5 Places To Camp Near Vancouver

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Rolley Lake, BC
WRITTEN BY: Amy Watkins

From: Vancouver
Amy Watkins, a British-born travel and food writer, fell in love with Vancouver at the age of 18. She has travelled the world, but her steadfast love of the West Coast led her to move here in 2012. In the UK she worked as a features editor and freelance writer for 10 years, writing about travel for magazines and newspapers. She now writes about travel, food, and West Coast life for a variety of publications. When she’s not on her laptop, she can be found exploring Stanley Park or hiking in the rainforest with her bulldog, Rick James; tackling waves and tacos in Tofino; or eating her way around the province on a food-focused road trip. Amy has even been persuaded to eat kale chips and practise yoga—making her an honorary Vancouverite.

Combine the fun of camping with a city break sightseeing in Vancouver. From oceanside lots to suburban spots, these five campgrounds are all within a reasonable drive or transit ride from the city. Some are open year-round while others are seasonal; reservations are recommended, especially during the summer months.

Rolley Lake Park Provincial Park

Rolley Lake Provincial Park Campground near Mission.

Rolley Lake Provincial Park Campground. Photo: Iain Robert Reid

Northwest of Mission, less than an hour’s drive from Vancouver, Rolley Lake is ideal for swimming, fishing, and canoeing in the summer months. Named after the honeymooning homesteaders James and Fanny Rolley who set up home here in 1888, Rolley Lake went on to be the site of a small Japanese-Canadian hand logging operation in the 1930s. Now there are 64 camping spots hidden amongst the tall second-growth conifer trees, and the campground is flat and easily accessed by car.

Anmore Camp & R.V Park

Active nature lovers can get a kayaking and hiking fix at Anmore campsite, which is located at the entrance of Buntzen Lake, flanked by Eagle Ridge Mountain and Buntzen Ridge. Only 45 minutes east of Vancouver, and close to Coquitlam and Port Moody, the campground has easy beach access and has sports facilities, including a volleyball court and swimming pool, for the summer months.

Burnaby Cariboo RV Park

Built for Expo 86, the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park has long been a favourite camping spot due to its central location in Burnaby, less than 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. Bus and SkyTrain transit links, and organized Vancouver and Victoria tour pick-ups, make it an easy camping spot for non-drivers. Open year-round, the RV park’s separate tenting area features a gazebo with hot water, and a granite picnic table at each spot. Guests can relax in the indoor pool or Jacuzzi after sightseeing, and check out the games room and TV lounge.

Capilano River RV Park and Campground

Capilano River RV Park is tucked away on the North Shore near the Lions Gate Bridge.

Capilano River RV Park is tucked away on the North Shore near the Lions Gate Bridge. Photo: Mark Kinskofer

Vancouver’s closest campground, Capilano River RV Park, is tucked alongside the North Shore of Burrard Inlet near the Lions Gate Bridge, just a short bus ride or bike ride to downtown Vancouver. Family friendly (including four-legged furry members), the campground has a children’s playground and pool as well as free Wi-Fi, a recreation lounge, and hot tub. Hop over the bridge to check out Stanley Park’s beaches and trails or explore downtown Vancouver. North Shore attractions such as Capilano Suspension BridgeGrouse Mountain, and hiking trails through Lynn Valley or Cypress Mountainare all within easy reach.

Peace Arch RV Park

Family-run since 1989, this RV and tent campground includes 11 hectares (27 acres) of landscaped greenery in South Surrey, close to the ocean and transport links. Minutes from the US border, Peace Arch RV Park is also only 45 minutes away from Vancouver. It’s also within 15 minutes of beaches at White Rock and Crescent Beach, as well as wildlife habitats at Boundary Bay Bird Sanctuary and George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Nearby is the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, which takes sightseers to Victoria and the southern Gulf Islands via BC Ferries.

Opening image: Rolley Lake Provincial Park. Photo: Iain Robert Reid