Camping and hiking are outdoor activities that are very popular with people who are living in Victoria. And we are spoiled for choices right on our doorstep! Not only that, but the local climate allows us to participate in our favourite outdoor recreation nearly year round.
In fact, there are groups who enjoy winter camping, even venturing up the slopes of Mt. Washington to enjoy camping in the snow! That may be a little extreme for most of us, but if you are looking for a challenge, there it is. Families, young people, and the not so young can experience camping at whatever level of comfort and convenience suits them.
Private campgrounds can provide the height of luxurious camping, with amenities like heated swimming pools, mini-golf, social events (square dancing anyone?) and other outdoor activities along with hot showers and bathroom facilities.
If you choose to stay at a provincial campsite you may find they are equipped with showers and flush toilets, or just outhouse style privies, but they’re always well maintained, and usually sited in our most spectacular natural settings.
Provincial campsites within a short drive of Victoria include:
- Bamberton Provincial Park
- Cowichan River Provincial Park (Stoltz Pool)
- Elk Falls Provincial Park (Quinsam)
- Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
- French Beach Provincial Park
- Goldstream Provincial Park
- Gordon Bay Provincial Park
- Juan de Fuca Provincial Park (China Beach)
- Kin Beach Provincial Park
- Kitty Coleman Provincial Park
- Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park
- Miracle Beach Provincial Park
- Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
- Sproat Lake Provincial Park, and
- Stamp River Provincial Park.
This list is by no means complete because it only includes sites on (roughly) the southern half of the island, and doesn`t contain any of the nearby Gulf Island Provincial Parks. For more complete information about Provincial Parks, visit the BC Parks website.
If you`re looking for a genuine back country experience, you should check out Recreation Sites and Trail BC, to learn about the many public campgrounds and trails located on Crown land outside of parks and settled areas.
For information about local or nearby hiking trails, investigate Vancouver Island Hiking. You can learn where to find spectacular day hikes, as well as multi day hiking and camping adventures.
You could spend years exploring the hiking trails and campsites on Vancouver Island without repeating any experience, but many of these places are so beautiful you may want to visit them time and time again.
How lucky we are to be living in Victoria, with easy access to so many beautiful outdoor recreation sites! And due to the temperate climate we can enjoy these outdoor activities year round.