If you want to get off the beaten track this summer, BC’s many recreation sites and trails are just waiting to be explored. Rustic sites in incredible, natural settings – these campgrounds are smaller and more out of the way than provincial parks and can offer a great taste of boondocking while having access to a campsite.
Read through our guide for what to expect, preparations to make, and how to find the perfect spot.
Getting to a recreation site or trail usually means a trip down unpaved Forest Service roads or rough access roads. While many of these gravel roads are graded and well-traveled, some can be inaccessible to vehicles without 4×4 capabilities, or rougher than usual depending on the season. It’s wise to do some online research about road conditions before heading out.
If you’re traveling down an active logging road, be sure to proceed cautiously and yield to logging trucks. And be reminded that Karma Campervan rentals are not allowed on unmaintained “off-road” roadways.
Site Availability & Fees
Recreation campsites will either have a low nightly fee or no charge, and are mostly available on a first come, first served basis.
Pack in & Pack Out
With fewer, if any, amenities, be prepared to pack in and pack out everything you’ll need. From drinking water to firewood, double check what will be available on site, and pack accordingly. As well, some sites do not have bathroom facilities so be prepared with a portable toilet, just in case.
Mind the regulations
- Keep campfires small and within designated rings, and be sure to extinguish completely. Check fire bans.
- Respect the peace and quiet of others, with quiet time from 11 pm to 7 am
- Stays must be limited to 14 days
- Keep pets under control at all times
- Leave your site as clean (or better) than you found it and earn Good Karma!
Find the Perfect Site
To find a site or trail, visit the Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. Interactive Map. When you select a location on the map, you’ll be able to view an overview of available amenities, fees, and number of sites, as well as detailed driving directions.
Here’s just a sampling of the many gems waiting to be explored!
- Honeymoon Bay
Accessed by the Adams Lake West Forest Service Road, 13 sites are set in the forest, lakeside on a sandy beach.
- James Lake
Less than an hour from Kelowna, you’ll find 10 sites on the lake with no fees and good fishing.
- Grace Lake
On the west side of Harrison Lake, Grace lake is a popular recreation site. There are 10 sites, a floating dock, and access to the area’s many recreation opportunities.
- Whitetail Lake
40 minutes from Canal Flats in the Columbia Valley, Whitetail Lake offers 30 shaded sites, and is a popular spot for trophy fishing.
- Suzanne Lake
Under an hour from Fernie, Suzanne lake is great for canoeing, and has a 10 sites tucked into the trees.
Heading out to a recreation site this summer? Don’t forget to share your travels with us on social media using #GoodCamping and tagging @KarmaCampervans.