Header photo by Josh Lund

A summer without camping isn't summer at all. This is a sentiment shared by many (I'd argue, most) Manitobans and one that rings true to my heart. While you may already have your go-to spots and your seasonal sites secured, I challenge you to expand your camping horizons to a new region of the province. Here are 10 gorgeous places to camp in Manitoba that you should absolutely check out this summer. To make reservations, visit the Manitoba Parks Reservation System.

1. Bakers Narrows Campground

Located 20 minutes from the city of Flin Flon, this northern campground offers picturesque sites right on Lake Athapapuskow, known for its clear, beautiful waters. If you are used to camping in the busier lakes of southern Manitoba, you will be pleasantly surprised at the solitude that can be found in the north. Canoe onto the lake and you likely won't see another boat for quite some time! The campground also features a fantastic lookout tower, with sweeping views of the park. 

2. Tulabi Falls Campground

Located in Nopiming Provincial Park, Tulabi Falls Campground is an excellent option for anyone who likes to go a bit off the grid without actually jumping into full-on backcountry camping. This campground still maintains a bit of a rugged feel - no running water, shower facilities or cell service here, folks. The surrounding wilderness is breathtaking; from the balsam fir, jack pine and spruce tree forests to the rushing waters of the falls themselves.

3. Otter Falls Campground

Nestled into the northern end of Whiteshell Provincial Park, Otter Falls sits on the Boreal Shield along the Winnipeg River system. The region offers phenomenal hiking opportunities (like the Bannock Point Petroforms hike, just a short drive away) as well as plenty of chances to see wildlife. If you don't feel like cooking (or you botched your dinner over that campfire), head to the delicious Otter Falls Resort Grill.

4. Wekusko Falls Campground

If you have not yet fallen asleep to the sweet sound of rushing water, I highly suggest you give it a try. Wekusko Falls Provincial Park offers some of the most stunning campsites in the province, several with a direct view of the falls. Take it slow and enjoy the scenery and the two suspension bridges of the park, or head to the Grass River (which runs through the park) for a canoe or kayak excursion.

5. Grand Beach Campground

You may have visited Manitoba's most beloved beach for a summer day trip, but this year, you ought to consider staying overnight in the campground. This allows for more time to fully enjoy the white sand beach, the sand dunes (keep an eye out for Piping Plovers) and the various hiking trails. Don't forget to get an ice cream cone for your stroll down the boardwalk!

6. Lundar Beach Campground

Head to Lake Manitoba's Lundar Beach Provincial Park and explore one of Manitoba's natural marshlands. Lake Manitoba is home to a healthy population of birds which include pelicans, songbirds and ducks. Spend a day on the beach or head into town to catch a glimpse into the region's history at the Lundar Museum. The sunsets over the lake can't be beat!

7. Paint Lake Campground

This northern gem is sure to thrill any outdoor enthusiast. The campground is excellent for families; with two playgrounds, a volleyball court and modern washrooms and showers. It also offers a STUNNING lake, beach and several islands if you'd like to explore a little via canoe.

8. Kiche Manitou Campground

Discover a new corner of the province at Kiche Manitou Campground, located in Spruce Woods Provincial Park. Spruce Woods Provincial Park is unique for its varied landscape: from spruce parkland to mixed grass prairie to the desert-like Spirit Sands. The Kiche Manitou Lake is great for a refreshing dip after a day hiking the sands! 

9. Blue Lakes Campground

You'll be amazed at the blue lakes that await in Duck Mountain Provincial Park, home to the Blue Lakes Campground. There are two lakes to discover: East Blue Lake with a depth of 60 metres (which makes it a popular lake for scuba diving, believe it or not) and West Blue Lake, home to some of the most breathtaking views in the park. Duck Mountain Provincial Park is also home to Baldy Mountain, Manitoba's highest peak at 832 metres above sea level.

10. Adam Lake Campground

Don't let summer pass you by without a trip to Turtle Mountain Provincial Park in southwestern Manitoba. Here, stay at Adam Lake Campground where you can sunbathe on the beach, swim in the shallow Adam Lake or hike to the viewing tower to scout for wildlife.