The 10 Best Camping Destinations in Canada

We’ve ventured from the Rocky Mountains to the Bay of Fundy, across snow-capped mountains, prairies and sandy shores to find Canada’s best camping destinations. Go off-grid in the backcountry or bed down in a pre-pitched oTENTik – everyone will be a happy camper.

O Canada, land of snow-capped mountains, dancing prairies, craggy islands, moose and maple syrup. Sprawled across six time zones, its glaciers, rainforests and beaches are top territories for expeditions in the great outdoors. Whether you're the type that likes going off-grid in the backcountry or bedding down in a pre-pitched oTENTik (think of it as a hybrid of a tent and A-frame cabin), there's something here to make sure that everyone's a happy camper.

We've ventured from coast to coast, through the Rocky Mountains to the Bay of Fundy, to find the best destinations for pitching up. Grab your best flannel shirt, buy a parks camping permit and pack up your best outdoor gear. It's time for an adventure in the Great White North.

Note that due to COVID-19, some campsites are closed or open at limited capacity. Check online at Parks Canada before you travel.

From the Rockies to the Bay of Fundy: the most beautiful places to camp in Canada

Gros Morne National Park

Newfoundland and Labrador

Set among the Long Range Mountains, Gros Morne is a place forged by colliding continents; its desert-like Tablelands is one of the few places where the Earth's mantle is exposed. Spot moose and caribou as you explore forests and fjords, bogs and beaches cut by cliffside trails and cool-blue rivers. Don't fancy primitive camping? Reserve a pitch at one of five campsites, including Trout River Pond, from where you can hike its namesake trail. Such natural beauty is like opium for creatives - plan your visit in line with arts festivals such as Trails, Tales and Tunes and Writers at Woody Point.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Nova Scotia

Where mountains meet the Atlantic, Cape Breton is often ranked among the world's most beautiful islands. Set on Nova Scotia's coastal Cabot Trail, the park is threaded with 26 hiking routes that lead through forested river canyons trimmed by ruddy-hued cliffs to beaches where pilot whales pop up to say hello. Refuel with a plate of local lobster before bedding down in one of the park's six campsites - we like the lesser-visited Corney Brook for nearby ocean swims.

Fundy National Park

New Brunswick

Point Wolfe Campground is a favourite spot in New Brunswick's first national park thanks to its proximity to hiking trails, clear streams and sparkling waterfalls - of which you'll come across more than 25 as you explore the Acadian forest. The area may well be known for its high tides, but when the water's out, head to the coast to explore the ocean floor. It's worth carving out time to take the ferry from the mainland to Grand Manan, an island resting between the bay and the Gulf of Maine. You'll get up close with puffins, whales and seabirds as you wander between camera-ready lighthouses and working fishing villages.

Jasper National Park


A decision to visit Alberta's Rocky Mountains often leads to one big question: Jasper or Banff? In truth, you can't really go wrong in these national parks; both are home to incredible sites and campsites. Jasper is our favourite, thanks to its smaller, more rustic town, easy access by train, ski runs of the Marmot Basin and better opportunities for wildlife viewing - you might spot black bears, elk, cougar and coyote as you explore. Just remember to keep your distance, okay? Hike the Tonquin Valley before returning to your base at one of more than 10 campgrounds to gawp at the Northern Lights - Jasper is a Dark Sky Preserve.

Kluane National Park and Reserve


This is a land of extremes. Kluane National Park and Reserve is home to Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak, as well as the country's largest ice field - you can camp on the snow here, even in summer. Visit to raft along the 250km Alsek River backed by awesome glaciers or embark on the King's Throne Trail to spot alpine flowers in warmer months. Camping options around Mät'àtäna Män (Kathleen Lake) include traditional pitches and oTENTik accommodation (oh and bear-proof storage lockers).

Torngat Mountains National Park

Newfoundland and Labrador

At 9,700sq km, this is the largest national park in Atlantic Canada and among the most difficult to reach; you'll have to fly or sail in. Perhaps this is why it remains one of Canada's most unspoiled and enigmatic corners - indeed its name comes from the Inuktitut "tongait", meaning "place of spirits". Let an Inuit guide lead you from Saglek Fjord to Labrador's northernmost tip, spotting by cultural sites and harvesting food to bring back to the Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station en route. If you enjoy spotting polar bears here, we recommend a tour of Manitoba's Wapusk National Park, Manitoba.

Algonquin Provincial Park


This mammoth provincial park is a three-hour drive north from Toronto (and a free bus service runs from here, FYI). Yet while there are a handful of drive-in campsites, we say: make your way to the interior, which is accessed only by foot or canoe - or canoe taxi, should you be so inclined. Navigate the 700km of canoe trails before making base at one of the paddle-in camping areas along the shore or booking ahead for ranger cabins, yurts, lodges and such. Bonus points if you catch your own fish for supper.

Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park


These shifting dune fields may look like they're in the Namib Desert, but they are in fact in northern Saskatchewan. This unique ecosystem has baffled scientists - you'll find rare and endemic flora here that doesn't crop up anywhere else in Canada. Note that you'll need to catch a floatplane to get in. Check with conservation officers if curating your own visit or make use of a guided trip, as there are no dedicated camping services in the park. There are also no bins here; if you make rubbish, you're carrying it home too. Like offbeat landscapes? Set your sat nav to Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park next.

Grasslands National Park


One of the world's few remaining areas of natural prairie, Grasslands isn't your typical Canadian national park cut by sawtooth mountains. Days here are best spent watching buffalo roam and antelope frolic in the grasses as you hunt for fossils or embark on a traditional wagon tour. Come evening, chats around crackling fires by tipi camps and hoedowns beneath a velveteen sky are de rigueur. This is one of Canada's best stargazing spots.

Pacific Rim National Park

British Columbia

Beaches aren't just for summer. Set on the West Coast Trail that ribbons across the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island, the Pacific Rim National Park is as alluring in winter when waves crash on the rocky shoreline as it is in warmer months - though summer surfing conditions are a little kinder on novice borders. Beyond the sand, there's ample opportunity to learn about Nuu-chah-nulth history, traditions and culture from First Nation partners, or use the Rim as your base for exploring the Broken Group Islands. Green Point is the only campground on Long Beach, with drive-in options as well as oTENTIk accommodation.

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