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
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.
Before we booked we did some research on the resort and, as expected, there were many pros and cons. Our biggest worry was the access road from the highway to the resort. Many reviews claimed it was very steep, full of pot holes and narrow so if you met a vehicle coming the other direction one of you will have to back up the to allow for passing. This made us a bit nervous because we all have RV’s that range from 20 to 26 feet and not all of us tow vehicles often. That being said, the resort fit the bill in all other areas so we decided to take the risk
THE INFAMOUS ROAD
I can say the reviews are accurate! The road is everything it promised to be, very steep, very narrow, and very short, only about 1.8 km long. We were lucky not to meet an approaching vehicles on either of our trips. Playing chicken while towing a trailer up hill was not something we were looking forward to. We drove cautiously (AKA slowly) and were able to navigate the road fairly easily. The resort gives tips on the best times arrive and leave and I would recommend following the check in time rules. It really is your best chance to avoid having vehicles meet on this perspicacious road.
Once at the resort we were directed to our campsite and met up with our friends. We were in Lake Site 1 which claimed to have a private dock and great views. Our friends were in Lake Site 2, with the other families being across the road in sites 3, 4 and 5. We were all close together and very near the beach, exactly what we were promised.
We arrived on a Friday afternoon and the resort was very busy. It is large resort with a beautiful beach area but the beach is really too small to accommodate the number of guest at the resort. Our campsite looked right onto the beach area giving us very little privacy and our “private dock” was not so private. Many of the beach visitors made their home on the end. You might think that is not a big deal but they had to walk through our site to access the dock so it was a bit annoying. Due to the large crowds and openness of our site we felt it necessary to lock our trailer door whenever we were away from the site and we kept our cooler and belonging locked in the truck when not in use. This is not how we usually feel when we camp so our initial impression of the campground was not great.
As the weekend proceeded we found that the rules at this campground were very loosely enforced. I think this could be in part because many of the sites are seasonal leases and those guests had a sense of ownership to the space. For example the resort has a “dogs must be leashed” rule but I think there were more dogs off leash than on leash with very little regard for pooper scoopers. There was also a large number of vehicles driving to the beach area beside us but no designated parking area. The downside was vehicles were parked everywhere and made it difficult for us to move in and out of our site. Another concern was the lack of presence by the staff. BC was in the midst of the worst forest fire season ever with tinder dry condition’s. On our second night a family near to us started a real campfire. As soon as we noticed this large fire, one of our group walked over to inform them there was a campfire ban. Their response was that they had seen so many real fires in the resort and they thought it was okay to have one. I am pleased to report they put it out right away. The lack of staff patrolling is what lead to this dangerous situation.
Needless to say that by Sunday afternoon I wasn’t loving this campground but then it happened…. All the weekend campers headed home and the campground quieted down. There were still several families around but it wasn’t the chaos of the weekend and we started to feel like campers again. The traffic to the beach turned from vehicles to walkers, people didn’t traipse onto our dock and dogs were on leashes. It was an entirely different feel and relaxation started to set in. We stayed until Wednesday of that week and I am glad we did because my impression of the resort was very very different by Wednesday and there were far more pros than cons. If you plan to visit this campground I really would AVOID the weekend.
Here is my advise for this campground
- It is difficult to determine what sites are good because many of the sites are seasonal leases and not open to the public but here are my thought.
- Lakefront sites are worth the money (except site 1). You get a private dock and most sites are well treed for privacy.
- I don’t want to list any more sites because the resort has undergone some renovations since are visit and many of the sites have changed.
- The lake is beautiful: it is quite small but still very clear and warm. The size was perfect for kayaking, canoeing, swimming, fishing and floating. No gas engines are allowed on this lake so it is also very quiet and relaxing. A great place to spend a day.
- The beach: the resort offered a beautiful sandy beach with a roped off swim area, several dock and 2 swim platforms to swim out to as well
- Lake Front Sites: there are several sites that are lakefront and these come with private docks. Most docks have signs to advise guests they are private docks and, although this was not the case for us, this kept other guest off the private docks.
- The trails: we were pleasantly surprised by the number of hiking trails around the resort. We took one hike to the top of the mountain and had a great view of the lake and resort. There were several other trails around the resort for easy short dog walks.
- The weather: Boston Bar is known for its dry hot climate and we were not disappointed. The weather was perfect for all camping activities
- Hook ups: Our sites had water and electricity and provided enough power to have our air-conditioner run without issue.
- On site store, playground, outdoor movie theater, laundry and boat rental. Great for extended stays or family entertainment.
- Sani-Dump: We didn’t use the resorts sani-dump so I cannot comment on its condition but at least they had one which is a nice convenience.
- Litter free: although I did comment on the lack of staff presence I can say that several times a day all the garbage’s were emptied keeping the resort looking clean the rodents and bugs to a minimum.
- No motorized vehicles are allowed on the lake which makes it very quiet and relaxing.
- Access road: as stated above it is very steep and narrow but it is more manageable than we expected. What I can report is the resort has noted they are making improvements to the road so I expect it is better.
- Weekend crowds: the permanent leasers seemed to have a run of the place on weekend. Driving to the beach, dogs off leash and traipsing through campgrounds made it an unappealing weekend getaway.
- Dirt: It is a very dusty campground and really could use for some gravel in the sites. There was grass field area but due to the dry hot summer this was mostly dusty dead grass offering nowhere to play lawn games as a group or family.
- Limited staff presence: although the garbage pick was kept up it didn’t seem like the staff followed up on any other things (as mentioned above)
- The bathrooms and shower house is located in the center of the campground making it a fair walk from many campsites. It is also up a steep hill so if mobility is an issue they would not be easy to access. There were some porta potty’s scattered around the campground but I was surprised they did not have any near the beach.
Things To do:
- Hiking: there are a lot of hiking option you can walk to
- Kayaking and swimming: the lake is great for non motorized water activities.
- River Rafting: a short drive (back down the terrible road) will take you to river rafting. Our group booked with REO River Rafting and it was tons of fun. For a detailed review click here.
It was the end of July 2014 and we had been camping near 100 Mile House for a week. As we neared Boston Bar the thermometer was inching up to 41 degrees. We needed a place to stop, have a cold drink and break up the trip. Our internet search gave us Canyon Alpine RV Park. We were 3 families traveling together so we were hoping for sites near each other. We called and the owner was more than willing to accommodate us. I must say Canyon Alpine was a pleasant surprise. I am not sure what we were expecting, Boston Bar is not exactly known for destination camping, but we were not disappointed. The back of the campground is up hill so those sites have retaining walls between them. These tiers give you added privacy but because the sites run across the slop each site is very level. Most sites are pull through, which is great for all sizes of camping vehicles. If walking is an issue then pick a site on the lower part of the campground because it can be a bit of a trek to the back sites. All sites have full hook ups, a picnic table and a fire pit. We were put into sites, 15,16 and 17. It worked great for us and we were just thrilled to open our drinks and turn on the air conditioners. The campground also has a hotel and restaurant. I am not sure if it was the 41 degrees, the 5 hour drive or the 7 days of RV cooking but the restaurant alone made the moms decide this was where we were staying. We were told the restaurant caters to the fire fighters that arrive in the summer so the food is fresh, the portions big and the home made pies a must order. We found all 3 to be true. As for things to do in the area, we were just passing through, but Hells Gate Tram is 15 minutes away and there are several river rafting options in the area. Although we were happy with Alpine Canyon I would only stay in this area for a stop over or maybe a couple of nights if I was river rafting. If that’s what you are looking for this campground fits the bill!
My advise for this campground.
- Recommended Sites: If you are okay with hill walking then I would recommend sites 6,7,8,15,16,17,20,21 or 22. If you are camping with other groups I would suggest you take sites in a row, so 8,17 and 22. This will give you a bit more of a community feel and added privacy. If hills are an issue then spots near the bottom would be better for you. There did not appear to be any bad sites but I would avoid the one above the washroom, 18, and I did not have a chance to check out sites 24 to 31 but they did seem to back onto the hotel.
- Campground Highlights:
- Restaurant on site, after a week of camping food this was a very nice treat. The restaurant was air conditioned and someone else did the dishes. A very good night.
- Being on a hill each site had the feel of added privacy and provided great views of the Canyon. The campground also had many huge trees so you really felt like you are camping in the outdoors.
- Pull through, level, gravel sites with full hook ups. We were only staying the night so we did not even unhook.
- Large, clean washrooms. The washrooms also made the con list because they were dated and the showers were small but they were clean so that trumps the cons in my books.
- If you are staying for more than a night there’s lots to do if you are able to drive. Hells Gate is only 15 minutes away and there several white water rafting options within 20 minutes.
- Campground Lowlights:
- No lake or accessible water option near by. It was 41 degrees, we would have loved a way to cool down.
- Washroom had very small showers and were very dated.
- The sites were nice and long but not really wide so if you have slides or want to put a tent on your site it would be challenging
- Helicopter Noise – we were in the peak of forest fire season so there was a lot of helicopter noise all day long. Not much you can say about that.
- Things to do in the area
- River Rafting – several choices within 30 minute drive
- Hells Gate – 15 minute drive
- Alexandra Bridge – 25 minute drive
- Canyon Alpine RV Park and Campground – http://canyonalpinervpark.com/
- Hells Gate – http://www.hellsgateairtram.com
- Kumsheen River Rafting – www.kumsheen.com
- Reo River Rafting – www.reorafting.com
- Fraser River Raft Expedition – www.fraserraft.com
- Beautiful British Columbia Guide to Boston Bar – http://bcadventure.com/adventure/explore/high_country/cities/canyons.htm