In ideal locations for your park adventure, Bruce Peninsula National Park offers semi-wilderness, yurts, and backcountry camping. Weekdays in the spring and fall offer less crowded opportunities, natural attractions, bird migrations, spring flowers, and fall colors. Here are the five best-camping grounds in Bruce Peninsula National Park and guides, including yurt camping, Cyprus lake campground, winter camping, and more.
5 Ways To Camping In Bruce Peninsula National Park
The yurts at Cyprus Lake are a modern take on a traditional Central Asian nomad dwelling. Yurts are semi-permanent tent-like structures with a wooden lattice frame that is circular in shape. Although yurts are classified as tents, they are much stronger and provide better weather protection. The yurts are 6m (20ft) in diameter and well-equipped, with a wood stove, beds, a large deck, and a propane BBQ. Each yurt has a secure door.
Ten yurts on Cyprus Lake’s shore provide a one-of-a-kind camping experience in Bruce Peninsula National Park.
Relax on your deck and enjoy the lake breeze. Gather around the campfire to watch the sunset over the lake. As you drift off to sleep in a comfortable bed, look up at the starry sky through the skylight dome.
Cyprus Lake has one drive-in group campsite available. This is only available for tent camping groups of 15-35 people. This location has potable water taps, a picnic shelter, tables, and basic restrooms. Cyprus Lake and the trail system are both within walking distance. This location is radio and alcohol-free.
The Group Site camping fee includes one vehicle parking space for every six people registered at the site. All other vehicles will need an additional vehicle permit per night.
Cyprus Lake Campgrounds
Cyprus Lake Campground, located in the heart of Bruce Peninsula National Park, is the ideal base camp for your adventure on the peninsula. The campground’s 232 drive-in unserviced campsites are divided into three sections: Tamaracks, Birches, and Poplars, and are located along the picturesque inland Cyprus Lake. Each site has a picnic table and a firepit and accommodates tent, trailer, and RV camping (up to 27 ft/8 m – specific sites only). The campground is equipped with both outhouses and flush toilets. “The Campground Hub,” which will open in 2020, features an open-air pavilion with showers, indoor restrooms, a WiFi hotspot, a playground, a basketball net, a mini soccer field, and an outdoor theater.
The two backcountry camping areas in Bruce Peninsula National Park are Stormhaven and High Dump. They offer a tranquil camping experience in a beautiful and remote setting along the Bruce Trail on the scenic Georgian Bay shoreline.
Fall And Winter Camping
The Bruce Peninsula is breathtaking in every season. Camping in the fall and winter is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Before you arrive, there are a few things you should be aware of.
- Winter weather can be hazardous; be prepared and cautious.
- During the winter, emergency response is limited.
- The reception on cell phones is unreliable.
- Make a travel itinerary and share it with someone.
- Winter sports are more strenuous, and daylight hours are limited. Take note of the time.
- Keep an eye out for signs of exhaustion and hypothermia.
- The shoreline becomes icy, particularly near the Grotto and Indian Head Cove. Snow frequently covers the ice. Do not get too close to the edge.
- On Georgian Bay, there is a risk of thin, moving ice.
Rules Of Camping In Bruce Peninsula National Park
Here are some guidelines for backcountry camping in Bruce Peninsula National Park.
- Please take out all of your trash. Although there is a small garbage can in the restroom, it should not be used for garbage (such as food wrappers or scraps).
- Only use toilet paper and the provided wood chips in the composting toilets. Paper towels, tampons/pads, and other garbage cannot be digested by composting toilets. That means Parks Canada will have to fish those items out of the toilet. Be considerate.
- Campfires are not permitted in Bruce Peninsula National Park. You should bring a gas stove with you to cook on. I understand how disappointing this is, but the fires harm the fragile environment.
Getting To Bruce Peninsula National Park
The national park is at the tip of the peninsula, and the best way to get there is by car. There may be shuttles from Toronto on weekends during the summer, but these are more for day trips to the Grotto and not for camping.
When you enter the destination into Google Maps, don’t just type in “bruce peninsula national park.” Depending on what you’re doing, the park has two distinct destinations:
The Visitor’s Centre is where you go if you want to learn about the park or if you plan to spend time in the nearby Five Fathom National Marine Park.
Cyprus Lake Campground and Day Use Parking: If you have a camping reservation, go here (either car camping or backcountry). There is an entrance gate and a park ranger once you enter the park.
Tell the park ranger what you’re here to do (day hike, car camping, backcountry camping) and they’ll point you in the right direction to park or pick up your permits. You will also be given a map and a visitor’s brochure.
Camping In Bruce Peninsula National Park: Packing List
- Sleeping Pad (inflatable, with an R-value of 3.4)
- Sleeping Pad (foam, with an R-value of 2.0)
- Sleeping Bag (rated to -9C)
- Compressible Pillow
If you’re going camping in cooler weather, make sure you have a warm sleeping pad. My usual sleeping pad wasn’t warm enough, so I brought this foam sleeping pad with me, and they worked perfectly together. You can find the necessary camping gear here. If you buy through my amazon link, I will get a little commission from it. Thanks very much!
- Stove + Fuel + Matches / Lighter
- Small Pot (preferably with handles)
- Water Filter
- Spork + Bowl
- Dried Meal (packaged or homemade)
- Coffee Thermos (optional)
- Hiking Shoes + Wool Socks
- Hiking Pants or Leggings
- Quick Dry T-shirt
- Fleece Sweater or Down Jacket
- Rain Coat
- Backpack (I think 40 – 55 L works well)
- Park Map
- First Aid Kit (here’s how to build your own)
- Trekking Poles (optional)
- Camera Gear (optional)