Descanso Bay Regional Park General Information

Descanso Bay Regional Park General Information

Hours of Operation and Permitted Users

The Park is open year-round to the public from 7am to 11pm. During the high-camping season (April 1 - September 30), Park gates open at 7am and close at 10pm.

A Park Use Permit is required for special use of a Regional District of Nanaimo Park. Special uses include but are not limited to events, commercial recreation, filming and research. Click here to view the Park Use Permit Application Form


Camping is available year-round at this park. Campsites can be reserved between May 1 and September 30 and are on a first-come, first served basis for the rest of the year. Reservations for campsites can be made up to four (4) months in advance and up to two (2) days prior to your arrival date.


All vehicles must always be parked in designated parking areas or campsites. No parking on any campground lanes or park roads. The Park speed limit is 10km/ hour.

Campfires, BBQs, and Smoking

Campfires are only permitted in registered campsites. BBQs, hibachis, and camp stoves are permitted in the day use areas. Please protect picnic tables and the ground by placing aluminum foil under your BBQ, camp stove or hibachi. Smoking, vaping and campfire bans are enacted during the summer months. Check here to see if a ban in in place.


Potable water is available throughout the park for consumption within the park only. Please do not wash at the water taps, leave taps running, or waste water. NO household or RV water fill up facilities are available.

Please note that the sodium levels in the park water are higher than those recommended in the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines for persons on a severely sodium-restricted diet. For the average person, sodium levels are well within acceptable limits.


Outhouses are located within a short walk of all campsites and day-use area. There is no Sani Dump Station at the park.

Garbage and Recycling

Ensure all garbage and recycling is properly disposed of in the separate receptacles provided.

Alcohol / Cannabis

Alcohol / cannabis consumption by persons of legal age is only permitted in registered campsites, by registered campers and their guests. Be considerate of your neighbours. Disturbances could result in an eviction. Please note that smoking or vaping cannabis is not permitted during smoking bans. Check here to see if a smoking ban is in place.


Pets must always be leashed and under control, including in individual campsites. Leashes not to exceed 2m in length. Electric dog restraints are not permitted in lieu of a leash. You are responsible for your pets behaviour and for properly disposing their waste into a garbage receptacle.


Swimming in the ocean is commonly enjoyed by park users. Please be aware that no lifeguard service is provided.

Trees & wildlife

The trees and wildlife are a part of what makes this place beautiful. Park flora and fauna are protected. Please leave the trees, plants, flowers, sea weed and shells as they are - they are not surplus but each performing an important role in the park's ecosystem. Please refrain from damaging trees by placing nails, screws, axes etc. in them. Do not gather branches or twigs from the park. It is an offence to do so.

Park Use Regulation

Descanso Bay Regional Park is governed by RDN Park Use Regulation Bylaws 1399 and 1399.01.