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Discover 8 Camping Experiences in British Columbia This Summer

Once again this summer you’re likely looking to escape the city and get outdoors. For those of us who are lucky enough to live in BC, we have an incredible backyard to explore. From remote wilderness experiences, family-friendly campgrounds to luxury glamping, BC offers an array of camping options. Here’s a short list of camping options slightly off the beaten path to pitch your tent, park your RV, or claim your cabin. 

Spout Lake
Spout Lake | Photo: Ten-ee-ah Lodge

Untamed Wilderness

One of BC’s best kept secrets are the numerous lakes and untamed wilderness near BC’s ‘Fishing Highway’ 24. While fishing is a popular activity, you can also spend time wildlife viewing, swimming, or paddling. Ten-ee-ah Lodge is nestled on the shore of Spout Lake, a 2 hour drive north of Cache Creek and offers stunning scenery and your choice of luxe cabins or waterfront, tree-lined campsites. 

Canim Lake
Canim Lake | Photo: South Point Resort

A Fishing & Paddling Haven

Head southeast and you’ll find family-friendly South Point Resort on Canim Lake, one of the largest lakes in the Cariboo at 23 km long. Go swimming or fishing just steps from your lakeside campsite or cabin. Explore the shoreline and rent a pontoon boat, stand up paddle boards, or kayaks for a day.

Canim Falls from Mahood Falls Trail
Canim Falls from Mahood Falls Trail | Photo: Chemo RV Sales & Service

If you haven’t had your fishing fix yet, head east along Canim Lake Road to Mahood Lake Campground, another family-friendly camping spot in Wells Gray Provincial Park. Hike to three spectacular waterfalls or spend the afternoon paddling or swimming nearby.

Fraser River View
Fraser River View | Photo: Fraser Cove Campground & Guest Cabin

Rugged Fraser River Canyon

The scenery from this Lillooet campground is unrivalled. Fraser Cove Campground & Guest Cabin is tucked on the shores of the mighty Fraser River and offers a unique opportunity for riverfront camping. Go fishing or rent an e-bike to explore the trails. Take in the views as you walk or bike over the nearby historic suspension bridge or visit Fort Berens Estate Winery just down the road. Bring your tent, RV or plan to stay in the charming cabin overlooking the Fraser River.

Old Mining Site
Old Mining Site | Photo: Gold Panner Campground

BC’s Mining History

If you’re interested in BC’s mining history, visit Gold Panner Campground located 50 minutes east of Vernon in the forested foothills of the Monashee Mountains. Founded on a Chinese heritage mining operation, pan for gold, explore the hiking trails, and immerse yourself in history. Campers with tents and RV’s are welcome, and modern chalets and rustic cabins are also available.

Campsites | Photo: City of Trail RV Park

Further south through the Monashee Mountains, go hiking and mountain biking in the historic mining town of Trail, BC. Take in the views of the river from the Columbia River Skywalk suspension bridge or go swimming at Gyro Park. Bring your tent or RV and plan to camp at the City of Trail RV Park where tree lined sites provide shade and privacy and kids can play at the playground.

Atriveda Cabin
Atriveda Cabin | Photo: SunLund By-The-Sea Resort & RV Park

Seaside Adventures & Riverside Cottages

For seaside adventures, head north up the Sunshine Coast past Powell River to Lund, the northernmost town on Highway 101. This small marine village is the jumping off point for boaters headed to Desolation Sound or nearby islands. Bring your RV or reserve a cabin at SunLund By-The-Sea Resort & RV Park surrounded by trees and steps from the ocean. Walk tree-lined footpaths to restaurants, groceries, and Lund Harbour where you can rent kayaks, charter fishing boats, or go sightseeing. 

Snow Creek Recreation Site, Sprout Lake

Mountain Lake & Rainforest

Tucked deep in the rainforest and mountains on Vancouver Island, Snow Creek Recreation Site Campground is a 3.5 hour drive from Victoria, west of Port Alberni. The campground has 27 campsites and is on the shores of Sprout Lake. There is a small boat launch and it offers excellent fishing and a tranquil setting for camping. Access is via a forest service road and 4×4 vehicles are recommended. Please pack out what you pack in and be respectful of wildlife. Reserve your campsite ahead of time to guarantee your spot.

Wherever you decide to camp, be safe and have fun. For more camping trip ideas and locations visit

“It’s always a great day to #CampinBC

Exploring Radium Hot Springs, BC

It had been 20 years since I last visited Radium Hot Springs so I decided to take the family for a 3-night trip in July. Located in the east Kootenays, Radium Hot Springs is an ideal stopover while traveling through the Kootenays, or as a holiday destination, as there is something to do for everyone.

Radium Hot Springs | Photo Alan & Flora Botting via Flickr

We stayed at a partial hookup site in Redstreak Campground, Kootenay National Park. The site was spacious, clean and extremely quiet. While there we were ‘entertained’ by a family of wild turkeys wandering around the campground each evening as well as some bighorn sheep.

Big Horn Sheep in Kootenay National Park | Photo Karen Reid

Leading from the campground is a 1.8 km walking trail that took us into the village. As we walked, we were delighted to see many more bighorn sheep grazing on the grass in an open field in the forest beside the trail.  Once we reached the village, we found a great café with delicious coffee and the children were fascinated with the old-fashioned candy available. Once we had finished our morning cup of java we decided to explore the area and found some unique gift stores filled with interesting local souvenirs.

Radium Hot Springs Mineral Pools

Approximately 3 km east of the village in Kootenay National Park is Radium Hot Springs Mineral Pools Natural Hot Springs. We took the 2.7 km winding and somewhat challenging trail from our campground that led us right to the hot springs. Since we arrived fairly early in the day the pools were pretty quiet and we were able to enjoy a peaceful soak in the hot pools. We were impressed with the stunning treed surroundings and the views of Sinclair Canyon. A wonderful respite to relax and rejuvenate.

Kootenay National Park | Video by K. Walker

In addition to the hot springs, there are an array of outdoor activities, such as hiking and kayaking. One of our favourite hiking trails was the historic Old Coach Trail, which was traveled by model T-Fords in the 1920s. It is a scenic 9 km trail that starts at the visitor centre in Radium and ends at Dry Gulch. We also went kayaking on the Columbia River and enjoyed seeing the many bird species in the area.

Rock Formations near Radium | Photo by Karen Reid

While staying in Radium Hot Springs, we decided to take a couple of day trips. One of our favourites was Windermere Lake, about 15 minutes south of Radium Hot Springs. We packed beach chairs, our kayaks and a lunch so we were able to relax and spend the day swimming and paddling. We also really enjoyed visiting Fort Steele Heritage Town, which is just over an hour south of Radium. Fort Steele dates back to the gold rush in the 1800s. Throughout the town, we viewed heritage buildings, tried gold panning and stopped into the candy store. Since Fort Steele is pet friendly, we were also able to bring our dog with us to explore!

Fort Steele Heritage Town | Photo by Jasperdo via Flickr

No matter how long you decide to stay or what activities you choose to do, Radium Hot Springs is sure not to disappoint! We definitely plan to return in the near future to experience some of the activities that we didn’t have a chance to do on this first trip.

For other campgrounds in the Kootenay Rockies or elsewhere in BC check out the Camping Map.

Share your BC travel and camping photos using hashtag #campinbc

Published: July 18th, 2019

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