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Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy your national parks. With different types of campgrounds offering various levels of amenities and services, you are sure to find a campsite that suits your needs.

Planning your Trip

Transcript

Hello! Bonjour! This short video will help you learn how to plan a camping trip

how to book a camp site and what to expect when you arrive at a National Park.

The Parks Canada web site has lots of information about our national parks.

Take a look through the web site at www.parkscanada.ca to find out where you might want to camp.

You can search for a national park by name or by region. The web site also has a Learn to Camp section

with how-to videos, meal ideas, tips, checklists and other practical information to help you plan your trip.

You can also call our toll-free information service at 1-888-773-8888.

A Parks Canada information officer will be happy to answer all your questions.

For more information about national parks, take a look at the Parks Canada visitor guides,

available from our web site or by calling the toll-free information service.

To book a campsite on-line go to the Campground Reservation Service at reservation.pc.gc.ca.

After you have booked your campsite a confirmation will be emailed to you.

If you prefer, you can also book by phone. Call 1-877-RESERVE and someone will help you reserve your campsite.

You can also book yurts, tipis, cabins and cottage tents at some national parks.

Be sure to ask about this option if you would prefer not to bring your own tent

or if you would like to try something a little different.

Pack up all the supplies and equipment you need for your trip;

don’t forget your health insurance card and campsite confirmation number.

We also suggest that you give a copy of your travel plans to a friend.

When you arrive at the National Park entrance, stop at the park entry gate or information centre.

This is where you will get the park-specific Visitor Guide and where you will pay your daily fees for park access.

Next, drive to your campground and stop at the campground gate. Show your campsite reservation to the campground attendant.

The attendant will register you and provide you with the campground map that shows where to find your campsite.

With the help of your campground map, drive to your site.

Be sure to look for the nearest washrooms. Also look for the nearest outdoor water supply.

This is a good time to go to the visitor centre.

Staff there will let you know what activities you can take part in during your stay.

Many visitor centres also have interesting exhibits to help you find out more about what you can do

and see in the national park you are visiting.

When it comes time to leave, be sure to gather all of your equipment and personal belongings

and leave the site as you had originally found it. Place all garbage and recyclables into the proper bins.

If you have any questions before your trip just call the toll-free information number.

And if you have any questions during your stay, just ask one of our friendly staff.

Camping is a fun way to experience our beautiful National Parks. We hope you give it a try.

Happy camping!

Wondering how to find a campground that's right for you, how to plan your trip, and make reservations? The video below will take you step by step on how to get from planning a camping trip at home, to arriving at your campsite and enjoying your stay.

Parks Canada's frontcountry campgrounds are equipped to make your camping stay as comfortable as possible. Many offer flush toilets, showers, potable water, among other facilities, activities and amenities.

Frontcountry Camping: Also known as “car camping”, is probably the most popular type of camping. Frontcountry campgrounds allow you to drive your vehicle right to the site. You then have the luxury of unloading your vehicle at the exact spot where you are setting up camp. Such campgrounds are often busier than others as they offer the most facilities and amenities including showers, flush toilets, theatres, playgrounds, snack bars, interpretive programming, golf courses and much more – a couple of our campgrounds even have swimming pools! You can choose among different types of frontcountry campsites:

  • Serviced campsites offer different combinations of electrical, sewer and water hook-ups for recreational vehicles (RVs), trailers, tent trailers, etc. Combinations of these services exist at different prices. Usually, a campsite offering more services will charge more per night than one with less services. Since these campsites are used frequently by RVs, they may not offer ideal areas for tents. Check with the park before making your reservation if you are planning on tenting.
  • Unserviced campsites are great for tent camping as many of them offer tent pads and amenities nearby such as flush toilets, showers and potable water. They are usually open to RVs and tent trailers that do not require hook-ups since “unserviced” campsites do not offer electrical, sewer and water hook-ups directly at the site.
  • Pull-through campsites also known as drive-through campsites, are designed for visitors towing larger trailers or RVs. They have an entrance and an exit which allows you to pull through the site rather than turning back to exit.
  • Walk-in campsites are accessible on foot and you cannot drive your vehicle directly to the site. There is usually a parking area close by where you may unpack and leave your vehicle for the duration of your stay. These sites are usually slightly more rustic with fewer amenities.
  • Group campsites are designed to accommodate larger sized groups and are usually reserved for organized groups visiting the park together. For more information on group campgrounds, please contact the park directly.

Backcountry Camping is practiced in the wilderness away from facilities and amenities. Most of the time, you will have to hike, ski, snowshoe, canoe or kayak in order to reach backcountry sites. They often have very little in the way of amenities but are often much less crowded and can really make it feel like you’ve gotten away from it all. Backcountry sites are sometimes referred to as primitive sites.

Parks Canada Staff Tips
After setting up camp go to the visitor centre. Staff there will let you know what activities you can take part in during your stay. Many visitor centres also have interesting exhibits to help you find out more about what you can do and see in the national park you are visiting.