Camping in Victoria, BC is a great option for adventurous travellers, paddlers and nature lovers—and for locals too. Set on southern Vancouver Island, Victoria is British Columbia’s capital city, with amazing cultural attractions and a waterfront that’s perfect for kayakers and paddleboarders. With so many urban charms, you may be surprised to discover that nature is close at hand.
Camping in Victoria gives you access to all the wonders of the city and the outdoors. You’ll find stunning beachfront camping, family camping, sites with RV hookups and wilderness camping for kayakers and paddleboarders. Here’s our list of the best camping in and around Victoria.
[This article is part of our 7 Adventurous Things To Do In Victoria, BC series. Learn more about where to hike, bike, paddle and sightsee around BC’s beautiful capital city.]
Best Campgrounds in Victoria
French Beach Provincial Park
The French Beach campground is set on the ocean’s edge with stunning views to Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula. Direct access to the Strait of Juan de Fuca makes this a great Victoria campground for kayakers and paddleboarders. The campground is off of Highway 14 west of Sooke. A total of 69 campsites are located in a mature forest, a short walk to the beach. The campground is open year-round with online reservations available for the summer months.
Goldstream Provincial Park
This campground, only a 16-km drive from Victoria on Highway 1, features great hiking trails through mature forests. Goldstream Provincial Park has a peaceful vibe; you’ll be amazed that you’re so close to the city. Highlights include waterfalls and 600-year-old Douglas fir trees, as well as secluded swimming holes on the Goldstream River. There are 159 drive-in campsites, available year-round. Reserve your Victoria, BC campsite online.
Oceanside RV Resort
The best RV camping in Victoria is set on the ocean’s edge, located just north of downtown (and minutes from the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay). Oceanside RV Resort features 69 campsites with electrical hookups, water, sewer and WiFi hotspots. Paddlers will love the direct access to Saanichton Bay for great kayaking and standup paddleboarding. Make your booking online.
Family Camping in Victoria
Gordon Bay Provincial Park
This family campground on scenic Lake Cowichan, 35 km from Duncan, features plenty of sunshine. In fact, the Victoria, BC region boasts the warmest climate of anywhere in Canada. Visit in April for great wildflowers and trout fishing; paddlers will love easy access to one of the largest (and warmest) freshwater lakes on Vancouver Island. You’ll find 126 car-accessible campsites. Reserve online.
Bamberton Provincial Park
Check out Bamberton Provincial Park for some of the best family camping in the Victoria area. Located only 30 minutes from downtown, the park’s 41 well-treed, spacious campsites will make you feel like you’re out in the wilderness. Paddling is fantastic on the sheltered Saanich Inlet, and you’ll find warm water for ocean swimming. Make a reservation now.
Beach Camping in Victoria
Island View Beach Regional Park
Looking for the best beach RV camping near Victoria? Check out Island View Regional Park, located near the airport, less than a half-hour drive from downtown. The majority of the campground’s RV sites are located next to the beach, with stunning views to the Gulf Islands. Launch your kayak and explore the shoreline. There are a total of 47 campsites, including 24 for tent camping. The campground is open from late May through Labour Day. It features fire pits and outhouses, but no shower facilities. Learn more about the campground and make reservations online.
China Beach Campground
This sandy Vancouver Island beach campground is located on the Juan de Fuca Channel, off of Highway 14, about a 90-minute drive west of Victoria. The beach is stunning with fine white sand, incredible views and a gorgeous waterfall. The hiking here is outstanding. The Juan de Fuca Provincial Park campground features 78 drive-in sites. Book your campsite online.
Sidney Spit Marine Park
This walk-in campground for tent camping is well worth the ferry ride to Sidney Island, part of the Gulf Islands National Park. You’ll love the sun and white sand at this spectacular beach campground. It’s a great destination for experienced paddlers and families alike. Reserve one of 29 campsites online.
Kayak Camping Victoria
Vancouver Island is a world-class sea kayaking destination, with countless tour options for all levels of paddler, in part because of its outstanding coastal camping. We’ve compiled a few of the best kayak campsites on Vancouver Island.
Set in Gulf Islands National Park, the James Bay campground on Prevost Island is a fantastic destination for Vancouver Island kayak camping. Parks Canada maintains 10 primitive sites here, making scenic Prevost Island a great overnight stop on one of the most popular BC kayak trips. Camping is first come, first served.
You’ll find seven backcountry campsites at Narvaez Bay on Saturna Island, a perfect destination for an overnight trip or a longer tour in Gulf Islands National Park, near Victoria. There’s a pit toilet and a hiking trail to stretch your legs. Be sure to pack your own drinking water. Reservations can be made online.
Portland/Princess Margaret Island
This island located northeast of Sidney is a great objective for kayak camping near Victoria, with three separate backcountry camping areas and 24 total sites. Portland Island features sand and shell beaches and tall cliffs rising out of the ocean. The island was home to Indigenous people; do not disturb the shell middens that reveal their ancient presence. Camping is first come, first served.
Glamping in Victoria is a great way to introduce yourself and your family to camping; check out our top-rated options for luxury camping Victoria. Or maybe you’re looking for four walls and a solid roof? If so, click on our comprehensive list of Vancouver Island’s best cabin rentals.
Woods on Pender
Experience the ultimate in luxury camping on Pender Island, a short ferry ride from the Victoria area. Woods on Pender features Airstream trailer and cabin rentals, set in a secluded forest area in the Gulf Islands. What’s more, the campground features a farm-to-table restaurant and a food truck. This is Victoria, BC luxury camping at its finest. Book now.
Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site of Canada
This national historic site of Canada features a luxurious oTENTik cabin tent available for Victoria glamping. You’ll fall asleep within earshot of the ocean, camping in the same fashion as Canadian soldiers more than 50 years ago—with many luxurious upgrades. Five canvas tents are available within the historic site; each is equipped with sleeping space (bunks) for up to six people, electricity, cooking equipment, and outdoor space including a picnic table and propane fire pit. Book your Victoria luxury campsite online.
Sooke River Campground
This private campground is located 45 minutes west of Victoria on Highway 14. You’ll find several family-friendly options for camping cabin rentals, making Sooke River a great spot for luxury camping and experiencing tiny house living near Victoria. Each cabin comes equipped with kitchen supplies and access to public bathrooms and shower facilities.
Free Camping in Victoria
You’ll find some good options for free camping in Victoria. But if you choose to wild camp, be responsible and leave no trace. For a comprehensive map of over 1,000 wild camping options on Vancouver Island—including many in the Victoria area—check out Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
This free campsite in Samsun Narrows on the west side of Saltspring Island is perfect for sea kayakers. Be a considerate camper—this site is provided and maintained by BC Marine Trails. A pit toilet and picnic table is available.
Labour Day Lake
These wild campsites on Labour Day Lake are reasonably close to Victoria, accessed via Highway 4 near Port Alberni. You’ll find three campsites and access to a subalpine lake with good trout fishing. Access to this B.C. Recreation Site is via private forest access roads. Drive carefully.
RV Camping and Campervans in Victoria
Victoria is your starting spot for an epic Vancouver Island road trip by campervan or RV. You’ll find great itineraries for all interests and tastes, from backroads tours to wilderness campsites or more urban adventures exploring BC’s rich culture.
Justgo Campervan Rentals
Based in Nanaimo, Justgo rents classic VW campervans and four-wheel-drive Jeeps with rooftop tents to live out your vanlife dream in one of the greatest road trip destinations on the planet. What’s more, the company’s experts will give you insider knowledge to find the best campsites and travel itineraries on the island. Book your van online.
Cool Camper (250-216-9523) rents campervans and small RVs with unlimited mileage packages ready for Vancouver Island road trips, all from its base in Sidney. Each rental comes complete with kitchen supplies, a propane stove, bedsheets and more, with packages available for couples and families.
RV Rent Vancouver Island
Based in North Saanich, RV Rent Vancouver Island (778-426-8295) maintains a fleet of 17 motorhomes ranging from 19 to 30 feet in size. They’re a great choice for RV rentals in the Victoria area, ideally situated to explore the many campgrounds of Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island RV Rentals
Looking for a bigger camping rig? Vancouver Island RV Rentals (Saanichton, 250-857-6153) offers family-sized Coleman Dutchman trailers for your Victoria, BC camping adventure.
Where to Buy Camping Gear in Victoria
Need camping gear? We’ve got you covered. You’ll find well-equipped camping gear stores with knowledgeable staff in Victoria.
Robinson’s Outdoor Store
Robinson’s Outdoor Store (1307 Broad St, 250-385-3429) has an 80-year tradition of selling outdoor equipment and camping gear in Victoria. The shop specializes in adventure travel gear (including tents and sleeping bags) and apparel from top brands, as well as fly-fishing gear.
Valhalla Pure Outfitters
A BC original, Valhalla Pure is a great destination for camping equipment on Vancouver Island, with a location in Victoria (1824 Store St, 778-432-3579). Purchase high-end apparel, camping gear (including tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear and backpacks) and the best in kayaks, SUPs and paddling accessories.
Mountain Equipment Co-op
MEC is a classic Canadian retailer of quality outdoor gear with a location in Victoria (1450 Government St, 250-386-2667). You’ll find a wide variety of equipment, paddling gear (including canoe, sea kayak and SUP rentals) and apparel, making MEC a great choice for quality camping gear on Vancouver Island.
You’ll find great RV camping in stunning landscapes near Victoria, B.C. | Photo courtesy of: Tourism Northern BC // Andrew Strain