Campgrounds For You and Your Dog
Camping with a furry companion in the majestic outdoors is the ideal getaway for many dog owners and whether you explore British Columbia’s lush forests, semi-arid Interior, lakes or coastal beaches there are many campgrounds from which to choose.
Like any trip, planning is advisable and the first step is to decide on the type of setting that best suits you and your dog. British Columbia has over 1,500 campgrounds, which are divided into four unique camping experiences: private campgrounds and RV parks, provincial parks, recreation sites and national parks. All of them have their own guidelines and rules concerning pets and, specifically, dogs.
Private Campgrounds and RV Parks
With over 350 private campgrounds and RV parks throughout British Columbia, you and your dog are certain to have a memorable camping trip while having comfort and convenience. Most private parks welcome dogs but require they be leashed and not left unattended, and many have designated off-leash areas. Contact the campground and/or RV park to enquire about dog rules before booking.
There are more than 644 provincial parks with 6,000 kilometres of trails in BC, giving campers and their dogs unprecedented opportunities to enjoy a diverse range of sniffing adventures.
All provincial park vehicle accessible campgrounds allow dogs. However, they must be leashed and cannot be left unattended. In general, dogs are not permitted in public areas such as day-use spots, beaches, picnic areas or washrooms and shower buildings. Many parks have special beaches and even fenced in sections for off-leash play; check the park’s guidelines ahead of time or upon arrival.
The BC Provincial Government maintains more than 1,200 recreation campsites under its Recreation Sites and Trails BC program. These are located on Crown land outside of parks and settled areas. Also known as forestry campsites, they are less busy and more rustic and remote than provincial and private parks and suitable for campers who seek a natural setting and aren’t afraid to rough it (or ‘ruff it’ in this case).
All recreation sites allow dogs, but owners must keep them quiet and under control at all times. Guidelines for sites and trails may differ regarding on-leash and off-leash activity so verify this accordingly.
It is recommended that dogs and other pets not be taken into the backcountry due to rugged terrain/limited access, possible negative reactions to flora and fauna and potential encounters with wildlife.
There are seven national parks in British Columbia, and these treasured Parks Canada areas provide campers and their dogs with a true outdoor experience.
Dogs are welcomed in national parks but may not be allowed in some sections. Regulations require that dogs must be kept on leash at all times, including in the campgrounds, on trails, at beaches and in the water. These rules are in place to protect wildlife, marine life and feeding areas for birds. Like at all campsites, campers should clean up (and dispose of properly) anything left behind from their dog, such as food waste/bones, toys or excrement, and always keep a watchful eye on their canine companion, for others’ safety – and their dog’s too.