There are few areas in the world where you can tent camp in a remote site beside a lake and enjoy the soothing sounds of nature or park your RV on a cement pad and watch the river flow past. And all of it can be found within 10 minutes of a city’s downtown core.
The West Kootenays are world-famous when it comes to camping opportunities (there are no less than 12 provincial parks in the region) and Castlegar is one of the best cities where you can find every style of campground. Whether you prefer views of the mountains, a lake-front site, riverside parking or a full-amenities site located near the heart of the community, Castlegar has something for every camper.
And there’s a lot to go around! Two provincial parks and four campgrounds are located in or near Castlegar. That’s more than the nearby communities of Nelson, Rossland and Trail combined! Syringa Provincial Park is located just northwest of the city on the shores of beautiful Arrow Lake in a swath of evergreen trees and Ponderosa pine. There’s plenty of watersports to be had, from fishing to boating, and there’s rock climbing a little ways down the road and bouldering on site! Not to mention world-class mountain biking a few kilometres east on Broadwater Road. The other Provincial Park nearby is Nancy Greene, located at the junction of Highway 3 and 3B west of Castlegar. It’s located on a sub-alpine lake and boasts a sandy 100-metre beach, which is perfect for swimming.8
Another public park that allows camping near Castlegar is the 9-acre Pass Creek Regional Park. Located across the Columbia River from the city on Park Side Road , it boasts everything from 30 camping sites, equestrian facilities, ball field and playground as well as a day-use area that can be booked for picnics, weddings and other family events.
Castlegar also has three privately-owned campgrounds including: Kootenay River RV; Castlegar RV Park, Cabins & Camping; and Castlegar Golf Club RV Park. As the same suggests, the latter is located on an award-winning golf course 10 minutes from the city centre. For more details on the other campgrounds and where the best camping spots in Castlegar can be found, see below.
The 6 Best Camping Spots in Castlegar
Syringa Provincial Park
Not only is this one of the most beautiful provincial parks near Castlegar, it’s one of the most significant interior Douglas fir forests in the entire province. It also preserves one of the few remaining examples of grassland ecosystems in the Kootenays, which means a variety of wildlife make their home here including bighorn sheep, elk and deer. Because the park is located on a sandy shore of Arrow Lake, it’s a popular spot for anglers, boaters and swimmers. There’s also a lot of hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and bouldering opportunities nearby.
- Total Sites: 86
- RV Sites: 9
- Fees: Start at $26/night
- Amenities: Boat launch, electric hookups for RV sites, pit & wheelchair-accessible flush toilets, playground, sani-station/dump and showers.
- Season: April 26 – Sept 29
- Address: Broadwater Rd, Robson
- Info: www.kootenayswparks.com/parks/syringa
Nancy Greene Provincial Park
Nestled in the mountains just west of Castlegar, this beautiful park boasts a sub-alpine lake and sandy beach that’s perfect for anglers, swimmers, paddlers and those who are just looking for a serene spot for a picnic. Powerboats aren’t allowed on the lake, making it that much more serene. There’s also a five-kilometre graded hiking trail around the lake and in the winter months, this is a popular spot with nordic skiers.
- Total Sites: 10
- RV Sites: 10
- Fees: $13/night. No reservations.
- Amenities: Beach, picnic area, pit toilets.
- Season: May 13 – Sept 30
- Address: Corner of Hwy 3 & 3B
- Info: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/nancy
Pass Creek Regional District Campground
This is Castlegar’s hidden gem campground that’s an easy 10-minute drive from the downtown core yet perfectly secluded. Many people know it as the site of the annual Pass Creek Fair but did you also know there are 35 overnight campsites here as well as a kitchen and covered shelter for picnics, reunions, weddings or other gathering? There’s also plenty of amenities for sports lovers including baseball diamond, soccer field, volleyball court, sandy beach beside a seasonal stream and the Columbia River is right across the road for anglers.
- Total Sites: 35
- RV Sites: 28
- Fees: Start at $17/night
- Amenities: See above plus hot showers, wifi, wheelchair accessible flush toilets, and playground.
- Season: April 1 – Oct 20
- Address: 1090 Parkside Rd
- Info: passcreekcampground.weebly.com
Castlegar Golf Club RV
If you’re a golfer, this is the campground for you. The Castlegar Golf Club is a championship 18-hole, semi-private golf course rated four stars by Golf Digest, situated alongside the Columbia River. Not only do facilities include a 2- site RV Park, there’s also a fully stocked golf shop, clubhouse and restaurant open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And it’s located a 10-minute drive from downtown Castlegar!
- Total Sites: 20
- RV Sites: 20
- Fees: $31/night. (Tents = $15/night.) Stay & Play packages available.
- Amenities: Flush washrooms, hot showers, 30 & 50 amp service, free wifi, communal fire pit, free firewood, laundromat.
- Season: April to Oct 15
- Address: Broadwater Rd, Robson
- Info: www.golfcastlegar.com/rv-park
Kootenay River RV Park
The Kootenay River RV Park prides itself on being an adult-only campground. (All ages above 18 are welcome.) So if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, this is the place for you. Situated right on the river’s edge, and only a 10-minute drive from downtown Castlegar, this campground boasts a lot of sunlight, trees and flowers to help you relax. Or if you prefer things more exciting, you can cast for walleye and trout a few steps away from your campsite.
- Total Sites: 45
- RV Sites: 45
- Fees: Starts at $36/night.
- Amenities: TV cable, power, water, sewer, laundry, free WiFi, showers, and 30/50 amp pull-through sites.
- Season: April to Oct
- Address: 651 Rosedale Rd.
- Info: www.kootenayriverrv.ca
Castlegar Cabins, RV Park & Campground
Not only does this campground have over 30 sites in which to park an RV or set up a tent, it also has cabins on site ranging in size from one to two bedrooms. And, because it’s located just west of Castlegar on Highway 3 towards Grand Forks, you can expect to enjoy a mountainous setting with plenty of surrounding trees. Run by Wylie and Kim Orser, this campground is their retirement project and as such they treat it like their own home.
- Total Sites: 30 RV; 4 Tent
- Fully Serviced Sites: 28
- Fees: $40/night. (Tents = $25/night)
- Amenities: 30/15 amp power, sewer/sani, wifi, hot showers, laundry.
- Season: April to Oct with some winter sites.
- Address: 1725 Hwy 3
- Info: crvp.ca