Skip to Content

Camping in Whistler, BC: The Best Campgrounds

Camping in Whistler, BC: The Best Campgrounds

Camping in Whistler is a great way to enjoy nature while also saving money on accommodations. As a local, I’ve got all the info you need to know to find a great Whistler campground whether you are pitching a tent, doing van life, or RVing.

I’m going to be straight with you though: there aren’t that many places to camp in Whistler, and the closer to the village you are, the more expensive it is. As well, you’ll need reservations at most campgrounds.

However, if you’re willing to drive a little ways out of town (up to 40 minutes), I’ve got great recommendations for places to camp near Whistler.

This post includes:

This is a sensitive wilderness area. Learn how to Leave No Trace to keep the wilderness wild. Make sure you are prepared by bringing the 10 Essentials. Get ready for adventure with this checklist of things to do before every hike.

Hey there: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support. -Taryn

Whistler Camping Map

Curious about where to find camping in Whistler? I made this custom Google Map for you. It includes all the campgrounds I mention in this post.

Whistler camping locations Google Map
Click to open in Google Maps

Whistler Riverside Camping and RV Resort

If you want to camp in Whistler, this campground has the best location. It’s the only place to camp that is actually right in the town of Whistler. It’s located near the golf course and Lost Lake Park. You can drive to Whistler village in 5 minutes or walk there in 30 minutes via the Valley Trail.

Whistler Riverside is a full-service campground with everything you need including showers, laundry, wifi, sani station, and a convenience store. Some areas of the campground have lots of trees and the rushing waters of Fitzsimmons Creek run through the centre.

Location: 8018 Mons Road, Whistler (5-minute drive or 30-minute walk to Whistler Village)

Sites: 156 sites with a mix of full-service, partially serviced, and unserviced RV sites, plus tent-only sites. They also have log cabins and yurts.

Nightly Rates: $47.75/tent; $71.75/RV; $90/yurt; $140/log cabin

Reservations: Yes. All sites can be reserved

Amenities: Showers, flush toilets, convenience store, wifi, laundry, barbecues, sani station, dishwashing station, picnic tables, fire rings, potable water taps

Open: Year-round (expect snow between November and March)

More Info: Riverside Camping and RV

Check prices:

Whistler RV Park and Campground

This campground is located 20 minutes south of Whistler just off Highway 99. Since it is up the hill, many of the sites have beautiful views of the valley.

The Whistler RV Park campground is popular with ATV and dirt bikers in summer and snowmobilers in winter since the trails start right at the campground.

This Whistler area campground is also really close to Brandywine Falls – the parking lot is just across the highway and from there it’s an easy 10-minute walk to the falls. There are lots of other hiking trails in the park too.

Location: 55 Highway 99, Whistler (20-minute drive south of Whistler Village)

Sites: 89 sites with both full hook-up and unserviced RV sites as well as some tent-only sites

Nightly Rates: $45/tent; $45/small RV with no services; $65/full hook-up RV site

Reservations: Yes. All sites can be reserved

Amenities: Showers, flush toilets, cafe, laundry, ping pong tables, picnic tables, fire rings, potable water taps

Open: Year-round (expect snow between November and March)

More Info and Reservations: Whistler RV Park and Campground

READ NEXT: 42 Things to do in Whistler in Winter

Cal-Cheak Recreation Site Campground

A female hiker wearing shorts and backpack walks across the Cal-Cheak Suspension bridge at the Cal-Cheak Campground in Whistler
Cal-Cheak suspension bridge at the Cal-Cheak Recreation Site Campground

This rustic campground is located in the forest close to Highway 99, making it easy to have a wilderness experience while still being a short drive to Whistler.

The sites are arranged in three separate loops a few minutes apart. Callaghan Camp is next to Callaghan Creek (16 sites). North Camp is next to the Cheakamus River (10 sites). And South Camp is located at the confluence of the Cheakamus River and Callaghan Creek (23 sites).

There is no water source here, so bring your own. You can also collect water from the creeks, but boil, filter, or treat it first as it isn’t safe to drink otherwise.

You can hike and mountain bike right from the campground. A fun suspension bridge leads from South Camp across the Cheakamus River to the trail to Brandywine Falls, about an hour away.

Location: Cal Cheak, Highway 99, Whistler (15-minute drive south of Whistler Village)

Sites: 55 sites, most of which are large enough to fit RVs.

Nightly Rate: $15

Reservations: No. All sites are first-come, first-served

Amenities: Firewood for sale, pit toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, bear-proof food lockers. No water.

Open: April 1 to October 31

More Info: Cal-Cheak Recreation Site

Nairn Falls Provincial Park Campground

Nairn Falls just north of Whistler at the Nairn Falls campground
Nairn Falls

Nairn Falls is the closest provincial park campground to Whistler at only 25 minutes away. The campground has lots of big campsites with trees and is my favourite campground near Whistler. Some of the sites have great views of the river from the top of a cliff.

This is a great campground for outdoor lovers. It’s an easy 1-hour hike to spectacular Nairn Falls. You can also head north up Highway 99 for a few minutes to One Mile Lake, which has SUP rentals and a great swimming beach. (If you don’t want to drive, it’s a 40-minute hike.)

There is also a huge network of trails between Nairn Falls and One Mile Lake that is great for hiking and mountain biking. If you brought frisbees, you can even play disc golf on the heavily wooded course next to the Sea to Sky Trail.

Location: Highway 99, Pemberton (25-minute drive north of Whistler Village)

Sites: 94 sites, many of which will fit RVs.

Nightly Rate: $22

Reservations: Yes. All sites can be reserved.

Amenities: Pit toilets, picnic tables, potable water via hand pumps, fire rings

Open: Mid-May to late September

More Info and Reservations: Nairn Falls Provincial Park

READ NEXT: 40 Cheap and Free Things To Do in Whistler

Owl Creek Recreation Site Campground

This small recreation site is located just north of the village of Mount Currie. It’s a bit under-the-radar and doesn’t accept reservations, so it’s great for a last-minute trip.

The campsite is set in an old orchard alongside the Birkenhead River and Owl Creek so the sites are grassy. However, train tracks run right past the campground, so it can be noisy.

There is no water source here, so bring your own. You can also collect water from the creeks, but boil, filter, or treat it first as it isn’t safe to drink otherwise.

Location: Pemberton Portage Road, Mount Currie (40 minutes north of Whistler)

Sites: 15 sites, most of which will fit RVs

Nightly Rate: $15

Reservations: No. All sites are first-come, first-served.

Amenities: Pit toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, bear-proof food storage lockers, firewood for sale. No water.

Open: Early April to late October

More Info: Owl Creek Recreation Site

Cat Lake Recreation Site Campground

A man standing on the dock at the Cat Lake campground. One of the best places for camping in Whistler.
A rainy fall day at Cat Lake

This lakeside campground is one of the most popular spots to camp in the Whistler area. It’s located 40 minutes south of Whistler near the town of Squamish. It’s a short drive from the highway on a gravel road which can be bumpy but is fine for all vehicles.

The sites are arranged on walking paths around the lake, so be prepared to carry your gear for up to 10 minutes. There is no water source here, so bring your own. You can also collect water from the lake, but boil, filter, or treat it first as it isn’t safe to drink otherwise.

The main attraction here is the beautiful lake, which has relatively warm water and three different docks dive off. There are also lots of mountain bike and dirt bike trails in the area. On summer weekends it’s a popular spot for parties.

Location: Cheekeye Forest Service Road, Squamish (40 minutes south of Whistler)

Sites: 50 tent-onlyy sites, all of which are walk-in

Nightly Rate: $15

Reservations: No. All sites are first-come, first-serve.

Amenities: Pit toilets, picnic tables, bear-proof food lockers, fire rings, firewood for sale, swimming lake. No water.

Open: April to October

More Info: Cat Lake Recreation Site

Alice Lake Provincial Park Campground

The beach at Alice Lake in Squamish - one of the best Whistler campgrounds
The south beach at Alice Lake

This family-friendly campground is a worthy destination, but since it’s just 40 minutes south of Whistler, it’s a good spot to base yourself. The large campground is set in a shady forest. Most of the campsites are large enough for RVs and some of them have electrical hook-ups.

The sandy beach at Alice Lake is a short walk from the campground. You can rent a kayak or SUP or swim over to the floating dock.

The park also has lots of hiking and mountain biking trails. The most popular trail is the Four Lakes Trail which loops around Alice, Fawn, Stump, and Edith Lakes. I live a short hike away from Alice Lake and love the trails here.

Location: Alice Lake Road, Squamish (40 minutes south of Whistler)

Sites: 96, most of which are big enough for RVs, some of which have electric hook-ups, and 12 walk-in tent sites.

Nightly Rates: $35 (unserviced); $43 (electrical hookups)

Reservations: Yes. All sites can be reserved.

Amenities: Showers, flush toilets and pit toilets, picnic tables, potable water taps, fire rings, playground, sani station, swimming lake

Open: Mid March to end of October

More Info and Reservations: Alice Lake Provincial Park

MTN Fun Basecamp

This conveniently located campground is right next to Highway 99 at the north end of Squamish. That makes it an easy 40-minute drive to Whistler.

The campground is set in the forest at the base of Debeck’s Hill. You can hike up Debeck’s Hill (my favourite local viewpoint) or to Alice Lake right from the campground. It’s also a great spot for mountain bikers with lots of trails right at the campground and bike rentals on-site. They even have a bike wash station.

Location: 1796 Depot Road, Squamish (40 minutes south of Whistler)

Sites: 48 sites with a mix of serviced and unserviced RV sites and tent-only sites. They also have a small motel.

Nightly Rates: $40-80/unserviced sites (depending on size); $70/serviced sites; $125-149/motel room

Reservations: Yes. All sites can be reserved.

Amenities: Showers, flush toilets, convenience store, wifi, laundry, picnic tables, fire rings, potable water taps, bike wash station

Open: Year-round

More Info and Reservations: MTN Fun Base Camp

Free Camping Near Whistler

Since Whistler is a popular destination, there are very few free places to camp. You aren’t allowed to sleep in your vehicle on roads or in parking lots within the Resort Municipality of Whistler. You also can’t camp in any municipal parks.

If you do choose to take advantage of free camping in Whistler, keep in mind that there are no facilities so you will need to pack out all trash with you. You will also need to use Leave No Trace toilet practcies – dig a cat hole 6″ deep well away from trails, camp and water and bury your waste.

If you choose to camp for free in Whistler, please respect other campers and the wilderness. Locations that have lots of garbage, human waste, damage, illegal fires, and noise complaints get shut down and closed to future campers.

Here are a few places to camp for free near Whistler:

Callaghan Lake Provincial Park

Located in the Callaghan Valley past Whistler Olympic Park, Callaghan Lake Provincial Park has a free campsite. The road to get there is very rough and requires a 4WD vehicle.

The campground is an informal clearing that fits four or five tents or truck campers. It has a pit toilet but no other facilities. The campground is snow-free between mid-June and late October.

Chek Canyon Recreation Site

The Chek Canyon Recreation Site is a very popular rock climbing area located in the Cheakamus Canyon south of Whistler. To get there, you’ll need to drive a few kilometres along the steep and bumpy Conroy Forest Service Road. A 4WD or AWD vehicle is recommended.

The small site has room for three tents, along with picnic tables and a toilet. On weekends, it is usually fully occupied by rock climbers.

Forest Service Roads

The Whistler area has many forest service roads snaking uphill into the mountains. These are rough gravel roads and many require 4WD vehicles.

Some of these roads have pullouts or clearings where you can pitch a tent for the night. There are no formal facilities so you must pack out all trash and use Leave No Trace practices for going to the bathroom.

One commonly used spot is Riverside Drive along the Green River north of Whistler. To find other locations, you’ll need to explore the forest service roads. The road networks can be confusing, so it’s best to use a GPS app like Gaia GPS or the Vancouver, Coast and Mountains Backroad Mapbook.

Psst! Want to save 20% off a premium Gaia GPS annual membership, which includes the maps I use on my trips? Use this link.

Camping in Squamish

If you’re willing to drive a little further to get to Whistler (about an hour), there are lots of campgrounds in Squamish.

Paradise Valley Campground: Family-friendly campground for tents and RVs (hook-ups available) with a no speakers policy near the Cheakamus River in the Paradise Valley northwest of Squamish. More info: Paradise Valley Campground

Squamish Valley Campground: A rustic campground on the Squamish River that accepts both tents and RVs (no hook-ups). More info: Squamish Valley Campground.

Squamish Riverside Recreation Site Campground: A small rustic rec site on the Squamish River with no fees. It can get very busy and is sometimes rowdy. More info: Squamish Riverside Recreation Site

Mamquam River Campground: Basic campground with a community feel next to the Mamquam River for tents and RVs (no hookups). More info: Mamquam River Campground.

Squamish Municipal Campground: Basic city-owned campground near the Brennan Park Recreation Centre for tents and RVs (no hookups). Currently closed with no reopening date. More info: District of Squamish

Stawamus Chief Provincial Park Campground: Forested walk-in campsites and a few drive-in sites at the base of the Stawamus Chief. Primarily used by rock-climbers. More info: Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

Klahanie Campground: Large campground near Shannon Falls with a mix of tent and RV sites (semi-serviced). More info: Klahanie Campground

Backcountry Camping in Whistler

The Whistler area is home to many gorgeous hiking trails, some of which have backcountry campgrounds. Keep in mind that these campsites are several hours hike from the trailhead.

Most of the backcountry campsites are in Garibaldi Provincial Park including Garibaldi Lake, Elfin Lakes, Cheakamus Lake, Russet Lake, and Wedgemount Lake.

Other Whistler backcountry camping options include Joffre Lakes, Hanging Lake, Tenquille Lake, and Marriott Meadows.

You can find details for all of these trips in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia.

Get My Book…

Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia

A one-stop resource for backpackers in beautiful British Columbia.

  • 40 backpacking trips within a few hours of Vancouver
  • Info about permits, reservations, and campsite facilities
  • Detailed maps and photos
  • Advice for extending your trip
  • Points of cultural and natural history
Book cover for Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia

Whistler Camping Tips

Nairn Falls Campground - one of the best places to camp in Whistler
Camping at Nairn Falls with a view of the river

Wondering if you need a reservation to camp in Whistler? Or if you’ve allowed to have a fire. What about weather – what’s it like in Whistler? And will you see bears if you camp in Whistler? Here’s everything you need to know to plan a camping trip to Whistler.

Whistler Camping Reservations

Whistler is one of British Columbia’s most popular tourist destinations, so it’s best to make advance reservations for camping, especially on the weekend. Book well in advance to avoid disappointment. Most of the Whistler campgrounds listed above take reservations.

If you’re heading to a campground that isn’t reservable, plan to arrive early in the day to get a spot. Check-out at most campgrounds is 11 am, so arriving around then, or a little before, is a good idea. If you’re camping on the weekend, try to show up on Friday as you might not find anything if you come on Saturday.

Campfires in Whistler

Most campgrounds allow campfires as long as you keep them inside the provided metal fire rings. Plan to buy firewood locally. Do not cut down trees or branches to start a fire. This damages the ecosystem and live trees do not burn well.

In hot and dry summers, the entire region may be under a fire ban. Check the BC Wildfire Service website before you go to see if there is a fire ban in place. (Whistler is in the Coastal region.) You will also see fire ban signs at campgrounds.

When fire bans are in place you are still permitted to use portable campfire devices that use briquettes, liquid fuel, or propane.

Whistler Camping Weather

Whistler sits high in the mountains so it gets a lot of snow. Between late October and late April, you can expect to find snow on the ground and temperatures close to or below freezing.

Whistler is also often chilly the rest of the year, especially at night. The warmest months are July and August when temperatures are typically between 9 and 24 °C (48 to 75 F°). June and September are also good times to go camping with temperatures between 6 and 19 °C (43 to 66 F°).

Whistler’s mountain climate also means it gets a fair amount of rain, especially in the fall, winter, and spring. July and August are the driest months, followed by May and June.

READ NEXT: How to Stay Warm in a Tent: Over 40 Tips

Bears in Whistler

The Whistler area is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. Black bears are very common and occasionally walk through neighbourhoods and campgrounds. Grizzly bears mostly stay in the mountains west of town, but their presence in town has been increasing.

However it’s unlikely you will see a bear – they are usually afraid of humans and try to give us a wide berth.

In general, camping in Whistler is very safe as long as you keep a clean campsite. Store all food, cooking equipment, garbage, and scented products (like toiletries) in your car, RV, or a bear-proof locker. Never store them in a tent or tent trailer. Clean up all food scraps and spills. Don’t burn garbage in your campfire as it can attract animals.

Read more about bear safety for campers.

RV Sani Dump Stations in Whistler

If you’re camping in an RV, you will want to know where to find RV sani dump stations in Whistler.

Whistler Riverside RV Resort & Campground: For registered guests only. Located inside the campground at 8018 Mons Road, Whistler.

Whistler RV Park & Campground: For registered guests only. Located inside the campground at 55 Highway 99, Whistler.

Pemberton Visitor Centre: Pay for use facility at the tourist info centre. Located at 7374, Sea to Sky Highway in Pemberton, 25 minutes north of Whistler.

Alice Lake Provincial Park: Pay for use facility at the campground in Alice Lake Provincial Park on Alice Lake Road in Squamish, 40 minutes south of Whistler.

Canadian Tire, Squamish: Free dump station in the Canadian Tire parking lot. Located 1851 Mamquam Road, Squamish, 45 minutes south of Whistler.

Showers in Whistler

Some of the campgrounds in Whistler have showers. But a few do not. Here’s where to take a shower in Whistler.

Meadow Park Sports Centre: You can access showers if you pay the drop-in rate for the swimming pool or fitness centre.

Rainbow Park or Lost Lake Park: These two lakeside parks have free outdoor showers. But they are designed for swimmers so you’ll need to keep your bathing suit on.

Responsible Camping in Whistler

Do your part to be a responsible camper in Whistler.

  • Learn and follow the principles of Leave No Trace.
  • Respect local residents and fellow campers by keeping music and noise low, especially at night.
  • Follow bear safe camping practices.
  • If fires are permitted, keep yours small and inside a fire ring.
  • Use a toilet or outhouse whenever possible. If not, go to the bathroom the Leave No Trace way. Don’t leave human waste or toilet paper on the ground where dogs or other humans may discover it.
  • Don’t leave garbage in campsites. Bring it to garbage cans or recycling bins, even if that means driving a few kilometres with it.
  • Do not pollute creeks and rivers with human waste or soap.

That’s everything you need to know to plan a fabulous Whistler camping trip. Do you have questions about finding a campground in Whistler? Let me know in the comments. I’m happy to help!

More Whistler posts:

Taryn Eyton