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Top 18 Summer Camping Spots Near Whistler (2024 Updates)

a sign in the middle of a forest

Camping near Whistler is the most gratifying way to take in the Canadian landscape and get a sense of what the area has to offer. Home to more than just an energetic nightlife and the high adrenaline activities, Whistler is also a gateway to the coastal BC mountains, lakes, and alpine fields that characterise this unique landscape.

Camping near or right 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 park up your RV in an easy-to-get-to spot, there are some great options around this little town.

But before you pack up and hit the road on your next Whistler camping adventure, stock up on the best firewood in Whistler at Forged Axe Throwing. It’s hand-chopped by real live lumberjacks, kiln-dried, and the cheapest in town at only $5 a bundle.

Top Pick: Garibaldi Provincial Park 

We can’t talk about Whistler camping without mentioning Garibaldi Provincial Park. Designated as a provincial park in 1927, it contains many hiking trails and a large number of camping sites. 

The 90+ kilometres of established hiking trails wind through diverse vegetation, snow-capped mountains, and incredible blue lakes, making the park famous amongst outdoor enthusiasts (and highly Instagram-able).

Camping is permitted in designated camping areas, and camping fees apply in all park areas. This money goes towards maintaining trails, access roads, and other critical infrastructure that makes these hikes and campsites possible. 

Suppose you are an experienced mountaineer, climber, ski tourer, or other advanced wilderness recreationist. In that case, you can apply for a wilderness camping permit, which allows you to set up camp within a specific wilderness zone.

Reservations are required throughout the year, but you can make a reservation up to four months before your arrival date, meaning that you should be able to secure a spot with good organisation.

As 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.

1. Garibaldi Lake 

a view of a snow covered mountain

Jaw dropping landscpaes await you all around Garibaldi Park, starting with Garibaldi Lake.

Of the many camping options in the park, the Garibaldi Lake campsite is one of the most beautiful. This site is also the most popular of all the campsites in this area as it is the most scenic and still very close to the Black Tusk and Panorama hiking trailheads. 

It’s an 18km roundtrip hike to the lake, and once you reach the shore, the tent sites are just a short walk from the turquoise, tranquil mountain water. Be forewarned: the water is glacial cold!

  • Location: 30km South of Whistler
  • Price: $10 a night for adults, $5 per night for kids (6-15)
  • Reservations:  Yes, must be paid online in advance
  • Main Reason to Camp: Lakeside camping with stunning glacier views

2. Helm Creek

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

Helm Creek offers 30 tent pads that are well spaced out, giving each campsite its privacy. Surrounding these pads are the meadows and Helm Creek, which will provide you with a sense of isolation from the populated world.

  • Location: 30km South of Whistler, about 5km away from Garibaldi Lake
  • Price: $10 a night for adults, $5 per night for kids (6-15)
  • Reservations:  Yes, must be paid online in advance
  • Main Reason to Camp: Typically less busy than Cheakamus Lake and gives you a remote feeling

3. Taylor Meadows Campground

Another option for camping is beautiful Taylor Meadows, which is located a bit closer to Garibaldi Lake. The surrounding forest and meadows make up for the fact you are not camping on the lake and give you an impressive view of Black Tusk. 

The site has about 40 well-spaced tent pads through the forest, making it feel more relaxed than Garibaldi Lake. You can also access the Black Tusk and Panorama Hikes from here and make your way to Garibaldi Lake for a swim on the way back. 

  • Location: 30km South of Whistler, about 2km from Garibaldi Lake
  • Price: $10 a night for adults, $5 per night for kids (6-15)
  • Reservations:  Yes, must be paid online in advance
  • Main Reason to Camp: Less busy than Garibaldi Lake with stunning views of Black Tusk

3. Remote Campsites Near Whistler 

Are you looking not to 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 helping to keep the pit toilets clean and bringing out any trash you brought in. Don’t forget to follow the fire bans as well!

4. Sea to Sky Trail 

This two- to five-km hike or bike takes you on a relatively chill trail and will lead to some awesome spots to camp. Start your journey at Lost Lake and head up the Siwash Trail 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 sites to your liking (hard to imagine since you’ll have a prime view of the fabulous Green Lake), you can keep walking to the Pankhurst Ghost Town trail, which has great camping spots as well.

  • Location: North Whistler
  • Price: Free
  • Reservations:  No, first come, first served
  • Main Reason to Camp: A lot of options to choose from and amazing views of Green Lake

5. Showh Lakes 

This spot is located just past the Ancient Cedars trail, accessible via Cougar Mountain (where Superfly zipline’s HQ is based) in the north end of Whistler. 

These lakes are remote and sometimes stocked with trout, so bring your fly fishing gear if you fancy doing some casting on your trip. Unfortunately, this lake has no easy beach access, but the remoteness is a draw if you’re seeking a quiet spot. 

  • Location: Cougar Mountain
  • Price: Free
  • Reservations:  No, first come, first served
  • Main Reason to Camp: Great fishing and remote 

7. Brew Lake

a close up of a hillside next to a body of water

Who wouldn’t want to wake up in this backcountry camping spot near Whistler?

This spot is south of Whistler and has plenty of free alpine camping. The landscape is dramatic here, with a massive boulder wasteland lining one side of the lake and tree-covered hills on the other side. 

It’s a 5km hike to reach Brew Lake, and it’s not an easy one. 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. Brew Lake offers a less well-known and less frequented BC camping experience, unlike campsites within the Garibaldi Provincial Park.  

  • Location: South of Whistler in Brandywine Falls Provincial Park
  • Price: Free
  • Reservations:  No, first come, first served
  • Main Reason to Camp: Stunning boulder fields and forest

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, adding comfort, security, and luxury to a camping trip. RV camping is glamping!

8. 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. Its RV sites offer views of the surrounding mountains and are fully equipped with electricity, water, a sewage system, and free limited wifi. 

There are also comfort stations with bathrooms, coin-operated showers, and even heated floors available for use. Laundry, a little shop, and  a Thai restaurant are also located on-site. 

Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire pit to really get that camping vibe going. If you want to venture into the village, shuttles are offered in summer.

  • Location: 8018 Mons Road, Whistler
  • Price: Starting from $60 per night
  • Reservations:  Yes, online booking is available or over the phone
  • Main Reason to Camp: Whistler camping with comfortable amenities and central location

9. Cal-Cheak Rec Site

This is a first-come, first-served campsite with no reservation. No power or sewage services are available, but outhouses are plentiful. 

This site is close to many hiking and whitewater kayaking options for adventurous campers. A suspension bridge 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 seeking more extended hiking in the Callaghan Valley, Ring Lake and Hanging Lake are good options.

  • Location: South of Whistler, in between Brandywine Falls and the Callaghan Road turn-off. 
  • Price: $15 per night
  • Reservations:  No, first come, first served
  • Main Reason to Camp: Easy access to adventure activities

10. Whistler RV Park

Whistler RV park landscape

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

Seventeen km south of the village, this 104-acre forested property has 102 large pull-through sites. Full electric, sewer, and water hookups are available, and the site is open year round. 

From Whistler RV Park you can hike to the 200-foot waterfall at Brandywine Provincial Park or take it easy at the nearby lakes. Shuttles are available in summer to take you to the village. 

Showers here are free, unlike at Riverside, and wiffle golf, frisbee golf, and the Brew Mountain Cafe are on-site.

  • Location: 55 BC-99, Whistler
  • Price: Starting from $65 per night
  • Reservations:  Yes, online and over the phone booking
  • Main Reason to Camp: Very close to hiking trails including Brandywine Falls

11. Paradise Valley Campground

Hidden away in Paradise Valley is one of the most tranquil campsites near Whistler. Paradise Valley Campground is family-oriented and music free, which means you will easily be able to sit back and relax in nature. 

Located 35 minutes south of Whistler, you will find yourself deep in 28 acres of coastal rainforest. An on-site general store offers most basic supplies, including ice, propane refills, beer, wine, and spirits. 

If you can’t bear leaving your acoustic guitar behind, don’t worry: The team at Paradise Valley team allows acoustic guitars—and singing too! 

  • Location: 3520 Paradise Valley
  • Price: Starting from $45 per night
  • Reservations:  Yes, online and over the phone booking
  • Main Reason to Camp: Tucked away in the rainforest and designed for families.

12. Klanhie Campground

Family owned and operated, Klanhie Campground is a 45-minute drive south of Whistler and boasts some fantastic views of Howe Sounds, the Stawamus Chief, and Shannon Falls. 

Offering year-round RV sites, they have over 100 available in a mix of semi-serviced sites and no-hookup sites. In addition, full-service sites are available for those staying long term. 

You will be happy with how nicely spaced each site is and their internet access, private showers, flush toilets, and washing stations. Their location is within walking distance of the Sea to Sky Gondola and numerous hikes, so you can park and forget about driving anywhere else. 

  • Location: 36583 Darrell Bay Road, Squamish
  • Price: Starting from $45 per night
  • Reservations:  Yes, online and over the phone booking
  • Main Reason to Camp: Very close to hiking trails as well as Sea to Sky Gondola

Road Trip! Campsites Close to Whistler

13. Nairn Falls

Waterfalls in BC

Just a sneak peak at the beauty Nairn Falls has in store

Located 32 km north of the village, Nairn Falls Provincial Park is an excellent 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 comforts.  

A 1.5 km hiking trail takes you to a viewpoint of the Nairn Falls, a 60-metre waterfall. Another hike, just 2 km long, takes you to One Mile Lake, a popular swimming area. 

Be mindful when booking; there are no pull-through sites.

  • Location: 32kms north of Whistler, on the 99 Highway
  • Price: Starting from $22 a night
  • Reservations:  Yes, booking through
  • Main Reason to Camp: Surrounded by hikes leading to Nairn Falls and One Mile Lake 

14. Gun Creek Campground

Going the opposite direction from Lillooet Lake, Gun Creek Campground is located in the Gold Bridge area north of Whistler, on the shores of the Carpenter Reservoir. 

Up in the Chilcotin Region, Gun Creek campground is situated in a different type of landscape compared to what is usually found on the coast. However, the campground is free and no reservations are required. 

At low water levels, you have the creepy but fantastic option of visiting the remains of the nearby flooded town of Minto. You can try your luck at fishing on full waters as Gun Creek is home to Dolly Varden char, rainbow trout, and kokanee.

  • Location: Lillooet Pioneer Road 40, Pavilion, BC
  • Price: Free
  • Reservations:  No, first come, first served
  • Main Reason to Camp: Perfect spot to break up a road trip and excellent fishing

15. 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 many exciting creatures, including mountain goats, spotted owls, and black and grizzly bears. 

Campsite reservations are required here and can be made through the BCparks website.

  • Location: 90km North of Whistler
  • Price: Starting from $22 a night
  • Reservations:  Yes through BC Parks website
  • Main Reason to Camp: Lakeside camping with amazing wildlife

16. Joffre Lakes

A woman stands on a log in a glacier lake in the mountains

Glacier fed crystal clear lakes make Joffre Lake also perfect as a picnic destination

The stunning lake photos you have seen on Instagram are probably the famous Joffre Lakes. You will notice the glacier peaks as you start to make your way to the first of three stunning lakes. 

Lower, middle, and upper Joffre Lakes are accessible by one trail, and all have the same characteristic of their amazingly saturated blue-coloured waters. This is caused by the glacial silt that sits in the water, reflecting blues and greens when the sunlight hits it. 

Backcountry camping is the only option here, and reservations are needed. Unfortunately, there is no cell service, so make sure you have your reservation sorted before leaving home. 

  • Location: North of Whistler located on Highway 99, just past Pemberton
  • Price: $5 per night
  • Reservations:  Yes, book online at BCparks
  • Main Reason to Camp: Picturesque glaciers running down into amazing lakes 

17. Owl Creek Recreation Site

Hidden away between Birkenhead River and Owl Creek, you will experience a different style of camping compared to other sites in the area.

Usually not too busy, this open and dry forest site is perfect for groups as it has tables, fire rings, and outhouses on-site, and bear-proof food caches. Those looking to do some fishing will also enjoy carp, salmon, trout, and sturgeon. 

This site used to be a homestead, so you’ll notice the small apple orchard that remains. Keep your eyes out, though, as local bears also like to check in on the apples. 

  • Location: North of Whistler and through Mount Currie on Old Portage Road
  • Price: Starting at $15 a night
  • Reservations:  No, first come, first served. Self-register and pay using the yellow collection box
  • Main Reason to Camp: Great fishing and amazing setup for groups

18. Twin One Creek

Perfect for those looking to take their boat out or enjoy lazing about the water, Twin One Creek is a mid-sized campsite. The boat launch is small but does the job; however, be mindful when boating on the lake as there is sometimes wood debris in the water.

The site is equipped with tables, fire rings, garbage pickup, and outhouses. It’s also home to berry bushes, so keep your eyes peeled for bears. 

You are required to self-register and pay the camping fees by using the yellow collection box. 

  • Location: 55km North of Whistler, located on the in-SHUCK-ch First Service Road 
  • Price: $15 a night
  • Reservations: No, first come, first served; self-register and pay using the yellow collection box
  • Main Reason to Camp: Water access for boats, quieter than other lakeside camping sites 

Go On! Get camping! 

Camping near Whistler or camping in Whistler itself is a genuinely 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 mountain biking, there are plenty of options available near and far from Whistler.