Whether you are looking for a campsite with ample amenities or you want to get close to nature by roughing it a little, camping in Canada offers something for everyone. From frontcountry to backcountry experiences at national parks, provincial parks, and private campgrounds, there are a lot of different options to consider. Here is a look at the types of campgrounds available to help you make your choice.
Frontcountry camping is also known as car camping because you typically drive your vehicle directly to the campsite, making it a breeze to unload and set up camp. Campgrounds are generally divided into serviced sites, which have hook-ups for RVs, and unserviced sites, which are more commonly used for tent camping. Because they are so accessible and usually offer facilities and amenities, frontcountry campgrounds are also popular and often quite busy.
Backcountry campgrounds are not accessible by car and must be reached by means such as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, and snowshoeing. They typically have little to no amenities, but they are also less crowded, as most casual campers aren’t up for toting all of their gear to the campsite! A backcountry campground will really make you feel like you have gotten away from it all.
National Park Campgrounds
There are many opportunities for both frontcountry and backcountry camping inside Canada’s beautiful national parks. The campsites are operated by Parks Canada and come with various amenities depending on the site. Spots at national park campgrounds fill up very fast, so it is recommended that you make reservations well ahead of time.
Provincial and Territorial Park Campgrounds
You can also find many frontcountry and backcountry campsites at provincial and territorial parks located throughout Canada. Like national parks, these sites can get very busy, particularly during the high season. Some take reservations, but others operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, so make sure you head out early enough to snag a spot!
Not all campgrounds are government-run. Canada also has plenty of private campgrounds that offer a fantastic alternative to staying in national or provincial parks. Most are located near cities, towns, tourist destinations, and tourist routes. Size and amenities can vary, though the majority of private campgrounds do offer at least the basics. They tend to be a fairly economical option as well.
Camping on Crown Land
Almost 90% of Canada’s entire landmass is designated as Crown land, which is technically available for public use. With some exceptions, Canadian residents can camp on Crown land for as long as 21 days (14 days in Alberta) on one site. Make sure you follow all provincial or territorial rules and regulations regarding Crown land camping, as well as any posted signs.
Picking the right campground is easy once you decide on the type of experience you want. Maybe you are more interested in sightseeing and recreating, or you truly want to go off-grid. Whatever your ideal trip looks like, there is sure to be a type of campsite suited to your needs.