10+ unique Western Canada camping experiences you’ll love


Camping season is not long off! May long weekend usually signals the first weekend of camping for the summer season in Alberta and BC, and it’s game on from then until September. 

As any experienced camper will tell you it can snow any month of the year in Western Canada—especially in the Canadian Rockies—but your best bet for warm weather is June through August. (Although some hardy campers will extend the season through September, or even October with a camper or RV.) 

As for where to go camping and what to do while you’re there, it’s hard to go wrong in Western Canada but over the years we’ve seen our fair share of camping across BC and Alberta. We’ve highlighted a handful of our favourite, lesser known campgrounds and camping experiences here. 

And for more, you can find all our camping-related stories here.


From the prairies to the Rockies, the camping choices in Alberta are as diverse as they come. Our #1 tip: it can get busy in some parts of the province (particularly near the Canadian Rockies) so we suggest heading north, for more relaxed camping vibes, and that's where we're pointing you here. 

Note: as always, you’ll want to check the fire situation to know whether or not it will affect your area. Wherever you camp, always be sure you check for fire bans before lighting up that campfire.

Camping in MD Bonnyville/Cold Lake 

“It’s like the Okanagan of Alberta!” a friend of mine once described. And it is. Big sandy beaches by a lake that spans 373km2. You can take your pick of places to stay, with the MD Campground, Cold Lake Provincial Park or Kinosoo Ridge Resort all waterside.

Photo: Paul Lavoie
Sunset on the water at Cold Lake Provincial Park.

Things to do: try out the new Kinosoo Ridge aerial park, grab brunch at the resort, and hit the beach or go fishing. Find out all about it in this story on camping in Bonnyville

Away from the water, you can go berry picking and play one of the coolest rounds of mini-golf ever at Rocky Meadows (another cool camping spot too!).

Camping in Lac La Biche 

Lac La Biche’s lakes and islands are deluxe for camping. Cruise into any of the sites at Lakeland Provincial Park for a remote experience, or camp on Alberta’s only island provincial park at Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park. For an extra special stay, check out this glamping adventure with Off Road Adventures.

Lac La Biche Off Road Adventures Elinor Lake
Photo: Paul Lavoie
Glamp in Lac La Biche and you could have a lake all to yourself.

Things to do: paddle the region’s many lakes, go birdwatching (pelicans frequent the area, among 200 other bird species) or hike through old growth forest at Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park. 

Camp in Athabasca for a nature refresh 

The charm of Athabasca is its wild natural feel, with small town friendliness and big northern explorer vibes. Get a taste for it in this feature.

Paddling down the Athabasca River from Centennial Park, Athabasca, AB.
Photo: Paul Lavoie
Paddleboarding on the Athabasca River.

Things to do: check out Athabasca’s signature Magnificent River Rats Festival on Canada Day weekend, go on a river tour with Grand Rapids Wilderness Adventures or, for a late season adventure, sign up for the Kapawinihk Wilderness Triathlon and stay at the finish line at River Meadows RV Park. 


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Grande Prairie camping trio rocks 

Biking. Camping. Craft beer. Enough said? Head to Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park in Grande Prairie, for shuttle-access downhill mountain biking, sweet sites looking over the Wapiti River and local craft beers on the Nitehawk patio.

Bike Nitehawk campsite rv tent Paul Lavoie ZenSeekers
Photo: Paul Lavoie
Nitehawk offers bike and camp options for riders who want multi-day downhill fun.

Things to do: see above ; ) and read about the experience here

Camp in Peace River

There’s a reason it’s called the Mighty Peace region: because that’s how you feel when you spend time there.

Forest bathing in a hammock at Harmon Valley Campground, Northern Sunrise County, AB.
Photo: Jeremy Derksen
Find some relaxing, peaceful time in Mighty Peace region.

Things to do: pitch camp here, maybe hang a hammock, and then hike to scenic viewpoints to take in amazing sunsets over the valley. Here’s your plan

Métis Crossing camping 

Pitch your own tent, stay in a trapper’s tent or in a skydome to get closer to nature at Alberta’s newest Indigenous tourism attraction, where you can make nature and heritage connections at the same time.

Photo: Paul Lavoie
Connect to Métis heritage with a stay at Métis Crossing.

Things to do: immerse yourself in Métis culture by trying traditional activities like paddling a voyageur canoe or archery, taking a wildlife safari or listening to stories around the campfire. Read up on the experience here


We know, camping in BC is one of the most popular pastimes for both Albertans and British Columbians too. You may think you know it all but even seasoned campers may not have made all these spots, and it’s always good to shake it up to ensure your groove doesn’t become a rut.

Camping in Arrow Lakes 

Just beyond Castlegar, in the BC Kootenays, you'll find Syringa Provincial Park next to Arrow Lakes. When you camp in this unique grasslands ecosystem you’ll be in close proximity to all the adventure you could desire, next to big, warm lakes, cool climbs and chill BC small towns. Oh, and did we mention, wineries and hot springs?? 

Camping at Syringa Provincial Park, BC.
Photo: Dave Heath
Camping by Arrow Lakes puts everything in reach.

Things to do: rock climbing and paddling are two of the most popular activities in the area, with great spots to do both. Or, watch the climbing scene from a comfy spot on the deck at the Lions Head Smoke and Brew Pub. Read up on it in this feature on Arrow Lakes

Camping in Vernon 

With the abundance of the Okanagan Valley, its lakes, trails and warm interior BC weather, Vernon makes an excellent basecamp. Check out Ellison Provincial Park or Dutch’s Campground, or if you’re looking to do some lift-serviced mountain biking, there’s a campground right at SilverStar Resort. Find more with these Vernon campground listings from Tourism Vernon.

Photo: Steve MacNaull
Chill by the lake in Vernon, on a hot day.

Things to do: live your best lake life on Okanagan or Kalamalka Lake. There’s a SUP scene on Kal, with the Kal SUP Classic each year. Hit the trails with this guide, maybe have a picnic and definitely get to know Vernon’s soulful side in this feature on the local Indigenous culture

Camping on Vancouver Island’s west coast 

Ok, no surprise here. Straight up, camping on Vancouver Island is unbeatable. With its temperate climate, friendly beaches, lush forests and a lifetime's worth of hiking and paddling, your days will be full and your stays will be epic. 

But the island can fill up fast in summer and finding those prime spots isn’t easy. We recommend taking a new spin on your island adventures, with the #IndigenousCoastBC Coastal Route.

Things to do: kayak the Broken Group Islands from Secret Beach, visit 5500-year old Kiixin village with a Kiixin Tour, and surf or go paddleboarding at Tin Wis. 

It’s all in our story about the #IndigenousBC Coastal Route

Camping in Port Alberni 

Back in 2018, Vancouver blogger Miss 604 made a trip to Port Alberni for a stay at China Creek Campground. We still can’t get it out of our heads, and she even bookmarked a fave site for her camping bucket list.

Things to do: There are so many hikes, waterfalls, and cool things to do in the area that you could fill months. Port Alberni also has a rocking events calendar powered by the local music and sports scenes. Check out some of the season's best festivals, including the Five Acre Shaker, in this FestivalSeekers.com story

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