A Camping Guide to Sunset Country

Find the perfect campground, RV Park or campsite
Gerry Cariou
By Gerry Cariou

Gerry Cariou is the Executive Director of Ontario's Sunset Country.

Last Updated: April 18, 2022

Go Camping in Northwestern Ontario

The dramatic increase in the popularity of camping, both at campgrounds and in the wilderness has opened up the beauty of Ontario's Sunset Country to many people who've never visited here before. With over 70,000 lakes and rivers, a wide variety of wildlife and water-based recreational opportunities like nowhere else, we have something for everyone. Once you've discovered the variety of camping choices available to you, you'll be back year after year. Use the information provided below as your guide to planning a camping trip to Ontario's Sunset Country. 

The author's view every evening from the campsite he stays at in Sioux Narrows

Camping in Sunset Country: An Overview

So it's probably easiest for all involved if we separate the camping into the kinds of sites/locations that are available as everyone's tastes are slightly different. 

  • Privately-Owned Campgrounds: For those looking for a camping experience with all the services, then we definitely recommend you stay at a privately-owned campground. In Sunset Country you have two choices: 
    • Lodge locations with campsites also available
    • Stand-alone campgrounds

The first choice is your traditional fishing lodge location with cabins for rent but also on the property, the owners have built campsites for their guests who want to bring their RV, trailer or tent. The second choice is similar but is a campground-only location - no cabins, only campsites and there are several great choices across the region. At privately-owned campgrounds, you'll generally get the best service and the nicest camping sites. Make sure that if you're bringing a big RV, that the campground you plan to stay at can accommodate its length and that the site has other amenities such as 30 or 50 AMP electrical outlets, sewer, a shower house and in some cases, an on-site convenience store.

Unlike in the USA, we don't have pools in our campgrounds - they are all situated on freshwater lakes so there is often a beach, swim toys and other amenities such as paddle-boats or canoes for rent. For those who want to fish while camping, many privately owned campgrounds have boats with motors available for rent - but if that's a must, make sure you ask first about availability prior to booking your site. All privately-owned campgrounds in Sunset Country are accessible by road although, for those with new campers, some may be located down secondary/gravel roads so keep that in mind. 

Here's a link to a page listing all our members offering camping:

Privately-owned Campgrounds in Sunset Country, Ontario

or, scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of campgrounds by the community they are in/near.

When you camp up here, the site will be located adjacent to a beautiful freshwater Canadian lake!

Guided Wilderness Camping/Canoe Trips

For those who want to get away from it all, the best way to do that is to combine a guided wilderness canoe trip with nightly camping along the route. Sunset Country is home to some of the best flat-water canoe outfitters in North America who can help you access wilderness parks such as Quetico, Woodland Caribou, and Wabakimi - to name just three. Using the services of an experienced outfitter is the best recommendation we can make. Not only will they work with you to plan out the route, having an experienced professional guide along ensures a hassle-free experience deep in the heart of the Canadian wilderness. See ancient native rock paintings, wildlife in their natural habitat and experience some of the finest fishing Sunset Country has to offer. To help you find the perfect canoe outfitter, use these links below:

The best way to experience wilderness camping is on a fully-outfitted canoe trip!

Camping in Provincial Parks

Ontario Parks operates a mix of Provincial Parks in the Sunset Country including parks with fully-serviced campsites, partially serviced sites, and un-serviced sites. They also offer a Parks Locator Tool which helps you locate specific parks in specific areas. You can easily reserve a camping spot online as well. There is a nightly fee applicable in almost every park and if you travel into a wilderness park like Woodland Caribou or Quetico, you're required to apply for a Park permit. Hint: plan ahead to avoid disappointment. Here's a blog article about the top three paddling destinations in Ontario's Sunset Country (which includes the camping side of it) on the Ontario Parks blog page.

A glimpse of the Northern Lights is a good possibility when you go camping in Sunset Country

Top 10 Reasons To Go Camping in Sunset Country

There's a lot of places one can choose to go camping so to help us convince you to visit Sunset Country, here's a top 10 list of why we should be your camping destination of choice.

  1. The first reason is in fact, 70,000 reasons. We challenge you to find a camping destination in an area that has 70,000 freshwater lakes to explore. Making the choice of which one to visit is the hard part.
  2. Space - we don't have "KOA" type campgrounds here. All our campgrounds have spacious sites and are usually right on or close to the lake.
  3.  Nature - those campgrounds close to home likely don't offer you the chance at seeing a moose, bear, wolf, or endless other forest creatures like bald eagles, loon, and pelicans - but ours do!
  4. Affordability - for US travellers, the campgrounds in Sunset Country charge in Canadian dollars and right now, there is about a 30% exchange rate on US currency in your favour!
  5. Fishing - we offer a way better quality fishing experience than just about anywhere else (the 70,000 lakes help) so it's not a question of if you'll catch a fish but when, and how many.
  6. The Aurora - how many campgrounds have you been to where the chance of seeing the Northern Lights during a week's stay is better than 50% - don't worry, you don't have to answer that.
  7. Watersports - if you love to go boating, canoeing, swimming, or doing other water sports, then the fact a beautiful freshwater lake is right there next to your campsite kinda facilitates that experience.
  8. Loons - if you've never heard the call of the loon at night or in the early morning then you're in for a wonderful surprise - there's nothing quite like it.
  9. Solitude - if you are really needing to disconnect from work or just from whatever, the solitude and peaceful nature of Sunset Country meets all those objectives - and more. Wilderness is good for your soul.
  10. Fun - we've never been wrong on this one, but once you've come here camping, you'll have so much fun and generate so many great memories well, let's just say we'll "see you back next year".
Is this an acceptable morning view as you step out of your camper or tent?

Get Your Free Travel Guide and Map

The best way to start planning your camping trip to Sunset Country is to get your Free copy of our annual Travel Guide and area Map.

The guide lists all the area campgrounds and the pull-out map in the middle shows you where in the region they are located so order your copy today!

Free Sunset Country Travel Guide and Map

Of course, we wouldn't want to forget about those evening spent around the campfire!