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The best camping on Galiano Island

Galiano Island is one of the Gulf Islands near Vancouver BC and Vancouver Island. It’s a beautiful Island that’s peaceful, has great hikes, and great food (Pilgrimme on Galiano is delicious!), and is perfect for a weekend trip from Vancouver.

While in the winter you can find some super cosy cabins on Galiano to stay in, in the summer, one of the best things to do in the Galiano Islands is to go camping!

There are not a lot of options when it comes to camping on Galiano Island. That’s mostly because it’s a pretty small island with a lot of private lands. However, you will find two options for camping on Galiano Island which have a mix of front-country drive-in camping and walk-in tent sites.

You can also go camping on Pender Island which is one of the next islands over and there are plenty of fun things to do on Pender Island to extend your trip.

Camping is one of my favourite outdoor activities and it’s a great idea for your trip to Galiano. By camping in Galiano Island BC, you can wake up to the incredible scenery right in front of you, and take a moment to de-connect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

During our visit to Galiano BC in winter we opted to stay in a cabin, but next time I go in summer, I’ll definitely be camping on Galiano Island!

How to get to Galiano Island from Vancouver

There are two different ferries to Galiano Island. One is muh longer than the other.

If the ferries are running fully, it’s less than an hour between mainland Vancouver to Galiano Island. You can take the Galiano Island ferry from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal straight to Sturdies Bay (view the Galiano Island ferry schedule), Galiano Island. This ferry is popular and gets booked up fast on weekends. I would strongly recommend you book in advance as the alternative is a much, much longer trip!

When we visited Galiano, the Vancouver – Galiano ferry was cancelled so we took the longer route. This route involves going from Vancouver to Victoria then from Victoria to Galiano.

This ferry to Galiano Island is much longer with about 3 hours on ferries, about 1-1.5 hours from Swartz Bay to Galiano plus the 1.5 hours from Vancouver to Swartz Bay AND waiting time in between them.

Alternatively, you can also get a floatplane from Richmond (YVR) to Galiano Island with Seair Seaplanes. The flying time is 10 minutes.

Camping on Galiano Island

Both these campsites on Galiano Island are owned by BC Parks. You’ll need to reserve early as they get booked up quickly during the summer months, especially on long weekends.

Be sure to also book your ferry trip to Galiano as that books up early too.

Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park Campground

montague harbour provincial park camping on galiano island

Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park on Galiano Island is owned by BC Parks. It’s one of the best places to visit in Galiano Island and is a beautiful spot.

Camping at Montague Harbour means you’ll be right next to beautiful beaches, open meadows, tidal lagoons, and stunning West Coast forests and be in the perfect spot for bird watching and seeing the clear nighttime sky.

The park is nearer the southern end of Galiano Island and in close proximity to Pilgrimme which is one of the best restaurants in Galiano and Canada as a whole (reserve this and then book your trip to Galiano!).

There is drive-in, walk-in and even boat-in camping at this park on Galiano. There are 40 places to dock a boat in the sheltered Montague Harbour making it a great place to camp on Galiano if you’re boating around the Gulf Islands.

At Montague Harbour campground there are 16 campsites for drive-in camping and 20 walk-in campsites. There are also 10 first come first served campsites. So, if you haven’t booked in advance, you still have a chance of getting a spot as long as you arrive early in the day.

Check-out time for BC Parks campgrounds is 11 am. Arrive around then to get a spot at the first come first served campsites.

This campground in Galiano has forested areas so you can relax in the shade and many of the walk-in tent sites have ocean views. It’s a truly beautiful spot for camping on Galiano Island.

You can reserve campsites here between May 13 and September 3. Outside of these dates, the campsite is usually open but with no maintenance on the toilets and the water taps may be turned off.

There are pit toilets, drinking water, hiking trails and access to a beach area with is perfect for relaxing.

Dionisio Point Provincial Park campground Galiano

galiano island beaches

You can also camp at Dionisio Point Provincial Park in Galiano Island.

This is boat-in access only and you cannot access the park by the road. Though there used to access, it’s now on private property so the only way to get here is by boat or kayak.

This does mean that this campsite is a little easier to find a spot at though.

Dionisio Point Park is a beautiful beach area with rocky headlands and sandy bays. You can see eagles and seals here as well as starfish and other birds while doing a spot of Galiano Island camping.

I saw several seals all swimming by the camping area while exploring the hiking trails in Dionisio Park!

Each campsite has a picnic table so you can cook up a delicious meal outside while enjoying the views.

To book Dionisio campground you will need to buy a backcountry reservation through BC Parks. Simply select backcountry as your camping style, then backcountry registration and enter the park name. This costs $5 and there are 30 spots for camping spread across two separate areas.

You’ll find pit toilets and drinking water here and plenty of hiking trails near these Galiano Island campsites.

You can stay here all year round. You must pay the backcountry registration fee between May 14 and September 15 but the water taps and toilets may not be maintained as regularly outside of this time.

Other Galiano Island accommodation

If Galiano camping isn’t your style, check out these other awesome places to stay on Galiano Island Canada.

Galiano Oceanfront Inn & Spa

If you’re looking for a highly relaxing place to stay in Galiano you can’t beat this Galiano Island hotel. The Galiano Oceanfront Inn & Spa is just a 1-minute walk from the beach and has a full spa including yoga facilities.

You can also rent bikes and kayaks from the Galiano Inn. You can also enjoy a wood-burning fireplace and spa bath in your room at this Galiano Island hotel!

Sunset cabin on Galiano Island with hot tub

camping on galiano island cabin accommodation

This absolutely gorgeous Galiano cabin is perfectly located for watching the sunset from your private hot tub. This mid-century modern cabin has spectacular ocean views of Montague Marina, Parker Island and out to Salt Spring Island.

Dragonfly Cottage

Dragonfly Cottage is a short 10-minute walk from the ferry so it’s the perfect Galiano Island accommodation if you’re travelling to Glaiano without a car.

This cabin is nestled amongst a woodland garden and has an open-plan kitchen and an enclosed deck. One of the bedrooms has a skylight to stargaze at night and there’s a wood-burning stove which I imagine you’d get a lot of use out of if staying in Galiano in winter.

You’ll also have access to a private dock for swimming.

InTheBluff on Galiano

Located on Active Pass, the spectacular marine passage separating Galiano and Mayne islands, InTheBluff is located on Active Pass which means you get gorgeous views of Mayne Island and the ocean.

This VRBO on Galiano is a gorgeous log home surrounded by private woodland and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife. You might even see humpback whales!

There’s an amazing deck with an infinity-edge hot tub which I could imagine spending many evenings in!

Waterfront Escape on Galiano Island BC

This stunning home with panoramic ocean views has an outdoor shower, and the main room is full of greenery and is lovely and bright. You have access to swimming right in front of the home. It’s on a 2-acre lot with plenty of hiking nearby.

FAQs about Camping on Galiano Island

Can you camp anywhere on Galiano Island?

No. You must camp within one of the provincial park campgrounds on Galiano Island. If you wish to camp in the Gulf Islands, Salt Spring and Pender Island have more options.

Can you swim on Galiano Island?

Galiano Island has so many beautiful swimming spots. There are some protected coves and bay as well and while it’ll be cold, I prefer the term ‘refreshing’.

Are there cougars on Galiano Island?

There are no cougars on Galiano Island or bears. However, you will likely see plenty of deer, birds and perhaps some seals or whales swimming passed if you’re lucky!

What amenities are there on Galiao Island?

You can find pretty much everything you’ll need during your stay on Galiano Island. While there isn’t a large supermarket, there are erstaurants, pubs, hotels art galleries and some shops.

Last Updated on June 2, 2023 by Hannah

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