Wild Camping in Campbell River


Campbell River’s guest bloggers today are young ‘Snowbirds’ yes, they came to Campbell River for the winter. Justin and Olivia from @genericvanlife are about to share their perspective on Campbell River, their favourite rec sites and how they feel about Campbell River and  Strathcona Region as a whole. These young, remote workers are taking things one road trip at a time and we’re in full support of how they #DiscoverCampbellRiver. We’ll pass it over to them now …

What started off as a refuge from the harshness of the Canadian winter has become one of our top destinations for all-season camping.

Winter camping is surely not on the top of the list for many city folks or even the outdoorsy types, but in Campbell River, it’s a different story. The city is a launch pad for an amazing network of provincially established recreation areas that offer endless opportunities for camping, hiking and boating.

Generic Van Life Campbell River Campfire at Burnt Beach 1

We have been travelling the continent in our camper van for well over a year now and have never been awash with boondocking (i.e. dry camping – no water, electricity, etc.) opportunities as we have been in Campbell River. This place that we had never even heard of has so quickly taken over a large part of our hearts and an even bigger part of our travel map. Over the course of the three months that we’ve been here, we’ve made it a point to explore as many recreation areas as we can and still feel like we’ve only scratched the surface. Here are a few of our favourite camping spots that are a must-visit for anyone who enjoys the outdoors:


Imagine a tranquil site among towering fir trees with the serene shores of Campbell Lake washing up steps away from your campsite – that’s Burnt Beach. Although we haven’t gotten a chance to truly enjoy the “beach” part of it since we’ve only visited in the winter, this rec area is a perfect spot to get your nature fix and even has direct walk-out access to the water from most sites. It may not have a designated boat launch but bringing out a canoe or kayak right from your campsite is a no brainer.


Generic Van Life Campbell River Burnt Beach 1

Find all the info you need here.


This spot is nestled right in the thick of the picturesque BC rainforest where bright green moss envelops the branches of old-growth alder and fir. Also on Campbell Lake, this rec area has a large boat launch and is part of the Sayward Canoe Route where a quick portage will link you up with peaceful Gosling Lake. Even in January, the sun favours this place and is sure to make for a memorable camping experience.


Generic Van Life Campbell River Gosling Bay 1

Find all the info you need here.


If we could build a cabin on this piece of land and live there forever, we would. Twin Lake is a small and quiet lake not far from town that is also part of the Sayward Canoe Route and is surrounded by a 2.1 km loop trail perfect for a day hike. Whether you’re in a tent or a small camper, gazing across the calm waters of Twin Lake will disconnect you from the stresses of daily life and surround you with natural, untouched beauty.


Generic Van Life Campbell River Twin Lake

Find all the info you need here.

We are so excited to continue exploring all the amazing spots that the region has to offer and have the city of Campbell River just a short drive away for restocking all of our supplies. Our favourite part about being here is the sheer multitude of ground to uncover – you could spend days exploring the complex network of forest roads and find a new favourite lake or hiking trail each time. It’s rare to find a place where travelling off the beaten path is so accessible and encouraged and we feel truly spoiled by all the outdoor adventure at our fingertips. From the arid deserts of Arizona to the rugged cliffs of Newfoundland, we’ve explored a lot of places and Campbell River is without a doubt one of our favourites.    

Follow along with our continuous adventures at www.genericvan.life

Generic Van Life Campbell River Big Bay 1