Reservable backcountry camping information in the Broken Group Islands

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

  • General backcountry camping information

    Operating season (nights):
    • May 1 to September 30, 2020
    • Camping in the Broken Group Islands (BGI) is prohibited between October 1st - April 30th. We recommend not to paddle in the BGI from October 1st- April 30th due to prolonged periods of heavy rain, strong winds, high tides, large waves, and short daylight hours.
    Reservable period (nights):
    • May 1 to September 30, 2020
    Reservable percentage:
    • 100% reservable
    • Camping permits are only available through the Parks Canada Reservation System. No spaces will be available for stand-by (first come first serve).
    Custodial groups:
    • Groups that are affiliated with an institution, and have at least one person below the age of majority who is not accompanied by his/her parent or guardian, have special considerations when kayaking and/or canoeing in Pacific Rim’s marine waters. These groups are required to obtain in advance, and carry with them, a restricted activity permit issued by Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
    • Please contact the national park reserve staff (1-250-726-3500 or prior to arrival reserving for information and appropriate permits.
    Quiet hours:
    • 11 pm to 7 am
    • No excessive noise at any time.
    Maximum length of stay:
    • Maximum stay in the BGI is 14 days – with a maximum of 4 consecutive nights per island.
    Maximum group size:
    • Maximum group size is 12.
    Tents and persons per site:
    • One tent per site. Maximum 4 people per tent.
    Fire policy:
    • Keep fires to a minimum, always below high tideline, and never in the forest. Do not burn wood any thicker than your wrist and ensure the fire has burned out completely before you leave the area. Never abandon a fire: smouldering fires have ignited, burning the ancient rainforest.
    • Small fires below high tide line only; burn only driftwood, do not cut trees, extinguished by water not sand.
    Alcohol, Smoking and Cannabis Policy:
    • Alcohol and cannabis are is onlyis allowed oin your specific campsite onlys, not in any public areas.
    • Smoking, vaping and the consumption of cannabis is allowed in the Broken Group Islands, but it is not allowed in or near the outhouses.
    • Please be considerate of your neighbours and other visitors
    • Please place all cigarette butts and/or plastics in your garbage and take with you when you leave the islands.
    Pet policy:
    • Pets are NOT permitted in the BGI. Pets can disturb wildlife, interfere with other visitors’ enjoyment of the area and can introduce disease to island wildlife.
    Cell coverage:
    • There is limited cell coverage in the Islands. Please check with your carrier for coverage.
    Important Notices:
    • The Broken Group Islands are accessible by boat only. Heavy wind, rain, fog, ocean swell and strong tidal currents here can be extremely dangerous. Knowledge of navigation, boat handling, wilderness survival and marine weather patterns is essential for travel and camping in the Broken Group Islands. Be prepared for all weather conditions, and always check current conditions before setting off.
    • Paddling from Bamfield or Ucluelet is not recommended due to the exposed passages of Imperial Eagle and Loudon Channels.
    • All users require a valid National Park Entry Pass as well as a BGI Backcountry Camping Permit.
    • There are no potable water sources on the islands. You must pack in all of the fresh water you will need for duration of the trip. We recommend 4-6 litres per person, per day.

    Camping area locations and descriptions:

    • The camping areas are located in Barkley Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Islands. Camping in the BGI is only allowed at Hand, Clarke, Gilbert, Turret, Dodd, Willis, and Gibraltar Islands in designated camping areas. Camping is not allowed on Benson Island. Please refer to the Transportation section under the “Require Additional Information” tab for more details on how to access the camping areas.
    • To avoid overcrowding and impacts to the ecosystem, Parks Canada limits the number of campers to each island. Peak visitation occurs in the BGI from July through August. Campers arriving in this period can expect to share camping areas with many other visitors. The campsites are indicated on the marine charts #3670 and #3671. You may obtain a chart from a local marine store or you may order one online from the Department of Fisheries and Ocean website (see attached guide for contact information).
    • Hand Island:
      • Maximum tent capacity: 40
      • One of the most popular camps
    • Clarke Island:
      • Maximum tent capacity: 40
      • Outer Island
      • One of the most popular camps
    • Gilbert Island:
      • Maximum tent capacity: 40
      • Outer Island
      • Cross Coaster Channel
      • For more experienced paddlers
      • Susceptible to strong Westerly winds
    • Turret Island:
      • Maximum tent capacity: 20
      • Outer Island
      • Smallest camp
      • Cross Theipval Channel
    • Dodd Island:
      • Maximum tent capacity: 40
      • Inner Island
      • Great for novice paddlers
    • Willis Island:
      • Maximum tent capacity: 30
      • Inner Island
      • Smaller Camp
      • Paddlers must be mindful of the tides
      • Good choice for novice paddlers
    • Gibraltar Island:
      • Maximum tent capacity: 40
      • Inner Island
      • Good choice for novice paddlers
    • Benson Island:
      • Visitors are encouraged to visit Benson Island on day-trips but cannot stay overnight on Benson Island. There are interpretive panels outlining the rich cultural history of the island. Tseshaht First Nation oral traditions name Benson Island as their place of origin where the first Tseshaht man (Naasiya’atu) and woman (Naasayilhim) were created. The island became the site of their principal village of Ts’ishaa.

    Transportation :

    • Parks Canada provides this listing for the convenience of paddlers. It is not intended as a testimonial for the services. Paddlers make their own arrangements for transportation services. For a list of licensed commercial operators visit:
    • Boat Launch access:
      • Paddlers can park and launch kayaks from the Toquaht Nation’s Secret Beach Campground and Kayak Launch.

  • Drop off by marine transport:
    • Transport companies with valid PRNPR business licenses are permitted to drop clients off throughout the islands (excluding designated camping areas).
    • With permission from the Tseshaht First Nation Beachkeepers, Keith Island has a dock, outhouse and sheltered area to facilitate drop off and pick up.
    • Lady Rose Marine Services Limited carries paddlers and their boats on a scheduled basis to the protected waters just north of the BGI.

  • Paddling from Bamfield or Ucluelet is not recommended due to the exposed passages of Imperial Eagle and Loudon Channels.
  • Kayak rentals are available from operators based in the nearby communities.
  • Fees

    • For detailed information about our Fees.
    • Day Users require a valid National Park Entry Pass.
    • Overnight Users require a valid National Park Entry Pass as well as a BGI Backcountry Camping Permit.
    • All fees are listed per person, include taxes and are in Canadian funds.
    • When making a reservation, have the following ready:
      • Preferred camping dates – first choice and alternate date
      • Preferred camping locations – preferred and alternate islands
      • Point of access location; where you will begin paddling from
      • Number of campers in your group (maximum group size is 12)
      • Email address to send confirmation and information to
    • Reservations are available on January 6, 2020 at 8 am PST.
    • Click here to learn more about the Broken Group Islands before you make a reservation.
    • To reserve call 1-877-RESERVE or visit

    Cancellation policy:

    • Reservation Fee: is non-refundable.
    • BGI Backcountry Camping Permit: Cancellations before check-in:
      • If you cancel a reservation at least 3 days prior to your scheduled day of arrival: you will receive a full refund less the original non-refundable reservation fee and the cancellation fee.
      • If you cancel a reservation less than 3 days prior to your scheduled day of arrival, but before 11 am the day after your scheduled day of arrival: you will receive a full refund less the original non-refundable reservation fee, the cancellation fee, plus the fees for the first night of camping.

    • The BGI is patrolled by the Tseshaht Beachkeepers throughout the summer months to maintain camping areas, provide information and interpretation services, check permits, and assist Parks Canada staff in a variety of ways.
  • If there is no vacancy for your dates:

    • For information on other activities and accommodation in the area contact:
      • Tourism Tofino: 250-725-3414
      • Tourism Ucluelet: 250-726-4600
      • Port Alberni: 250-724-6535
  • Require additional information?

    Trip plan:

    • File a trip plan before you leave for the BGI backcountry with a reliable person and upon completion of your trip, inform your contact that you are out of the backcountry.
    • A trip plan should be in writing and include:
      • The number of people in your group;
      • Trip length in days;
      • Arrival and departure times and dates;
      • Specific route plans;
      • Camping plans;
      • Tent: number, make/model/colour of tent;
      • If applicable, vehicle license #, make/model/colour and location;
      • If applicable, the make and colour of each vessel.
    • In an Emergency:
      • Call 911
      • Park Canada Dispatch - call 1-877-852-3100 or 1-250-726-3604
      • Coast Guard - Marine VHF Channel 16
      • Rescue Coordination Centre - call 1-800-567-5111 or #727
      • Marine Weather: Marine VHF radio weather channel or 1-250-726-3415
      • If lost, beach on a safe shore.
    • Tides and weather

    Pacific Rim National Park Reserve:

    For Broken Group Islands and West Coast Trail information:

    For West Coast Trail, Green Point and Broken Group Islands reservations:

    General national park reserve information:

    • National Information Service: 1-888-773-8888 (8 am to 8 pm Eastern Time, April to September, 10 am to 6 pm Eastern Time, October to March) or
  • Terms and definitions

    Guests select the specific campsite or accommodation when they make their reservation. All front-country camping reservations made through the Parks Canada Reservation Service (PCRS) are site-specific reservations.
    Operating Season (Nights)
    The "Operating Season" is the nights that the campground is open. Sometimes the campgrounds are open for longer than the period for which they accept reservations. Any dates of the "Operating Season" outside of the "Reservable Period" are dates that the campground operates on a first come, first served basis only.
    Reservable Period (Nights)
    The "Reservable Period" is the nights for which you can make a camping or accommodation reservation. Note that many campgrounds may be open longer than this period, and operate outside of these dates on a first-come, first-served basis.
    The administration/entrance booth of a particular campground, this is where you "check-in" and register your arrival.
    Car, truck, motorcycle, truck-camper, motorhome, or recreational vehicle. A motor home pulling another vehicle may count as two vehicles.
    Camping Unit
    Tent, tent-trailer, truck-camper, trailer, 5th wheel, motorhome or recreational vehicle.
    Serviced Site

    Refers to a campsite offering either electrical, water, and/or sewer hook-ups or any combination of these services directly on the campsite. Fully-serviced sites offer electrical, potable water, and sewer hook-ups. "Unserviced" sites do not offer any of these hook-ups.

    The terms "serviced" and "unserviced" refer to the individual campsites; they do not refer to the washroom facilities or other amenities available at the campground.

    Drive-through Site
    Campsite where the driver does not have to reverse their vehicle to exit (there is a separate entrance and exit to the individual campsite). Ideal for larger vehicles and trailers.
    Walk-in Site
    Campsite which requires some degree of walking to access the site, and therefore requires a tent. Vehicle will be parked a short distance away.
    Overflow Site
    Overflow campsites vary from park to park, and may range from a paved area to park a camping unit (not generally suitable for tents) to a more traditional, grassy site. They are unserviced and are not reservable.
    Accessible Site
    A campsite which is accessible to guests with limited mobility.

    A designated structure for campfires located on a campsite. Check availability, as not all campsites offer a fire pit. In some parks, a fire permit is required to have a fire.

    In some parks, only communal firepits are available, and access is shared with other guests.

    Fire permit
    In some campgrounds, guests will require a valid fire permit to have a campfire. A fire permit may include firewood. Please refer to the ‘Fire policy’ section of the QRT for individual campground policies.
    In some campgrounds firewood is sold by the bundle, whereas in others a fire permit may give the holder access to the campground wood pile. Please refer to the ‘Fire policy’ section of the QRT for individual campground policies.
    First-come, First-served Site
    Campsites that are available on a first come, first served basis only. These sites are only available to guests who are physically located at the campground. These sites cannot be registered over the telephone or on-line. These campsites may be available for only 1 night or for multiple nights depending on availability.
    Shoulder Season
    Shoulder season refers to the season before and after the peak season. While many campgrounds remain open outside of their peak season, the services offered during this period may be limited (please check with the park for more details).
    Entrance Pass
    A valid National Park Entrance Pass is required for all visitors to National Parks that have entry fees.
    Daily Entrance Pass
    A daily entrance pass permits visitor’s unlimited entry to the specified park on a per day basis for the period of time indicated.
    Annual/Seasonal Entrance Pass
    An annual or seasonal entrance pass permits visitor’s unlimited entry to the specified park for the period of time indicated.
    Parks Canada Discovery Pass
    The Parks Canada Discovery Pass permits visitors unlimited entry to the participating Parks Canada national parks and national historic sites across Canada, for a period of 12 months.

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