I lucked out and it was my turn as soon as the system went live. If only I were that lucky all the time.
What was your experience with the new site?
I lucked out and it was my turn as soon as the system went live. If only I were that lucky all the time.
What was your experience with the new site?
Cluxewe Resort – Port McNeil, BC
Choosing a campground on the Northern Island was a challenge. We were unfamiliar with the area and didn’t want to be packing up and moving to a new site every couple of days. We decided on Cluxewe Resort because it checked several of our boxes.
“Must haves” the resort needed
Bonus items the resort offered
Night 1: We settled into our ocean front site and took the kayaks out for a paddle. The ocean was so calm you would have thought it was a giant lake. We paddled around the point and through the estuary. It was very relaxing to paddle as the sun set and the wildlife surrounded us.
Day 2 and 3: The weather was unsettled so we spent the time exploring Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Telegraph Cove. We were very thankful to have electricity at the trailer so that we could stay warm inside playing games, reading and storm watching from our rear window.
Day 4: The sun was out and we wanted to kayak at Telegraph Cove. We headed back with our kayaks and spent a few hours on the water around the cove. We have our own kayaks but if you do not, there are a couple of places that offer guided tours and kayak rentals. Again, the water was clam and current was light so we enjoyed a few hours on the water. The scenery was spectacular and the sun was shinning. Once back at Telegraph Cove we enjoyed lunch on a patio overlooking the cove and a walk around the various buildings reading about the interesting history. If you are looking to do any whale watching, grizzly bear or wildlife tours, Telegraph Cove is the place to book these from.
Day 5: Blessed with sunshine once again we headed for Cape Scott Provincial Park. This was a 2 hour drive on a bumpy logging road. We took this trip on a weekend so there were not logging trucks, which made the drive much easier. Once we arrived at the parking lot it was an easy 40 minute hike to San Joseph Beach. Wow, was this hike worth it. We arrived at a beautiful sandy beach famous for its stone haystack formations and endless sand. We loved it and wished that we were adventurous enough to walk in and camp at these amazing locations.
Day 6: We drove out to Alice Bay to check out this part of the island. It was a beautiful paved road with amazing views of the inlet. We stopped at several view points for photos. At the old mill, we found a dock that we could launch our kayaks from. The water in this bay was turquoise and looked so inviting. Once in the water we realized the currents and winds were just too strong so after a half an hour of paddling we called it quits and headed back to the campground for an afternoon on the beach.
We stayed in site 51, it was one of the oceanfront sites and offered amazing views of the Strait. From our campsite we could see all kinds of wildlife: whales, otters and seals swam by; eagle, blue heron and hawks flew overhead; and fish were jumping everywhere. It was our evening entertainment to sit on the beach and watch as the anglers tried to catch a fish while the cruise ships crossed, various wildlife visited, and the sun set in amazing colors. That alone made this campground worth the stop.
The Front Loop – This first section as you enter is more like a parking lot and appears to have several long-term/seasonal campers. These sites offer full hook ups and seem to attracted recreational anglers who want a summer spot for the fishing season. I would not recommend staying in these sites if you can avoid it.
The Estuary Loop – This is a loop near the back of the campground and all sites offer full hookups. Many of the sites back onto the estuary and some have a view of it. This area offers little privacy between sites; but the sites are level, open, grassy and vary in size depending on your camping equipment. The young woman at the desk warned us that the flies in this area are often bad so that should be taken into consideration when booking. These sites are close to the playground, shower, laundry house and main office.
The Ocean Loop – This loop has several oceanfront & ocean view campsite with a few estuary campsites as well. I would recommend booking into this loop. It is away from the busy area of the office, laundry, and playground. You feel remote, making these sites very quiet. Most of the sites are treed for privacy and many offer power and water with some forest sites at the end of the loop having no additional services. There is a bathroom in this loop but the showers are back by the office.
7 Tips For Booking The Best Sites
Any of the 50’s are great. They are large, level, treed for privacy and offer ocean views. Here is the order I would rank them if you have a choice of sites.
Miracle Beach Provincial Park – Comox Valley, BC
Miracle Beach Provincial Park – The summer of 2019 Blair and I had our first 2 week road trip to the northern portion of Vancouver Island. We intended to arrive in Nanaimo and head north to the more remote areas of the island. Of course, BC Ferries had other plans and landed us in Victoria due to cancellations and other unfortunate events, but that’s another story. After a rough start and a much longer drive, we arrived at Miracle Beach.
We chose this campground for a few reasons:
During our stay we wanted to spend time in Campbell River, a day on the beach and a couple of days hiking.
Day 1 – We headed to Ripple Rock Canyon to complete a morning hike. The history of this location is very interesting and we were advised to read up on it before visiting the site. It was a beautiful day and the views were spectacular. On the way back we stopped in Campbell River for lunch on the seawall and a walk to the docks. Here we stopped at Crabby Bob’s and picked up some fresh halibut for dinner before returning to our campground.
Day 2 – We drove to end of Strathcona Park to complete Baby Bedwell Hike. It was a 2-hour drive, partly on gravel road, and then a 3-hour hike – in and out. It is a challenging hike but worth it. The views were amazing and other than the torrential downpour on the way home, it was a great day.
Day 3 – Later in the day we planned to drive to Port McNeil but first we wanted to get in some beach time. We moved the RV to the day use parking and headed out to explore the beach. It was low tide so we were able to walk for miles. The beach-combing was fantastic with sand dollars, crab and several other creatures waiting to be observed. Here we saw a humpback whale right off the shore and a cruise ship leaving for Alaska. It was a great way to end our journey in the area.
The park is very large: 57 hectares and 201 non-serviced sites, so choose your site wisely. It is a very popular campground so I would recommend making a reservation prior to arriving. We walked the entire campground and for the first time ever, I can say there is not a bad site. The sites vary in size but if you enter your camping equipment information, the system will only show you those appropriate sites. If you want a large site just check the dimensions on the campsite info page.
The thing to consider when booking this campground is location. We were in site 11, which was in the row closest to the beach access path, and the second site in from the main road. We walked to the beach often so I was very pleased with our choice. The park also has a shower house, 3 flush washroom buildings, several pit toilets, and lots of water taps. Because all the sites are great, you only need consider the following when selecting a site.
Campground Pros (and there are many)
When our kids were young we kicked off summer by heading to Bear Creek Provincial Park for the Canada Day long weekend. It felt like the official start of summer and you could almost be guaranteed to have good weather. Kelowna has a great Canada Day Festival in town with lots to do for the entire family and even without Canada Day you will most certainly be able to find something fun to do. The last time we were at Bear Creek was in 2004, this is largely due to the fact the park is hard to reserve, but these notes are based on those trips so the next time I am in Kelowna I will go back to check it out again.
This campground is great for young families. At least back then, the roads that looped around the campsite were one way, paved and flat so it’s was great for biking. There was also lots of green space and park area for games of bocci and lawn darts. They use to have a great kids program that we would go to every night and on Canada Day you could sit on the beach and watch the fire works in Kelowna. Bear Creek is also a short drive into West Bank or Kelowna so if the weather is not great it is easy to find something there to do.
This campground is right on Okanagan Lake and it has a great beach. The down side is that it is on the shady side of the lake which means limited afternoon sun. Okanagan Lake is also very large so it can be cold early in the summer season. The messy issue was, goose poop, and tons of it, on the beach, on the grass, and often on your shoes, it was a bit gross.
The sites at this park are small but they are private and many back onto green space. We really only stopped going because the park was so popular it became impossible to get a reservations. There is an overflow area but back when we went it was just a large parking lot type area, not a destination to head to.
The last time we went we stayed in the double sites 47 & 49 with a third family staying in 50. These sites were good because they backed into green space and because we were with 2 other families it gave us room to play games and gather together. Our kids were young at the time so being off the lake a bit was nice. That first loop is also nice because it is near the swimming beach and the amphitheater nature shows and ranger activities. Now that my kids are older I would pick the double sites of 55 & 57 or the single site 58. Although they do not have a lot of privacy they have a great view of the lake and area close to the beach,
After 20+ years of camping with family and friends Blair and I took our first 2 week camping trip ALONE. Sure we had done a few nights alone but this was our first extended trip on our own. We figured we had practiced enough over the years and now we were ready to go it alone. Some may question our decision but we have had some recent achievements so we believed we could do it! Here are some of our proud milestones:
With that kind of success, how could we not feel ready? We decided to make our first trip to Northern Vancouver Island. We did this for a few reason:
Pro Packing Cubes asked me to try out and review their product in an RV setting. I had never heard of packing cubes but anything that helps organize my RV is of interest to me. I set out to research their product before deciding if I would accept their offer.
It seems packing cubes are popular with travelers. They are soft sided nylon bags in varying sizes, designed to keep your clothes organized and compact. The product has a 4.5 stars to 5 star rating on Amazon.com which certainly indicates their customers are happy.
Porteau Cove Provincial Park – Squamish, BC
WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!! That is really the best way to describe this campground. I can see why it is near impossible to get a reservation here!!!! We stayed at Porteau Cove Provincial Park for the first time in mid August 2017. Somehow my sister managed to get a double ocean front site and she invited us to share it. All I can say is LUCKY US. This is, without a doubt, the most amazing campground.
We were booked into double site 41 & 42. This is a medium sized site and offers power. We were able to position our trailers so that we both had views, access to power and privacy from the road. This end of the street is near the walk-in sites and the park so the location was perfect. The ocean front sites are just steps from the water and offer incredible views. I really cannot say enough about the views and my pictures really capture it best.
Campground update: We made a second trip to this campground in December 2020. Our first attempt at winter camping. On this trip we stayed in double site 1/2. This site is very large and is the first site you see when you arrive. The site appears to be great when you first set up but after spending some time at the trailer we realized it had some downfalls. We were right next to the gate house so it was much busier as people came and went. We also had several trailer trapsters. It seems our site was a short cut from the beach to the campground. This site also did not get any direct sun which would have been nice at the end of December. If I could avoid booking this site again I would but the fact is that the campground is amazing and if this is all I could get, I would take it in a heartbeat.
It is important to note that all sites are very close to the train track and the noise is very, very loud as the trains rumble through. That said, I still feel like this is an amazing campground but I have never stayed here in a tent.
The campground is not large and is divided into 3 areas. The first camping loop has a mix of sites, some ocean front, some double, and several off the ocean but still very close. It is busier because it is the check in point, has the main bathroom as well as the sani dump area. Most of the center area site back onto one another. If you are camping with other families I can see that this would be a benefit. If you are camping alone, these sites reduce your privacy. There is also 2 cabins you can rent through Porteau Cove Olympic Legacy Cabins. These cabins are not booked through Discover Camping but the photo has the contact info. They are located in the first loop and it is close to the boat launch and tie ups.
The second area is east of the entrance along the park road. This is the area we stayed in on our first visit. The sites here are spread out and all have ocean views and access. Some of these sites are small so the larger RV’s would have a difficult time.
The third area is the park and walk in tent sites. If we tented this would be a great place to stay. It was away from traffic, close to the beach, offers a covered picnic areas and has power for your use. The tent sites were graveled, level and nicely spaced but offer limited privacy. There is a communal fire pit shared between 3 sites each. The sites are also close to the park, grass area and walking trails. This is where we went to play boccie and take evening walks to the look out.
7 Amazing Tips
In 2017 we camped at Blue Lake Resort with 4 other families. To entice our teenagers to join us, we needed an exciting activity. It had to be thrilling enough for the young and young at heart and safe enough for those who didn’t want to admit they weren’t either of those. After much research we agreed river rafting fit the bill. Safety was a key factor, we had some nervous swimmers and some even more nervous moms, so we needed to go with a reputable company. Based on location and company reviews we decided to go with REO River Rafting.Continue reading
South Whidbey State Park – Whidbey Island, Washington
Skip Directly to 8 Campground Tips
We camped at this park at the end of August 2013. We were there with 3 other families which consisted of 8 adults and 9 teenagers. This state park is about a 2.5 hour drive from Surrey BC. We approached the park near dusk when the road was lined with deer. This made driving very interesting and nerve racking at the same time. We must have counted 150 deer in the short stretch of land from Greenbank along highway 525 to The State Park. I tried to take pictures but it was too dark and not safe enough to stop.Our family was staying in site 7 with friends in sites 35, 31 and 29. The sites are very treed and private with plenty of room for your trailer and an additional kids tent. If you are looking for sun you need to select your site carefully. Site 7 had very little sun and was long and narrow so it was challenging to get our awning up. It also backed onto the bathrooms and for some reason, of which I would rather not know, the ground at the back of our site never dried out. It didn’t smell like a septic field but I am thinking that had something to do with it. Our friends in site 35 also had a narrow site but it was very long with a large open area at the back for tents, campfires and picnic tables. They too got very little sun but lots of privacy. Site 31 was a good site, wide and long with enough sun to give you a choice of sun or shade. It was not as private but with the damp ocean air it is nice to get the sun. Site 29 had no hook ups but it was also large and open. The sites up on this row had much less privacy, & no hook ups, but were good if you were camping as a group.
If you are camping there to be on the ocean then you should know that South Whidbey Island Park is a steep hike from the water. The trails are very steep and challenging to get kayaks and beach gear up and down. Trust me, we considered leaving the kayaks for the next campers. There are a couple of very nice hikes right near the park. As a group we did the easy one which was suitable for dogs, kids and adults. It took us about an hour and a half and it was through some beautiful foliage and along a stream at points. Well worth a trip if you are staying in the camp ground. The web site also talks about the U.S. Navy jets, from the nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, may fly over the campground at any time for several hours creating noisy conditions for campers. We did not experience this but be aware that this may occur and, depending on your views, can have a uniquely positive or negative impact on your trip. Our kids would have thought it was great.
One day part of our group went golfing at the Navy’s Gallery Golf Course north of Oak Harbor. Its about a 40 min drive, but is very affordable for a course that has some ocean-side holes. It’s best feature was that we got to see up-close about half a dozen military jets flying to or from the navy base next door. Not great when they scream by during your back-swing, but they were definitely cool to see.
Another day all the adults went into Langley to check out the town and have lunch. Langley is located right on the water with amazing view of the Saratoga Passage. The town has some great artisan shops and several restaurants. It was a beautiful day and we were looking for a patio or deck. We stopped at Prima Bistro which had a great deck elevated above the street so the view of Saratoga Passage was fantastic. We had a very nice lunch, some great drinks and a lot of laughs.
Shannon Falls Provincial Park – Squamish, BC
Hiking has become one of our favorite activities while camping and Squamish is the perfect destination. We recently camped at Porteau Cove Provincial Park and while there, we took a morning hike to Shannon Falls Provincial Park. This is a very popular park in part due to it convenient location, 60 km north of Vancouver and right off of Highway 99, and because of the number of hikes that can be accessed from this park. There is a public parking lot but it fills up fast. If you are planning on visiting on the weekend you are best to arrive early.
Shannon Falls is the center piece of this park and the trails provide spectacular views from a variety of levels. The trails are in great shape and very well maintained but each year climbers irresponsibly venture off the trail to get closer access to the Falls. Unfortunately many do not appreciate the danger of the falls and the results are sometimes fatal.Continue reading
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