Cluxewe Resort and Campground – Port McNeil, BC – Campground Review

Deciding on 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 have the resort needed

  • We were able to get an ocean front site, which was our top priority!
  • It had power and water. We were not sure we could make it 6 nights on just our battery
  • It was centrally located to all the adventures we had planned. 30 minutes or less to everything – Port Hardy, Port McNeil, Telegraph Cove and many of the off road trips we wanted.
  • It had a laundry room, which was important as we approached the halfway point of our trip.

Bonus items the resort offered

  • A shower house. Our trailer shower is very small and the water pressure is low. This was a welcome addition.
  • A highly rated restaurant on site if we got tired of barbecuing and dishes.
  • Access to an estuary that provided calm and easy kayaking opportunity.

Our Trip

Night 1: We arrived at our ocean front site and took the kayaks out right away. 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 you would have thought you were paddling on a lake. The scenery was spectacular and the sun was shinning. Once back at Telegraph Cove we enjoyed lunch on a patio over looking 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.

Kayaking in Port Alice

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 and hour of paddling we called it quits and headed back to the campground for an afternoon on the beach.

Campground Info

View from site 51

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 campground 3 areas

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 angler 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.

Sites to book

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.

  • Although not in the 50’s, sites 46 & 47 are the two best full service sites. They are oceanfront, private, large and have great views. They are near the office and busy area, but if you want full service, these are the sites to get.
  • Site 57 has best ocean view but that comes with no privacy. It is positioned so you can enjoy the sunset right from your site. The site is open to the elements so awnings and tarps are not an option.
  • Sites 50, 51, 52, and 53 are all equal sites. They have privacy, ocean views and are a good size for any unit.
  • Site 54 is a huge site but not much of a view. You have access to the beach but you cannot really enjoy the view from the site. It would be my last choice of the ocean front sites.
  • Site 55/56 is a very large double site and has a great ocean view and lots of privacy.
  • Sites in the loop 80-93 are in a good location with sites 80 and 81 being my first choice. Although they offer little privacy they have unobstructed views of the ocean and easy access to the beach. The rest of the sites in this loop are good but do not have ocean views with some offering estuary views.
  • Sites 59, 60, 61 and 62 are the non-serviced sites. They are very private and are right on the ocean for great views. Sites 64 and 65 are off on their own and great if you are camping with a group, Site 68 is on the estuary and on its own as well. The other non-serviced sites are very open to each other and offer limed privacy.

Campground Pros

  • Located on the ocean with lots of beach access for all to enjoy! Be sure to visit the estuary.
  • A variety of services depending on your needs; full service, power/water and no service sites.
  • Hot, clean and large shower rooms that are only $1.00 for 6 minutes
  • Laundry room with well-maintained machines and freezers for your catch of the day.
  • Boat launch (not sure how good this is: it appeared very steep) and 2 fish cleaning stations.
  • An award-winning restaurant on site: our neighbours went for dinner and said the food was amazing and the sticky toffee pudding for dessert was worth a visit by itself.
  • Office store with basic supplies and some local artisans gift items.
  • Ocean front cabins for those who do not want to camp.
  • Playground
  • Sani-dump
  • Centrally located for day trips to various parts of the northern island.

Campground Cons

  • Construction – the campground is building a new area and the noise of the machinery can be heard in most of the campground.This is only a temporary con (our visit was in the summer of 2019.)

Links

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Miracle Beach Provincial Park – Campbell River BC – Campground Review

Miracle Beach at High Tide

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 our rough start, and a much longer drive, we arrived at Miracle Beach.

We chose this campground for a few reasons:

  • Its endless sandy beach and world famous beach combing.
  • Its proximity to Campbell River and the expected fresh seafood that comes with the area.  
  • Its central location to several hikes in the area.

During our stay we wanted to spend time in Campbell River, a day on the beach and a couple of days hiking.

Our Trip

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 – We were to drive to Port McNeil but first we wanted to get in some beach time. It was low tide so we moved the RV to the day use parking lot 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.

Info on the park

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.

Sample of how private the sites are.
  • Get as close to the beach as possible, it is a bit of walk even when you are in the first row. If you have young children and all the toys, towels and snacks that go along with them you may be driving to the beach parking lot regardless of your location.
  • If you plan to use the campground washrooms, I would recommend a site close to the flush washroom buildings. The pit toilets are well located throughout the park but they are still pit toilets.
  • The main road is busy, we were 2 sites in and it didn’t bother us but if I had young children on bikes I would choose to be a bit farther away from main road.
  • If you have dogs or children, you may want to choose a site on the northeast side. They are closer to the dog trails, the nature house and the amphitheater.

Campground Pros (and there are many)

Patio lunch at Quay West Kitchen
  • The beach!  At low tide you can spend hours out there. Take a picnic, chairs, toys and settle in for the afternoon. 
  • Large level and private campsites
  • Paved roads for children to ride bikes on and easy walking access to the beach with strollers and wagons.
  • Trails, playground, nature house and amphitheater – plenty of option to please all ages.
  • Free shower house
  • 3 flush toilet buildings and several pit toilets.
  • Lots of beach parking. On the day we checked out, we parked our RV in the day use parking and it was easy to find a space long enough for the truck and trailer.
  • Short drive (~15 minutes) to Campbell River where you can buy seafood on the pier and walk the seawall.  Check out Quay West Kitchen for tasty food and drinks on the seawall.
  • Sani dump and potable water on site
  • Several great hikes within a short drive.

Campground Cons

  • Saratoga Speedway is nearby so the noise of the cars is a constant throughout the day. A reminder that you are very close to the tourist attractions
  • Not enough showers for the size of the campground
  • Beach house shower, bathroom and change rooms were very run down. It felt very dirty and unkept. The only part of the park that felt that way.
  • Park size – for some this may be a downside because it is a very long walk to the beach from the back sites.

Links

Bear Creek Provincial Park – Kelowna, BC

https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/BearCreek

Bear Ck 2b

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.

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Porteau Cove Provincial Park – Squamish, BC Campground Review

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 with her. All I can say is LUCKY US. This is, without a doubt, the most amazing campground.

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Montague Harbour Provincial Park – Galiano Island, BC – Campground Review

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/montague/

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I consider myself very lucky, 16 years ago my parents started their dream by selling their home and moving aboard a 52 foot cabin cruiser. We spent many great summer holidays on the boat, but as the kids got older there just was not enough room for all of us to sleep. That is where the camping came in. We would head over to Montague Harbour Provincial Campground and set up our sleeping spots. The trip to Montague starts with a short ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Galiano Island. This camping trip was a bit different because we were tenting. The cost of taking the trailer on the ferry was just too high, and because we planned to spend most of our time on the boat it was not necessary to bring it over. With only 28 sites in the park reservation are recommended during peak season and it does fill up early. There is an overflow field for tenting and this area does have a couple of hidden gem. The park does not have hook ups, it only offers pit toilets and half the sites are walk ins but if you make the trip you will not be disappointed.

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Blue Lake Resort: Boston Bar – Campground Review

View of the lake from our hike

The summer of 2017 our annual  group camping trip brought us to Blue Lake Resort.   For previous 4 years we had camped in the Cariboo but all of our kids are now working full time or going to school so we needed to find a location within a couple hours of Vancouver. We also required 5 campsites, with at least a couple being lakefront, one cabin and, oh yeah, we all wanted to be together.  We knew this would be a tough order so when the folks at Blue Lake Resort said they could accommodate all our needs we were thrilled and confirmed our reservation.

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Lightning Lake Campground, E.C. Manning Provincial Park

Manning9We camped at Lightning Lake Campground a couple years back on our anniversary but just realized I did not do a complete review. Lightning Lake Campground is one of 5 campgrounds located within E.C. Manning Park and it is by far the most popular making it difficult to get into.  We also stayed at Coldspring Campground the same trip and you can find it’s review here.

Canyon Trail Sign

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Otter Lake Provincial Park, Tulameen BC – Revisited 2017

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View of the Princeton Fire as we approached

We used to visit Otter Lake Provincial Park every year with friends and I completed my first review back in 2015. I was excited to head back to Otter Lake and even more excited that we were camping in one of my suggested sites. As our trip approached it became clear that BC was in one of the worst forest fire seasons ever and the area about 20 km east of the campground was being evacuated. We were a worried whether we would be able to access our campground and how thick the smoke would be around us. As it turned out we were lucky, although we could see a haze and smell the smoke, we managed to have a relaxing weekend away.

 

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Okanagan Falls Provincial Park, OK Falls BC

okanagan-falls-campground-signOkanagan Falls Provincial Park is a small park made up of only 25 unserviced sites which are 100% reservable. The park is now officially called  sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Provincial Park, and is located in the small town of Okanagan Falls. The park lies  below the outlet of Skaha Lake on the Okanagan River. 

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Haynes Point Provincial Park, Osoyoos BC – Revisited 2017

It has been several years since we have stayed at Haynes Point Provincial Park now named swiws Provincial Park. I did my first review several years after our stay so had to rely on my memory. After reading my review back I can say it was fairly accurate but I felt an updated review would be a benefit.

I have to thank my sister for getting the site. For 3 days she went into work early so that she could be logged onto Discover Camping in order to hit the booking button as soon as the reservation system opened. It was a difficult task but on day 3 she had success and was able to secure a site for 6 nights. Due to the popularity of this park you can only book 7 nights at a time but really it is still near impossible to get a reservation.

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