Cover Image featuring Callie & Marin @thegoodmutt
Summers aren’t complete without camping & adventuring with your best friend, so we compiled a list of spots for the best dog-friendly camping in BC! These campsites have special pet swimming and off-leash sites so you can bond in nature with your furry friend. Whether you want to stay closer to home or venture out a bit further into Okanagan, these dog-friendly provincial parks near BC have got you covered.
Closer to Home
These dog-friendly campsites and parks are a hop, skip, and paw-swipe away from Vancouver BC. Perfect for a day trip or an overnight camping trip through the weekend.
Golden Ears Provincial Park
The beautiful Kali in front of the Steel Bridge Crossing at Golden Ears Park @kallistosxox
As one of the largest parks in the province, Golden Ears Provincial Park is a fan favourite for its easy access from Vancouver and the variety of activities it can offer. There’s an extensive trail system within the park for hiking with your doggo. Trails beyond 1 km of parkway road are considered to be backcountry, so your pup can be off-leash here as long as they are under control at all times.
Alouette Lake is a popular spot for swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing, boating, and fishing. Keep in mind that dogs are not allowed in most areas of Alouette Lake apart from the designated off-leash area (see below).
Driving Distance from Vancouver: 1 hr
Dog Policy: Off-leash areas are at North Beach day-use area near the outflow of Gold Creek into Alouette Lake, and at the Alouette (South Beach) day-use area between the boat launch and the canoe rental shop, accessible from parking lot #1.Trails beyond 1km of the parkway road are considered backcountry and dogs may be off a leash here but must be under control at all times.
Cultus Lake Provincial Park
Local pup Markus enjoying the Chilliwack sunshine in style @markus_mcgruff
One of the most popular parks in the Lower Mainland for dog-friendly camping in BC has both scenic mountain areas and a large freshwater lake that’s warm enough for swimming! Cultus Lake has four campgrounds, a day-use area for the perfect summer picnic, and lots of opportunities for fishing, water skiing, windsurfing, and hiking.
Driving Distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hrs
Dog Policy: Off-leash areas are at Shale Beach between the Jade Bay boat launch and the Entrance Bay, and between the Maple Bay boat launch and the Maple Bay day-use.
Sasquatch Provincial Park
Vancouverite dogmom Vanessa and her bae having a moment at Sasquatch Provincial Park @veeeemarie
Sasquatch Provincial Park is a dog-friendly camp spot located just north of Harrison Hot Springs and characterized by a series of pocket lakes, a second-growth birch forest, and scenic mountain ridges. If you’re up for some canoeing or boating, Hicks and Deer Lakes are ideal. For a more tranquil fishing experience, head out to Trout Lake with your best bud. There’s also a large day-use area if you’re in the mood for a picnic.
Driving Distance from Vancouver: 2 hrs
Dog Policy: Off-leash areas are In the Green Point day-use area on either side of the boat launch, but only 200 metres from the boat launch on the right side (northside). Also at Hicks Lake on the left side (east side) of the boat launch and Deer Lake on the right side (southside) of the boat launch.
A Bit Further Out
These dog-friendly parks are a bit off the path, but still perfect for a long weekend getaway. Just make sure to pack all the essentials for your pup as well as yourself before heading out!
Sun Oka Beach Provincial Park
Stick connoisseur Corri showing off the selection at Sun Oka Beach North of Penticton @mtncorri
The name says it all: Sun Oka is a shortened version of “Sunny Okanagan!” If you’re in the mood for some serious summer fun in the sun, grab fido and head out on a road trip to Sun Oka Provincial Park located South of Summerland. Don't miss the concession stand where you can grab some treats for you and your pup! This dog-friendly park provides an awesome beach, waterplay, and picnic opportunities as well as fantastic views down Okanagan Lake. Just make sure to put on ample amounts of sunscreen!
Driving Distance from Vancouver: 4.5 hrs
Dog Policy: A separate pet beach area is located around the point to the east of the main beach. It is accessed by a 200m trail through the edge of the old-growth cottonwoods. The pebbly beach extends east to where Trout Creek enters the lake. Please note: The dog beach does not continue across Trout Creek and dogs are not permitted on the beach on the north side of the creek. Access is also possible from a trail along Trout Creek. There are no facilities at the dog beach though it is still busy with local dog owners.
Fintry Provincial Park
Prima taking a breather among the trees at Fintry Provincial Park @primathegreatdane
If you’re willing to go the distance, Fintry Provincial Park, located around the former Fintry Estate, is not only a beautiful hidden gem but also a heritage site with a colourful history! With a large waterfront area, there are lots of opportunities here for dog-friendly camping, swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. In Shorts Creek, you will see a completely different topography with over 2 km of waterfalls surrounded by mountains and canyons and deep pools with Make sure to take the time to visit The Fintry Manor House, garden, the barns, remnant power generation and irrigation systems which are all special heritage features.
According to the BC Parks website, The Fintry Protected Area was established in 2001 to enhance the ecological viability of the region, protect an important California bighorn sheep habitat, and provide increased representation of the North Okanagan Basin ecosection by capturing an increased elevational gradient as well as providing a spectacular canyon and hiking and viewing opportunities. Sounds amazing to us!
Driving Distance from Vancouver: 4.5 hrs
Dog Policy: Off-leash area at the designated pet beach, watch out for signage and keep your pet on-leash at all other times.
Ellison Provincial park
Felines are not ones to be left behind! Adventure cat Bodhi scaling heights at Ellison @bodhi_theadventurecat (Watch out for an article on trailblazing Vancouver cats coming soon!)
The furthest out of all the provincial parks we listed, Ellison is a beautiful and tranquil area tucked away in the northeastern shore of Okanagan Lake–perfect for adventure cat and dog-friendly camping in BC. If you’re in the mood to get away from it all, Ellison is a less busy area that has some gorgeous beaches for you and your bestie to get some much-needed R&R.
Driving Distance from Vancouver: 5 hrs
Dog Policy: Off-leash area is at Sandy Beach, a pet beach, and is accessed from the trail leading out of the campground between sites 11 and 12
That's it! Remember to stay well-fueled while adventuring 🍲
Dog and Dad savoring that sense of accomplishment @allarms7
That’s it for our roundup of easy-to-access and dog-friendly camping in BC. You can also check out the full list of dog-friendly parks here. Make sure to also pack some Kafka’s Organic Fresh Dog Meals in your cooler so your pup can be fueled with good nutrition on all your adventures. Happy camping friends!