The Best Guide to National Parks Canada Camping in 2024

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As we all know Canada is large! When you see that our 37 national parks and 10 national park reserves take up approximately 336,343 square kilometres it really starts to hit home as to how vast our country is. They represent and protect 31 of Canada’s 39 terrestrial natural regions. It’s something to be very proud of so let’s enjoy every National Parks Canada camping possibility!

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One of the best ways of discovering Canada’s National Parks is by camping and/or RVing. Whether this is your first trip into Canada’s wilderness or your 100th, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan and just as important, enjoy a safe and fun camping experience.

Choosing Your Park

How to choose? Every province and territory in Canada have their own national parks – mostly in the wilderness. The best way to experience Canada’s wilderness is by camping or RVing among the natural beauty each offers, whether it’s in the mountains, within the forests, beside a beautiful lake or river or when visiting glaciers. 

Now comes the hard part – which National Parks Canada camping site will you visit? With so many stunning national parks spread across the country, choosing the right park for your camping trip can be a daunting task.

Things to consider include location, climate and what activities you are looking forward to.  You’ll need to study each national park’s information to see how accessible they are at different times of the year and what activities and amenities they offer. 

Consider the Season & Weather Conditions

Winter gear? Bug Spray? Be prepared for all types of weather – rain, cold temperatures, unpredictable winds and even snow.

When deciding on which national park you plan on visiting you have to remember what season you are visiting in and what the weather conditions are. If your choice is in one of the northern parks during the summer it’s probably a really good idea to have some insect repellent with you.

If you’re visiting a National Parks Canada camping spot in the winter months, first of all check to see if it’s open. If it is, then it’s time to consider bringing additional supplies to provide you with extra warmth. Consider what the roads will be like  – even if they’re open.  

Now that I’ve given you the worst scenario – remember camping in Canada’s National Parks is something to experience and enjoy, no matter the season.

Prepare Early and Secure Necessary Permits

Before heading out make sure you have the necessary permits and passes.  National Parks usually require a parks pass, backcountry camping fees or entry fees depending upon the time of year.  It’s just smart to to check what’s necessary and take care of everything before heading out.  

National Parks Canada Reservations

Once you’ve chosen which National Parks Canada camping destination your heading to, it’s time to make a reservation.  Your first stop should be Parks Canada Reservations but you probably should read How to make a reservation for National Parks Canada camping first. 

Choosing your Campsite

We’ve decided on which National Parks Canada camping site we want but now we need to figure out which actual site we want.  Too many choices!

Every campground in Canada’s National Parks offers something different – whether it’s breath-taking lake views, easy coastal access or total seclusion. 

When you’re booking a campsite, be sure to read up on what facilities and amenities are available at each site or the park itself. Things to consider are fire pits, showers, flush toilets, outhouses and playgrounds for the kids.

Have you chosen this park because it’s close to a lake for fishing or swimming, it’s hiking trails or playground facilities? 

Last, but not least, how much space do you need for your campsite? If you’re driving a large motorhome or equally big RV that will definitely factor into your campsite choice.

Fun Activities Around the Park

Once you’re settled into your campsite, it’s time to explore the outdoor activities and beauty of the park. Get a map – they can usually be found at the parks entrance – and start exploring. 

Throw a canoe or kayak into the water, bring out your fishing rod, put on your hiking shoes – there’s really unlimited things to do in most national parks. 

Packing the Necessary Gear and Supplies

Everyone of us have a list of supplies and gear we take on our camping trips but just in case you don’t have a list here’s a few items we think are necessary when camping in a National Parks Canada camping site.

Clothing for every kind of weather, food and cookware, water supply, a first-aid kit, insect repellent, and sunscreen. We always have a small axe with us as well as lounge chairs, camp stove, barbecue and propane.  The rest is up to you!

#National Parks Canada Camping

Consider the wildlife in National Parks Canada

Please remember, the parks are the homes of wildlife and you’re visiting their territory. Be respectful, don’t leave food out to entice them to visit your campsite, and become familiar with safety tips related to wildlife found within Canadian National Parks inluding bears, wolves, cougars and moose. Your equipment should include bear spray or other animal deterrents when visiting certain parks. 

When visiting the West Kootenays in British Columbia my mom and I had a brown bear become curious about our RV – here’s a video you might want to watch.

National Parks Canada Camping is something you need to experience

We are so fortunate to have 39 National Parks and 31 National Park Reserves practically in our back yard. It would be a shame if we don’t take advantage of that and enjoy everything they have to offer.  

If you enjoyed what you’ve read please share this post on your social media accounts. I would love to have you comment below if you have any suggestions or information you wish to share.  Thank you.


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