Port Renfrew Camping: Choosing the Best Campground

Port Renfrew is truly the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, a place that offers incredible scenery, an outpost feel and an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy. With great beaches, beautiful hiking trails, fish-filled lakes and some of the most impressive old growth forest in Canada, everyone from beginner campers to experienced backcountry experts can find their ideal spot in one of the many excellent Port Renfrew campgrounds. We have made a detailed guide to the Port Renfrew camping options so that you can pick the one that is best for you.

Check out: The Ultimate Vancouver Island Road Trip Itinerary

Port Renfrew Campgrounds Map

Port Renfrew Campgrounds

There are a few choices of campgrounds if you want to camp in Port Renfew, British Columbia.

Port Renfrew Marina & RV Park

The largest campground in the area, this well-equipped operation is open from the beginning of May until mid-October. It has a good location just out of town but close to the main beach area. They don’t take reservations so all sites are first come, first served (and the best sites are often taken up by long term residents).

Sites

140 sites with power (20AMP GFI) and potable water

30 dry camping sites without power or water

Port Renfrew Marina & RV Park Prices

Daily without power & water: $25

Daily with power & water: $30

Monthly and seasonal rates available

Facilities

Potable water is available even for those staying in sites without their own tap, although there are no sewer hookups.

The marina store sells basic supplies, fishing gear and gasoline.

Address and Contact Information

7505 Gordon River Rd

Port Renfrew, BC V0S 1K0

(250) 483-1878

Email: info@portrenfrewmarina.com

Website: https://www.portrenfrewmarina.com/camping

Pacheedaht Campground

This Port Renfrew campsite may be more basic but it is located right on the beach and there is a variety of sites, some with power and water, some of which even have ocean views. There is good fishing right next to the campground and the driftwood-covered beach is great for wandering and beach combing.

Large pieces of driftwood on the long Pacheedaht beach one of the things to do in Port Refrew camping
Pacheedaht beach near the campground

Some people have reported difficulties getting through to book a site and in the busy summer period it can get a bit loud.

Pacheedaht Campground Price

$35/night

Facilities

They only have pit toilets but there is a set of coin-operated showers.

Address and Contact Information

350 Kalaid St

 Port Renfrew, BC V0S 1K0

(250) 647-0090

Port Renfrew RV Resort

The newest RV park in Port Renfrew, they have put some work into making each site large, spacious, unique and semi-private. The landscaping is impressive (included crushed rock sites) and it is just a short walk to an amazing sunset spot. It is considered the quietest and most peaceful of the Port Renfrew RV parks (no tenting), yet is still within walking distance of the local pub if you’re looking for something a little livelier. They take reservations, allow pets and the owners can provide tips and info for things to do in the area.

Sites

16 full-service RV / Trailer sites with full hook-ups

No tent sites

Port Renfrew RV Resort Price

$65/night

Facilities

Wifi is available.

Address and Contact Information

6504 Powder Main Rd

Port Renfrew, BC V0S 1K0

(778) 817-0958

Website: https://www.portrenfrewrvresort.ca/

Camping Near Port Refrew

Pretty much everyone that makes it out this far has a vehicle, which really opens up your Port Renfrew camping options. There are some really nice campgrounds within a short drive of the town.

Fairy Lake

Placid little Fairy Lake is great for fishing, swimming and photography, thanks to the bizarre little “bonsai” tree growing up out of the middle of the lake. It isn’t really a bonsai tree, of course, just a tiny Douglas fir growing up out of a dead stump, but it looks exactly like one and people come from all over the island to get photos of it reflecting off the calm waters. The campground is basic but nicely forested and all the sites are close to the water, making it one of the most serene Port Renfrew camping sites.

Fairy Lake Campground site with a fire pit, a picnic table and tall trees - a Port Renfew campground

Sites

36

Fairy Lake Camping Prices

Waterfront – $20

Standard – $18

Senior & Disability Discount – 50% off

Facilities

Boat Launch (canoes, kayaks and electric-powered boats only)

Tables

Toilets

Address and Contact Information

Pacific Marine Rd – about a 15-minute drive from Port Renfrew.

Port Renfrew, BC V0S 1K0

(250) 701-1976

Website: https://www.grandgetaways.ca/campsites/fairy-lake/

Sombrio Beach

Sombrio Beach in the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park is famous for great surfing, its outstanding “hidden waterfall” and the scenic location as part of the 47-kilometre Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. There are limited facilities but the great setting makes it one of the best places to camp on Vancouver Island.

Beach camping at Sombrio Beach

Sites     

There are no set amount of sites because it is all wild camping, so go ahead, pick a good spot and settle in (just make sure it is above the high tide line).

Sombrio Beach Camping Price

$10 per person per night

$5 per child under 16 per night

You can pay online on the BC Parks website or put exact cash in one of the envelopes provided at the parking lot fee box.

Facilities

There are pit toilets but no running water. You will need to bring your own water or boil and/or treat any creek water.

There are bear boxes to safely store your food.

Address and Contact Information

The turnoff is about 20 minutes east of Port Renfrew on the Victoria highway. The road that shows up on Google Maps in incorrect, the actual turnoff is roughly 400m west of that spot (there is a sign saying that when you are heading west). The beach is about 2 km down a rough dirt road, then a 10-minute walk through the forest.

Lizard Lake

This nicely treed campground is a great remote option next to a pleasant lake. It has a large boardwalk extending out into the lake that can be used for fishing (rainbow trout, in particular), swimming and launching canoes and kayaks. There is also a small, sandy beach and a 1.5-km loop hiking trail that goes all the way around the lake. And, supposedly, it is possible catch fire belly newts swimming in the lake, if that’s something that interests you.

Picnic tables and dock at Lizard Lake one of Port Renfrew camping options
Dock at Lizard Lake

There is the main camping area, which is slightly separated from the day use area, plus a small walk-in section with 4 more tent pads. They do not take advance reservations.

Sites

28

Lizard Lake Camping Price

$18 (they only accept cash and do not give change)

Facilities

Tables

Pit toilets

Fire pits (you can purchase firewood for $7/bundle)

There is no power or running water

Address and Contact Information

Site 18 Harris Main FSR Canada, Pacific Marine Rd – about 20 minutes from Port Renfrew (and about 5-10 minutes past Fairy Lake)

Port Renfrew, BC

(250) 701-1976

https://www.grandgetaways.ca/campsites/lizard-lake/

Other Campgrounds Between Port Renfrew and Victoria

China Beach

The nice, sheltered campground at China Beach is considered one of the best on Vancouver Island. It is right next to the ocean and open from mid-May to mid-September. There are 85 spacious, sheltered sites that fit a tent and vehicle. There is a potable water tap and pit toilets, but no showers. Sites can be booked through the BC Parks website and cost $20/night.

Mystic Beach

Stunning Mystic Beach represents the start (or end) of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and has basically the same camping setup as Sombrio Beach. There are pit toilets but no designated sites, showers or potable water. You need to get a backcountry camping permit ahead of time ($10/night pp and $5/night per child) through BC Parks. The extraordinary beach waterfall at Mystic Beach is a must-see, just be prepared for a rugged, muddy 2 km hike in along the Juan de Fuca from the China Beach parking lot. However, there is a shortcut trail off the highway that can reduce the hike to about 1 km but you can’t really leave your vehicle there. But you could drop someone there to carry in the heavy stuff and then park in the main China Beach lot and walk in less encumbered. The specific spot (more or less) is marked on the map.

Waterfall on Mystic Beach BC
Mystic Beach waterfall

Jordan River

This is the “other” hardcore surfing area on Vancouver Island (the first being Tofino). The waves at Jordan River are tremendous (and popular), and the campground is right next to the beach. There are 15 drive-in sites and 7 tent-only spots, all of which are first, come first served and fill up fast. Although, you are only allowed to camp here for 14 days each calendar year which does allow for some turnover. There are individual picnic areas and fire rings, plus potable water tanks and pit toilets. There are no showers or electricity.

Picnic bench and driftwood at the Jordan River Campground with ocean and mountains in the distance
Jordan River ocean front campground

Conclusion

With mild weather, insane scenery and a long list of outdoor activities to keep you busy, camping near Port Renfrew can be a phenomenal experience. Whether you are looking for a quiet, organized place to park your RV or a secluded forest tenting site well away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Port Renfrew area has something that should suit your fancy.

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Other useful articles you may want to check out:

Tofino Camping: The Best and Worst of Tofino Campgrounds

Wild Coast Hiking in East Sooke Park

13 Amazing Things to Do on Hornby Island

Hornby Island Camping and Glamping: Breaking Down All the Options

Big Damp Trees: A West Coast Recap

Squamish Camping: The Best and Worst of Squamish Campgrounds

Comox Lake: A Vancouver Island Gem

Road Tripping by the Numbers: A Pacific Northwest Road Trip

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