Backcountry camping is the perfect way to immerse yourself in British Columbia’s natural beauty. To help you plan your trip, backcountry campsites can be reserved in some of our more popular backcountry areas. Backcountry reservations are available for Garibaldi, Bowron Lake, Mount Assiniboine, and Joffre Lakes.
‘Backcountry’ means an area more than 1km away from any highway or park road. Backcountry campsites are not accessible by vehicle and are generally used for multi-day hiking trips.
Backcountry areas have very limited facilities. When camping in the backcountry, you will not have access to amenities like garbage cans and showers. Be prepared to pack out garbage and other waste when you leave.
This page provides instructions on making a reservation for a backcountry campsite. Look here for information on:
- Reservable backcountry areas and activities
- Making a backcountry camping reservation
- Paying for your reservation
- Changing or cancelling your reservation
- Checking in at a backcountry campground
In areas without reservable campsites, camping is often allowed with a backcountry permit. To see if the park you are planning to visit allows backcountry camping, find the park’s webpage. To learn about permits, see backcountry permit registration.
Some policies and fees vary by park. For details, see parks and activities, below, or find the park’s webpage.
BC Parks is committed to protecting the environmental integrity and cultural values of the backcountry. Visitors to all backcountry areas in B.C. are expected to follow Leave No Trace wilderness ethics.
For detailed information on Leave No Trace wilderness ethics, see our backcountry guide.
Parks and activities
Some of British Columbia’s world-renowned backcountry areas offer campsites and activities that require reservations. Look here for links to detailed information on booking ahead for these campsites and activities.
Berg Lake Trail
The Berg Lake Trail is a world-renowned backcountry hiking route featuring some of the finest scenery in British Columbia. The trail is in Mount Robson Park, east of the Cariboo Mountains, near the Alberta border.
The Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Park was severely damaged by extreme weather in 2021. All campgrounds on the trail are currently closed.
Kinney Lake Campground reopens on June 27, 2023. Reservations are now available up to four months before your desired arrival.
The trail beyond Kinney Lake will be closed for the remainder of 2023. See the Berg Lake Trail reservations page for more information.
Located 70km north of Vancouver, Garibaldi is famous for its extensive hiking trails and breathtaking views. Garibaldi has year-round campgrounds, as well as wilderness camping opportunities for those with backcountry experience.
Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit
The Bowron Lake Circuit is a 116km chain of waterways and connecting land, just west of the Cariboo Mountains. It offers extraordinary backcountry adventures to paddlers with previous wilderness experience.
Mount Assiniboine camping
Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is an unspoiled wilderness on B.C.’s border with Alberta. Camping can be reserved at Magog Lake and Og Lake, the park’s core areas. There are varied camping options in other parts of the park.
Joffre Lakes camping
Situated 60km northwest of Whistler, Joffre Lakes offers opportunities for hiking, mountaineering, and wildlife viewing. Backcountry camping is available at the Upper Joffre Lake Campground.
Reservations are required for most of the campsites in the parks mentioned above. Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit accepts some in-person bookings, but reservations are strongly recommended to avoid disappointment.
How to make a reservation
- How far ahead you can book varies between parks (see parks and activities, above, to find the park’s reservation policies page)
- Anyone over 16 years of age can make a backcountry camping reservation via camping.bcparks.ca
- Reservations can also be made by calling 1-800-689-9025 toll free from Canada and the US or 1-519-858-6161 internationally
- You must pay all camping fees and transaction fees in advance to secure your reservation (see fees, below)
- You can book up to a maximum of 14 nights per calendar year at any individual park
- When booking your reservation, you must specify the ‘named occupant’ who will be your official reservation holder
- This named occupant can be yourself or another person, but they must be present when your party arrives and throughout your stay
If the named occupant cannot be present throughout your stay, your reservation must be rebooked with an occupant who can be present. The named occupant may be asked to show ID during your stay to keep your reservation valid.
Tent pads and camping party sizes
- Camping in BC Parks’ reservable backcountry campgrounds is permitted only on designated tent pads or established campsites
- Making a reservation guarantees you a spot but the reservation service does not assign you a specific tent pad
- You select your tent pad or pads when you arrive at the campground, on a first come, first served basis
- Tent pads are a maximum of three square-meters, holding up to two tents and four people (sizes and allowances differ at Bowron Lake)
- You can reserve up to three tent pads at one time, for a maximum total camping party of 12 people (at least one of whom must be over 16)
There are two types of fees:
- Camping fees, which pay for campsites, activities, and services
- Transaction fees, which help us maintain the reservation service
For more information on camping fees and transaction fees, see the camping fees page.
Tax is included in camping fees, but tax is added to transaction fees. If you change or cancel your reservation, there will be additional fees (see additional transaction fees, below).
Camping fees vary between parks. For information on parks with reservable campgrounds, see parks and activities, above. For other parks, find the park’s webpage or download the camping fees and policies supplement [PDF].
When paying online or by phone, you can use Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Visa Debit, or Mastercard Debit.
|Camping fee||Varies by park|
|Transaction fee for camping||$6 per tent pad, per night (plus tax)|
|Bowron Lake vessel fee||$18 per canoe (plus tax)|
|Call centre surcharge||Call centre surcharge $5 per call (plus tax)|
Changes and cancellations
Changing or cancelling your reservation
- You can change or cancel your reservation via camping.bcparks.ca or by calling 1-800-689-9025 (1-519-858-6161 internationally)
- Reservation changes or cancellations must be made by the account holder who made the original booking
- To change your reservation to a different campground or park, you must cancel and re-book
- Reservations cannot be transferred or sold to another party, and attempting to do so will lead to cancellation without refund
- Parks have differing rules about when you can alter your arrival date (see the reservations policy page for the park you are visiting for details)
- If you cancel a reservation before your arrival, any applicable camping fees will be refunded (subject to our cancellation policies)
- All transaction fees, including change and cancellation fees and call centre surcharges, are non-refundable
Additional transaction fees for changes and cancellations
|Change fee for alterations to itinerary or party size||$6 per change|
|Cancellations that result in a refund||$6 per cancellation|
|Cancellations that do not result in a refund||No fee|
For more information on our cancellation and refund policies, see the cancellations and refunds page.
- Check-in times and check-out times vary between parks (see the reservations policy page for the park you are visiting for details)
- Your reservation is held until noon the day following your scheduled arrival, after which your reservation is cancelled without refund
- The reservation holder (‘occupant’) you named when booking your reservation must be present upon arrival and throughout the stay
Fix a copy of your reservation confirmation to your campsite post (in a resealable plastic bag) and keep another with you throughout your trip.