Vancouver Island camping is about as diverse as it gets with everything from remote back country camping to full service RV parks in the middle of the city.
For our purposes, we’ll review Vancouver Island camping options that are located within approximately a one-hour drive from Victoria’s inner harbour. This includes camping and RV sites from Sidney to Sooke and just north of the Malahat to Mill Bay.
Within this area we have two provincial parks and three private RV parks. Goldstream Provincial Park is located on the Victoria side of the Malahat and Bamberton Provincial Park is located on the Mill Bay side. For those unfamiliar, Malahat Drive is a scenic 25 km portion of the Trans Canada Highway 1. The drive climbs 350+ metres (1,156 feet) to the summit with a viewing area overlooking the forests and waters of the region. On a clear day you can see for many kilometres and may be treated to views of majestic Mount Baker located in Washington State, USA. Mount Baker is part of the Cascade Mountain Range and soars to an elevation of 3,286 metres (10,781 feet).
At the top of the Malahat sits Malahat Meadows RV Park and Campground, Cedar Springs Ranch and Tunnel Hill Campground and RV Park. These parks offer private and scenic campsites, nestled in nature surrounded by giant cedars and firs. They are located just minutes away from all the shopping, restaurants and sites that Victoria has to offer.
The Saanich Peninsula is mostly a rural region with the BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal located on the northern tip and the Victoria International Airport just a few kilometres away. The Town of Sidney is conveniently located between the airport and ferry terminal with Victoria located approximately 30 km to the south.
In this region you’ll find Island View Regional Park, Popeye’s Campground and Beachcomber RV Park. These parks offer a good range of facilities and activities commonly found at RV parks.
For a unique tenting experience, consider a stay at Gardenside Acres – a rural setting with just a few tent sites. The campground has potable water, a toilet and hot water with an optional home-style breakfast. It’s B&B meets camping. The small farm has laying hens and meat birds, an orchard and fruit and veggie garden. You can even purchase some of the seasonal foods to enjoy as part of your meal.
Municipalities that are considered to be located within Victoria’s core are the City of Victoria, the District of Oak Bay, the District of Saanich, the Township of Esquimalt and the Town of View Royal.
Fort Victoria RV Park is a large park located in View Royal with 300 full hookup sites. It is conveniently located beside View Royal dog park and on a bus route for easy access to anywhere in Greater Victoria. As well, the new E&N trail – which is part of a paved trail system throughout the regions, runs right through the park. Hop on your bicycle and enjoy a beautiful 30-minute ride to the inner harbour.
If brand new modern amenities coupled with commanding views of Victoria’s waterfront and beyond are your notion of the ideal Vancouver Island camping experience, then you simply must experience the Salish Seaside RV Haven. This unique property is big rig friendly and located in the heart of town. It is owned and operated by the Songhees First Nation and Esquimalt First Nation and has amenities which include a community room with a barbeque, decks and fireplace.
Campsites in the Western Communities include those located in the communities of Langford, Colwood, Metchosin and Sooke. These communities are further from Victoria’s inner harbour but still an easy drive into town. There are also plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options relatively convenient to the campgrounds.
The All Fun RV Park is located adjacent to Western Speedway and offers full and partially serviced sites including tent sites. Western Speedway property is also home to mini golf, go-carts and a batting cage.
The Sooke River Campground is located just outside the Community of Sooke along the shores of the De Mamiel Creek and the Sooke River. In addition to full-service RV sites and tent sites, the campground also has 3 self-contained rustic cabins available for rental. The campground hosts the annual community Canada Day fireworks and the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival on Father’s Day weekend in mid-June.
Two more outstanding options located in this region are Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina and Weir's Beach RV Resort. Both are located along the scenic southwest coast of the island and feature oceanfront sites overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean.
We hope you find the right mix of amenities, activities and proximity to Victoria to make your stay in the region memorable. Be sure to like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the awesome things to see and do in Greater Victoria.
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