frontcountry (easy accessible by vehicle) and
  • Backcountry (walk-in/paddle-in) 


Backcountry campsites

Backcountry campsites are very basic.
Usually there are one or more flat areas for tenting, an outhouse, and a bear cache.
There is a creek or a lake nearby. Never contaminate this fresh water source. 
Always minimize your impact to the area. Read more about camping in Canada etiquette.


Frontcountry campsites

You will find some more facilities at frontcountry campsites. 
Commercial campgrounds offer the most facilities which you find specified in several camping guides.
Pick up free camping guides at visitor info centres all over the country.

      The most common facilities at frontcountry campgrounds are: 
      Washrooms, showers, picnic tables, fire pits, firewood, and disposal sites. 
      At some sites, you can do laundry, and buy some groceries.
      Other Canadian campgrounds offer an outdoor pool, mini golf or even a restaurant on site.



4 Types of Canadian campgrounds

Private / Commercial campgrounds

Private campgrounds or commercial campgrounds (frontcountry with several facilities) are located along the main touristic routes and around tourist destinations in Canada. 

Commercial campgrounds are privately owned and operated. They are rated with stars.
Stop at a local visitor centre for a free provincial or local ‘camping in Canada’ guide.


Parks Canada campgrounds

Parks Canada campground

Parks Canada Campgrounds (located frontcountry, as well as backcountry) are located inside one of the National Parks of Canada and are owned and operated by Parks Canada. 
Due to their location inside a Canadian National Park, they are the only campgrounds within the National Park system.

Parks Canada campgrounds get very busy during high season.
Best is to make a reservation well ahead. Without a reservation, you might not be able to get in, unless you arrive early (between noon and 2.30 pm).


Provincial and Territorial Parks campgrounds

Provincial Parks Campgrounds or Territorial Parks Campgrounds (located frontcountry, as well as backcountry) are located inside a Provincial/ Territorial Park and are owned and operated by the specific provincial or territorial government.
Due to their location inside a Canadian Provincial Park, they are the only campgrounds within the Provincial Park system.

Provincial Parks campgrounds can get very busy during high season.
Many Provincial Park Campgrounds do not take reservations.
Your best bet is to arrive early (well before 4 pm).


Free campsites

Experience the ultimate outdoors while travelling and camping in Canada.

Discover free campsites at recreation sites in British Columbia.

Read more about free RV camping.




Camping etiquette

Practising good camping manners is about respecting vegetation and wildlife. 
Reduce your impact on the natural environment by honouring the camping etiquette in Canada.


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