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40+ Free Camping Sites in British Columbia, Canada

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Check out this list of 40+ free camping sites in British Columbia, Canada, to camp on a budget in the Northwest

40+ Free Camping Sites in British Columbia, Canada

We are continuing our free camping sites series for locations around the Northwest & West Coast area.  British Columbia, Canada is such a gorgeous area & so close to the Northwest, that we wanted to include this area as well in our Free Camping Spots as we found that there are a number of great locations & resources for free campgrounds in British Columbia.

Check out all of our Free or Discounted Camping Sites Posts:

Remember that when you go camping for free, these are typically available first come, first serve and they usually have very limited or no amenities like water, picnic tables, flush toilets, etc. But if you’re willing to “rough” it & just bring the supplies you need ahead of time, you can find some great, out of the way spots & make some amazing family memories on a steep budget.

Also, here in the Northwest & British Columbia, the most popular time for camping is of course in the summertime, but many locations will open up their sites with free or reduced rates once the busy season has passed, so those are great options as well to check it out in the fall or spring when we still might have some beautiful camping weather.

We’d love to hear all of your suggestions & tips on where you’ve found great free campsites in British Columbia & if you have any reviews or tips to share about any of these locations we’ve found.

*Note: Due to so many wildfires in the past few years, definitely try to get as much current info as you can from these websites we link to for each of the campsites, to make sure the campsites have not been affected by wildfires.

Resources for Free Campsites:

We have just featured a highlight of free campsites that are found in British Columbia, but there are many more that are available. Here are some of the resources we found for finding free campsites in British Columbia for you to see if there are more options in an area you want to check out.

Free Campsites.Net – This is a site that is community driven, with reader reports & reviews, but I’d encourage you to also try to confirm these with another website

Campendium Website – features free campsites for across the US & Canada plus reviews from readers who have gone to these campsites. This is more of a community -driven website, so you may want to try to confirm these locations with another website as well.

This blog post also has some great tips for boondocking – camping with your RV in free camping spots.

Here are some print resources you might want to have on hand to find the best maps of areas:

 Recreation Sites and Trails BC– features an interactive map and guide of trails and recreation sites in the  British Columbia area.

Discounts for Camping::

Free or Reduced Camping Fees in British Columbia 

  • If you are a person with disabilities you are eligible for free camping at any park in British Columbia. More information regarding what you need can be found here.
  • If you have a child that is currently enrolled in the At Home Program or are receiving Income Assistance you also qualify for free camping. All you need is a letter of eligibility. You can find more information on where to turn in the proper paperwork here.
  • Seniors over the age of 65 qualify for a great discount for camping. Seniors can camp for half price.

Free or Reduced Rates for Campground Hosts:

If you have more flexibility in your schedule if you are retired, homeschool, etc – being a campground host might be an option for you. Typically you can get free (or reduced in some cases) rates to camp in exchange for being available to help & answer questions for the campers. The minimum stay is typically one month, though, but this might be a fun option for the summertime if you plan ahead.

You can find available campgrounds that need hosts and all of the information needed to apply to host by visiting the Partnering & Volunteering page for British Columbia.

Let us know if you have other ideas of ways to get discounts or free passes for camping in BC!

Tips/Things to Know when Camping For Free In British Columbia:

  • Fire usage in the summer is sometimes prohibited as much of British Columbia is under a burn ban. Checking local listing before camping is a must.
  • If drinking water is available, a large jug with a spigot (at least 25L) is useful for camping anywhere so that you have water on hand.
  • Maintain a clean campsite to keep away wildlife.
  • Lock your food inside your car when sleeping or away from your campsite to reduce the likely visits from bears.
  • Firearms are prohibited so don’t plan on bringing one with you to camp!
  • Do not disturb the trees or plants for fire or other use. This includes dead wood.
  • Leave no trace when you leave. If trash services are not provided, then be prepared to take it with you when you leave.
  • Educate yourself on wildlife, such as bear safety, because wild animals are known to come to camp.
  • There have been a lot of wildfires in the past few years in British Columbia, so try to get information about the area you are visiting before you make the drive up to make sure it wasn’t affected.

Free Camping Sites in British Columbia:

Northern BC

Beaver Lake – Fort Nelson, BC- There are 15 campsites available here. The campsite has fire rings and picnic tables. The road coming in was repaved a few years ago for easier access. The site has restrooms and there is a dock for fishing.

Testa River Boondocking– Fort Nelson, BC- This site is a primitive camping area only. There are spots for camping along the riverside with no water, restrooms, or fire opportunities. The road that runs along the riverside to camp is gravel.

Buckinghorse River – Pinkmountain, BC- This campsite has a total of 33 campsites. Full services such as water and restrooms are not available. Be prepared to take out whatever you bring in including trash. There are great sitings for moose and fishing spots.

Inga Lake– Fort St. John, BC- The roads into this campsite is known for being rough and many people get stuck. An appropriate vehicle is needed to access camping here. There are 14 campsites available here for use with access to vault toilets. There is a boat launch for fishing.

Carbon Lake– Hudson’s Hope, BC- This site is close to the water with 4 campsites available. One of the sites has a tent pad. There are outhouses and fire pits. This is a great spot for fishing or hiking. No water or trash services.

Big Lake– Chetwynd, BC- This site has 4 unserviced campsite for free camping. There are tables at each campsite and pit toilets on site for public use. There is access to the lake with very small boats.

Alexander Mackenzie’s Landing– Mackenzie, BC- This campsite is equipped with 19 campsites for both tent and RV camping. It is not recommended that trailers longer than 30 feet attempt to camp here. Each site does have a fire ring and a table. There are pit toilets on site but no water or electric services are provided.

Dragon Lake– Terrace, BC- The road into camp is gravel and there are 15 campsites available for camping. The maximum length for an RV is 35 feet. There are trash cans for trash disposal and restrooms. Campsites have fire rings and picnic tables.

Windfall Creek– Mackenzie, BC- Camping here is only available on 2 campsites. There are toilets on site and tables at each of the 2 campsites. This is a great spot for fishing.

Foot Lake– Dawson, BC- Camping here is available on 18 campsites. The campground is equipped with a boat launch. Each campsite has a picnic table. There are toilets on site as well.

Red Sand Lake– Terrace, BC- There are 18 campsites available at this campground. There is some wheelchair accessibility camping options as well. There is a boat ramp for fishing too. The campsites have picnic tables and fire rings. The site does have drinking water.

Central BC

Burns Lake Village Campground– Burns Lake, BC- This campsite is open year round and is a small and quiet site. There are options for tent and RV camping with a maximum of 35 feet for the trailer. The campsites that are open for free camping are over in the Municipal campground. There are water, restrooms, and fire rings available.

Fraser Lake– Fraser Lake, BC- The free campground for this lake is located at White Swan Park. There is a 2 day stay maximum for free camping. There are no campfires allowed within the park but there are restrooms.

Amanita Lake– McGregor, BC- There are 9 sites available for free camping here. The campsite is small but very well maintained and clean. There are 2 pit toilets, and each campsite has a table and fire ring. There is also a boat launch and a small beach for swmming.

Damer Lake– Vernon, BC- This site has 6 campsites for camping. There is a small boat launch for access to fishing. Each of the campsites do have tables and there are pit toilets on site.

Chubb Lake– Hixon, BC- Accessing this campground requires you to drive down a gravel road about 4 miles from the paved road. There are 15 campsites available. There is a dump station and trash cans for trash disposal. The campground has toilets and each site had a picnic table and fire ring.

Ahbau Lake– Cinema, BC- This campground has room for over 20 individual campsites. Accessing the lake by boat ramp is easy. There are no other services available here because it is a primitive camping area only.

Beaver River Recreation Site – McBride, BC- Camping here includes 10 sites. There are pit toilets for public use and the campsites have picnic tables. If camping here checking the fire regulations before beginning a fire is a must.

Twan Lake– Soda Creek, BC- There are only 4 campsites available for primitive camping only at this campground. The site is well maintained and there are some really good fishing spots. The campground is equipped with an outhouse and the campsites have fire rings.

Tatlayoko Lake – Tatlayoko Lake, BC- The campsites at this campground are appropriate for tent or a small RV. There are no electric or water hookups. The site is also not maintained so you must take your trash with you when you leave. There is one pit toilet on site for use.

Sprague Bay Recreation Site – Kamloops, BC- The road into this campground is gravel. The campground has 15 campsite options that are appropriate for an RV no longer than 15 feet. There is a boat ramp available for access to the water. The campsites have fire rings and picnic tables.

Southern BC

George Lake– Mount Waddington, BC- Accessing this campground requires travel down a dirt road. There are 7 sites available that all have picnic tables and fire rings. The campsite does also have a pit toilet.

Gun Creek Campground – Gold Bridge, BC- This campsite is a first come first served. The site itself is surrounded by mountains so the views are great. During the summer months to October trash services are provided. Any other time of the year you must pack it out. Gas barbeque grills are an option to bring in but no charcoal grills are allowed. There is also no drinking water access.

Terzaghi Dam– Shalalth, BC- This is a free campsite located at the base of the dam and is ideal for RV campers. There are no water, electric, or public restrooms available. No restrictions on RV length.

Begbie Falls– Columbia Shuswap, BC- This is an excellent area for hiking and the camping options include up to 15 sites. You can camp here a maximum of 5 days. There are pit toilets available and there is a common area with a picnic table. The travel into the campground is rough and not appropriate for RV trailers or small vehicles.

Waitabit Creek– Donald, BC- There are 12 campsites to choose from to camp. It is a user maintained area  so you need to pack out your trash. There are tables and toilets on site as well.

Blaeberry River– Blaeberry, BC- This area for camping is a really nice location close to Thompson Falls. The campsites are spacious and have fire rings and picnic tables. The road into camp is dirt but it is well maintained and bringing in a camper is an option. There are not bathroom amenities but the locations are close to the water.

Kicking Horse River Crown– Golden, BC- This area for camp is appropriate for tent camping and RV camping. The road in can be rough so that is something to keep in mind. There are places for fire but not actual fire rings. There are also no toilets.

Wapta Falls Recreation Area– Field, BC- There are 2 areas for camping here and the campsites can accommodate an RV no longer than 15 feet in length. There are fire rings, picnic tables, and a pit toilet on site. No dumping or trash services are provided.

Charcoal Creek– Salmon Arm, BC-This campground has 4 campsites. There is a grassy area for larger group camping. This is an easy accessible campsite. There are picnic tables and toilets. This is a great spot for fishing.

Bouleau Lake– Vernon, BC- There are 2 free camping spots located.  Here. There are options for fishing and a boat ramp to access the water. This site is primarily used for tent camping. The campsites do have tables and there are primitive toilets for public use.

Elk Creek– Strathcona, BC- This campground is equipped with 9 sites. There are a few options for camping in an RV but it would be best if it was not one larger than 25 feet in length. There are tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. There is also a small creek that runs nearby.

Tahsis– Tahsis, BC- There are about 10 sites available for camping here. This location is just about 5 minutes before you get into town. The sites have picnic tables, fire rings, and there is a stream that runs through the campground that is great for swimming.

Strathcona Dam Campground– Vancouver Island, BC- This campground is privately owned and managed. It has 10 campsites that work off of a first come first served basis. It is maintained through the summer months and the maximum stay is 14 nights. There are toilets and fire pits.

Redneck Beach– Kennedy Lake, BC- This area is for primitive camping only. It is located on the beach itself. There are no water, electric, or bathroom amenities and you must pack out your trash when you leave. You may camp here in a tent or an RV.

Squamish Riverside Campsite– Squamish, BC- This campground is equipped with 10 campsites that work for tent or RV camping. Your RV can be no longer than 25 feet. Each of the campsites have a fire ring and picnic table. The campsite also has a pit toilet but there are no water or electricity hookups.

Davis Lake– Mission, BC- This area is for primitive camping only. There are several spots to walk in and camp but the site is not appropriate for RV camping. Access and parking is located on an un-maintained road. There are amenities located at this site. If you love hiking and bird watching this one is ideal.

Jones Lake– Chilliwack, BC- This campsite has a few camp areas that are located at the North end of the reservoir and are accessible for wheelchairs. This area does have pit toilets and picnic tables for public use.

Dewdrey Recreational Area – Princeton, BC- There are about 5 campsites available here. If you plan on bringing an RV the length can be no longer than 25 feet. The campsites do have fire rings and picnic tables. There are restrooms but no water services are available for drinking.

Crescent Lake– Kelowna, BC- There are 3 free campsites as options for tent camping. The site does have primitive toilets to use while you are there.

Burnell Lake– Penticton, BC- This area is a high use area for fishing and camping. There are 9 sites available for tent camping and toilets for public use as well. There are some picnic tables on site.

Browne Lake– Kelowna, BC- There are 6 spots for tent camping available. There are outhouses, fire rings, and picnic tables available. This is an excellent fishing spot.

Kettle Canyon– Penticton, BC- There are 5 campsite available at his location. This is a good place for swimming with a great scenic outlook. There are restrooms and picnic tables on site.

*Disclaimer – We have not checked out these sites personally but have found these sites thru a combination of the resources mentioned above. However, we do recommend you always do your own research to make sure these will work for your family & your needs. 

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