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Top 11 Summer Camping Spots Near Whistler

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Cup of Coffee saying Happy Camper

Cheers to your next adventure camping near Whistler

Whistler camping is the most gratifying way to experience the Canadian landscape and get a sense of what Whistler really has to offer. More than simply the energetic nightlife and the high adrenaline activities, Whistler is also a gateway to the coastal BC mountains, lakes and alpine fields that characterize this unique landscape.

Camping near Whistler or in Whistler itself is a fantastic way to experience this natural beauty in the summer season. Whether you want to hike a tent up a mountain trail or relax in an RV in an easy to get to spot, there are some great options around this little down of ours.

Before you pack up, and hit the road on your next whistler camping adventure, stock up on the best fire wood in Whistler at Forged Axe Throwing. Its hand chopped by real live lumberjacks, kiln dried, and the cheapest in town at only $5 a bundle.

Garibaldi Provincial Park 

Garibaldi Provincial Park Whistler Camping

Garibaldi Provincial Park is a stunner

We can’t talk about Whistler camping without giving Garibaldi Provincial Park first mention. Garibaldi Park, designated a provincial park in 1927, contains a tonne of hiking trails and a large number of different camping sites. The 90km + of established hiking trails winding through diverse vegetation, the snow-capped mountains, and the cool blue lakes are why it is famous (and highly Instagram-able).

Camping is only permitted in designated camping areas and camping fees apply in all areas of the park. This money goes into maintaining trails, access roads and other key infrastructure that makes these hikes and campsites a reality. If you are an experienced mountaineer, climber, ski tourer or other advanced wilderness person you can apply for a wilderness camping permit which allows you to set up camp within a specific wilderness camping zone.

Reservations are required throughout the year, but you can make a reservation up to four months in advance of your arrival date meaning that with good organization you should be able to nab a spot.

As to be expected the summer months are busier than others, so pay particular attention to making reservations if you are hoping to camp on July and August weekends.

Of the many camping options in the park, the Garibaldi Lake campsite is one of the most beautiful choices. It’s an 18km roundtrip hike to the lake and once you reach the lake the tent sites are just a short walk to the turquoise, undisturbed mountain lake. Be warned: the water is glacial cold.

Since the lake campsite can get quite busy, other campsites such as Helm Creek are a good option if you are looking for a quieter space to pitch your tent.

Top 3 Camp Sites Around Whistler 

Free Camping near Whistler Green Lake

Green Lake Lookout Camping near Whistler

Looking to not go too far to pitch your tent? Here are some solid options for FREE camping in Whistler. Do everyone a favour, including mother nature, and leave these sites as you found them. That means pit toilets, and bringing out any trash you brought it. Don’t forget to follow the fire bans as well!

Sea to Sky Trail

A two to five km hike or bike takes you to spots to camp. Start your journey at Lost Lake and head up the Siwash Trail upwards towards the Green Lake Lookout. Whilst traversing up the trail there are multiple faint side trails that indicate routes to potential hidden camping spots. If you don’t find any spots to your liking (hard to imagine since you’ll have a prime view of the wonderful Green Lake) you can keep walking to the Pankhurst Ghost Town trail which has great camping spots itself.

Showh Lakes 

Camping in Whistler, backpack

You have to go a little of-grid to find free camping in Whistler

This spot is located just past the Ancient Cedars tail, accessible via Cougar Mountain (where Superfly zipline’s HQ is based) in the north end of Whistler. These lakes are very remote and are sometimes stocked with trout so bring your fly fishing gear if that interests you. There is no easy beach access to this lake, but their remoteness is a draw if you’re seeking a quiet spot. 

 

Brew Lake

This spot is south of Whistler and has plenty of alpine, free camping. The landscape is dramatic here, with a massive bolder wasteland lining one side of the lake with tree-covered hills on the other side. It’s a 5 km hike to reach Brew Lake, and it’s not an easy hike. However, if you can reach the lake you then have access to explore several beautiful meadows, streams and grass clearings around it. Patches of snow can persist into August. Unlike campsites within the Garibaldi Provincial park, Brew Lake offers a less well-know and less frequented BC camping experience.  

Top 3 RV Parks Around Whistler & Squamish

Camping near Whistler doesn’t have to be restricted to pitching a tent. Whistler camping in an RV is a preferable option to many visitors, offering comfort, security and luxury to a camping trip. RV camping is glamping!

Riverside Resort 

Riverside Resort Camping in Whistler

RV camping right in the heart of Whistler

Riverside Resort is located just north of Whistler, close to Green Lake. It’s RV sites offer views of the surrounding mountains and are fully equipped with electricity, water, a sewage system plus free limited wifi. Comfort stations with bathrooms, coin-operated showers and even heated floors are available for use. Laundry and a little shop is also onsite. Each site has a picnic table and a fire pit to really get that camping vibe going. Shuttles are offered to the village in summer.

Cal-Cheak Rec Site

This is a first-come, first-served campsite with no reservation. No power or sewage services are on the site – but out hoses are plentiful. This site is close to lots of hiking and white-water kayaking options for the adventurous campers. There is a suspension bridge that leads from the South Loop across Callaghan Creek and it’s not uncommon to see whitewater kayakers sending it down the Creek whilst you cross the bridge. The Sea-To-Sky Trail is a family-friendly stroll, and for those who are seeking a longer hike options in the Callaghan Valley such as Ring Lake and Hanging Lake are good options.

Whistler RV Park 

Whistler RV park landscape

The views aren’t bad for an RV campground near Whistler

17km south of the village, this 104 acres of forested property has 102 large pull-through sites. Full electric, sewer and water hook-ups are available, and the site it open year round. From Whistler RV Park you can hike to the 200 foot waterfall at Brandywine Provincial Park or take it easy in the nearby lakes. Shuttles are available in summer to take you to the village. Showers here are free, unlike at Riverside, and whiffle golf and Frisbee golf are on site as well.

Road Trip! Getting Out of Town

Nairn Falls 

Located 25kms north of the village, Nairn Falls Provincial Park is a great option if you’re looking for an RV site that is more camp than RV. Whilst the site has pit toilets and a water pump, its offerings are more about spectacular scenery than campsite comfort.  A 1.5km hiking trail takes you to a viewpoint of the Nairn Falls themselves, a 60m high waterfall. Another hike, just 2km long, takes you to One Mile Lake, a popular swimming area. Note: there are no pull through sites.

Gun Creek Campground

Going the opposite direction than Lillooet Lake, found in the Gold Bridge area north of Whistler and on the shores of the Carpenter Reservoir. Up in the Chilcotin Region, The Gun Creek campground is situated in a different type of landscape that that found in the coast BC area. The campground is free and no reservations are required. At low water levels, you have the creepy but amazing option of visiting the remains of the nearby flooded town of Minto.  

Birkenhead Lake 

Camping around whistler Birkenhead Lake

Blue waters and mountains at Birkenhead Lake

This spot is located about 60km north of Pemberton and within the beautiful Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park. Old growth forest and fishing, canoeing, hiking and mountain biking options characterise this setting. If you’re interested in wildlife, this is a fantastic option. The park protects a number of interesting creatures including mountain goats (!!), spotted owls, and both black and grizzly bears. Campsite reservations are required here.

 

Go On! Get camping! 

Camping near Whistler or camping in Whistler itself is a truly great way to experience the landscape that BC has to offer. Whether you are interested in chilling by a lake, having access to hot showers, hiking to a waterfall, fishing, or going mountain biking there are plenty of options available near and far from Whistler.

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