Just a few hours away from the busy city of Vancouver, right in the middle of the Salish Sea, lies the gorgeous Hornby Island. With rocky bluffs standing tall against the waves, sunsets with beautiful colors on the horizon, emerald green water, lush forest, and a laid-back island vibe; it’s no surprise why Hornby Island has earned the nickname ‘Canada’s Hawaii’.

With this small island rich in culture, biodiversity, and natural landscapes, camping on Hornby Island is becoming more popular every year. And if you’re reading this, you must be thinking about your own Hornby Island camping adventure too!

As we know this place well, we’ve decided to put together our favorite Hornby Island campgrounds below. All will give you breathtaking views and wonderful adventures in one of Canada’s most beautiful spots.

Many will also place you in some incredible places to spot marine wildlife and birdlife, and thankfully with no bears or cougars on Hornby Island, there’s no need to worry about dangerous encounters.

We share with you information on backcountry camping at Hornby Island further down this article too. So read on to begin your Hornby Island camping adventure!

Hornby Island Camping: Our Favorite Campgrounds For Views and Adventure

Hornby Island is packed with activities perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, adrenaline junkies, and nature lovers. But it’s also a great place to just relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of life.

And all of the campgrounds below give you an opportunity to do both.

1. Bradsdadsland Campsite

This RV park and tent campground is a wonderful family-oriented place located on the cliffs above the Lambert Channel on Hornby Island’s breathtakingly beautiful west coast. With such a location, the views are spectacular. And luckily, most of the campsites have a waterfront view.

They not only have 50 tent camping sites but they also have sites for RVs up to a max length of 27 ft. This campground is especially good for family camping as they enforce a quiet rule after 11 pm, ensuring you fall asleep to the sound of nature.

If staying here expect a breathtaking view of the sunset while sitting on chairs placed along the waterfront. Sounds perfect right?

Amenities and Facilities

Each camp site has a picnic table and fire pit, while some have electric hook ups. Shared facilities include clean flush toilets and washrooms, WiFi, laundry, a freezer room and showers. There’s also a general store on site.

There’s many things to keep children entertained. For example they have a fenced playground, two rope swings, a badminton net, three swing sets, a tire swing, a sandbox and more!

What’s Close By

One of this campground’s best features is that it has many beautiful attractions close by. There’s beach access from Bradsdadsland itself, and the kayaking, fishing and swimming opportunities that come with that. Nearby attractions also include Tribune Bay Provincial Park (4.5 km), Helliwell Provincial Park (7.4 km), and Deep Bay Marine Field Station (7.8 km).

The Important Info

Rates: From $30 per night

Address: 2105 Shingle Spit, Hornby Island BC V0R1Z0

Website

Hornby Island camping

2. Tribune Bay Campsite

Tribune Bay is a wonderfully situated campground as it’s right next to Helliwell Park, Tribune Bay Beach, and Tribune Bay Provincial Park! That convenient location makes it one of the most popular Hornby Island camping options.

As it’s situated right beside Tribune Bay, you will be just a short walk away from the spectacular white sand beach and incredible turquoise waters there. It’s a photogenic spot, and popular with swimmers, snorkelers and children who like making sand castles!

It’s also right beside Ringside Market, a wonderful little collection of shops, cafes, galleries and more.

With all of that on your doorstep in a campground with some great facilities (see below), it’s little surprise this is one of the best Hornby Island campgrounds.

They’re also pet friendly, which is perfect as there’s several hiking trails close by which you can enjoy with your four-legged friend.

Amenities and Facilities

Tribune Bay has 116 sites, each one with a picnic table and fire pit. Out of those sites, 18 have electric hookups. Shared facilities include laundry, a washroom with hot showers, and a playground for kids.

The campsites are pretty close together and while there are some trees and bushes, if you want more privacy it may be best to bring tarps.

During summer, it can get pretty busy here as it’s a popular place. So keep that in mind in case you are wanting somewhere very quiet and peaceful instead.

What’s Close By

Everything! Well not quite, but Tribune Bay Campground is an ideal place to camp because of it’s location to the beach, and close proximity to Helliwell Provincial Park and Tribune Bay Provincial Park.

Ringside Market, where you can get food, arts and crafts, grab coffee, ice cream and more, is just outside the campground. While a little further away you will find Cardboard House Bakery and the Mount Geoffrey Escarpment Provincial Park.

That’s what makes this Hornby Island camping option so popular. You’re beside one of the island’s most beautiful beaches and close to all the outdoor activities that comes with it (like hiking, snorkeling, swimming, kitseurfing and more), but you are also just steps away from restaurants, cafes and town amenities.

The Important Info

Rates: From $35 per night

Address: 5200 Shields Rd, Hornby Island, BC V0R 1Z0

Website

Hornby Island camping

3. Ford’s Cove Marina

Ford’s Cove Marina have a small, quiet campground that is located on the west side of the island with beautiful waterfront views.

Set on the water’s edge they have furnished cabins, but also 14 sites for tents or camper vans and 1 site for trailers. As it’s so small, it’s best to reserve in advance.

Despite its size it has some great facilities, and the sites are nicely separated out. We love this place because it’s quiet – in fact it’s the only campground on Hornby Island not located near a major road.

It’s also only five minutes on foot from Mount Geoffrey Provincial Park, where there’s some brilliant hiking trails.

Of course this campground is by the water too, so there’s plenty of opportunities for fishing (it’s possible to purchase a license) or kayaking. Or you can just enjoy waking up in the morning and having a coffee while watching the ocean slowly light up in front of you.

It’s a bit of a travel clich√©, but this is something of an undiscovered gem. At least for now.

Amenities and Facilities

Ford’s Cove has indoor flush toilets, hot showers, outdoor sinks and potable water.

They also have a small store that sells very good coffee, and some of the best pizza on the island. There’s also croissants, crafts, and food stalls that sell fish & chips and burgers.

What’s Close By

Close to Ford’s Cove is the beautiful Helliwell Provincial Park and Tribune Bay Provincial Park – both perfect for outdoor adventures.

The Salish Sea Market, which is an art gallery, is a short drive away. As is Middle Mountain Mead, a local winery!

The Important Info

Rates: From $30

Address: 10835 Central Rd, Hornby Island, BC V0R 1Z0

Website

Hornby Island camping

4. Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre & Campsite

This one’s a bit different. That’s because Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Center, which is based in the beautiful Tribune Bay Provincial Park, offers adventure camping for families during the summer months!

Families can book one of the campsites here for a minimum of two nights, and what they get by doing so is the opportunity to participate in activities run by the centre, such as kayaking, rock climbing, guided hikes and more!

Amenities and Facilities

The campground has good but simple facilities, like a cook shelter, pit toilets and beach access to Tribune Bay. But it doesn’t have hook ups and doesn’t accommodate RVs.

But what you get here is one of the most family friendly Hornby Island camping options, as this centre is geared towards activities for children and families.

What’s Close By

You can enjoy the scenic beauty of Tribune Bay Provincial Park and spend time relaxing on the white sandy shores of Tribune Bay Beach.

Helliwell Provincial Park is close by too, as is Ringside Market for restaurants, cafes and shops.

The Important Info

Rates: From $35 per person per night

Address: 6050 St John’s Pt Road, Hornby Island BC

Website

Hornby Island camping

5. Fossil Beach Farm Glamping

If you fancy a day or two of camping in style, then the 80-acre Fossil Beach Farm have fully furnished spacious glamping tents that sit on the oceanfront with direct access to the beach.

These huge tents have extremely comfy queen size beds, solar lighting, furniture and outside decking perfect for sitting and taking in the ocean sunset.

It’s private, the views are pretty, and it feels like a very special experience.

And as you’re just a few steps from the beach it’s easy to go kayaking, paddle boarding, or just wandering the shoreline as soon as you wake up. Just be aware that they’re only open from mid-May to mid-September.

Amenities and Facilities

Fossil Beach has some fantastic facilities including modern toilets and showers, a communal kitchen area with a pizza oven, fridge, cook top, BBQ and more.

You also have a fire pit outside your tent, as well as chairs and a table so you can dine in style around a campfire.

The farm itself has its own cider house and tap room. So why not pop in and sample some cider made on the same farm you’re staying at. They do some great food at the cider house too.

What’s Close By

This Hornby Island camping option sits right beside the beach, and is a short drive from Mount Geoffrey Regional Nature Park where there’s many hiking trails to try out.

There’s plenty of wildlife watching opportunities nearby too. Seals can be spotted on the beach beside the campground, as well as eagles in the sky above!

The Important Info

Rates: From $219

Address: 750 Savoie Rd, Hornby Island, BC V0R 1Z0

Website

Hornby Island camping

Backcountry Camping at Hornby Island and in Canada

Backcountry camping, also known as wild camping, is generally tolerated in Canada. Although there are certain areas you are prohibited from camping in. These include:

  • National Parks
  • Cities and Towns
  • Provincial Parks

Unfortunately, that makes pretty much all of Hornby Island off limits for backcountry camping. It’s worth mentioning that rangers and conservation officers do patrol regularly and will hand out hefty fines to people backcountry camping in prohibited areas.

Sometimes it is possible to purchase a ‘backcountry’ camping permit. That would then allow you to camp in a park outside of a campground. Not all parks offer them – and they’re not widely advertised. If there’s somewhere you wish to camp, then get in contact with local authorities to see if these are available.

As for where you are allowed to camp, Canadian residents can camp for free on Crown Land – which is publicly owned land. Thankfully 89% of land in Canada is classed as ‘Crown Land’. However much of that is still off limits – National Parks and Provincial Parks, for example, are also Crown Land.

In general: If land is publicly owned, it’s not one of the prohibited areas that we listed above, and you are far from settlements – you’re likely to be on Crown Land that can be camped on for free. However, keep an eye on local maps for confirmation, and obey any signs that say camping is prohibited

There are rules for backcountry camping on Crown Land, however:

  • You may camp in the same place for 21 days only in one calendar year.
  • After 21 days you must move to a place at least 100m away if you wish to continue camping.
  • While free for citizens and Canadian residents, non-residents must obtain a permit to wild camp on Crown Land.