We all know that Canada is a camper’s paradise. With lush forests, clean cool lakes and beautiful beaches, we have so many amazing camping destinations. Camping is fun. It’s relaxing. It connects you with nature. But roughing it isn’t for everyone. And, unless you camp on a regular basis it doesn’t always make sense to invest in a bunch of camping equipment that you have to haul around and might use once a year. Luckily, Parks Canada has caught on to the glamping craze and has introduced some really awesome accommodations in parks across the country. And that’s great news since this year, in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the Parks Canada Discovery pass is free! The Discovery pass gives you free entry (not including camping fees) into every National Park, National Marine Conservation area and Historic Site across Canada. You can order your pass online, but be prepared to wait up to four weeks to receive it, or you can pick one up in person at any of these locations. Check out the cool glamping accommodations you can find in our National Parks.
national marine conservation areas and national historic sites
across Canada. You can order your pass online, but be prepared to wait up to four weeks to receive it, or you can pick one up in person at any of these locations. Check out the cool glamping accommodations you can find in our National Parks.
Parks Canada first introduced the oTENTiks in Quebec 4 years ago. They have been so popular that they now have in the neighborhood of 240 in parks across the country. The oTENTik is a cross between a cabin and a tent. Each unit comes equipped with three beds and a dining area. The structure does not have plumbing or electricity in the unit but there is hookup outside in the site. Depending on the location you may have solar powered lighting, a charging station and/or a propane heater.
The yurt is another popular option that has really taken off in our National Parks. The Yurt offers roughly the same amenities as the oTENTiks but with a unique round design taken from the traditional dwelling of Central Asia nomads. The yurts come with a set of bunk beds (usually a single over a double), a double sofa bed and a dining area. Depending on location they may have solar powered lights and a propane heater. Like the oTENTik, they do not have indoor plumbing or electricity.
3. Goutte d’Ô
How cool is that? The Goutte d’Ô is one of the newest glamping options that Parks Canada has come out with. The structure is shaped like a water droplet and has a main floor with a sofa bed and hammock loft above.. Doesn’t that sound like fun? The structure is great for a couple or small family. Again, you will not find bathrooms or electricity in the Goutte d’Ô.
We’ve been hearing a lot about micro houses these days and now you can camp in one! The Micro-Cube is a 10m2 cube with a panoramic view on one side of the cube so glampers can enjoy a great view in comfort. It contains one double bed and a small dining area. There is no plumbing or electricity in the unit.
The Double-Tent is not your average tent. It’s more of a tent within a tent. The smaller inner tent is your sleeping area, complete with a bed, and the larger outer tent is a bug proof living area with a table and comfy chairs to relax in. For seasoned tenters who actually like to rough it a bit this might be a fun and slightly more comfortable step up. And if you do prefer the tenting experience you can also find Trapper Tents and Tipis at several National Parks.
6. Cocoon Tree Bed
Currently the only place you will find the Cocoon Tree Bed is in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Suspended in the trees, this unique accommodation gives a spectacular view of the sea. The spherical cocoon is accessed by stairs, contains a big comfy mattress and will accommodate up to four people.
What you need, and need to know
If you want to try out any of the glamping accommodations in our National Parks your best bet is to make a reservation. These new digs are very popular so the sooner you plan the better. You can check out the list of parks and which accommodations each offers right here. Just click on the province you are interested in and a drop down menu with each park along with a listing of what is available will appear. Once you know where you want to go, head on over the Parks Canada reservation site to get booking.
Despite the term “glamping”, remember you still are camping so you are going to need to bring a few things along. Warm sleeping bags are a must as is some basic cooking supplies (and food of course) and a flashlight. Remember there is absolutely no cooking allowed inside the structures but each site comes with plenty of room outside for that. And, of course, don’t forget to grab your free Parks Canada Discovery Pass!