Camping is a wonderful wilderness retreat into the lush forests and pristine lakes BC has to offer. However, many campsites require fees and reservations booked way in advance, making it hard to have a last minute spontaneous adventure.

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Not only are these places free, many of them are hidden gems few people know about. Take a spontaneous trip to the mountains with these 9 free and amazing campgrounds that do not require any bookings:

1. Mount Seymour // North Vancouver

Mount Seymour is only 30 minutes from the city and wilderness camping is free. If you are wanting to take a short last minute camping trip into the mountains, here is your chance. You can camp anyplace on the mountain as long as its north past Brockton Point.

2. Jones Lake // Chiliwack

Not only is this site free, it is very well maintained. There are over 50 camp sites available all with designated wheelchair accessible campsites, fire rings, pit toilets and picnic tables. Enjoy picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and backcountry exploration alongside your camping adventure.

3. Granite Falls // Indian Arm

This remote gem is absolutely free to stay at! Granite Falls offers the best camping on the Indian Arm with easy beach access. Camping is permitted on the south side of Granite Falls. The campsite is accessible by kayak or boat only.

4. Cypress Mountain // West Vancouver

Cypress is home to some of the best views of Howe Sound and Vancouver. The mountain is only a 30 minute drive from Vancouver. Camping is free along the Howe Sound Crest Trail and at higher elevations beyond the ski areas. Enjoy backcountry, wilderness, or walk-in camping here.

Photo cred - @lucaslandry

5. Seton Lake // Lillooet

This breathtaking lake has a free campground for you to explore. Alongside camping, you can make use of the picnic areas and various activities, such as boating, canoeing, hiking and fishing, visiting the dam, and seeing the viewpoints.

6. Elbow Lake // Horsefly

This site faces the scenic Caribou Mountains and it is well maintained. Boats can be launched from the shore.

7. Twin Island // Indian Arm

An easy and short 1.5 hour kayak from Deep Cove and you'll find yourself on this lovely remote island with stunning scenery. You can even get a view of the water from your tent.

8. Strathcona Dam Campground // Vancouver Island

Strathcona Dam is an ideal place to stay so you can explore the many pristine lakes in the area. The recreation area offers a beach and excellent fishing access to trout.

9. Nahmint Lake // Port Alberni

A maintained campsite along the shores of minty coloured lake Nah Mint under large old-growth Hemlock. Activities include boating, fishing and an awesome beach.

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