Best Free Camping in British Columbia

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British Columbia Free Camping

By Nathan Swartz

The wilderness to be found in Canada is outstanding. If you enjoy getting lost in fairy tale forests and sleeping so far beneath the stars that you forget what planet you're on, this is the country for you! British Columbia then amplifies this all again, with West Coast terrain bathed in lush, cushiony forests and mountain roads overgrown with free places to camp.

See a map of all free camping in British Columbia.

Free Provincial Park Camping

Similar to a state park in the United States, a provincial park is one run not by Canada's federal government, but by the individual provinces. The key difference here is that some of these slightly more local parks in Canada are so massive and wild that they rival the best the US' national parks have to offer.

Not to mention the likelihood of finding free campsites grows exponentially as well. Some of these places are referred to officially as a recreation site, and are actually well-maintained campgrounds, equipped with amenities like a boat launch, restrooms, picnic tables and fire rings. These types of camping experiences will be found most often immediately within the parks, such as those found at Atlin Provincial Park.

Others are more bare-bones, offering little more than a gorgeously wide spot along a dirt road, such as you'll find at the BC-37 Stikine Region Pullout. These latter varieties are often referred to as Crown Land, meaning this property is owned by the province and open for anyone to use for activities like fishing, tent camping, and hiking.

In fact, British Columbia, Canada is home to 644 provincial parks alone. More than enough to keep even the most dedicated campers exploring its endless forest for years to come!

Driving the Trans-Canada Highway alone, from Vancouver to Yoho National Park in the East, will afford you dozens of opportunities to find this type of free, and often dispersed, camping. As always, be a great camper and respect the land, your fellow outdoors-people, and governments that make this all possible by following Leave No Trace Principles.

Free Camping in City Parks of British Columbia

Near Frasier Lake, just about in the middle of the province, free camping can be had at two city parks.

White Swan Park Campground, located in Fraser Lake, BC, allows up to a two-night stay at no cost and even provides restrooms from May through September. This is still dry camping, mind you, but amazing views of the lake and extras like a playground and boat access make it an absolute favorite for those looking for an easy place to camp in a beautiful location.

Nearby, Burns Lake Village Campground offers a similar experience, though isn't quite as beloved by those careening along the highways in search of free camping in Canada.

Near the city of Nanaimo, a county park by the name of Spruston Staging Area provides additional options.

More Free Camping in BC

Though it would be nearly impossible to stay even one night in all of the many provincial places that BC offers, there are some other particularly interesting–and still free–places to camp in the region.

Dease Lake Gravel Pit is an easy roadside stop. Prophet Airstrip is a former official campground now open to public use. These and more free-to-stay sites exist across British Columbia.

From Vancouver Island to all points further north, Prince George to the Washington border, free camping is an easy option for those willing to respect these precious camping spots and make sure they remain open for generations of campers to come!

Recent British Columbia Free Campsite Reviews

Fraser Lake, BC, Canada

White Swan Park Campground

Jul 13, 2024

"Beautiful, Easy, Great For Passing Through "

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We were so lucky to stumble upon this place late at night on a Sunday of the long weekend. They are pull through sites and a beautiful quiet location overlooking the lake with a nice walk path. Would highly recommend! It’s free with a 2 night maximum.

2 reviews
Fraser Lake, BC, Canada

White Swan Park Campground

Jul 13, 2024

"Beautiful, Quick And Easy"

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We arrived late at night looking for a place to spend the night while on the road, arrived after midnight on a Saturday of the long weekend, lots of spaces left and pleasant surprise they were all pull through sites and free. Woke up to beautiful views of the lake. 2 night maximum, nice little path along the water and a playground. Was quiet...
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2 reviews
Prince George, BC, Canada

Kwitzil Lake Dispersed Camping

Jun 30, 2024

"One Group of Jerks Playing Music Super Loud At 1030PM"

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What is wrong with people?

1 review
Fort St John, BC, Canada

Inga Lake Recreation Site

Jun 25, 2024

"Excellent For 1 Night"

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We arrived at 3pm on a Tuesday. Place was quiet.

5 reviews
70 Mile House, BC, Canada

Loch Loman Rest Area

Jun 23, 2024

"Dirty Facilities Unkept And Overgrown "

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My fault for not planning ahead.

12 reviews