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Quadra Island Camping: The Best Campgrounds For Views & Adventure, Plus Backcountry Camping Info!

Quadra Island, the largest and most populous of the Discovery Islands, sits in the famous Inside Passage waterway to Alaska on Canada’s west coast. It is loved by tourists due to the island’s stunning beauty, relaxed pace of life, and the excellent opportunities for camping on Quadra Island too.

This place is surrounded by stunning coastline beauty as well as a fresh, unpolluted environment. The island has a rich First Nations culture too, and is packed with outdoor activities. All of which makes for a truly wonderful camping or RV adventure.

As we know this place well, we’ve put together our favorite Quadra Island campgrounds below. All will give you breathtaking views and wonderful adventures away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

We share with you information on backcountry camping at Quadra Island and some bear safety tips further down this article too. So read on to begin your Quadra Island camping adventure!

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Quadra Island Camping: Our Six Favorite Campgrounds & Places To Camp

Quadra Island is a truly wonderful destination to visit because of its range of people, natural beauty and pace of life.

The Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre located at Cape Mudge is Quadra Island’s First Nations culture hub and is worth a visit wherever you decide to stay.

Views of the surrounding islands, and the mainland’s snow-capped coastal mountains are visible throughout the island. Couple that with the gorgeous sea views, and it’s little surprise camping at Quadra Island is so popular.

Below we share our favorite campgrounds in Quadra Island. We’re sure one of them is the perfect fit for you.

Photo via Unsplash+

1. We Wai Kai Campsite

The We Wai Kai territory actually includes both Quadra Island and Maurelle Island, and the We Wai Kai Campsite is a beautiful campground that you shouldn’t miss while visiting this territory.

This campsite is set in the middle of trees and nature, but is also located right on the beachfront. It’s the best of both worlds and the scenery is mesmerising.

There’s over 140 RV and tent sites, many with electric hook ups, and superb facilities including a 24-hour attendant, convenience store with ice, laundry facilities, showers, flush toilets, and even kayak & stand up paddle board rentals.

Things You’ll Enjoy About We Wai Kai Campsite

  • Many waterfront campsites
  • Boat ramp
  • Fantastic facilities
  • Kayak and paddle board rentals

Activities On-Site and What’s Nearby

As this campground is right by the water you can enjoy water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming.

This place is also home to the Nuyumbalees Cultural Center, which is a great place to learn about traditional First Nations people.

It’s also borders the Rebecca Spit Provincial Park, which is a wonderful hiking destination with fantastic sea views and beaches. It’s a popular place for picnics, beachcombing and discovering driftwood.

The Important Info

Rates: From $25 per night (plus tax)

Address: Rebecca Spit Rd, Comox-Strathcona J, BC V0P 1H0


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2. Taku Resort And Marina

If you are looking for a feeling of calmness then it has to be Taku, which is located on ten acres of beachfront and forest.

First a quick background. The indigenous Tlingit tribe of the Pacific Northwest always celebrated the feeling of serenity and oneness that can be seen around bird nesting sites. They called these places Taku. That serenity and oneness with nature is exactly what Taku resort have tried to replicate.

You can stay in their beachfront cabins here, but they also have sites for tents and RV camping (RVs up to 32 feet).

Those campsites have full hook ups. Shared facilities include toilets, washrooms, laundry services,  tennis courts, basketball court, a hot tub, and the resort’s marina and dock.

This place really does feel like a luxury camping experience. As an added bonus, they are pet friendly and the area is known for being an exceptional location for stargazing.

Things You’ll Enjoy at Taku Resort And Marina

  • Fun activities like kayaking & hiking
  • Paddle board rental on-site
  • Sports like basketball, tennis and more
  • Beach access
  • Stargazing

Activities On-Site and What’s Nearby

There’s plenty of things to do on-site like basketball, tennis and watersports as this resort and campground sits directly on the water.

The eco-tourism adventure company, Wild Waterways Adventure, is based at the site and they do tours like whale watching, bear spotting hikes and more. The area around the campground is full of wildlife spotting opportunities and many hiking trails, so there’s plenty to do outside.

The Important Info

Rates: From $45 per night

Address: 616 Taku Rd. Heriot Bay, BC V0P 1H0


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3. Heriot Bay Inn

Quadra Island draws tourists who come to see the magnificent British Columbia coastal scenery and participate in a variety of adventure and eco programs. If that sounds like you, then Heriot Bay Inn could be a fantastic place to be based as it’s right in the center of the island’s action.

Offering beautiful views and pleasant surroundings, Heriot Bay Inn has wonderful seaside RV and tent campsites amidst breathtaking scenery, all while shaded by cedar trees.

Facilities wise, this RV park & campground has hook ups for water, sewer and 15 & 30 amp. There’s modern restrooms, laundry facilities and a children’s playground too. While just a few minutes walk will take you into Heriot Bay where you can find shops and even an art gallery.

Things You’ll Enjoy at Heriot Bay Inn

  • Free WiFi
  • Shower & laundry facilities
  • A great base to explore Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands (with pleasure craft, kayak, or yacht)
  • Close to town

Activities On-Site and What’s Nearby

If you love hiking, we recommend you take a stroll along Quadra Island’s large and well-maintained trail system. Many of those trails are close to this campground. For more outdoor adventures, this campground is perfect for kayaking along the island’s shoreline.

As Heriot Bay Inn is just a short walk from Heriot Bay, you are close to shops, restaurants, galleries and more. So you have one foot in nature, and one foot in civilization.

The Important Info

Address: Box 100, 673 Hotel Road, Heriot Bay, B.C., Canada, V0P 1H0

Rates: From $35 per night


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4. Tsa-Kwa Luten RV Park

Tsa-Kwa-Luten is known on Quadra Island for having some of the very few lodges on the Pacific Coast that feature native construction and artwork that’s based on Kwagiulth historical values – the indigenous people of this area.

However they also have an RV park set in stunning surroundings with 13 campsites that overlook the water towards the mountains.

It’s got to be one of the most picturesque spots to park up, especially as you can see whales, killer whales, and bald eagles from the campsites at this special place.

The facilities include a spacious site, fire pit, picnic table, and complete hook up facilities. There’s also shared shower and laundry facilities.

Things You’ll Enjoy at Tsa-Kwa-Luten

  • Stunning views and campsites that lead down to the beach
  • Lots of wildlife spotting opportunities
  • Free WiFi
  • Lots of things to do close by (see below!)

Activities On-Site and What’s Nearby

Staying here means you will be right by the water, so there’s plenty of opportunities for kayaking and swimming. There’s also many hiking trails nearby which are perfect for spotting birdlife.

Within a ten minute drive you can also find a local winery, art galleries, places to eat, and even a golf course. There’s also possibilities to fish for salmon!

The Important Info

Address: 1 Lighthouse Road, PO Box 460 Quathiaski Cove, British Columbia V0P 1N0

Rates: From $50


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5. Small Inlet Marine Provincial Park

The Small Inlet Marine Provincial Park is on the northeastern tip of Quadra Island and is made up of lakes and inlets that are set against a backdrop of forested hills.

This place feels wild and rural and is full of hiking trails and places to kayak, swim and canoe. So it’s perfect for anyone looking for a real adventure in the outdoors.

There are no official camping areas in the park, but backcountry camping is allowed. That’s fantastic as wild camping isn’t always allowed in Provincial Parks.

However because it’s backcountry camping, there’s no facilities either – you just choose your spot.

But we’ve included this park on our list because it truly is a wonderful place to camp. The area is tranquil, untouched, and due to no artificial light, the stargazing opportunities are out of this world.

So if you’re looking for a Quadra Island camping holiday where nature is at the forefront, look no further than backcountry camping in this gorgeous park.

Things You’ll Enjoy at Small Inlet Provincial Park

  • Stargazing
  • Water activities
  • A true wilderness camping experience
  • Many hiking trails and archaeological sites to explore
  • Wonderful water and forest views

Activities On-Site and What’s Nearby

Water sports, swimming and boating are all great activities here.

There’s a rough but scenic hiking trail of about 1.5km starting from the southeast corner of Small Inlet that takes you to Newton Lake – which is a great place for picnics and swimming.

There are more than ten archaeological sites between Kanish Bay and Waiatt Bay to find and explore. Those will give you an insight into the culture and people who lived in the region thousands of years ago.

The Important Info

Address: Small Inlet Marine Provincial Park, Quadra Island, BC, Canada

Rates: Free


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6. Octopus Islands Marine Provincial Park

The Octopus Islands Marine Provincial Park consists of a set of small islands off the coast of Quadra Island in the north. It’s a stunning place which is known for being one of the most picturesque yacht and kayak spots in the region.

Like Small Inlet Marine Provincial Park, which sits close by, the Octopus Islands park doesn’t have any official campgrounds but you are allowed to backcountry camp here.

Again expect no facilities, but as you will have to kayak or use a boat to get around this park, you can expect a level of serenity unlike anywhere else on Quadra Island. That, along with the incredible panoramic water views, makes this place an exceptionally special Quadra Island camping experience.

Things You Will Enjoy at Octopus Islands Marine Provincial Park

  • Peace and quiet
  • Some great hiking trails
  • Scuba diving opportunities
  • Lots of water sports like kayaking, boating and fishing

Activities On-Site and What’s Nearby

Water sports, hiking, swimming, wildlife watching and more can be enjoyed here. It’s a beautiful part of Canada with much to do activity wise.

There’s a very good network of trails around the park too, so you can kayak in the morning, trek in the afternoon, and stargaze in the evening.

The Important Info

Address: Octopus Islands Marine Provincial Park, Quadra Island, BC

Rates: Free


Photo via Unsplash+

Backcountry Camping At Quadra Island & In Canada

DISCLAIMER: Below we give general advice, but we always recommend staying in an official campsite. If you choose to go backcountry camping/dispersed camping, then make sure you do so with someone who already knows the area where you’re planning on camping for your own safety.

Backcountry camping, also known as wilderness camping, is generally tolerated in Canada. Although there are certain areas you are prohibited from camping in. Rather you must stay in a designated campsite. These include:

  • National Parks
  • Cities
  • Provincial Parks (However the two parks mention above, wilderness camping is allowed)

It’s worth mentioning that rangers and conservation officers do patrol regularly and will hand out hefty fines to people wild camping in these prohibited areas. Although luckily, backcountry camping is free and allowed in Octopus Islands and Small Inlet marine parks.

Sometimes it is also 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 that we’ve not covered, then get in contact with local authorities to see if these permits are available.

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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, 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

In British Columbia it’s always worth looking out for  ‘Recreation Sites.’ These are free campsites that can be used. Facilities will be limited, or non-existent, however. 

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Camping At Quadra Island: Bear Safety

Like many areas of Canada, there are bears roaming around Quadra Island. While encounters are rare, you must take steps to avoid attracting them to your campsite. 

With that being the case we advise:

  • If you have a vehicle nearby, store food there rather than in a tent.
  • Use a bear box or bear canister to store food, rubbish, and anything with a scent.
  • Don’t pitch your tent near where food is being stored.
  • Never approach any bear, regardless of its size.
  • Don’t spray anything with a scent – that can attract bears.

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