In our article, Top Rated Campgrounds in Vancouver Island we will be discussing about Vancouver Island Located in the North-eastern Pacific Ocean in North America, an island of 32,134 kilometres, The Vancouver Island is the second largest island on the West Coast of the Americas. Be it scenic, thrilling, or simply for relaxing, the campgrounds on this island are one of a kind.
Suitable for all types of people, this island must be on everyone’s bucket list to explore. With too many details spread across, to make the travellers less confused, one can throw their weight behind this all-information consisting feature! If you are in search of chill places to hang around, this write- up is for you!
Administered by the Canadian Province, only the south zone of the island with some adjacent inlets, constitutes as parts of the west side Canada that runs south of the equatorial plane at exactly forty-nine degrees. Being the warmest among all areas in Canada, since the 1990, the climate has sustained to be mild enough which has been absolutely apt for growing subtropical Mediterranean crops like lemons and olives.
Analysed in 2016, Vancouver was known to have a population of 775,347 living beings. Splitting it in half, which rounds to 367,770, live in the developed metropolitan area of Greater Victoria, which as well happens to be the capital of the British Columbia.
With the North American land housing the other cities of Vancouver, Victoria as a city began its reign on the atoll itself. Talking about cities, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Courtenay, and Campbell River are some of the very renowned locations on this island.
Housing numerous indigenous people for more than thousands of years, categorized by language are the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, and various Coast Salish peoples. While the northern and the north-western zone of the Vancouver Island as well adjacent regions of the mainland are dominated by Kwakwaka’wakw, the west coast of the island is occupied by the Nuu-chah-nulth, not to forget the south-eastern land of the same and southernmost of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, are inhabited by the Coast Salish.
“Speakers of the Kwak’wala” is what the name Kwakwaka’wakw signifies. Being a part of the Wakashan family, it makes the fact quiet obvious that their indigenous language is Kwak’wala.
With much development and adoption if numerous cultures, the usage of this language is fading away, meaning that only five percent of the 250 people, or even less communicate using this language. Preferred to be called by their original name, they are also known as Kwakiutl in English. Settled on the northern island of Vancouver and Mainland, there are about 5500 who live here, and 17 separate tribes make up the Kwakwaka’wakw, today.
The speakers of the Southern Wakashan language, the Nuu-chah-nulth, who are one of the natives of Canada, occupy the west coast of the Vancouver Island. Dating back to the time when the Spanish, Americans and British tried exercising their control to secure the Pacific Northwest, the Nuu-chah-nulth were the first among the Pacific people from the north of California to encounter the Europeans, here. These original settlers are not only known for their trade in otter pelts, but from the state of Washington , to the famous Makah of the Olympic Peninsula, their association can be defined as unbreakable.
Covering the northern zone of the Gulf of Georgia and southernmost of the Vancouver Island, the Coast Salish are the largest native cluster that consist of many tribes with several unique cultures and languages. Referring to the distinct cultures, from The Chemainus to The Esquimalt, and The Comox, not failing to mention The Cowichans, with The Saanich are the most common ones of all.
Geography and Climate
Separated from the British Columbia Mainland by Johnstone Strait and from the North, Northeast by Queen Charlotte, as well as from the Southeast by Strait of Georgia with Strait of Juan de Fuca separating it from the United States in the Southwest direction, The Vancouver Island is located in the southwestern corner of British Columbia.
As it is an island, there are numerous openings to the nearby water bodies and inlets of which the most evident ones are the Pacific Ocean to the West and Queen Charlotte to the North.
Speaking of Geography, analysing the climate of the island is necessary to understand when is the correct time to experience the best of the island. General climate of Canada is known to be mildest thus even in the month of January, temperatures around the coast is found to above zero degrees Celsius.
While temperatures range form twenty-eight degrees to thirty-three degrees Celsius in Summers, the rain shadow effect of the mountains in the island as well as the Washington’s Olympic Peninsula mountains, are the reasons behind the different ranges in precipitation. Being wetter than the east coast that is the province’s capital Victoria is known to receive very little amount of precipitation, however the west coast which is the Henderson lake has high rate of precipitation.
Situated in such a distinct location, the Vancouver Island is known for the temperate rainforest biome. Douglas fir, Western red cedar, Arbutus, Garry oak, Salal, Oregon grape, and Manzanita are the highlights of the southern and eastern areas of the island. Adding on to the highlights, this island is the place where the tallest Douglas Fir were found. The south-east of this island is solely dedicated to serve the people living here with numerous activities related to amusement, relaxation and entertainment.
From western hemlock, red cedar and white pine to Douglas, Pacific silver and Grand Firs, these coniferous trees not only dominate the North and the West but especially the Centre zone if the atoll. With few additions and exceptions, the fauna of the Vancouver Island is quiet alike to the ones found on the Mainland.
The mainland’s specialty are the porcupines, the mountain goats, the chipmunks and many other small mammals however, the island has different focus. Grizzly bears are known to be absent from the island but in the yea 2016, these brown bears were seen taking a dip between the islands off the coast neat Port McNeil.
Among the numerous mammals that the island is known for, the Black Bears and the Vancouver Island marmot are the most popular ones. Not to forget, Cougars and Wolves are found here as well. Trout, Salmon and Steelhead are profusely present in the island’s rivers, lakes and coastal regions.
As we are up to date with the backstory of the Vancouver Island, it is time to look at the numerous sites also known as campgrounds that this island offers. Below are the top ten campgrounds in Vancouver Island which every traveller must experience.
- Wya Point Campground
Situated near Tofino, which is just south of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Wya Point campground is known to be one of the most visited outdoor destinations for experiencing serenity and beauty as it is set on a secluded as well as an extremely aesthetic beach.
Adding to the artistic look of the beach are the complimenting rock shoreline which are pitch black. Providing plenty of isolation, the campground can be found off the main highway, surrounded by forest. One can bring their vehicles but must park prior and walk a brief distance to access the ground. The walk is worth it. From renting yurts, to bringing pets, along with the provision of hot showers, the campground is a dream that must be fulfilled.
- China Beach Campground
Peace and Silence that is complimented with trekking and long walks around the coast of the beach, the China Beach Campground which is located at the southern end of the Vancouver island’s west coast, is a mixture of fun and chill at the same time. To reach this campground, simply, turn from Highway 14 that runs from Sooke to Port Renfrew.
The southern point of the Juan de Fuca Trail is where the beach is situated at, thus hiking has become one of the most popular attraction here. Consisting of pebbles and soft sand, the beach is surrounded by huge trees such as pines and cedars which provides sufficient privacy to the visitors as well as makes it a wonderful location for peaceful exploration. From the month of May to the month of September, this intriguing campground must be booked prior as it works on the basis of first come, first serve.
- Rathtrevor Provincial Park Campground
Also known as “seemingly endless beach”, the Rathtrevor Provincial park Campground is located in Parksville that not only attracts families but anyone who is in search of serenity. The unique aspect of this beach is the fact that during low tides it receded a kilometre while during high tides, the water is warm and shallow.
Enclosed among the tall pine trees, the campsites that are positioned here, are large enough not only to cater families but also the heavy accessories and gears they carry along.
Vehicle access is granted here, however there are few sites that require a brief walk which is prior to the entry. With multiple facilities such as showers and other bathroom enhancements, though it is a year-round campground, these services are only available from mid of October to mid of March. During summers, the campground is extremely popular, thus pre-booking is a must as the campgrounds are reserved on first come, first serve basis.
- Goldstream Provincial Park Campground
If one is looking for a weekend getaway or a mid-week break, the Goldstream Provincial Park Campground is the place. Placed just few minutes from the province’s capital, Victoria, it houses the best hiking paths around Victoria. From trekking to chilling near a campfire in the evening, this campground relaxes every muscle and re-energizes the soul.
Set in the forest, this campground makes one feel they’re actually far in the woods, but guess what? This land is not far from the city at all! To make the experience more suitable and chill, there are convenience stores nearby for any forgotten essentials!
- Green Point Campground, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
The fact that Green Point Campground is the only campground in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, makes it one of the most popular campsites. Being close to the city of Tofino, the campground is set in a heavily built wooden zone with the ocean flowing below it.
Since the campsite is not directly situated on the beach, hiking and surfing can be experienced easily and complimenting this, dining and shopping can be done just down the adjacent road.
From tents and RVs, to showers and other bathroom enhancements, this ground has it all. Due to the fact that the sites are private, prior reservations must be done between the month of May to the month of October.
- Living Forest Oceanside Campground and RV Resort
With at least 300 sites spread across the 53 acres large campground, the Living Forest Oceanside Campground and RV Resort is one dreamland. Ranging from themes such as Oceanfront, Riverfront and Forest, the sites are able to provide the visitors with the facility of choosing a campsite according to how much sun or shade, they desire. Complimenting this, the resort has paved trails around the property, which quenches the thirst of walking!
From the resort having proper services such as 30- and 50-amp service, and bathroom enhancements to finding shops which are only five minutes away, this campground which is a short drive from the city of Nanaimo is simply perfect for serving as a getaway.
- Jordan River Regional Park Campground
Located along Vancouver island’s west coast, the Jordan River Regional Park campground is especially targeted to people who love flying kites.
The campground is not situated on the beach, but it overlooks the ocean providing easy access to the ocean. Here, the shallow beach is extremely lucrative to the kite-flyers as it is extremely suitable for the activity.
From RVs being set up by people along the oceanfront which is simply a wide parking lot to having tents set up in the forest, this campground caters to interests of diverse people. Since this location is highly nature friendly, not much have been developed, thus facilities are limited to pit toilets only. Booking must be done prior as the reservations of the campsites are done on first come, first serve basis.
- French Beach Provincial Park Campground
The French Beach Provincial Park campground is simply minutes away from Victoria. From chilling on the endless stretch of the beach, witnessing the beauty of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Olympic Mountains etc, to having the provision of children’s playground, walking trails and a proper area for picnics, if one is looking for breaking free from the day to day stress, this campsite is the place.
Enclosed among tall trees, the campground offers campsites which are large, spacious, and provides plenty of privacy to all types of visitors, especially those campers who are visiting with family!
Vehicle access is given to all the campsites with provisions such as pit toilets and water. Open year-round, reservations for this campground must be done prior in between the months of May and the month of September.
- Pachena Bay Campground
Put on your shoes, bring a proper backpack because this campground is going to be exciting! The Pachena Bay Campground, located on the northern side of the West Coast Trail, is a day long trek that commences on the bank of the Pacific Ocean.
Known as one of the most popular hikes in not only the Vancouver Island but British Columbia as well, the trekkers can either begin or end their trek from this campground which is only five kilometres from the city of Bamfield. Since it is located in a forest, adjacent to long, endless stretch of beach, there is plenty of space to accommodate RVs and tents with the provisions of power and bathroom enhancements.
- Butte Lake Campground, Strathcona Provincial Park
Described as a mountainous landscape that comprises of lakes and rivers, the Butte Lake campground or the Strathcona Provincial Park, which is located in the North Central Vancouver Island, is highly famous among hikers and mountain bikers.
As the name represents, this campground is situated on the Butt Lake and the campsites are enclosed in an area that is dominated by Douglas Firs. All 85 sites that this campground consist of, has vehicle access. Bookings must be done in advance as the reservations are done on the first come, first serve basis.
Relaxation, Serenity, Thrill, Excitement, the Campgrounds in the Vancouver Island caters to all emotions. From taking a break, to simply chilling, these campgrounds are suitable for all types of people. So, wait no longer, and fly to the Vancouver Island right away and experience it all, here! We hope you enjoyed reading our article on Top Rated Campgrounds in Vancouver Island. Do let us know in the comments – which campground is your favorite and why? Share some tips for our readers!