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Camping Squamish

Whether you are looking to free camp on a forest road, camp in a designated campsite, or want full hookups at a luxury RV park, this complete guide to camping in Squamish will help you.

As avid rock climbers and adventure-obsessed travelers, we love camping in Squamish. There are plenty of forest roads, large pull-outs, quiet residential areas, a provincial park, a municipal campground, and private campgrounds to give you a lot of camping options. 

The popularity of Squamish within the #vanlife community has increased to the point where the town of Squamish was concerned about the environmental impact so, they have created this helpful calendar to help campers and vanlifers find available camping sites.

Four Lakes, Camping Alice Lake

Free Camping in Squamish

Last time we visited Squamish, we wild camped on Mamquam Forest Road but because there were so many campers who weren’t cool about leaving no trace, the city has been cracking down and not allowing camping there anymore, although many still try.

Due to the strain on the environment from having so many people wild camp, the city is asking people to not wild camp in the following locations:

  • Spit Road – Squamish Estuary/Wildlife Management Area
  • Downtown Squamish
  • Mamquam Forest Service Road/Powerhouse Springs Road
  • Any residential area

If you like forest roads, Cat Lake is only ten minutes north of Squamish and there are plenty of free camping options or you can pay to tent camp in the walk-in sites at Cat Lake. This is a nice area for hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking/SUP.

Cat lake recreation area near Squamish
Cat Lake is an amazing place to enjoy the great outdoors Squamish
Photo credit and copyright: VancityWild.com

Technically Walmart doesn’t allow overnight parking however many RVs and vans do stay overnight and we’ve never been rolled for it. Canadian Tire also has many RVs parked overnight even though it does say 2-hour max parking.

Tips if you choose to free camp:

  • Trash + Recycling: It is easy to find trash cans around town, at gas stations, and large stores, but it was hard to find recycling places. Mountain Fun Campground (see below) has recycling.
  • Dump + Fill: Canadian Tire is a great resource if you are RV camping as they have a free dump and water fill station in their parking lot. 
  • Showers: If you are looking to shower, the Brennan Park Recreation Centre is great and also a good spot for WiFi.
  • WiFi: Zephyr Cafe, Backcountry Brewery, Canadian Tires, Nesters Market, and Squamish Library are our go-to for WiFi.

It’s really hard to tell when you are just driving the Sea to Sky highway, but there are a lot of great campgrounds in Squamish. There were three that were my absolute favorites: Alice Lake, Mountain Fun, and Mamquam River.

Photo credit https://squamish.ca/discover-squamish/camping/

Designated Camping In Squamish

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Rate: $23-43 per night
Showers: Yes, free
Big Rig Friendly: Yes
WiFi: No

Alice Lake PP Campground in Squamish
Secluded, forested campsites at Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park is a destination campsite. This campground is one of the most gorgeous campgrounds we’ve stayed at. Besides having spacious sites beneath huge trees, the views of the sunset over Alice Lake are to die for.  There are a few campsites here with electricity and there is also a dump and fill station at the entrance. Getting reservations can be very hard so try to book way in advance.

Campground Highlights

  • Trails: There are great hiking and mountain biking trails from the campground. I recommend mountain biking Cliffs Corner for fast, easy, flowy downhill or uphill 50 Shades of Green if you are looking for a great workout. Biking or hiking Jacks is a nice in-between. Make sure to also hike the easy loop of Four Lakes Trail. My kids love staying here because there’s a fun playground with an easy mountain biking skills park. You can also kayak and SUP on Alice Lake and rentals are available at the lake.
  • Free Showers: The campground has a toilet block with flush toilets and free hot showers. If you want a hot shower, don’t wait too late in the evening though or the hot water will run out.
  • No WiFi: While Alice Lake is more affordable, I didn’t have cell service there and there wasn’t Wifi. Luckily, there’s so much to do that I didn’t mind being off-grid for a few days.
  • Snack Bar: There is a small snack bar by the lake but that’s about it for food options nearby. If you camp here, just remember to stock up on the way in.

Overall

If you can plan to get a site at this very popular campground, do it. It offers plenty of options to keep you or your family entertained, while also getting some R+R under a gorgeous canopy of old-growth forest.

Mountain Fun Basecamp

Rate: $43-65 per night
Showers: Yes, hot and free
Big Rig Friendly: Yes
WiFi: Yes, free

There is so much to love about this campground…it’s in the forest, there are full hookup and dry camping sites, dishwashing stations, a charging station, really hot showers that are free, and it sits right on a large network of mountain biking trails, and the staff is nice. 

Squamish Camping at MTN Fun Camp
Camping at MTN Fun Campground turned out to be one of our favorite spots in all of Squamish
Photo credit and copyright: MTN Fun Base Camp

There are two main areas, full hookups and tent areas. The tent areas are quite large and many can fit good-sized RVs. Our 30-foot had no trouble fitting in site 12, which is in the non-hookup area.   

Campground Highlights

A perfect campground for mountain bikers

  • Mountain Biking Trails: If you MTB, you’ll love it here. Right from the campground you can hop on the Wonderland Trail which takes you up to the extensive network of trails around Alice Lake. Note: Trailforks says that Wonderland is green but it is blue according to the wooden signposts and it’s accurate. It was way too technical for my 8-year-old. For beginner riders, go across the street and ride Ray Peters Trail to Larry’s Loop, Reefer Rip, Rusty Bucket, and finish on Sweet Judy.
  • Bike Rentals: If you don’t have a bike, you’re in luck. The campground rents mountain bikes at an affordable rate. $15 for kids and $25 for adults for the entire day. 
  • Dish Washing Stations: The dishwashing stations are huge sinks with a hose and I loved that I could send my 11-year-old to wash dishes and not worry about him breaking anything. 
  • Charging Stations: I thought the charging station in the campground was pure genius and I don’t know why more campgrounds don’t do this. In the middle of the tent camping area, there’s a pole with a surge protector attached so that you can charge your devices. I was stoked for the charging station just so I could use it in the morning for 10 seconds to use my electric offer grinder without waking up my kids.

Photo credit and copyright: MTN Fun Base Camp

  • Hot Showers: Nothing is better after back-to-back days of hiking, biking, and climbing than a long hot shower. Don’t let the age of the bathrooms here fool you. These showers were so hot it felt like heaven and I appreciated that each shower stall had soap, shampoo, and conditioner. #karmapoints
  • Hotel: They also have hotel rooms with a kitchenette, king-size bed, private bathroom, and a Nespresso machine which will fit up to 2 adults and 1 child. However, if I was coming to Squamish and needed a room, I would personally stay at Squamish Adventure Inn because of its perfect location to The Smoke Bluffs and downtown Squamish.

Overall

Like Alice Lake Provincial Park, this campground fills up fast so your biggest challenge may just be planning. The biggest reason I’d stay here instead of Alice Lake would be for WiFi, you are a little closer to town, and there is laundry here. They also allow longer stays than Alice Lake does.

Mamquam River Campground

Rate: $10-15 per night
Showers: No
Big Rig Friendly: No
WiFi: No

This non-profit campground is very basic but it’s clean, in the forest, and has a friendly, laid-back vibe.  This is a great place to stay if you are looking to have some space to spread out and enjoy the mountain air. It’s close to the river and to bike paths if you want to ride to town.

Squamish camping: Mamquam River Campground
Riverside views at Mamquam River Campground
Photo credit and copyright: Tourism Squamish

There are three camping areas: tent camping sites and drive-in sites, which both have picnic tables and a firepit, plus, a van life parking area.

The walk-in tent sites are forested and have some privacy. The drive-in sites are spacious and level and for us, since we are #vanlifers trapped in an RV and so this campsite was perfect for us for one night.

If you have a big rig and are looking for amenities, this is not the campground for you.

However, if you are a self-contained van lifer, they do allow overnight parking on a first come first serve basis and you might love that they have a common area with shared picnic tables, fire-pit, and even a slackline. 

Campground Highlights

  • Pit Toilets Only: There are exceptionally clean pit toilets, but that’s it as far as amenities go.
  • No Water: There is no water here so make sure to bring your water or be ready to filter from the river.
  • Leave No Trace: While it’s rad that they practice No-Trace ethics, you aren’t allowed to burn your wood and it costs $10 to purchase theirs, but your money buys a whole wheelbarrow full of wood to burn. A great way to make new friends in the campground!

Overall

The benefit of this campground is the price. There’s no other campground close to town this cheap. It’s a nice vibe and the campground is surrounded by forest. Plus, it is fairly close to riding bikes into town.

Squamish Municipal Campground

Permanently Closed Now

Squamish Municipal campground

Klahanie Campground

Rate: $35-40 weekdays & $45-50 weekends for tent sites; $40-50 weekdays & $50-60 weekends for RV sites. Prices don’t include tax and there are additional fees for more than 2 adults + 2 kids under 12
Showers: Yes + Free
Big Rig Friendly: Yes
WiFi: Yes

Klahanie Campground Squamish
Views of the sound from Klahanie Campground
Photo copyright: KlahanieCampground.com

This is the perfect campground if you want the best views in Squamish. Many campsites have ocean or waterfall views. I love that they are within walking distance of so many adventures including Shannon Falls Provincial Park, The Sea-To-Sky Gondola, hiking trails, rock climbing, the Howe Sound, The Stawamus Chief, and many other recreational activities. It is a bit pricey for a big family like us so we haven’t stayed here to give a thorough review of it.

Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

Rate: $10/per person per night
Showers: No
Big Rig Friendly: No
WiFi: No

Stawamus Chief campground Squamish
Stawamus Chief campgrounds are located in the beautiful forest right at the base of its namesake
Photo via ExploreSquamish.com

Every time we’ve tried to get a site here we’ve struck out because it is only first-come first-serve and only has 16 vehicle campsites that do fit smaller RV’s (don’t bring big RV’s or trailers here). If you are tent camping there are 58 walk-in sites. The campground is only open from mid-April to mid-October, but like Klahanie Campground, it is close to a lot of rad adventures like hiking or climbing The Chief.

Squamish Valley 

Rate: $35 per night for 2 people; $15/additional person        
Showers: No
Big Rig Friendly: No
WiFi: No

Squamish Valley Campground
Riverside camping at Squamish Valley Campground
Photo via CampSquamish.com

This campground provides rustic unserviced camping in a lakefront, forested setting. It was a little too far out of town for me so I didn’t check it out, but if you don’t mind being farther from the excitement in Squamish, this could be a good option for you. There’s a sandy beach around the lake and many campsites are lakefront.


Camping Between Squamish and Vancouver

Porteau Cove

Rate: $35-40 weekdays & $45-50 weekends for tent sites; $40-50 weekdays & $50-60 weekends for RV sites. Prices don’t include tax and there are additional fees for more than 2 adults + 2 kids under 12
Showers: Yes
Big Rig Friendly: No
WiFi: No

Porteau Cove PP Campground: Camping Squamish
Waterfront camping at Porteau Cove Provincial Park
Photo via GoCampingBC.com

This is a gorgeous waterfront campground right on Howe Sound. There are 15 shaded vehicle-accessible sites available on a first-come first-serve basis throughout the April to October camping season and 55 walk-in tent sites that are available year round. Most sites are on the smaller side and therefore not suitable for those traveling by large RV but there are a few that fit RVs over 32 feet.

A couple of things to note are that campfires are not permitted here, the train runs right next to the campground, sometimes early in the morning, and there is also construction noise at night. Also, there isn’t a lot to do from the campground or any nearby amenities (although that could be looked at as a pro!)

It doesn’t get much more scenic than this, especially for the price. You are surrounded by a lot of raw nature, giving you plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities both in the water, air, and forest surrounding the campground. If you love staring at the ocean and mountains or if you can get out on the water and kayak, canoe, or boat. This is even a great spot for scuba diving to check out 2 sunken ships.


Hope this helps you plan your camping trip to Squamish! If you are heading to Whistler, check out our guide to Camping in Whistler.

Read 18 Radical Things To Do In Squamish to plan your Squamish travels.

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