10 Spectacular Places to Camp in the Summer


Nairn Falls Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

If Canada is America's hat, it's spectacular enough to hold its own at England's next royal wedding. Located in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, this stunning site is carpeted with emerald trees and crowned with a nearly 200-foot (61-meter) waterfall. Its northerly location and chilly winter temperatures (dipping below 12 degrees Fahrenheit, or -11 degrees Celsius) make it an ideal summer camping destination [sources: BC Parks, Tourism Whistler].

Nairn Falls Provincial Park was established and placed under official governmental protection (similar to state and national parks in the U.S.) in 1966. The park and its surrounding region (an area stretching from Vancouver to Whistler known as the Sea to Sky Corridor) are important spiritual locations for the Lil'wat Nation, a native tribe of the British Columbia area [source: Lil'wat Nation].

Nairn Falls itself is just south of One Mile Lake, a great spot to picnic or take a dip. Many visitors also enjoy the hike up to the waterfall -- it's about two miles (3.2 kilometers) of fairly easygoing terrain, and it promises spectacular views of the crashing falls and evergreen-carpeted cliffs upon completion [source: BC Parks, Vancouver Trails]. While both the falls and the lake are great places to take the kids, visitors should be especially careful: Unlike the rec center pool back home, there's no lifeguard on duty. When you're camping, swimming and water sports are activities where a little extra vigilance is crucial.

If you're a newbie hiker or are into roughing it, Nairn Falls is a great summer camping destination. The campsite offers some key accommodations (such as drinking water, fire pits and vehicle access), but it's rugged enough to remind you that you're definitely out in nature (no flushing toilets, for example). However, if you're really craving running water and true bathroom amenities, pop over to the nearby town of Pemberton for a quick fix of creature comforts.