How to go camping in BC.
There are two types of camping classifications in British Columbia, Front Country Camping and Backcountry Camping. Depending on the classification of camping you choose, there are mu
Front country camping
Front country marine camping
baackcountry marine camping
Accessible by vehicle including marine – drive up to it.
Back country camping – see camping fees in parks websites
Camping in BC includes: camping in recreational vehicles, car camping, marine camping or boating to a marine campsite, backpacking to a campsite or cabin, hiking and camping for one night, cycling, walking and finally by horseback or equestrian camping.
Camping by campground type includes:
National Parks camping
Provincial Park Campgrounds
Recreation Site Campsite (previously called BC Forest Service Recreation Sites)
Crown Land Camping
Camping Party Definition
Party size for one vehicle accessible campsite
- One to four persons 16 years of age or older.
- At least one member of the camping party MUST be 16 years or older.
- A maximum of eight persons including children (15 years of age and younger).
- Campsite maximum is one camping party per site, unless otherwise authorized.
Vehicles per Camping Party
A camping party may arrive at the campsite with one of the following:
- a motor vehicle not designed as an accommodation for camping, e.g., car, truck, SUV, non-camperized van, motorcycle1; or
- a motor vehicle towing a trailer designed as an accommodation for camping, e.g., 5th wheel, travel trailer, tent trailer; or
- a recreational vehicle (RV), e.g., motor home, camperized truck/van; or
- a RV with a legally towed motor vehicle; or
- a motor vehicle or RV towing a trailer not designed as an accommodation for camping, e.g., utility/cargo, or boat trailer.
1to a maximum of one motorcycle per each adult in the party.
A camping party may also include a tent or tents, if suitably accommodated on the campsite pad. A camping party may be allowed a 2nd motor vehicle not designed as an accommodation for camping on the campsite for an additional ½ of the camping fee (to a maximum of $12/night).
Here is a party size definition table[PDF 17KB] that explains camping party, second vehicle on-site and campsite maximum calculations.
Due to wear and tear, maintenance and conservation factors within our parks, limits must be placed on the party size, i.e., the number of people and vehicles each campsite can accommodate.
Group Party Size
- A regular group camping or picnicking party must consist of a minimum of 15 people or more.
- A youth group camping or picnicking party must consist of a minimum of 12 people or more. A youth groupmeans a k-12 school, recreation centre or not-for-profit youth organization located within BC, undertaking a camping trip.
Per Person Rate – the per person rates for:
- Maquinna Hotsprings
- Liard Hotsprings
- Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit
- Tatshenskini River Rafting
- group camping
- backcountry camping
- backcountry cabins
Payment and Check-in/Check-out
|Campsite Type||Payment of Fees||Check-in and Check-out Times|
First-come, first-served campsites.
|If arriving at the park on a first-come, first-serve basis, cash is accepted, and debit or credit card may be accepted depending on availability.Canadian currency is preferred.|
In most parks, the park operator collects camping fees at campsites.
Some campgrounds require self-registration. Instructions are posted at the fee station and on the envelopes provided. The registration receipt must be displayed on the campsite number post.
|First-come, first-served check-in time is between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.Check-in procedures and hours vary between parks.|
Check-out time is 11 a.m. (for all campers).
Campsites reserved through Discover Camping.
|If site has been reserved through the Discover Camping Service, a confirmation number is issued for each reservation. Please have this available on arrival at the campground, or for reservation changes or cancellations.|
Additional Park user charges may be applicable, and must be paid in cash.
See alsoReservation Service Charges
|For campers with reservations, check-in time is between 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Procedures for obtaining a reserved campsite are posted on information board at the entrance to the park/campground, or are available at the gatehouse.|
Check-out time is 11 a.m. (for all campers).
Hours of Operation
During the operating season, park gates open at 7 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Dates of operation are posted on the park pages.
The maximum length of stay in any provincial park is 14 days per park, per calendar year. Some parks may limit maximum length of stay to seven days. Limits will be posted in the park.
Camping and Picnicking at Designated Group Sites
Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (age 6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum. See Youth Group criteria.
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, listed in the fee schedule, plus $5/adult (age 16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (ages 6-15), (children 5 and under are free).
Designated group sites are reservable in some provincial park campgrounds. For more information, check individual park pages.
Volunteer Fee Exemptions
Volunteer: is a person who freely undertakes to perform a specific service or function for a ministry that is not normally performed by employees and who does so without financial remuneration.
Volunteer Fee Exemption
- Volunteers, with prior approval of a volunteer project or service by a park officer and completion of a volunteer agreement, are exempt from frontcountry camping fees.
- If the volunteer is eligible to be reimbursed for camping costs by a volunteer organization, university, or other government program, there will be no exemption from these fees by BC Parks.
Camping Fees for Persons with Disabilities
The purpose of this program is to provide support for persons with disabilities who are also receiving income assistance from the authorities identified. Click here to view the criteria.
Senior camping discounts
Senior camping discounts for British Columbia residents that are 65 years of age and older are available from the day after Labour Day to June 14th of the following year.Click here for more information.
Long Stay Program
Park visitors can now enjoy long-stay camping options in BC Parks. Long-stay campsites must be occupied for a minimum of 4 consecutive weeks (maximum 6 months or until the campground is closed, whichever is first). Please refer to the specific park operator for the effective dates in each location. The senior’s discount and the exemption for persons with disabilities do not apply to the long-stay campsites.
|Big Bar Lake Park||Upper – Full Season||$88.00/party/week|
|Buckinghorse River Wayside Park||Full Season||$90.00/party/week|
|Carp Lake Park||Full Season||$90.00/party/week|
|Charlie Lake Park||Full Season||$90.00/party/week|
|Crooked River Park||Full Season||$65.00/party/week|
|Lac La Hache Park||Full Season||$88.00/party/week|
|Meziadin Lake Park||Full Season||$90.00/party/week|
|Moberly Lake Park||Full Season||$90.00/party/week|
|Moyie Lake Park||Shoulder Season only||$140.00/party/week|
|Norbury Lake Park||Peak Season||$84.00/party/week|
|One Island Lake Park||Full Season||$90.00/party/week|
|Paarens Beach Park||Full Season||$90.00/party/week|
|Ten Mile Lake Park||Touring – Full Season||$88.00/party/week|
|Tunkwa Park||Full Season||$70.00/party/week|
Long stay campers must comply with the Park Act and all its regulations. Some of the significant exceptions are noted below.
- A second vehicle (non-RV) is exempt from the second vehicle fee.
- One additional camping tent and one screened tent for meal purposes is allowed.
- Any combination of tarps may not exceed 400 sq. ft. Tarps cannot be used vertically.
- Removable ground level decks/landings to a maximum of 80 sq. ft. are allowed.
- If all camping units, structures and equipment are removed for a period of more than 2 days, the long-stay camper is required to notify the park operator in writing.
Backcountry Camping – Backcountry means an area in a park or recreation area that is not frontcountry. Backcountry campsites are primarily for wilderness hiking and backpacking. There are usually no facilities available.
Cabin Accommodation – Some backcountry provincial parks offer cabin accommodation, primarily during the winter months.
Frontcountry Camping – Frontcountry means an area in a park or recreation area within one kilometre of either side of the centre line of a park road or a highway. Frontcountry campsites are generally accessible by vehicle and offer designated campsites, facilities and recreational opportunities. Due to wear and tear, maintenance and conservation factors within our parks, limits must be placed on the party size, i.e., the number of people and vehicles each campsite can accommodate.
Per Person Rate – per person rates apply to those 6 years of age or older.
Vessel Camping – A vessel means a boat, canoe, kayak or other craft used, or capable of being used, for navigation on water. Some marine parks offer this type of camping.
Voyageur Canoe – A voyageur canoe is designed to carry six or more persons.
Walk/Cycle-in Camping – Walk/cycle-in designated camping areas do not allow vehicle parking in the campground area. Some frontcountry campgrounds offer walk/cycle-in designated camping areas.
Winter Camping – Frontcountry parks that are open year-round may offer winter camping. All campers must be self-sufficient as limited facilities are available.
Where applicable: taxes are included in all fees;
- the fee for the overnight use of dock or mooring buoy facilities also applies to
People also ask:
Wht is front country camping
What is Frontcountry
How much is it to camp
The Park has a main ‘front–country‘ camping area called
- We have two broad types of camping – “vehicle-access” and “backcountry“.
- There is vehicle-access (or front country) camping in individual campsites and group camping areas.
- Many campgrounds take reservations for individual campsites either online or phone-in only. As well, many campgrounds have first come-first served campsites and some campgrounds are “first come-first served” only.
- Check-out time in provincial campgrounds is normally 2:00 p.m.
- Check-in time is normally 4:00 p.m.
- Find a Park
- Amenities at provincial campgrounds range from full hook-ups (power, water, sewer) to un-serviced. We also havespecial types of camping.
- Cultural Access Pass to Alberta’s Parks is a program to encourage new Canadian citizens to explore our provincial parks.
Equipment/People Permitted on a Campsite
- The maximum number of motor vehicles, tents, recreational vehicles and trailers permitted on a campsite is three, of which only two may be used as sleeping quarters. EXCEPTION – when two tents are used as sleeping quarters, two motor vehicles may be permitted.
- The camping fee applies to each accommodation unit on a campsite. EXCEPTION – if the second accommodation unit is a tent and there is only one motor vehicle registered to the site, there is no additional charge for the tent.
- NOTE – a campsite must be large enough to accommodate the maximum number of allowable units. Depending on a campsite’s design and dimensions, a campground manager may decide that only one camping accommodation unit may be assigned to that campsite.
- No more than six people may occupy a campsite unless they are all members of the same family unit.
- Download the Regulations in Alberta’s Provincial Parks & Recreation Areas pamphlet.
|Front Country / Vehicle-Access Camping|
Backcountry campgrounds are accessible by foot, horseback or mountain bike and are normally located a considerable distance from the nearest parking area. There are two types of backcountry camping – “designated” and “random”.
Check our backcountry safety information before you go.
|Designated Backcountry Campgrounds|
|Random Backcountry Camping|
examples of current backcountry marine camping
This park has unique water accessible only camping opportunities on the west side of Christina Lake that are accessible by boat. Many are former Forest Service Recreation sites. Note: Facilities are limited.
Backcountry Marine Camping Fee: $13.00 per party or vessel / night
The Ole Johnson site is situated on Bald Point on the west side of Christina Lake. Access to this small bay of coarse sand is by boat, 7.5 km from the boat launch at Texas Creek. There are 10 walk-in sites with fire rings, two picnic tables and two benches. The forested uplands rise steeply off the beach and are broken up by rocky outcrops. There is evidence of historical use in the form of two old cabin sites belonging to miner Ole Johnson for whom the site is named. There are excellent swimming, fishing and hiking opportunities.
Peter Lake has been used as a backcountry camp by past users. There is room for three tents beside the lake. There are no other facilities. There is no beach and swimming opportunities are limited. The lake contains rainbow trout and brook trout. There are opportunities for hiking up the ridge south of the lake for views into the Sandner Creek drainage.
Xenia Lake has an old Forest Service Recreation site. There are two pit toilets and five picnic tables.
Troy Creek is located at the extreme northwest corner of Christina Lake 10 km from the Texas Creek boat launch or 11.3 km hiking along the Deer Point/Troy Creek Trail. This small bay has a rocky shoreline backed by a mixed forest with some exceptional Western red cedar and Douglas fir. An old cabin provides evidence of past use of the site. There are great views across the lake and to the north as well as good fishing. There is one pit toilet and five picnic tables. A trail leads up to Xenia Lake.
Parson Creek is located on the west side of Christina Lake opposite Deer Point 6 km from the Texas Creek boat launch accessible only by boat. The majority of the shoreline is rocky and the upland is heavily forested with few shrubs. The small beach is coarse gravel. There is one pit toilet and two picnic tables.
Treadmill Creek is located on the west side of Christina Lake 5 km from the Texas Creek boat launch. This large beach of coarse sand is sheltered from prevailing south winds making it a great spot for swimming and fishing. It offers an excellent view of Sandner-Troy Creek at the head of the lake. The land slopes away from the beach in a series of terraces. There are two pit toilets and four picnic tables.
Axel Johnson is located on the west side of Christina Lake 3 km from the Texas Creek boat launch. This isolated bay has a long sandy beach making it a good spot for swimming and waterskiing. There are views across the lake of rock slides. There are two pit toilets and four picnic tables.
Starchuck Beach is located on the west side of Christina Lake almost opposite of Texas Creek. This large sandy beach area is the southern most site on the west side. It is a popular area for swimming and fishing. There are two pit toilets and four picnic tables.
Trapper Creek can be accessed by either boat or from the Deer Point Trail. It is a small, semi-open site with swimming and fishing opportunities. There is one pit toilet and two picnic tables.