Four unique ways to stay overnight with Parks Canada
See. Love. Book. Stay
Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and everyone wants to join in the fun. Think everything’s already booked up? Think again! You can be a happy camper too if you check out these hidden gems which still have vacancies. But don’t wait too long to stake your claim—book now so you don’t miss out!
Reservations and fees
- Admission to all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada is free in 2017.
- You still need to pay a fee to stay overnight (including the backcountry).
- Camping sites should be reserved in advance. Make your reservation now.
Plan your adventure: what do you want to do?
Want to experience the raw beauty of the Canadian wilderness by heading off the beaten path to the backcountry? Make the most of your visit and be prepared with a booking. Fire up your imagination with these hidden gems and start planning your trip now.
- Admission to all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada is free in 2017, however overnight backcountry fees still apply.
- Many backcountry routes operate a quota system to maintain a high quality hiking experience, so book ahead to guarantee your departure date.
Where to go
Newfoundland and Labrador
For wilderness buffs only! Camp in the wild at the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains. Climb the Long Range plateau along arctic-alpine bogs and barrens. Watch for caribou, moose, arctic hare, and black bear along the way.
Your heart soars when you first spy the jade-green waters of the sparkling lake. Climb the alpine tundra as golden eagles soar and striped golden-mantled ground squirrels scurry through the trees. Breathe in the scent of mountain hemlock and subalpine firs as you stride across a meadow carpeted with wildflowers.
Seek out a hidden corner of southwest Saskatchewan where one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems thrives. See antelopes leaping across the prairies as bison graze, and mighty ferruginous hawks fly overhead. Camp wild in the heart of the prairies, lulled to sleep by the whisper of the blue grama grass.
Don’t give up and pack that paddle away yet, there are still plenty of places for you to enjoy a vacation experiencing the tranquility of Canada’s pristine waterways—be inspired by these three hidden gems and make your booking now!
- You’ll still need to pay a fee to stay overnight.
- Canoe-Camping sites should be reserved in advance in order to secure your spot. Book now to make sure you don’t miss out.
Where to go?
One for pro-paddlers and boaters; welcome to the world’s largest freshwater archipelago, home to 63 gorgeous islands just waiting for you to explore. Drop anchor and hike wooded trails to take in soaring views of the windswept pines and granite of the Canadian Shield—inspiration for the Group of Seven. Be inspired yourself as you paddle to sheltered bays past rugged craggy coastline. Stay overnight overlooking the shoreline of the Great Lakes.
New to camping? Book a Learn to camp session and learn everything you need to know. Head out for an adventure on the banks of the St Lawrence in Mallorytown Landing. Rent a kayak and join a guided paddle through the Admiralty Island Group. Settle back on the dock and cast a line to fish for rock bass and yellow perch. Serious pros can paddle out on their own adventure taking everything needed on their kayak to camp under the stars.
Book a paddling lesson on Astotin Lake in the heart of the park and hone your stand up paddleboard, kayak or canoe skills. Take a tour in a replica voyageur canoe watching out for pelicans, cormorants and beavers, and maybe even the occasional elk, deer or bison along the way. After a day on the water spend a cosy evening next to the campfire enjoying dinner and swapping stories before snuggling up in a beach-side oTENTik under a canopy of twinkling stars.
It’s not too late to make a reservation for a fun (and educational- shhh!) camp trip diving deep into Canada’s rich past. Draw inspiration from this trio of lightly-visited national treasures and book your break now.
- Reservations can be made for the mid-May to October season.
- In order to secure your spot, camping sites should be reserved in advance. Book now to make sure you don’t miss out.
Where to go
Not just one but two historic sites to explore on Vancouver Island, just 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. By day you can tour the secret bunkers of Fort Rodd Hill’s military command post which was in operation from 1895 to 1956. Learn about the fascinating history of the soldiers and families who lived here, then head out with a naturalist to experience the rare wonder of the Garry Oak Learning Meadow, an oasis of wildflowers and a haven for bees and butterflies. At night sleep soundly in an oTENTik soothed by the sounds of the ocean.
Uncover a Nova Scotia story 4,000 years in the making along the lakeshores of Kejimkujik. See petroglyphs carved on the rocks telling tales of Mi’kmaw legend and history. Climb aboard a voyageur canoe and paddle through history with Park Canada guides. Sleep soundly dreaming of the past in your cosy oTENTik cabin in the woods.
Step into the sturdy boots of a fur trader from the 1800s, deep in northern B.C.’s pristine wilderness. Hear stories of First Nations hunters; learn how to throw the atlatls and try your hand at archery. Enjoy the rare thrill of spending the night in the Murray House, an authentic heritage home. Sleep warmed by the crackle of the wood stove just as the Murray family did a hundred years ago.
Whether you want a sandy beach, pristine wide open spaces or just time to relax camping under the trees and getting back to basics, there’s still time to make those dreams come true. Be inspired by this pick of hidden gems with camping vacancies. Book now to claim yours.
- Camping sites should be reserved and paid for in advance. Book now to make sure you don’t miss out.
- Parks Canada offers equipped camping at selected sites. No tent? No problem! Go camping the easy way.
Where to go
Endless plains and clear blue skies set the scene in this Canadian prairie national park. Take to the trail on board a traditional wagon and learn the history and stories of the peoples of the prairies, join the junior naturalists for the afternoon on the hunt for tipi rings and fossils, go on a techno-treasure hunt geocaching in the Badlands. Sleep lulled by the sound of the prairie winds whistling through the tall grass in a traditional tipi or modern oTENTik.
Watch out for sea lions and orcas lazily cruising past as you clamber the rocks at East Point, Saturna Island. Hire a kayak and paddle to the protected water of Cabbage Island for a swim in the sun-warmed waters. Challenge the family to a geocaching treasure hunt for a fun way to learn about nature and the park. Sleep in your cosy camp in the shade of a forest of ferns and alder trees.
Feel the red sand of Broad Cove Beach between your toes and take a dip in the Atlantic. Stay up late and enjoy a lantern-lit walk in the moonlight accompanied by the crash of the waves on sandy Ingonish Beach. Hear ghost stories and tales of the Mi’kmaq people and Cape Breton settlers. Enjoy a touch of no-fuss luxury in an oTENTik A-frame with bunk beds in the peace of the forest.