Camping Vancouver Island Cape Lazo

5 Best Campgrounds in Vancouver Island To Be One With Nature

In less than a 2-hour drive from the British Columbia mainland by the BC Ferries, Vancouver Island is enriched with impressive greenery where the best campgrounds are built using the sheer beauty of nature as the biggest hook. From the spectacular sandy beaches to the gigantic old-growth trees, from the deep canyons to the rip-roaring waterfalls, Vancouver Island will have you spoiled with choices when it comes to summer camping.

July and August are when the campsites fill out fast. So waste no more time! Read on to see which are our favourite campgrounds Vancouver Island has to offer, what to expect, facilities and rates before locking your dates.

1. Sooke River Campground

Camping Vancouver Island Sooke River
Photo credit: sookerivercampground

70 shady campsites sit peacefully next to the stunning Sooke River. No matter what your heart’s after, either a powered RV campsite, pitching a tent, or staying put in a rustic cabin, Sooke River Campground has everything it takes to be your next favourite place.

This is a popular family-oriented campground less than an hour’s drive from downtown Victoria. Come over and laze around by the clear waters of deep polished rock pools pressed against the thriving forests or launch a boat to go on a kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing trip.

If you bring a bike along, get on one and cycle along the paved trails surrounding the small river or hike to the nearby Sooke Potholes or East Sooke Park. Sooke River Campground’s claim to fame is the pristine scenery and an utmost quiet environment to cleanse your mind.

Opening time: year-round.

Check-in: 1 pm            
Check-out: 11 am.

Facilities and regulations:

  • Wheelchair accessible washrooms with coin-operated hot showers ($1.00 / 5 min) with keypad entrance
  • Children’s playground
  • Picnic area and Clubhouse
  • Free wireless access
  • Sani-dump Station available
  • Security gate and security lighting
  • Boat launch: Water access for kayaks, canoes and paddle boards.
  • On-site firewood & ice available for purchase
  • The gate is closed from 10 pm to 7 am and for the restful night of all campers there are no exceptions for late arrivals or early departures.
  • Quiet Time is from 10 pm. No music, loud talking, nor campfires are allowed past this time.
  • Generators: May be used between 10 am and 6 pm.
  • Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash at all times.

Prices and reservation: from $35.00 to $75.00.

  • 2-day cabin rental minimum.
  • The rates for each site are per sleeping unit for one family (2 adults + children) or up to 4 adults; additional guests are charged extra. 
  • One RV or tent per campsite, any additional units pay an additional full rate per day and must be approved by the office.
  • Each site is designated for one RV and one vehicle.
  • Maximum two vehicles if they fit within your specific site, not encroaching on the campground road or your neighbor’s site.
  • Boats will have to be approved by the office and parked at all times at the visitor’s parking area. Boats/utility trailers’ fee is $5.00 / night.
  • All prices subject to change
  • Early check in, $10.00 fee applies (depending on availability)
  • Late check out, please contact the office before 11 am to check on availability. 
  • A day rate of $10.00 applies with checkout no later than 3 pm. After 3 pm overnight charges will apply.
  • Refunds are not provided for early departures.
  • The site is to be occupied only by the registered guests. 
  • Subletting of RV or site is not permitted without approval of management.
  • Pet Charges: Maximum 2 dogs. Free for campers, $25.00 for cabins.
  • Lock Site Fee: $10.00.

Address: 2259 Phillips Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0Y3.

Website | Facebook | Instagram

2. Living Forest Oceanside Campground and RV Resort

Camping Vancouver Island Living Forest
Photo credit: livingforestcampground

Looking for an all-inclusive campsite in Vancouver Island to stay put with styles? Look no further than Living Forest. 

As the name suggests, this is an oceanside campground enriched with an amazing variety of water birds and eagles. The scenery seems as if it expands forever, kissed by the ocean on one side and the old-growth forests on the other side. Living Forest is only 5 kilometers from the core of Nanaimo, nestled within a lush shady are 300 well-equipped sites with a fire pit and picnic table on each site. Unserviced spots are also available but rest your worries, they come up with a common room to provide you with free WiFi and sockets to charge your electronics.

Every day before the sun beams down, the stretching horizon comes alive again before darkness approaches. Sunset casts an impressive canvas all over the horizon while reflecting its glitters on the surface of the mild sea. You can also load a bike and bring it along to cycle on the paved ways, go swimming, watch the birds, or simply get some ice-cold drinks and chill in the game room.

Opening time: year-round.

Check-in: after 1 pm
Check-out: 11 am.

Facilities and regulations:

  • Full service sites include: City of Nanaimo water, sewer and electricity.
  • Tengo WiFi is available for a fee throughout most of the Park. 
  • Limited free Wi-Fi is available at the Living Forest Cafe’ & Front Office.
  • The Living Forest can also fill Propane tanks at the current market rate.
  • Quiet time is 11:00pm – 8am
  • All campfires must be out by 11pm
  • All garbage, recycling and composting bins are located
  • near the entrance/exit. 
  • No burning when a fire ban is in effect
  • When burning is allowed, it must be done in the metal fire ring
  • and fires must be small.  
  • Do not move fire rings or use them as garbage cans.
  • All showers take tokens (available at office: $1 each for five minutes)
  • Dogs must be on leashes and not noisy or aggressive
  • No Visitors after 10:00pm.
  • No generators or outside music allowed in the park
  • Maximum two cars per site
  • No cutting or damaging of trees

Prices and reservation: from $38 to $455.

  • Rate is applied for 2 People.
  • Extra adults pay $4 per person.
  • Kids age 6-17 pay $1 per person. 
  • 5 and under: free of cost.
  • 1 family or 4 adults maximum per site.
  • All rates are subject to 5% GST. 
  • All Rates subject to change
  • 2 months notice required for no charge cancellation on monthly stays.

Address: 6 Maki Rd, Nanaimo, BC V9R 6N7.

Website | Instagram | Facebook

3. Quinsam Campground, Elk Falls Provincial Park

Camping Vancouver Island Quinsam Campground
Photo credit: asha.604

Hidden in the heart of Elk Falls Provincial Park, Quinsam campground emerges as an ideal hideout with your loved ones with a short drive from Campbell River. Here you can book at one of vehicle accessible campsites that are equipped with flush toilets, outhouses, and potable water taps.

A majority of the sites are blanketed by the shade of the sun-dappled second-growth forest. However, you can choose to book one of those that is nestled right next to the peaceful Quinsam River.

As the campground lies within a provincial park, you’ll be spoiled with choices when it comes to daytime leisure activities. No matter what you have in mind, make sure to hop over the cascading Elk Falls from the campground. Take a little hike into the woods and admire a marvelous canyon that is entitled as one of the most breathtaking waterfalls on Vancouver Island.

Opening time: March to October (winter camping is allowed but no services are available during the off-season).

Check-in: 1 pm.
Check-out: 11 am.

Facilities and regulations:

  • Campfire rings are provided at each campsite. 
  • Firewood can be purchased from the park facility operator with a fee.
  • Cold water taps are located in the campground. 
  • Taps are shut off during the winter season.
  • Pit toilets are located throughout the campground and day-use area. 
  • Flush toilets are located at the sani-station in the campground.
  • Adventure playground with barrier-free play structures. 
  • A sani-station/dump which is closed in winter.
  • Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings.

Prices and reservation:

  • Website Reservation: $6 – $18/campsite/night (plus tax) $5.00 call center surcharge per reservation if made via Call Center Reservation.
  • Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $11/party/night.
  • Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $22.00/party/night.
  • BC Seniors Rate (day after Labor Day to June 14 only): $11/senior party/night.
  • Sani-station Use Fee: $5/discharge.
  • A camping party is defined as: 1– 4 persons 16 years of age or older and up to a maximum of 8 persons including children 15 years of age and younger. 
  • Only one camping party per campsite is permitted, unless otherwise authorized in the park.
  • To make a reservation for a statutory holiday weekend, you are required to book a minimum of 3 nights.
  • To change your reservation to a different campground/park, you must cancel and re-book.
  • Reservations for campsites can be made up to 2 months in advance of your arrival date. 
  • If your reservation is made within the first week of the two-month window before your arrival date, you are not permitted to make changes to your arrival date. 
  • Reservation charges, change fees, and call center surcharges are non-refundable: $6 change fee (plus tax) per campsite.
  • Reserved sites are held until 11 am the day after the scheduled arrival date.
  • If you do not notify the park operator directly of a late arrival, you will be considered a no-show and your reservation will be canceled. 
  • All reservation charges and camping fees will be forfeited, and the park operator will have the right to give the site away to another visitor. 

Address: Campbell River Rd, Campbell River, BC V0P 1N0.

Website

4. Cape Lazo RV Park

Camping Vancouver Island Cape Lazo
Photo credit: hayden.eely

As the gentle sea waves are busy kissing the rugged shoreline of Comox Valley, Cape Lazo RV Park emerges as an incredible campsite in Vancouver Island that’s steps away from the beach but not isolated from the city core. Cape Lazo RV & Campground has both fully serviced pull-through RV sites with both 30 and 50-amp service and tent campsites.

The spacious, beautiful property has a fair share of the gorgeous beauty of an oceanside campground without an absence of modern facilities. Sleep to the lapping waves after spending the whole day chilling by a beautiful pavilion with a fireplace. If you’re looking for a sense of a getaway, walk a few steps further to enjoy the peace and a spectacular view of the Salish Sea.

Opening time: year-round.

Check-in: 1 pm.
Check-out: 11 am.

Facilities and regulations:

  • Power 30amp or 50amp, Water and Sewer hookups. 
  • Wifi at no extra charge.
  • The outdoor pavilion has two fireplaces, one inside and one outside.
  • Wood fireplace is open year round.
  • 3 showers in each washroom with a locking door. Showers cost $1 for 4 minutes (loonies only).
  • 3 washers and 3 dryers for your personal use. Each load costs $2.75 (loonies and quarters only).
  • Quiet time is 11pm – 8am
  • You must have a reservation, prior to your arrival
  • You must register in the office before occupying a site
  • Max of 6 people per site
  • No parking in empty sites
  • Road ways must be kept clear
  • Speed Limit 10km/hr
  • No tenting
  • RVs must be insured with property and liability coverage
  • Max of 2 pets per site and must be kept on leash at all times
  • A max of 4 guests at a time
  • No loud music at any time
  • 11pm quiet time strictly enforced
  • You must have an airtight sewer fitting
  • Wood fires in sites are permitted from May 15th to Sept 15th.
  • Propane fires are permitted year round, until 11pm (Quiet Time)
  • Wood fires are permitted in the pavillion fire place from 8am – 10:30pm year round
  • Firewood is available for purchase in the our on site store
  • Fire pits are not a garbage can
  • No tarps, pools, hot tubs, utility trailers
  • 1 pop-up gazebo allowed (no hard top, 10ft x 10ft max)

Prices and reservation: from $52 to $62

  • 3-night minimum stay in winter season.
  • No wood fires in campsites during winter season
  • Site cost based on 2 adults, 2 children and 1 vehicle per site.
  • 1 RV per site (No tents)
  • Max 6 people per site (4 adults max)
  • Max 2 pets per site, dogs must remain on leash at all times.
  • RV Sites are for RVs only. No tenting or sleeping in cars.
  • Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • All rates are subject to 5% GST
  • 50% deposit is taken at the time of booking (minimum 1 night stay).
  • Early arrivals without prior approval will be charged an early check in fee of $25.
  • Site numbers cannot be guaranteed. 
  • There are no refunds on cancellations within 14 days of check-in date
  • A refund will be provided if canceled at least 14 days prior to your check-in, less an administration fee
  • Daily cancellations are subject to a $25 administration fee
  • Refunds are only given on original bookings, once dates have been changed, the deposit is non-refundable
  • Date changes must be made 14 days prior to your check in
  • No shows will be charged the full amount of the reservations
  • Deposits will not be refunded for cancellations that are outside of our control; weather, vehicle issues, ferry delays.

Address: 685 Lazo Rd, Comox, BC V9M 3X2.

Website | Facebook

5. Rathtrevor Beach Campground

Camping Vancouver Island Rathtrevor Beach
Photo credit: foreversailing74

Offering 250 family-oriented campsites, Rathtrevor Beach Campground is a beautiful getaway to pitch a tent under the Douglas firs of Parksville. Rathtrevor is not the top call for RV campers but if you’re looking for a place to camp in your tent by the wide sandy beach, walk barefoot along the belt of sand and soak in the cool ocean breeze, Rathtrevor is second to none. 

During summer, all campsites at Rathtrevor fill up fast. Local and nearby families looking forward to spending the days under the old-growth trees and gazing at the scenic views can choose one of the 174 serviced campsites and 25 walk-in campsites. Most of the campsites are accessible for vehicles and the parking lot is a short distance away.

Just a stone’s throw away from the campsites, there is an extensive network of hiking trails that team up with a swimming area on the Englishman River. If you get there when the tide is low, take this chance to enjoy the natural tide pools. Meanwhile, high tide is a great time that beckons families with kids to plunge in the saltwater coming from the Strait of Georgia.

Opening time: October – September (winter camping is allowed with limited services).

Check-in: 1 pm.
Check-out: 11 am.

Facilities and regulations:

  • Campsites, shower stalls, flush toilets, beach access, many walking trails and parking stalls in the day-use area are all wheelchair-accessible.
  • Campfire rings are provided at each campsite for use by registered camping parties. 
  • Firewood can be purchased from the Park Operator with a fee.
  • Cold water taps are located throughout the park at the day-use area and campsites. 
  • Taps are shut off during the off-season. 
  • Taps for filling reservoir tanks in vehicles are located at either end of the Sani Station and are available year round.
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, flush toilets/change building, and a new wash station with fresh water. 
  • 3 parking lots, 2reservable picnic shelters, pit toilets, 2 flush toilet/change buildings, and an adventure playground. 
  • A sani-station/dump is available year-round.
  • 3 hot shower buildings are in the main campground and 1 in the Group Site area. 

Prices and reservation:

  • Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.
  • Regular group camping charges per night are $120.00/group site/night plus $5/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15). 
  • Children under 6 are free.
  • Group Picnicking Fee: $50.00 per group.
  • Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
  • Walk-In Camping Fee: $22.00 per party/night
  • Winter Camping Fee: $13.00 per party/night

Address: 1240 Rath Rd, Parksville, BC V9P 2E2.

Website

Looking for more camping ideas in and around Vancouver Island? Why not check out our favorite campgrounds that fit both tent campers and RV-lifers right here.

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