Known for its warm waters, fantastic camping facilities and family friendly recreational activities, Bamberton Provincial Park is an ideal RV getaway destination. Located on the west side of Vancouver Island, Bamberton Provincial Park covers 69 acres (0.27kmsq) on the west side of Saanich Inlet. The history of the land dates back to the First Nations people who used Johns Creek (which runs through the park) as a source for fishing, and still use the area today for ceremonial purposes. The park first came to be when in 1959 the British Columbia Cement Company donated the land. The name Bamberton was chosen by the donors and commemorates H.K. Bamber, who was a managing director of the British Portland Cement Manufacturing Company.
The park is very popular in the summer months thanks to the great water-based recreational activities that visitors can enjoy. There are so many fun things to do in and around the inlet, including swimming, fishing, paddling and hiking. One particularly impressive natural feature is the 738 foot (225 meter) sandy beach that is perfect for beach walking and sunbathing. The views across the inlet from the beach are also stunning. If you look to the east you will see the shores of the Saanich Peninsula and the southern Gulf Islands and Mt. Baker in the background.
Bamberton Provincial Park also has you covered if you want to spend the night. There are 53 RV accessible campsites available all year round, however during the winter some facilities will be shut down. Reservations for the campsite are available along with select sites that are available on a first come, first served basis.
Bamberton Provincial Park is located in the south-eastern part of Vancouver Island and is around 23 miles (38km) north-west of Victoria, which is the capital of British Columbia. The park has one entry and exit road that is very easy to find as it is located off Malahat Drive.
Since the city of Victoria is relatively close to the park you will be able to pick up supplies or access services and amenities from there before you begin your stay. If you are looking for other, smaller towns you can find a few close by, including Mill Bay (around four miles or seven kms away), Malahat (around six miles away or 10kms) and Shawnigan Lake (around eight miles or 13kms away).
Accessing Bamberton Provincial Park should be very simple as the main road is a highway and the connecting roads are very well maintained. During the winter the park is still open and you can access the campgrounds, however if you do plan on visiting the park during winter make sure you call the park in advance to confirm that the road will be clear for you to access.
There is plenty of parking available at Bamberton Provincial Park.
There are no direct public transport options to take you to Bamberton Provincial Park.
Nestled within the mixed forest, Bamberton Campground is the lone campground at the park and is a very popular campground, especially during the summertime. There are 53 RV accessible campsites at Bamberton Campground and all of the sites have no water, electric or sewer connections. The sites are mostly private, with those in the middle of the campground featuring a lot of shade throughout the day.
Despite not having hookups to each site, the campground has some well maintained amenities that include water collection points, updated pit toilets, showers at the beach area, firewood and overflow parking. The campground is also pet friendly but they must be kept on a leash at all times.
Bamberton Campground is open all year round but during the winter time most of the sites are closed and no water or firewood will be available. Reservations are also not available during the winter but can be made online or by calling the park for those wanting to stay during the summer months.
The swimming opportunities at Bamberton Provincial Park are some of the best in the area and are a main attraction to visitors to the park. There is no designated swimming area within the inlet, however the sandy beach is 738 foot (225 meter) in length so you will have plenty of room to splash around in the ocean water. Remember that there are no lifeguards at the park so swim to within your abilities at all times.
Boating is another popular activity when the weather is nice with canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing all being allowed within the inlet. The views from the inlet around Bamberton will give you some great views of Mount Baker and the Saanich Peninsula so soak them up whilst you are out on the water. There is no boat ramp so launching larger boats from the park grounds isn't possible. There are no guarantees that boat rentals will be available so make sure to bring your own watercraft if you do want to do some boating.
Bamberton Provincial Park has multiple places to throw out a blanket and have a picnic along with one picnicking and day-use area. The day-use area is full of great amenities, including a large vehicle parking lot, picnic tables, flush toilets, fresh water and a grassy area. The day-use area also provides easy access to the beach so you could even combine a day out with a swim. The picnic tables at the park are not reservable so make sure you arrive early to avoid disappointment if you have a large group.
Although there are no major hiking trails to explore due to the small size of the park you will have the opportunity to walk the mile (one and a half km) trail that connects the campground to the day-use area where the beach is located. Be aware that the trail is steep in parts so it might not be the best for elderly or young children, but for the experienced hiker it will be enjoyable. There is also another trail that you can take from from the day-use parking lot to the beach, which is wheelchair accessible and paved.
The warm waters within the Mill Bay inlet attract a variety of people who are looking to catch the big one. Fishing is allowed in all areas of the park and due to the water temperature the most common species caught include salmon and rock fish. We recommend that you bring your own fishing gear as rentals might not be available. Before you cast a line make sure that you have an appropriate British Columbia fishing license.
The mixed forest environment combined with the waterways found at Bamberton Provincial Park means that wildlife viewing for visitors will be very diverse. Since the park is quite small there aren't usually any large mammal sightings but you will see eagles and osprey circling high above in the forested areas. Near the water you will be able to find waterfowl and seals who are frequent visitors. For more information on wildlife viewing and interpretive programs held at the park contact the park office.