Your Complete Guide to RV Sites & Camper Vans in Whistler
Whistler is an essential stop during your British Columbia road trip. It is located at the end of the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway which connects Vancouver to Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton.
With scenic stops along the way, numerous outdoor activities to partake in year-round, it makes for the perfectly-pleasant stop for your Whistler RV rental. Driving your RV or campervan to Whistler is a must-do while you’re in BC.
Is Whistler RV Friendly?
Compared to popular RV and campervan destinations in Canada such as Banff and Jasper, Whistler does come up a bit short in regards to RV accessibility. This is because Banff and Jasper are located in National Parks whereas Whistler is not. Banff and Jasper have the luxury of many government-run campgrounds.
Canadian National Parks boast recreation areas that provide ample parking for large vehicles such as RVs and campervans whereas Whistler is a much smaller town. Plus, it is encouraged to leave your car at home, and a shuttle from Vancouver to Whistler, and explore the area on foot or through tours.
That being said, RVs and campervans are still welcome seasonal visitors in Whistler. But, keep in mind as a road tripper, you should take a bit of extra time while trip planning to avoid a fully booked campsite, or a traffic jam.. There are not many campgrounds in Whistler and they fill up extremely fast in the summer, so booking ahead is crucial if you want to stay in Whistler.
Arriving early to scenic spots and popular areas is also a must to obtain parking large enough to fit your vehicles. For example, you’ll want to leave a little extra time for parks like Rainbow Park or trailheads such as Cheakamus Lake or the Train Wreck.
Another crucial detail?
Camping in vehicles is prohibited in Whistler outside of a campground.
You will be fined $100 per night if caught (yes, they do patrols for this). This is to reduce wildlife attractants in parking lots and protect Whistler’s bears. Always choose a designated campground when staying in Whistler to avoid unnecessary fines.
5 RV Parks and Campervan Campgrounds
Whistler has two privately-owned campgrounds plus one government-owned recreation site south of town. While the options are limited, the sites each offer their own unique camping experience. The options range widely, including the Cal-Cheak site with close proximity to trails around Brandywine Falls and no amenities other than a pit toilet. Or why not upgrade, to the luxurious Riverside Resort Whistler with heated floors in the bathroom and a cafe on-site?
Also included in this list are two campgrounds located out of Whistler, but could still be good options if everything in Whistler is at capacity.
Whistler RV Park
Whistler RV Park offers 102 fully-serviced sites and forty-four seasonal summer non-serviced sites for RVs and tents, making it the largest RV park in Whistler. It is located 18-kilometres south of Whistler and offers amazing views of Whistler Mountain and Black Tusk, and easy access to hiking and 4×4 trails. All sites are equipped with a picnic table and fire ring, and new facilities include bathrooms with free hot showers and a dishwashing station.
Within the RV Park, they have a whiffle golf course, 18-hole frisbee golf course, nature trails such as Digby’s Trail and Brew Creek hike, and Brandywine Falls is just a short drive away.
- Available: year-round
- Location: twenty-minute drive south of Whistler Village
- How to Book: online or phone 604-905-2523
Riverside Resort Whistler
Riverside Resort Whistler is located just north of Whistler Village next to the Fitzsimmons River and Valley Trail. They offer year-round accommodation by way of full-service and winterized RV sites, partial service RV sites, multi-use serviced sites, walk-in tent sites, and even yurts and log cabins. The resort also offers wifi, bathrooms, free showers, and heated floors for your comfort.
The resort also offers beach volleyball, a playground, large grassy areas, a barbeque area, laundry, a market, and a cafe on site that serves up delicious breakfasts and lunches.
- Available: year-round
- Location: five-minute drive or thirty-minute walk from Whistler Village
- How to Book: online or by phone 604-905-5533
Cal-Cheak Rec Site
The Cal-Cheak Rec Site is located south of Whistler near the Whistler Bungee Bridge – a sharp turn off the highway onto a gravel road. They offer over fifty-five campsites that are heavily treed and have a table and fire ring.
The sites are extremely rustic and do not offer running water, power, or sewage on-site. Cal-Cheak is a first come first served campsite so making a reservation in advance is not possible, however, during the week finding a spot is usually possible. Weekends and holidays fill up quickly, as the campsite is inexpensive ($13/night) and is in close proximity to hiking and biking trails, Brandywine Falls, and nearby lakes.
This site is best suited for campervans as RVs and larger motorhomes may have a hard time navigating through the bumpy, gravel sites. Many of the sites will fit an RV but it is best to get there early to guarantee a spot.
- Available: April to October
- Location: fifteen-minute drive south of Whistler Village
- How to Book: First come, first served (no reservations)
Nairn Falls Provincial Park
Twenty-minutes north of Whistler is Nairn Falls Provincial Park – a popular spot for hiking, biking, fishing, and sightseeing at the sixty-metre high waterfall. It provides a great base camp for exploring Whistler, the Pemberton Valley, or nearby Garibaldi Provincial Park.
The campground offers vehicle accessible camping that is not serviced but has toilets and drinking water available. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring and with many sites available and close proximity to Whistler and Pemberton, it is a very popular spot.
Camping is inexpensive at $22/per night and is available from May 8 to September 30. In the off-season, the gate is locked however people can walk in and camp in a tent if they please.
- Available: May 8 – September 30
- Location: twenty-minutes north of Whistler in Pemberton
- How to Book: online
Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park
Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park is located a way out of Whistler (88 kilometres or an hour and a half driving) but is an excellent option as there are many campsites available (ninety spaces, fifty-two of which are reservable) and it is stunningly beautiful.
Popular summer activities include swimming, canoeing, hiking, and cycling in this large provincial park. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, and there are pit toilets and drinking water available. The sites are un-serviced but there is a sani-station available for $5/discharge.
You will truly feel away from it all at this campsite, which is extremely popular over summer weekends. Sites can be reserved between May 15 to September 7, with thirty-eight sites remaining first come first served.
- Available: May 15 – September 7
- Location: eighty-eight kilometres north of Whistler
- How to Book: online
Where to Park Your RV in Whistler Village
The best place to park in Whistler Village is in the Day Lots. With five large lots, there is typically space to park if you arrive early enough, especially over the weekend. Lots 1, 2, and 3 cost $10/day, with free parking available after 5:00 PM. Lots 4 and 5 are $5/day in the peak summer season (June 15 – September 15) and peak winter (December 15 – April 15), with free parking available after 5:00 PM. Lot 4 and 5 are also free from September 16 – December 14 and April 16 – June 14.
Vehicles that do not fit in a standard-size parking space are considered ‘oversize’ and must park in Day Lot 3 East, where the daily rate is $20 or hourly is $5.
Where to Rent RVs and Campervans in Whistler
Vancouver and Whistler are great jump-off spots for exploring British Columbia. Flying into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), picking up a campervan or RV, and getting on the road is super easy, or if you fly into YVR and take one of the many shuttles to Whistler and grab a campervan from there – the choice is yours!
Escape Campervan’s depot is located thirty-five minutes from YVR and they offer the coolest campervan rentals around. The campervans are fully-equipped with a comfy bed and bedding, fridge, stove, kitchen supplies, camp chairs, and more. They make it super easy to pick up and go wherever the road takes you. They have depots in both Vancouver and Calgary, so plan for the best British Columbia and Alberta road trip which takes you through Whistler, over to Banff and Jasper, and everywhere in between.
Roam Free Campers
If you’d prefer to rent your campervan from Whistler, Roam Free Campers is a locally-owned company who create practical campervans that are budget-friendly. They use discrete Dodge Caravans and SUV’s that aren’t flashy and fit virtually everywhere. The vans sleep two people inside while the SUV sleeps two in a rooftop tent. Both are equipped with coolers, cooking supplies, bedding, and an outdoor table.
Try Van Life
Try Van Life is another local company out of Whistler that offers funky Instagram-worthy campervan rentals that are more like a home on wheels. Both come fully-equipped with full-sized beds, kitchens, running water, solar panels, LED lights, fridge, books, towels, and more. Just show up with your luggage and some food and you’re good to go!
Canadream RV Rentals
If a full-sized Whistler RV rental is more your speed, the folks at Canadream have a rig for every type of traveller. Perhaps you’re hitting the road with your kids, extended family, or a group of friends – there’s a Canadream for that. Choose from sleek campervans that sleep two to motorhomes that can fit up to four adults and two kids. Their depot is located in Delta – a thirty-minute drive from YVR – and can get you set up with your palace on wheels. They have locations across Canada if you’d prefer to do a one-way rental and drop off in Calgary, Whitehorse, or Montreal.
How to Get Around Whistler, Without Driving
Whistler is a pedestrian-friendly village where most people walk, bike, or use the public transit system to get around. Once you’re parked in one of the day lots, it’s easy to explore the village on foot for the day. If you’d like to explore more of Whistler’s lakes and parks, renting a bike is a great option to get around on the paved Valley Trail that links all of Whistler’s communities, parks, and lakes.
What Are You Waiting For?
Renting a campervan or Whistler RV rental while in Canada is an excellent way to see this vast country and go beyond the towns and cities and onto the open road.
With so many unique ecosystems, magnificent national and provincial parks, wildlife, and history, having a home on wheels makes it easy to hop from place to place without worrying too much about where the journey may take you. Make sure Whistler is on your list for destinations to visit while on your road trip, or perhaps it’s just the beginning – we will see you this summer!