Camping facilities close to Vancouver are rather difficult to find. In the Fraser Estuary, look for Bayside Camping in Beach Road in White Rock, which offers quiet, family-oriented camping at the sea in summer.
There’s also camping at Lighthouse Park in Point Roberts, Washington, on the United States/Canada border. Point Roberts is located on the extreme southern tip of the peninsula that defines Boundary Bay’s western shoreline. Campers must cross the Canada-US border on Point Roberts Road in Tsawwassen to enter or leave the tiny enclave.
Group tent-camping is available at Muskrat Meadow in Deas Island Regional Park in Delta. The setting is an open field in a forest. Up to 40 people can be accommodated here, and the location includes a fire ring, drinking water, a playing field, toilets, picnic tables, a cooking stove and fireplace.
Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge is a destination with many possibilities. Once there, you can fan out through the park to explore on foot, by boat, by bike, or on horseback. But the first order of business is to find a pad. There are well-spaced vehicle/tent campsites at two locations inside the park, at Alouette Lake Campground and Gold Creek Campground, as well as wilderness campsites dotted throughout the park’s backcountry. All drive-in sites are nestled beneath tall stands of sheltering hemlock and fir. This canopy helps protect campers from the rain that is not uncommon here, even during summer heat waves. Hot showers are especially welcome after a day of ‘liquid sunshine.’ So is dry wood – pack some kindling as a fire starter, just in case. The wilderness sites at sandy North Beach require a 15-minute walk from the Gold Creek parking area. The open beach in front of the forested sites is a great place to watch meteor showers in early August. A note of mild caution: because of its semi-remoteness, North Beach sometimes attracts rowdies, particularly on graduation weekends in June.
Golden Ears is a remarkably popular camping destination. Reserve ahead through Discover Camping for a vehicle/tent site if you plan to stay here between late May and early September; for those who head out on the spur of the moment, BC Parks keeps a number of sites at Golden Ears park available on a daily, first-come basis (turn-over time is noon). There is a sani-station for recreational vehicles near the entrance to the park.
As you drive north from Hwy 7 towards Golden Ears Provincial Park, the route follows 232nd Street, then turns east on Fern Crescent. Here it passes Maple Ridge Park and Campground, a lovely forested municipal campground and also home to an imaginatively designed water park. The sound of the Alouette River is a pleasant backdrop.
Derby Reach Regional Park near Fort Langley is the only Greater Vancouver Regional Park that offers overnight vehicle/tent camping. (There are group campgrounds at several other locations such as Deas Island and Campbell Valley.) The riverfront sites here are allocated on a first-come basis, and there is a charge per night, with a maximum stay of three nights. The park is situated on the original townsite of Fort Langley, the oldest continuously settled European community in British Columbia. Tall black cottonwoods shelter the campsites and support the nests of a colony of blue herons. To reach the park from Fort Langley, head south on Glover to 96th Avenue. Turn west on 96th and follow it to where it joins McKinnon Crescent, and follow McKinnon to Allard Crescent, where you turn right to Derby Reach Park.
Greater Vancouver boasts a number of provincial parks located within an hour drive from the city. See information on camping in the Fraser Valley.
Campgrounds & RV Parks
Information on Provincial Park Campgrounds and Reservations, National Park Campgrounds and Reservations, Camping on Crown Land in BC Recreation Sites, Frequently Asked Questions on Parks and Campgrounds, and Provincial Park User Fees. Go to Campgrounds & RV Parks.