Canada is the second largest country in the world by area, 80% is uninhabited and 38% is made up of forests. Combine that with mountains, lakes, gorgeous landscapes and more and it makes it one of the best places in the world to go camping. A popular activity for locals and visitors alike camping in Canada is the best from May to October. From camping near dinosaur fossils to under the shadow of a lighthouse, near the ocean or deep in the woods, here are the best campgrounds in Canada.
The Best Campgrounds in Canada
Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin Provincial Park is about three hours north of Toronto, Ontario. The park has over 1,200 campsites that are found in eight designated campgrounds along Highway 60, in the south end of this popular Ontario park. Most of Algonquin’s campgrounds have the basic amenities like comfort stations and showers. But before booking a site on the Ontario Parks website, check which specific amenities are provided on that campground to make sure they meet your camping needs. Lake of Two Rivers campground and Achray Lake Campground are both good choices!
Algonquin Park is a special place to camp because there’s so much to do and explore there. You can spend a lazy afternoon on the beach, swimming in one of the park’s pristine lakes. Or, hike one of Algonquin’s many trails, ranging from easy to difficult. If you’d like to get out on the water you can rent a canoe or kayak from one of the park’s outfitters. And be sure to drop by the Algonquin Park Visitor’s Centre and the Logging Museum to learn about this Ontario park’s interesting history and ecology.
– From Erin at Pina Travels
Ontario is massive and there are tons of places to go camping all over the province. However if you are looking to camp not too far outside of Toronto, most head to Bruce Peninsula National Park’s Cyprus Lake Campground for a camping getaway. There is however an even more remote gem nearby that will take your breath away. It takes a little extra planning but spending a night on Fathom Five National Marine Park’s Flowerpot Island is one you won’t forget!
With just six campsites, this is one of the most unique campgrounds in Ontario. Book your ferry to Flowerpot Island and as the crowds filter out, enjoy experiencing the island with newfound solitude. Stay up late for some of the best stargazing in southern Ontario and get up bright and early to catch the sun as it rises behind the iconic flowerpot rock formations. It will make for a short night but the views are worth sacrificing your sleep for!
To snag your campsite, go to the Parks Canada website and book online. On the day of your reservation, head to the Bruce Peninsula National Park visitors centre in Tobermory to register. Afterwards, make your way to the cruise company you’ve booked with along with all the gear you’ll need for your stay. If you need to pick up any last-minute eats, there is a small grocery store in town. All that’s left now is to enjoy the ride to Flowerpot Island!
One thing to note is that fires are not permitted on Flowerpot Island. You’ll need to bring a propane camp stove with you or meals that do not need to be cooked/heated. It’s recommended that you bring a sleeping pad with you as each campsite has a wooden platform to set up your tent on which can be a little stiff to sleep on.
– From Lindsay at I’ve Been Bit.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Camping in Dinosaur Provincial Park is one of the coolest camping destinations in Alberta to park your RV or tent and explore for a few days. Besides the mesmerizing hoodoo and sandstone landscape, you will sleep where over 50 different species of dinosaurs once freely roamed. The landscape now contains some of the highest concentrations of dinosaur fossils in the world.
Visitors to this UNESCO World Heritage Site can explore the many trails on their own or take one of the interactive tours offered by the Provincial Park. If they’re lucky they may even find some dinosaur bones, but be warned that these should not be touched or removed from the park (a hefty fine is punishment).
The park and campsite is open year-round. There are 122 total campsites available and 65 are open for winter camping. There are full facilities (showers, washrooms, dumping station), a restaurant and visitor centre on the premises. The park is extremely popular and reservations, especially for weekends, need to be made in advance via the Alberta Provincial Park website.
– From Pete at Road Trip Alberta
Bow Valley Campground
One of the most popular campsites in Alberta is Bow Valley Campground located just outside of Banff National Park and only a few minutes from Canmore. The location of this campground makes it a great place to spend a few nights and enjoy the Canadian Rockies. In every direction you’ll have mountain views, plus, the campground is located right on the Bow River which is stunning with seemingly endless walking trails.
Bow Valley Campground has over 170 different campsites! They offer both unpowered tent sites as well as larger powered sites suitable for trailers and motorhomes. For those visiting in a large group, the group camping area is perfect with space for multiple camping units. There are lots of bathrooms around the campground as well as picnic tables and fire pits at each site.
Because of its popularity, it is recommended to book Bow Valley Campground well in advance. It is fully booked pretty much all summer long. Bookings must be made directly through Alberta Parks and you can expect to pay between $31-$38 per campsite per night.
For traveling to Bow Valley you now need to purchase the Kananaskis / Bow Valley Corridor pass pass which can be found HERE.
– From Bailey of Destinationless Travel
Parc de Gros-Cap Camping in the Magdalen Islands, Quebec
There are many great places to go camping in Quebec however one of the best is on the Quebec owned Magadalen Islands found just off the coast of Prince Edward Island. Located only a few minutes from the archipelago’s main hub, Cap-aux-Meules, the Parc de Gros-cap campground is quite a unique gem. Not only is it the best place to watch a sunset in the Magdalen Islands from your tent or RV, but it’s run by a non-profit organization working to protect its rocky cliffs.
This campsite may not be filled with trees to protect you from the wind, but you’ll be rewarded by a 360-degree view of the ocean, a white sandy beach, all the best amenities and a big offering of water sports and activities like kayaking, cockle fishing, kite surfing, etc. The various sites can be booked online here.
– From Jennifer Doré Dallas of Chasing Poutine
Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve Campground – Côte-Nord, Quebec
Ever heard of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve located in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec? Far north along the St-Lawrence River, it’s one of the province’s best tourist attractions, but also a campsite that simply cannot be surpassed.
Sleep at the feet of limestone giants on an island with very limited access to afford you silence and nature at its best. Wake up to the birds chirping and maybe even a whale blowing through the water’s surface before heading out for a hike through the islands’ various ecosystems. The nights you spend here are never to be forgotten! For more information, visit Park Canada’s website.
– From Jennifer Doré Dallas of Moi, mes souliers
Cape Breton Highlands National Park Campgrounds
Cape Breton Highlands National Park is located on the island of Cape Breton in northern Nova Scotia. Visitors can access the park by driving along the world-famous Cabot Trail, which is one of Canada’s best-known road trip destinations. Popular activities are hiking and fishing, along with enjoying seafood and traditional music and culture in the small towns along the trail. Choosing to camp overnight allows visitors to appreciate the dramatic rocky coastline and enjoy activities within the park.
There are two main campgrounds on the Eastern side of the park which are Broad Cove, with 202 campsites, and Ingonish Beach, with 60 campsites. Both sites have washroom and shower facilities, kitchen shelters with wood stoves, fire places, interpretive programs, a playground and a WiFi hotspot. They are also both close to oceanfront beach areas. Each location also offers a new experience called ‘oTENTik’ which is a pre-erected, A-frame cabin style tent for visitors who want some extra comfort on their trip. Camping is typically available from May to October and reservations can be made for some sites online or by phone from the Parks Canada website. Consider booking in advance for the busy summer months of July and August.
– From Claire of Claire Pins Travel
Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site is one of the most popular places to go camping in Nova Scotia and for good reason. This gorgeous park covers over 400kms of wilderness across two parks, one inland and one on the Atlantic coast. Keji has tons of gorgeous hiking trails, there are streams and rivers with small waterfalls, there are places to swim and canoe or kayak and the forest comes alive as the trees change colours in the fall months.
The park is also special because of it’s history and ties to the Mi’kmaq who lived here for thousands of years. Visit to learn about their culture and history, see ancient petroglyphs made by the Mi’kmaq and more. Due to it’s location there is also little light pollution so Kejimkujik is also known as a Dark Sky Reserve. Because of that it is one of the best places in all of Nova Scotia to view the night sky.
Across the park there are over 300 campsites available for tents and RVs, on and off the grid including some excellent back country options on accessible by boat. There are also several oTENTik tents available and new for the 2021 season the unique Ôasis tear drop shaped accommodations that sleep two adults and two kids.
– From Cailin of Nova Scotia Explorer
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park is the perfect place to go camping in Canada. You’ll be surrounded by pristine wilderness, diverse wildlife, and the tallest mountains in Newfoundland.
One of the things that makes camping in Gros Morne so great is the night sky surrounding the campsites. There’s no light pollution, so you’ll have access to a clear sky for stargazing. All of the campsites are conveniently located inside the park near hiking trails, so you can take a hike right from your tent. If you’re craving more adventure, it’s just a short drive from the campsites to the Tablelands (a UNESCO world heritage site) or to the stunning fjords of Western Brook Pond.
There are five National Park campgrounds in Gros Morne, one of which is open year-round! Booking your campsite is simple. Just visit the Parks Canada website and reserve it online. Be sure to do this in advance of your trip, as the campsites can fill up during the summer season.
– From Laura Pope of Explore with Lora
The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Tofino
The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve south of Tofino, British Columbia sits perched on the edge of Canada’s wild west coast. Located a three-hour drive west from Nanaimo along Highway 4, the Green Point campground within the park is one of the most scenic national park campgrounds in the country. There are 94 vehicle-accessible campsites and 20 walk-in sites at Green Point. All campsites within a short walk to Long Beach and the many scenic trails and walking paths along Wickaninnish Bay.
Camping reservations must be made in advance by phone or online through Parks Canada. The campground sits between the villages of Ucluelet to the south and Tofino to the north, allowing for easy day trip exploration. Make plans to try cold water surfing, go whale watching, or hike along the Wild Pacific Trail, through moss-covered forests to Radar Hill, and along the region’s wild and pristine beaches. Note that the purchase and display of an annual Parks Canada pass is required to camp at Green Point campground.
– From Claudia Laroye of Claudia Travels
Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia
British Columbia’s fourth-largest park is known as the “Waterfall Park.” Wells Gray Provincial Park boasts 41 named waterfalls, with the iconic waterfalls only a short walk or easy hike from the car. The most well-known waterfall is Helmcken Falls, which cascades 141m into the canyon below.
This 5000 km² of almost untouched nature can be found in the Thompson Nicola Region of Interior British Columbia, Canada. There are three campgrounds to choose from that include Pyramid, Clearwater Lake, and Falls Creek. There is also wilderness camping available (only reachable by boat).
In Wells Gray Provincial Park, you will also find great adventures through guided wilderness safaris, alpine meadow hiking, boat tours of Clearwater Lake, and beautiful clear lakes for a refreshing swim. Camping at Wells Gray Provincial Park will give you the ultimate waterfall and wilderness experience and makes it a truly unique location. Reservations can be made using the BC Parks website at discovercamping.ca.
– From Debbie Fettback of World Adventurists
Beaver Glen Campground, Saskatchewan
Beaver Glen Campground is one of the best places to visit in Saskatchewan for camping. Saskatchewan is home to two national parks: Prince Albert National Park in the north, and Grasslands National Park in the southwest part of the province.
Beaven Glen Camp is located in the Prince Albert National Park, close to Waskesiu Lake. From the campground, modern amenities are within a short drive away.
What you will love at the Beaver Glen Campground is its amazing wilderness, offering front camping, back camping to oTENtiks for accommodation. The campsites are well maintained, and it is a nature lover’s paradise with hiking, fishing, kayaking, and camping opportunities.
This campground is also great for those new to camping; as oTENTiks are open for visitors, with comfortable beds, propane heaters, table and chairs, propane barbecue, four-deck chairs, and dining tent. A firepit and an electrical outlet are also provided on-site.
There are a total of 200 electrical back-in campsites at Beaver Glen. Other amenities include picnic tables, accessible washrooms with hot showers and flush toilets, water taps, and a shared kitchen.
All the sites are 100% reservable on the Parks Canada website (at Parks Canada Reservation Service). Camping reservations open from mid-May to October every year. A firewood permit is required and can be purchased at the campground kiosk.
– From Mayuri of Canada Crossroads
Pointe Wolfe Campground, New Brunswick
Pointe Wolfe Campground sits in Fundy National Park and is one of the best campgrounds in New Brunswick. This campground fits nicely into any New Brunswick road trip, especially one focused on the incredible Bay of Fundy. Unlike other campgrounds in the province, this one offers a simplified, quieter experience.
Situated in a beautiful corner of the park, this campground sits closest to the coastline. There’s even an old covered bridge to cross to reach the campsite. What makes Pointe Wolfe so great, however, is its proximity to the coast. Pointe Wolfe has a gorgeous shoreline and a few nice hiking trails nearby.
The majority of the sites are non-electric and best accommodate tent camping. There are limited options for o-TENT-ik and glamping accommodations. Reservations can be made in advance through the Parks Canada website.
– From Mikaela of Voyageur Tripper
What to Pack for Camping in Canada
Depending on where in Canada you choose to camp there will be various temperatures, weather, animals and more that you have to plan ahead and think about. Do your research in advance, be smart and pack out what you bring in and your camping trip will be the very best. Be sure to always pack layers, extra food stored properly, water, a first aid kit and gps. Also be sure to always let someone know where you are going and your plans and avoid camping solo if possible.
Things to definitely bring camping in Canada include: Sleeping bags and pillows, cooler for water, drinks, ice and food, cooking gear, plates, cups and cutlery, napkins, garbage and recycling bags, insect repellant, sunscreen, and flashlights. You might also want to consider extra phone batteries and chargers as well as extra layers for cool nights. Also don’t forget your tent!
Don’t bring firewood with you, always buy it local or from the campgrounds to avoid transporting insects and diseases. Leave what firewood you don’t use behind for the next camper.
If you are interested in camping but haven’t ever tried it Parks Canada also offers a lot of great information for first time campers. Check out their Learn to Camp program HERE.
Where is your favourite campground in Canada? Tell us in the comments below!
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Thank you to all of the contributors for this collab post!