Regional Park Camping on Vancouver Island

Regional park camping options are not overly plentiful on Vancouver Island, but the ones we do have are outstanding!

But first, let's clarify what we mean by regional park camping and how it is different from other campgrounds. The Province of British Columbia is divided into regional districts (similar to counties that are common in other parts of Canada). Vancouver Island has 7 regional districts. They are:

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  • Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District
  • Capital Regional District
  • Comox Valley Regional District
  • Cowichan Valley Regional District
  • Nanaimo Regional District
  • Regional District of Mount Waddington
  • Strathcona Regional District

These regional districts are responsible for the operation of several parks within their jurisdiction, most of which however are for day use only with no camping allowed. Within these 7 districts there are 8 campgrounds where regional park camping is permitted.

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District is located in the central region of the island. Within the district, the Port Alberni Port Authority operates China Creek Campground. 

The Capital Regional District is located in the south island region and operates 3 campgrounds.

The Comox Valley Regional District is located in the north island region and there is no regional park camping within the district.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District is located in the central region and there is also no regional park camping within this district. 

The Nanaimo Regional District is also located in the central region of the island. This district operates two campgrounds - one on Vancouver Island and one on Gabriola Island.

The Regional District of Mount Waddington is located in the north region and operates three campgrounds - two on Vancouver Island and one on Malcolm Island.

The Strathcona Regional District is also located in the north island region however there is no regional park camping within this district. 

Regional Park Camping 

North Island

Bere Point is a rustic campground with 30 sites, half of which are considered to be waterfront. There is also a group tenting site.

There are outhouses however there is no potable water, sewer,  electrical or cell service. On-site vendors may have firewood available however the island is subject to fire bans stretching many weeks during hot, dry summers. Be prepared to make food without a wood fire. We have a variety of camp stoves, depending on the number of campers and where we are going. Find good options here. 

While at Bere Point, you'll enjoy majestic views of Queen Charlotte Strait, snow-capped mountains and occasionally pods of orca whales swimming by and rubbing on the rocks.

The Kwaksistah Park campgrounds are situated outside the small hamlet of Winter Harbour in the northwest region of Vancouver Island.

The camp is remote and rustic with just 7 campsites, fire pits, picnic tables and an outhouse. There is no potable water, sewer or electrical services. Cellphone service is unreliable. 

Link River Regional Park has 23 waterfront and wooded campsites situated on Alice Lake where the Link River flows in. It is located near the village of Port Alice in the north region of Vancouver Island.

The campground has no firewood, potable water, sewer or electrical services. It does have accessible outhouses for anyone with mobility concerns. There is also a small playground, sheltered barbeque sites, a dock and boat launch. 

The area is renowned for its swimming, boating, kayaking and salt water fishing.

Central Island

  • Descanso Bay Regional Park
  • Gabriola Island
  • (250) 247-8255 
  • Reservations are open year-round and can be made up to 4 months in advance of your visit
  • Firewood available for purchase
  • Stays limited to 14 nights

Descanso Bay is a 40-acre oceanfront park with 32 private, un-serviced, wooded sites - some with ocean views. The sites can accommodate trucks, trailers and tents and is accessible by vehicle, foot, bike, or small boat.

Descanso Bay is a rustic campground with no services. There are outhouses (including an accessible one) and a limited supply of potable water but no showers. 

Guided kayak tours are available seasonally. 

The park has several walking trails and viewpoints.

  • Horne Lake Regional Park
  • 3890 Horne Lake Caves Rd, Qualicum Beach
  • 250-248-0500 
  • Reservations recommended
  • Firewood for sale on site

Horne Lake Regional Park sits below the cliffs of Mount Mark and adjacent to the famous Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. 

The Qualicum River divides this 105-hectare park and campground into what is known as the "North Park" and "South Park", with a total of 57 private sites and 2 group sites.

The park has a non-potable water supply (one tap for the entire park), no showers or flush toilets. There are 7 or 8 outhouses - a couple of which are accessible.  

The park does feature an impressive range of programmed activities and there are canoes and stand-up paddleboards available for rent and a boat ramp if you bring your own. 

South Island

The long sandy beach, breathtaking panoramic views and proximity to Victoria makes this campground very popular. It is open from the May long weekend until Labour Day weekend in September.

Island View Beach Campground features nearly 50 sites with 18 of those having the ability to accommodate RVs.

The park features waterfront views, potable water, outhouses, picnic tables and a group firepit. There is no electrical services, showers, dumping station or individual firepits. Cell phone service is generally quite reliable. 

The area is home to many resident and migratory birds, making it a popular location for bird watching and exploring the beach and wetlands. 

Jordan River Regional Park Campground features a total of 22 sites overlooking the spectacular Olympic Peninsula. It is located on the southwestern part of the island between Sooke and Port Renfrew. 

All sites feature private fire rings and waterfront views. There are toilets and drinking water however there are no showers, electrical service or sewers. Cell phone coverage is limited and you may incur roaming charges as there are no Canadian cell phone towers in the area. 

The tranquility, breathtaking views and proximity to Victoria makes this a very popular getaway for locals. 

  • Spring Salmon Place (KWL-UCHUN) Campground
  • Sooke Potholes Regional Park, Sooke River Road, Sooke BC
  • Open seasonally mid-May until mid-September
  • First come; first served
  • No online or phone registration
  • Firewood available for purchase
  • Stays limited to 14 nights per year
  • Caretaker on site

The campground is nestled within the 69-hectare Sooke Potholes Regional Park. The park is best known for its magnificent hiking and biking trails and swimming in the famous potholes.

The campground features a total of 67 sites and can accommodate tents up to RVs. If you're lucky, you may get a riverfront view. The campground has toilets, drinking water and individual fire rings. There are not any showers, electrical or dumping services.

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