Whoever said camping is only for the summer season has never experienced the excitement of winter camping. While it’s certainly colder and you won’t be taking any dips in one of the 31,500 lakes in Canada, camping during the winter offers many new and exciting opportunities. So, whether you’re going mountain hiking in hopes of finding an isolated, wild slope to ski down or simply want to enjoy the season in a unique way, here are the best Canadian places for winter camping.
Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island
If you’ve never been to Vancouver Island, ‘tis the season to change that. Just when you think there’s no better place than Vancouver, you take the ferry across the Georgia Strait (an arm of the Pacific) and find yourself standing on an island covered with the most beautiful wildlife you could ever imagine. So, naturally, Vancouver Island is one of the best places for winter camping in Canada.
In particular, Strathcona Provincial Park is worth a trip. This beautiful destination is home to 250,000 hectares of mountains, wilderness, peaks, plateaus, lakes, glaciers, snow and slopes. Everything you could ever want from winter camping is provided to you at this provincial park. And plus, you simply can’t go wrong amongst snow-covered glaciers and high-alpine slopes. So, don’t forget your photochromic snow goggles and skis!
Glacier National Park in the Backcountry of British Columbia
With a name like “Glacier National Park”, you just can’t go wrong. This beautiful destination for winter camping in Canada is only one of the seven national parks in British Columbia and, arguably, one of the best. Winter camping at Glacier National Park is about as rustic, authentic and Canadian as it gets. Strap up and partake on a ski tour that takes you through the peaks and glaciers in the park or simply enjoy the backcountry of British Columbia.
However, this area is prone to avalanches and much of the park is restricted throughout the winter season. So, you’ll want to have proper, snow gear and winter camping training before setting up shop.
Algonquin Provincial Park in the Muskoka Area
For everyone in Ontario, you likely already know all about the Muskoka area. It’s, arguably, one of the most stunning areas in the province and one of the most popular places for camping and cottaging all-year round, thanks to Algonquin Provincial Park and all the surrounding areas. There’s truly no better place to start your winter camping aspirations. After all, if you’re going to do it, might as well do it in an area covered with deciduous forests, snow-covered cabins, unique yurts, backcountry cabins and an authentic Canadian experience. When you aren’t getting cozy on your campsite, strap on some skis and enjoy the 70 kilometers of cross-country ski trails or trek the snowshoeing trails that dive into the deep wonders of Ontario. Don’t forget your skates and hockey sticks because the Mew Lake Campground parking lot gets turned into an outdoor skating rink for all to enjoy. You can also try some dogsledding or go backpacking or simply relax in the crisp, clean air the Muskoka area is known for.
Oka National Park on the North Shore of Lac Des Deux Montagnes in Quebec
If you’re looking for an unaltered, pure, Canadian winter camping experience, Oka National Park is the place to do it. Located not too far from Montréal, this park is full of natural heritage, a ton of history and a long list of new ways to enjoy the winter season. The atmosphere is soothing and majestic and it can be just as exhilarating and exciting. It all depends on what you do. Start the day off with some rest and relaxation in your yurt and then take a ride on one of the various skiing and snowshoeing trails; trek out onto the ice for some Canadian ice-fishing, rent a snow scooter, jump on a snowmobile or enjoy an authentic dog sledding experience.
The coolest thing about Oka National Park is that you can choose what type of winter camping you’d like. Stay in a chalet or shelter, pitch a tent, or shack up in a luxury lodge.
Fundy National Park in Alma, New Brunswick
If there’s one thing New Brunswick is really good at, it’s providing endless opportunities to get out and enjoy Canadian wilderness. Fundy National Park is one of the most popular parks all year round, located on the famous Bay of Fundy near a quaint little village called Alma. This park has the highest tides in the world, rarest whales in the world and even has semi-precious minerals and dinosaur fossils for you to find. It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and understandably so.
During the winter months, camping at Fundy National Park is certain to fill your days with picturesque scenery, New Brunswick beauty, and wonderful opportunity as you navigate through native Acadian forests. Spend your days hiking, skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing the land, go tobogganing for some laughter and fun, and cozy up in a yurt, rustic cabin, oTENTik or in a backcountry campground. Whatever you do, just be sure to put the Bay of Fundy on your winter camping bucket list.
Sleep in Geodesic Domes in P.E.I.
Take a trip across the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and stay in P.E.I.’s newest winter attraction, geodesic domes. These domes are more glamping than authentic, Canadian winter camping, equipped with a small kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, deck and windows. However, the surrounding area will make you feel like you’ve slipped away into the wilder wilderness of Canada.
There’s no better way to enjoy the winter season than to go winter camping in one of our various parks. From provincial parks to national parks, Canada certainly doesn’t lack awesome, new and exciting ways to explore this beautiful country. So, grab your snow gear, pack up your skis and don’t forget your photochromic snow goggles, and enjoy the winter season like you never have before.