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4 quirky alternatives to tent camping in BC

4 quirky alternatives to tent camping in BC
British Columbia’s backcountry is a camper’s paradise, with off-the-beaten-track trails and secluded scenery.

Packing your own tent, however, isn’t the only way to enjoy a night under canvas. Traditional tepees, roomy yurts and safari-style luxury tents give visitors a chance to camp and get close to nature, while enjoying the comforts of a resort. Leave the gear at home and try one of these alternatives to tenting instead:


Be at one with nature, such as at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, where a Black Bear goes crabbing on shore


Be at one with nature and keep the rustic vibe by staying in a traditional tepee, a conical tent which has long been used by First Nations people as a form of shelter. At Fraser Canyon‘s Tuckkwiowhum Village, a First Nations heritage site and village located in Nlaka’pamux territory, just south of Boston Bar, guests can experience an authentic tepee stay from $65 per person per night (£38).

In Northern Okanagan’s Monashee Mountains, YD Guest Ranch offers dude ranch experiences, including a luxury teepee from $249 (£144), complete with wooden stoves and a fully made-up bed to get a good night’s sleep under the stars. A six-night, seven-day package with YD Guest Ranch based on two people sharing is priced from $3084 (£1768) and includes six nights tipi accommodation, all meals, a horseback tour, archery experience, lake day trip, ATV tour and gold panning. International flights are not included in this price.


Soule Creek Lodge yurts offer guests the opportunity to stay high in the forest


Inspired by the circular tents of the nomadic peoples of Mongolia, Siberia and Turkey, yurts are a popular choice for campers looking for added luxe. Situated above Vancouver Island‘s Port Renfrew, Soule Creek Lodge‘s yurts let guests stay high in the forest with wrap-around decks that have sweeping views of San Juan Bay and the Salish Sea, and hotel comforts like mosaic-tiled bathrooms and comfy king beds. Beach camping can also be turned up a notch with a stay in a yurt. At Penticton’s Skaha Lake, Barefoot Beach Resort‘s yurts range from simple options equipped with the essentials to luxurious ones with vaulted ceilings, domed skylights, deep soaker tubs and hardwood floors.


Exclusive canvas cabin master bedroom | © Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort

Tent Cabins

Combining the comfort of a cabin with the freedom of canvas, tent cabins are an upscale way to enjoy nature. Like yurts, tent cabins include ‘proper’ beds and can range from a simple sleeping area (adventurous souls can stay in a tent cabin for a glamping experience on the edge of Nahatlatch River with REO Rafting Resort) to upscale romantic options. On the Sunshine Coast, Rockwater Secret Cove Resort‘s Tenthouse Suites take hotel amenities like hydro-therapy tubs, fine linens and a fireplace, and house them in luxurious tents set in the forest, priced from $159 a night (£92).


Clayoquot Wilderness Resort offers canvas prospector-style riverside tents

Safari-style Tents

BC is also home to world-class wilderness retreats where nature meets luxury in remote locations. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, near Tofino in the UNESCO protected Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, has canvas prospector-style riverside tents that are decked out with antique furnishings, vintage oil lamps and private decks, some with an outdoor en-suite bathroom. Deluxe hillside tents are priced from $1800 (£1032) per person, all-inclusive, and Luxury Waterside Ensuite Tents are priced from $2200 (£1035) per person (£1265), all inclusive.


The ranch at Siwash Lake | © Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort

In BC’s interior, Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort, which is on a dude ranch overlooking Siwash Lake, has tented structures made of handcrafted spruce logs and pioneer-style white canvas. These are nestled amid Douglas firs with lake views. A Glamping Getaway is priced from $2385 (£1370) per adult with a minimum double occupancy.

Whether you sleep under the stars in a traditional teepee or take the trip of a lifetime to a safari-style wilderness resort, there us no doubt that British Columbia has camping options that combine wildlife spotting with creature comforts to create an unforgettable trip.

All prices are accommodation only unless otherwise stated. International flights and transfers are not included and must be booked separately or through a tour operator.

Main image | © Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort

For more information on Destination British Columbia, visit

About The Author

Mike Cowton

Michael Cowton, an outdoors writer, editor and photographer with a passion for nature-based travel and wildlife. He is a former editor of EcoTravel, Outdoor Pursuits, Camping, Lakeland Walker and Which Motorcaravan magazines, and national newspaper journalist.

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