As you might expect, the greatest campgrounds on Vancouver Island are located in some of the best outdoor locations. The Victoria region and the coast to the southwest, all the way up to Port Renfrew, are popular camping locations in the south of the island. Tofino on the west side of the island and Strathcona Provincial Park in the interior, closer to Campbell River, are both farther north. If you truly want to go exploring, travel to the further north, beyond Port Hardy, to Cape Scott Provincial Park’s untamed coastlines. For individuals who are more interested in an activity than a place, there are certain campsites that are well-known for specific sports.
When planning your camping vacation, keep in mind that the summer, particularly July and August, is a busy season, and it’s better to reserve far ahead of time if you want to camp in the most popular places. In addition, many campgrounds are only open from May through September or October. The first step is to choose a camping location; for that, see our list of the top campgrounds on Vancouver Island.
Now Coming to Best Campsites, Here are the best Campsites and Campground in and around Vancouver Island
1. Wya Point Campground
Wya Point Campground is the place to go for scenery and seclusion in one of Vancouver Island’s most popular recreational locations. Wya Point is a remote and picturesque beach located just south of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in Tofino. The image is enhanced by the adjacent black granite coastline and offshore islets. The campsite is mostly a tent campground; however, tiny tow-behind RVs will fit, although backing up will require some creativity and expertise. This campsite is off the beaten path, down a gravel road, and the sites are nestled in a forested area, providing lots of solitude.
The majority of the locations are accessible by car, although the beachfront ones require parking and a short walk. The vistas, though, make it worthwhile. You may also rent yurts, which are located near the campgrounds and line the beach. Reservations are accepted, and pets are allowed for a charge. There are also hot showers and flush toilets available at the campsite.
2. Surf Grove
Surf Grove is a new campsite on Vancouver Island, located just outside of Tofino. It has established the new standard for commercial campsites in British Columbia with its contemporary facilities and beachfront position on beautiful Cox Bay. Camping here is as near to pitching up your tent or setup directly on the sand as you can get, being only a few steps from one of Tofino’s greatest beaches and surrounded by towering trees. The campsite now has 190 sites and will be expanded in 2021. The sites are arranged in loops and provide a combination of serviced and unserviced choices, accommodating everything from tents to big RVs. If you don’t have your own gear, you may rent a fully equipped RV.
Surfing is one of Tofino’s most popular activities, and this campsite has you prepared with rentals and instruction from the Pacific Surf Company, which is located on-site. Cox Beach, one of Tofino’s finest surfing spots, is accessible via a short footpath. It doesn’t have to be all about roughing it when you go camping. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience while watching the sun set, stroll down the beach to the Long Beach Lodge’s Great Room restaurant.
3. China Beach Campground
China Shore Campground is the ideal place to stay if you’re searching for a calm and serene setting where you can climb and take long walks along the beach. The campsite is located in one of the most picturesque places along Highway 14, which goes from Sooke to Port Renfrew, near the southern extremity of Vancouver Island’s untamed west coast. As the southern terminus of the Juan de Fuca Trail, China Beach provides some excellent hiking opportunities. The beach has a long expanse of pebbles and soft sand surrounded by massive trees.
The campsite is located in the forest, not on the beach, and is a short distance down the roadway from the beach. It is well shielded from the prevailing winds and serves as an excellent base for exploring this part of the island. Nearby is the trailhead for the beautiful trek to Mystic Beach. The campsites are spacious and nestled among big trees and cedars, providing plenty of seclusion. From the middle of May until the middle of September, this 78-site campsite is available. Sites can be reserved, although they are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.
4. Goldstream Provincial Park Campground
Goldstream Provincial Park, only minutes from Victoria, is a fantastic campground for a weekend or midweek escape. With some of Victoria’s greatest hiking trails, you’ll have enough to do throughout the day before unwinding over a campfire in the evening. Despite its proximity to the city, this campsite is nestled in the woods and well away from the highway, giving the impression of camping in the woods and away from the city. It also offers the added benefit of being close to stores in case you forget groceries or other necessities.
5. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park Campground
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park campsite in Parksville is located on a large stretch of sand and draws families who come to enjoy the apparently unending beach. The ocean recedes nearly a kilometre when the tide is at its lowest, and the water is warm and shallow when the tide comes in. The campsites are tucked away amid the towering trees and spacious enough to accommodate families with a lot of stuff.
During the summer, this is a very popular campsite, and reservations are required; however, during the shoulder season, first-come, first-served spots are available. Although the bulk of the sites are accessible by automobile, there are also 25 walk-in sites within walking distance of the park area. There are several showers and flush toilets in the campsite. Although this campsite is open all year, services are limited from mid-October to mid-March.
6. Living Forest Oceanside Campground and RV Resort
This big campground in Nanaimo offers around 300 campsites scattered across 53 acres of beautiful beachfront and woodland land. The locations span from the seashore and riverbank to the woodland, all with various degrees of light and shade. The resort offers numerous kilometres of paved pathways that weave their way around the property if you enjoy walking. Beach volleyball, bocce ball, and a games room are also available. The resort is within a five-minute walk from downtown Nanaimo and a short drive from the airport. There is 30 and 50 amp service, sewage and water, and showers at this full-service resort. Tenting is permitted and has its own space.
A whale watching cruise is one of the best things to do in Nanaimo for a pleasant outing. Because the seas in the Salish Sea between the mainland and Vancouver Island are typically calm and orcas frequent the region, this is an ideal location for this kind of activity. The 23-person semi-covered boat whale watching trip, or the 12 passenger open boat whale watching excursion in a zodiac, are all three to four hours long.
7. Green Point Campground
While not directly on the beach, this campground is the only one in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and is within a short drive from Tofino. Hiking and surfing are also easily accessible, while dining and shopping are just a short distance away. Green Point Campground is located high above the ocean in a densely forested region. Due to the forest canopy, the sites are quite secluded and might be a little gloomy. Tents and RVs are welcome, and flush toilets and showers are available. The campground is available from early March to early October, with bookings strongly advised from May to September if you want to be guaranteed of a spot.
8. French Beach Provincial Park Campground
French Beach Provincial Park provides an appealing length of beach, magnificent views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Mountains, a children’s playground, picnic area, and a couple of kilometres of walking paths if you just want an easy and tranquil break from Victoria. The campground is nestled among tall trees, with wide and secluded campsites. This campsite will appeal to a wide range of campers, but families will likely find it to be particularly fun and convenient. You may also visit some of the hiking trails and other beaches along this length of coast if you use this campsite as your base.
9. Jordan River Regional Park Campground
Jordan River Regional Park Campground, less than an hour from Victoria, is a great place for kiteboarders and surfers to pitch up tent along Vancouver Island’s west coast. The small beach here is a kiteboarding hotspot, and the campsite overlooks the ocean, providing direct and unrestricted beach access. RVs are parked along the beach in one section, which is actually a large parking lot. Tent campers will find a variety of tree-shaded campsites beyond this point. The campsite is available all year and all sites are first-come, first-served. There are just pit toilets available.
10. Buttle Lake Campground
Strathcona Provincial Park, located on North Central Vancouver Island, features a hilly terrain with lakes and rivers that are popular with hikers and mountain bikers. Buttle Lake Campground is located on Buttle Lake, and campsites are primarily located in a wooded region of Douglas firs, with some being waterfront. You have the option of making a reservation in advance or taking a chance on the first-come, first-served spots. The 85 locations are all accessible by car.
If you can’t get a spot here, head 35 kilometres south to the Ralph River Campground, which is entirely first-come, first-served. There are 75 sites in this region, all of which are accessible by car. Pit toilets are the only facilities available in both camping sites.
We’re confident you’ll find one to add to your list among the over ten Campground/Campsite near Vancouver Island on our list. What is your go-to Campsite destination near Vancouver Island? Let us know in the comments section.