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Squamish Camping: 9 Great Squamish Campgrounds

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With mild weather year-round and some of the most spectacular scenery in Canada, camping in Squamish, BC should be on every camper’s bucket list. Fortunately, there are many diverse Squamish camping choices, from basic to well-equipped, from secluded forest to scenic ocean front sites. When it comes to camping, Squamish has a choice that will suit everyone.

Woman sitting on the Stawamus Chief Mountain First Peak enjoying the view of the Howe Sound with snow covered mountains in the background on The Chief hike

Squamish has almost endless outdoor adventure options to choose from, with world-class hiking, biking, climbing and kayaking, just to name a few. And what better way to complete your wilderness activity trip than by collapsing in a tent in one of the many outstanding Squamish campgrounds?

After spending a full month enjoying all the highlights and activities around beautiful Squamish, we put together a breakdown of all the camping near Squamish options, complete with recommendations, facilities and details as well as how to make your Squamish camping reservation.

Even though there aren’t really any free Squamish camping options, most Squamish campgrounds are still very good value.

Best Squamish Campgrounds

Keep in mind, these rankings are extremely subjective and since we haven’t tried camping in all of them personally, much of it is based on word of mouth and reviews. Feel free to share any opinions you might have on our list.

1. Paradise Valley Campground: Best for a Quiet Stay

This unique forest campground is known for beautiful nature and peaceful serenity and is one of the best campgrounds Squamish has to offer. All the sites have been designed to mesh seamlessly into the natural surroundings, making them all different, distinct and well-separated for privacy.

There is no partying allowed in Paradise Valley, or even any music, making it a perfect choice for families. This is one of the best choices for a Squamish RV park.

A empty campsite in the trees at Paradise Valley Campground - one of the best Squamish camping options

There are many hiking trails within the 30 acres of Paradise Valley, including to nearby Brohm Lake and others that follow the famous Cheakamus River. And if you’re less about the hiking and more about relaxing in the woods, there is a nice deck area featuring Adirondack chairs that overlooks a scenic meadow.

Pets are welcome as long as you clean up after them, they are kept on a leash and not left unattended. The campground is open from May 1st through the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Sites

94

Paradise Valley Prices

$45 Unserviced sites or grass tenting

$65 Serviced sites

$80 Group sites

Facilities

There are potable water sources and clean washrooms with pay showers (just $1 for 5 minutes). Each site has its own fire pit and there are bear proof cans which are emptied several times per day to avoid bear problems. There is no wifi but there is a shop on-site where you can pick up basic supplies, firewood ($7/bundle) and get a double-scoop ice cream cone for less than $5.

Address and Contact Information

P.O. Box 413 

3520 Paradise Valley Rd

Garibaldi Highlands, BC V0N 1T0

Phone: (604) 898-1486 or 1 (800) 922-1486

Email: camp@paradisevalleycampground.net

Website: https://paradisevalleycampground.net/

2. Alice Lake: Best for Lakefront Squamish Camping

One of the most popular campgrounds in BC, Alice Lake Provincial Park offers incredible mountain scenery, atmospheric forest and a wide range of outdoor activities to keep you and your family busy.

There are a number of excellent hiking trails in the area (including the outstanding Four Lakes Trail), as well as mountain biking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, pedal boating and paddleboarding.

Campsite in the forest

Most of the sites are spaced nicely for privacy, making it one of the more family-friendly options around. The park is open from early March until the end of October and it is important to book ahead between July and September.

Sites

96 (55 with electrical hookups)

12 walk-in campsites

2 group campsites

Alice Lake Prices

$23 Walk-in sites

$35 Drive-in sites (+$8 for electrical – optional)

Facilities

There are two washroom facilities with showers, plus an amphitheatre, playground and the Beachside Café. You can purchase firewood, ice and basic toiletries at the office and rent canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and paddleboards at Centre Beach in the summer.

To avoid bear problems please keep all food and garbage securely stored at night and never leave anything unattended.

Address and Contact Information

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Squamish, BC V0N 1H0

Website: https://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/alice_lk/

3. MTN Fun Basecamp: Best for Mountain Bikers

Perfectly located next to Alice Lake Provincial Park, Brackendale (the main eagle watching location) and one of the best mountain biking areas in BC, MTN Fun Basecamp is the top choice for those looking to explore the beautiful forest trails on two wheels.

It features incredible mountain views, terrific pine forest and a picturesque creek all just a short walk from Alice Lake along Wonderland Trail.

RV camping site in the forest

There is a small beginner mountain biking skills track for kids and the campground is also close to lots of superb hiking, rock climbing and swimming.

Sites toward the back are quieter and more secluded, while those at the front get a bit of noise from the highway. The owner is helpful and friendly and along with a variety of RV and tenting sites, they also rent out some hotel rooms with kitchenettes.

Sites

15 walk-in sites

26 serviced sites

26 unserviced tent sites

6 hotel rooms

MTN Fun Basecamp Prices

$70 serviced sites

$40 unserviced site with 1-3 people

$149 – $179 hotel rooms

Facilities

The washrooms have free hot showers and there is free wifi in a lot of the property (does not reach all of the tenting area), as well as a charging station. There is a camp store where you can purchase firewood, ice, snacks and drinks or rent gas fire rings.

Flying Spirit rents out mountain bikes at reception. There is a repair stand and bike wash for guest use and they can provide biking maps and advice.

Address and Contact Information

1796 Depot Rd

Squamish, BC

Phone: 1-866-987-6512 or 604-390-4200

Email: info@mtn-fun.com

Website: https://www.mtnfunbasecamp.com/

4. Mamquam River Campground: Best Budget Option for Climbers and Vanlifers

This quiet, natural, budget campground was built by a non-profit association to provide an affordable option, the closest thing to free camping in Squamish. Open all year-round, it boasts a fantastic location close to the Mamquam River. It is quite basic but offers a backcountry experience despite being very close to downtown Squamish.

Empty campsite at the Mamquam River Campground - one of the best Squamish campground options

The campground manager is friendly and helpful and there is a popular “secret” swimming hole nearby. There are a few sites that can accommodate RVs but nothing particularly large or with room for anything being towed behind.

Mamquam River Prices

$20 Drive-in site

$10 Walk-in tent site

Facilities

Some of the walk-in tent sites have picnic tables and firepits (not the Dirtbag sites) and all sites have access to outhouses, garbage bins and bear caches. There is no potable water but you can purchase firewood on-site. There are slack lines for those looking to practice.

Address and Contact Information

2023 Centennial Way, Squamish

British Columbia V8B 0E2

Email: info@mamquamrivercampground.ca

Website: https://mamquamrivercampground.ca/

5. Stawamus Chief Provincial Park: Best for Hikers and Climbers

Home to the most famous hike in the Squamish area, Stawamus Chief Provincial Park features the looming 700-metre granite cliffs that greet all visitors arriving on the Sea to Sky Highway.

A empty campsite surrounded by large trees at the Stawamus Chief Campground - one of best camping Squamish BC options

If you are planning to tackle the three peaks of the incredible Chief hike or take advantage of one of the many outstanding rock climbing spots, this basic, affordable campground is the ideal base.

Set in gorgeous old-growth forest right at the base of the Chief, these relatively small sites are all first come, first served via a self-pay booth at the entrance. However, the campground is not suitable for large RVs and there are no fires allowed in the park.

Sites

47 walk-in sites

15 sites with car access

Stawamus Provincial Park Prices

$10 per person per night

Facilities

There are pit toilets and potable water but no showers. Fires are prohibited so you’ll need a camp stove for use at the communal cooking area that also has some picnic tables and a counter for cooking and cleaning. Please use the bear caches to store your food at night.

Address and Contact Information

38049 3 Ave

Squamish, BC

Phone: (604) 986-9371

Email: info@seatoskyparks.com

Website: https://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/stawamus/

6. Porteau Cove: Best for Waterfront Camping

Located directly on Howe Sound, the most southerly fjord in North America, Porteau Cove Provincial Park is a wonderful option for those who want to set up camp right on the water.

With fabulous views over the sound to the various islands and mountains in the distance, this year-round campground offers a wide range of outdoor activities.

Picnic table and a few trees in front of the ocean and mountains at Porteau Cove Campround - one of the Squamish camping options

The rocky beach is covered in driftwood to explore, you can swim in the ocean, take on a short hike to a scenic viewpoint or hit the water in a canoe or kayak. There are even a pair of sunken ships and some man-made reefs popular with scuba divers.

While the sunsets are sublime, it is close to both the highway and train tracks so expect a bit of noise. For most of the year sites must be reserved through BC Parks but whenever they are not reservable online they are first come, first served. 

Sites

44 drive-in sites with electrical hookups

16 walk-in sites

Porteau Cove Prices

Drive-in site $43 (summer) / $26 (winter)

Walk-in sites $20

Facilities

There is a washroom with showers and a new outdoor kitchen with sinks. There are a pair of boat launches, several communal picnic areas and a sani-dump. At the gatehouse you can purchase firewood, ice and snacks, as well as rent propane campfires.

Address and Contact Information

Phone: (604) 986-9371

Email: info@seatoskyparks.com

Website: https://seatoskyparks.com/parks/porteau-cove/

Other Squamish Campgrounds

7. Cat Lake Campground

This heavily forested campground features walk-in sites surrounding beautiful Cat Lake with exceptional views of the gorgeous Tantalus mountain range in the background.

Just a 15-minute drive north of Squamish, Cat Lake is a favourite with swimmers and paddleboarders, and also boasts a number of other fun activities including hiking and biking trails, rope swings and wooden rafts. It is popular with young people and can get a bit boisterous on weekends.

Basic forest campground with wooden stairs leading up to a tent

It is about a 1-kilometre walk from the parking lot to the furthest of the campsites. The sites are well-spaced, offering decent privacy, especially the ones on the far side of the lake.

The ones closest to the parking area tend to fill up faster and be a bit noisier because of the shorter walk, easy beach access and more afternoon sun. Cat Lake campground is open from the beginning of May until the end of October and does not take reservations.

Sites

50

Cat Lake Prices

$18 (cash only)

Facilities

There are several pit toilets and convenient docks along the lake. Each site has a table and fire pit and there are bear-proof caches throughout the campground. There have often been issues with bears here so keep all coolers and food in a bear cache or in your vehicle and never leave food or garbage unattended for long.

Address and Contact Information

Website: Sites and Trails BC

8. Klahanie Campground

Located right beside the Sea to Sky highway, Klahanie Campground is just 5 kilometres south of Squamish and is walking distance to Shannon Falls Provincial Park, the Sea-to-Sky Gondola and the Stawamus Chief hiking trails and rock climbing spots.

View from above of a campground in the trees on Howe Sound

Although the sites offer more privacy than you might expect, there will definitely be some noise from both the highway and the railway tracks. The facilities are a bit older than some of the other options in the area but the convenient location can be worth it. The roads are a bit tight so it isn’t recommended for large RVs.

Sites

120

Klahanie Campground Prices

$45-85 tent sites (weekdays)

$55-95 tent sites (weekends)

$50-80 RV sites (weekdays)

$60-90 RV sites (weekends)

Prices vary from 2-6 people and they charge extra for additional guests, vehicles and visitors, as well as $5 for pets (staying overnight or just coming to visit).

Facilities

Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. There are flush toilets with coin-operated showers and laundry (change machine in laundry room). There is a wifi signal near the office and a sani-dump for RVs.

Address and Contact Information

36583 Darrell Bay Rd

Squamish, BC V8B 0A6

Phone: (604) 892-3435

Email: klahaniecampground@gmail.com

Website: https://klahaniecampground.com/index.html

9. Squamish Valley Campground

Another of the rustic campgrounds in Squamish with abundant natural beauty, Squamish Valley Campground has an amazing riverside location and extraordinary glacier views. The river features a sandy beach and is popular with canoers and kayakers.

Squamish Valley Campground sign with an old fire truck in the background

Plus, the entire campground has an eccentric feel with old quarry vehicles strewn about (dump truck, anyone?). Some of the sites can get dusty and people have complained about noise on the weekends. It is further from Squamish than most but that might be a positive for some.

Sites

66

Squamish Valley Campground Prices

$20 per person

Plus $5 per vehicle

Or $10 for an RV (plus charge pp)

$5 charge for pets

Facilities

They recommend bringing your own drinking water to Squamish Valley Campground although there is some for sale at the office. Other than that, there are outhouses but no showers, running water or electricity.

Address and Contact Information

12975 Squamish Valley Rd

Squamish, BC, V0N 1T0

Phone: (604) 898-9310

Email: ali@campsquamish.com

Website: http://campsquamish.com/index.html

Squamish Camping Map

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Squamish Hotels

If you decide you need a break from sleeping in a tent or maybe just want to split your time between camping and hotels, there are some very good hotel options in and around Squamish as well. We book the majority of our hotels on Booking.com. With frequent stay discounts, thousands of reviews and free cancellation, it is very rare for us to have a bad hotel experience these days.

Howe Sound Inn and Brewing Company

The Howe Sound Inn and Brewing Company is one of the best lounges in Squamish but they also have excellent rooms for those looking to settle in for awhile. A relatively affordable choice for the area, this modern hotel has a range of rooms, some with outstanding mountain views. Right in the heart of the city, it is a convenient, comfortable choice.

Mountain Retreat

The Mountain Retreat has an indoor pool and hot tub, a fantastic on-site restaurant and a very convenient location right in the centre of town, just off the highway.

Crash Hotel Squamish

Right in the centre of it all (and very close to the Goat Pub), the Crash Hotel Squamish is very popular with adventure seekers who want to be close to all the trails and rock climbing routes.

Squamish Highlands Bed & Breakfast

Finally, the Squamish Highlands Bed & Breakfast is a highly recommended (and reasonably affordable) luxury option located up in the hills above town. If you have your own wheels this is a terrific choice, known for the outstanding views, fabulous breakfast and friendly, helpful hosts.

Hiking Near Squamish

If you are interested in doing some hiking in the area, the Stawamus Chief hike is incredible, absolutely a must-do for avid hikers. It definitely ranks up there among the best we’ve seen in Western Canada. For a good selection of easier options you can check out our list of the Best Squamish Hikes.

Woman on a rocky Squamish hikes with mountains in the background
View from the top of The Chief

Also, the nearby Eagle Bluffs hike on Cypress Mountain was the most impressive of many good choices in North Vancouver and Tunnel Bluffs, about halfway between Vancouver and Sqamish, provides awesome views as well.

Avid campers might also want to check out Pemberton Camping: 8 Great Rustic Campgrounds, for more great camping spots in the area.

Bonus Activity – Whale Watching Tour

Once you’ve tackled all the top Squamish activities and are looking to give your body a bit of a rest, you may want to consider a whale watching tour in the Salish Sea, one of the most iconic and memorable Vancouver activities. You will spend 5 hours touring on a comfortable 3-tiered boat with multiple viewing areas. As you cruise through the beautiful Gulf Islands you will have the opportunity to spot a variety of whales, other marine animals a lot of seabirds. Whale sightings are guaranteed and the scenery is simply phenomenal.

Click here for prices and availability

Trip Planning Resources

Here is a list of the most important resources we use when planning our travels, all in one convenient spot. Full disclosure, when you use any of these links to reserve or sign up for something, we receive a small commission which is greatly appreciated. However, your price does not change and we have only included products and websites that we can honestly recommend.

  • We book the majority of our hotels on Booking.com. With frequent stay discounts, thousands of reviews and free cancellation, it is very rare for us to have a bad hotel experience these days.
  • Wise is by far the best international multicurrency bank account we’ve found. We can now send and receive money in half a dozen different currencies, convert to dozens more with no exchange premium and pay or withdraw local currencies. Highly recommended.
  • When travelling we always get SIM cards with data for our phones. Local SIM cards are sometimes a bit cheaper but if you have a relatively new smartphone (iPhone XR or newer, Samsung S20 or newer) you can just buy an eSIM online, get a QR code by email and you’re good to go. After extensive research we have found that Airalo sim cards have the best coverage and prices for most of our trips.
  • If you’re interested in local guided tours, including everything from city tours to cooking lessons to adventure activities, check out the huge range of options at Get Your Guide.

Squamish Camping Summary

A natural wonderland, the Squamish area is a mecca for campers, hikers, mountain bikers and rock climbers. With mild, quiet winters and spectacular summers, any time of year is a great time to camping near Squamish.

You should also check out our lists of the best Camping Quotes and Camping Captions and get some inspiration from these tips for organizing camping gear.

Other useful articles you may want to check out:

Lillooet Lake: Camping, Fishing and Floating

Seton Lake: Stunning Blue Water and a Viewpoint Hike

Hornby Island Camping and Glamping Guide

Salt Spring Island Camping and Glamping

Camping in Tofino: 12 Great Tofino Campgrounds

Port Renfrew Camping

Snug Cove on Bowen Island: Reasons to Visit

The Ultimate Vancouver Island Road Trip Itinerary