Tofino is Canada’s ultimate surf destination and one of the best getaways from Vancouver. This quaint coastal town is located on the west side of Vancouver Island and a great place to escape to for a few nights. Camping in Tofino is a great way to visit on a budget and there are plenty of options to choose from.
My first trip to Tofino was also my first real camping trip (besides festivals and glamping which don’t count!) I learned a lot from what not to do camping and what I should do next time. In other words, bring warm clothes!
Besides being a complete newb when it comes to camping, I really enjoyed being able to smell the fresh open air every night before bed, and first in the morning. If you’re planning a trip to Tofino and looking for somewhere to camp, here are all of Tofino’s best campgrounds!
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How To Get To Tofino?
Tofino is around a 5 – 6 hour drive from Tofino. You’ll need to take a ferry to get to Vancouver Island. You can take the ferry from either the Tsawassen terminal or the horseshoe bay terminal.
What To Pack For Camping In Tofino
Car camping is much easier than backpacking as you can bring everything but kitchen sink (well almost).
You’ll need a tent (duh!) sleeping bag and inflatable sleeping pad or mattress.
A headlamp which can double as a light for in the tent.
A first aid kit should always be a must when camping of any kind.
Cooking utensils for your campfire (hots dogs! etc) A camping stove is optional depending on whether you choose to eat at local restaurants or cook yourself – or both! Remember your dish soap too.
Bring some comfortable shoes like flip flops that you can use when showering at the campground or just walking around the beaches.
Camping chairs for chilling or reading at your campsite.
Shampoo, body wash, tooth paste, toothbrush will naturally be a must!
Bring WARM clothes. You can wear nice things during the day time sure, but during the nights when you’re chilling by a campfire you’ll definitely want those leggings and hoodies and toques!
1) Bella Pacifica Campground
Probably the most popular campground in Tofino is the Bella Pacifica Campground. This campground is surrounded by forest and is conveniently located steps from the sandy shores of MacKenzie beach.
This campground offers both RV sites and camp sites and the best part? You can camp right on the beach! When you wake up of a morning and unzip your tent the first thing you see and hear is MacKenzie Beach.
The campground has many facilities including washrooms with outlets for your phones (or in my case hair straighteners…) free wifi, laundry facilities and each campsite comes with a picnic table and fire pit.
Amenities include flush toilets, free wifi, coin operated showers and laundry facilities. Both firewood and ice can be purchased at the campground office. Bella Pacifica is dog friendly however dogs must remain on leash at all times.
I like this campground as it’s closer to downtown Tofino and is an easy drive to surrounding beaches.
2) Surf Grove Beachside Campground
For avid surfers that don’t want to waste time in the morning getting to the waves, Surf Grove Campground is perfectly positioned on Cox Bay Beach. This campground is perfect for groups who are coming to Tofino from Vancouver or Whistler who want to adventure in and around Tofino.
It’s also great for families and is pet-friendly, all pets are welcome at Surf Grove and will cost an additional $20 per night charge. Amenities include free wifi, washrooms (that are super nice!), rinse-off station for pets and free wifi.
Both tenting and RV sites with full hookups are available at Surf Grove and all campsites are just a short-walk to Cox Bay Beach. There are picnic tables and fire rings at every campsite. If you don’t have an RV – you can rent one!
The campground has activities such as scavenger hunts for kids or boardgames for those rainy days. The Surf Shack is a convenient on-site amenity that offers surf rentals, surfboard storage, showers for after surf and surf lessons.
The on-site general store stocks all your must-have needs such as firewood, ice and of course, everything you need to make s’mores. What is a camping trip without s’mores?
3) Crystal Cove Beach Resort
If you’re traveling to Tofino in an RV or camper van look no further than the Crystal Cove Beach Resort. Tucked away in a quiet first setting, the Crystal Cove Beach Resort is an RV-only campground that offers on-the-beach accommodation with MacKenzie Beach being a few minutes walk away.
This resort makes for the perfect family getaway from Vancouver with plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained. Books, boardgames, puzzles and DVD’s can all be rented from he resort office and there is also an onsite adventure playground.
The onsite Bean at the Cove coffee bar features Starbucks blend coffee with a convenient location for grabbing a coffee to-go for those sunset walks on the beach.
Campground amenities include full hookups for RVs, picnic tables and fire pits for every campsite, an onsite laundromat, complimentary hot showers and free wifi. The site is dog-friendly and includes a dog-washing station for cleaning up after a day splashing in the waves.
If you’re not traveling in an RV but still want on-the-beach lodging, Crystal Cove also has cabins for rent. These rustic log cabins come complete with a full kitchen, towels, blankets, doggy towels, daily firewood delivery and complimentary starbucks coffee.
Cabin options in include beachfront, beach view, resort view, and rainforest.
4) Lone Cone Campground
Located on Meares Island, Lone Cone Campground is only accessible via water taxi. There is no vehicle access therefore you will need to remember to bring everything you need with you before boarding the water taxi.
As there is no vehicle access, this means this campground is not suitable for RVs. You’ll need to park your vehicle prior to boarding the water taxi, the campground does have a parking lot that is first-come first-served basis with a deposit required.
This campground is a good option for anyone attempting the Lone Cone hike who may want to relax after the hike without making the trek all the way back to their lodging in Tofino. Lone Cone campground also has great access to surrounding beaches and walking trails. Meares Island also the home of the Sasquatch, so keep an eye out and you may just see one! 😉
There are a total of 25 campsites, 17 of those accommodate bringing your own gear and 8 are set up for “hosting” which is a great option if you’re booking a last minute stay or don’t have any camping gear (check the website for the new rules regarding Covid-19)
Amenities include a communal kitchen with BBQs, two stone fire pits and a communal gazebo. Firewood can be purchased from reception or you’re welcome to bring your own. Dogs are also welcome on the campground subject to a $7 pet fee. If you’re looking to escape crowds this is the campground for you!
5) Wildpod Glamping Tofino
If camping isn’t your thing, why not try glamping in Tofino? Wildpod glamping offers a unique experience in Tofino, the feeling of camping but with all the amenities of a hotel! Spend a few nights in one of their “pods” and get the best of both worlds. Wild pod is perfect for a couples retreat or girls getaway as there is a no pets or children policy.
Imagine waking up as the sun rises, opening your curtains and seeing the sun rays gently hitting the peaks across Clayoquot Sound. Sounds amazing right?
Don’t be fooled by the looks of these pods, they are very spacious inside. All pods come equipped with an ensuite bathroom with shower, high-end toiletries, kettle, toaster, microwave, mini fridge, french press coffee maker, dinette table and two chairs and locally roasted tea and coffee.
With the Wildpod domes, you can have as much or as little privacy as you’d like with every pod being equipped with interior blackout curtains.
The great thing about Wildpod is the location. You can’t beat the location as it’s situated right in the heart of downtown Tofino with many local businesses within walking distance including favourites such as Storm Surf Shop and Rhino Coffee. Not to mention just up the road is the amazing Tonquin Beach trail.
Note: There is zero camping allowed on Tonquin Beach.
The Tofino Marina is also a popular spot to watch the sunset. Imagine having front seats to witness sunsets like the one in the photo below! Grab your favourite coffee and enjoy one of Tofino’s best free attractions from the comfort of your very own glamping pod. Retreat back to your cosy pod complete with fairy lights and fall asleep under the stars.
6) Long Beach Golf Course and Campground
The Long Beach Golf Course campground accommodates both tent campsites and RV sites, however there are only a total of 6 sites fully serviced RV sites, so if you are bring an RV and want to stay at this campground reserving early is recommended.
As the name states this campground is located at Long Beach, another of Tofino’s world-class surf beaches. Long Beach also happens to be part of the Pacific Rim National Park, making this campground great for exploring both rainforests and beaches.
The campsites all come with a picnic table and fire pit and the showers here are free. The campground recently implemented flush toilets as well. Firewood can be purchased from the campground office. Dogs are welcome at Long Beach Golf Course Campground however they must be kept on a leash at all times.
Staying at the Long Beach Golf Course Campground is perfect for families and those who enjoy a quieter experience.
7) Green Point Campground
The Green Point campground is part of the Pacific Rim National Park and can only be booked via the Parks Canada website.This is a good option for those exploring beyond Tofino during their trip and a great stop-off point for those heading to Ucluelet.
As this campground is part of a National Park, amenities will be sparse but the rates will be cheaper. This is a great option for those on a budget who want to get out into nature and enjoy a calmer atmosphere.
The Green Point campground is dog friendly and must be on-leash at all times. All campsites come with a picnic table and fire pit. RV’s are welcome however there are no hookups at this site.
The below campgrounds are located in Ucluelet or close-by. Most are closer to Ucluelet than Tofino
8) Surf Junction Campground
This campground was purchased by a couple from Washington who spend their honeymoon camping here, and it’s still family-owned to this day. Located just after the fork on the Pacific Rim Highway, Surf Junction campground is set in a secluded woodland setting.
While this campground isn’t located directly on the beach, you can access the beaches by walking. It is 2.5km walk to Florencia/Halfmoon and 8km by car to Long Beach.
Surf Junction campground is divided into Front Lot and the Back Lot. They offer a range of tent sites, amp & water sites and full RV hookup sites.
Every campsites has a picnic table and fire pit. Campground amenities include dishwashing stations, coin-operated showers, flush toilets, covered picnic area as well as a hot tub and sauna for relaxing after a long day of surfing.
You can purchase firewood from the campground store if you did’t bring your own. They also sell basic food items, drinks, snacks, ice, merchandise and coffee to-go for those early-morning beach walks.
For anyone heading our to surf for the day, or wanting to learn, Surf Junction Surf School offers lessons, rentals, surf wax, surf fins and you can also purchase surfboards here. The wetsuit washing station is free to use for all guests while the wetsuit drying station is $5 per person for their entire stay.
Prior to 2020, tents and tenting equipment were available to rent during your stay. For updated information regarding Covid-19 check out the website.
9) Wya Point Campground
Wya Point Campground is a ideal for families and those wanting a quieter experience. This campground offers a variety of experiences from wilderness camping to spending the night in a Yurt! Alternatively book a stay at one of their luxury cabins.
Wya Point is dog and cat friendly, no other animals allowed and they do charge a pet fee per night. There is a limit of 2 dogs per campsite.
The bulk of campsites are located on Wya Point Beach with private access. …along the Tofino Ucluelet Highway, just before the main town of Ucluelet.
Each campsite comes with a picnic table and fire pit, firewood can be purchased for an additional charge. The campground also has a dishwashing station, communal washrooms with flush toilets and showers.
This campground is ideal for families and those wanting a quieter experience.
10) Ucluelet Campground
The Ucluelet Campground is located a stones throw away from the town of Ucluelet and a great place to base yourself if visiting. This campground offers a different view of Ucluelet as it’s situated on the Ucluelet inlet as opposed to the coastal side.
This campground offers sites for both tenting and RVs with full hookups. For tent sites you can choose between a forest setting or a waterfront site with views of the harbour and mountains.
This campground is doing a renovation until at least June 2021, so right now only portable toilets will be available with no shower facilities. If visiting after June 1st, the new washroom facilities should be up and running.
Every site has their own picnic table and fire rings. Dogs and cats are allowed at this campground however dogs must be leashed at all times and cats must be kept in vehicle.
This campground would be great for families and for those looking to explore the Wild Pacific Trail.
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