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.

We were booked into double site 41 & 42. This is a large 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.

The campground is not large and is divided into 3 areas. The first camping loop has ocean front sites and center park campgrounds. It is much busier in this area and if you are camping with a few families I can see the benefit of wanting to be here. There is also a small cabin 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. The sites here are spread out and all have ocean views. Some of these sites are small so the larger RV’s would have a difficult time.

The sites do get very small along the ocean strip so be sure to follow the size rules.

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. They are also close to the park, grass area and walking trails. This is where we went to play boccie and take evening walks.

Campground Recommendations

  • Any ocean front site is great as long as it fits your Rv
  • Sites 41/42 is really the best double site
  • All ocean

Campground Pro’s

  • The views and access to the ocean
  • Level, well maintained sites
  • Electrical hook ups
  • Sani dump on site
  • Cabin rental option
  • Boat launch and mooring pins
  • Park area on site for everyone’s use
  • Beautiful walking area on site
  • Walk in campsites
  • Close to excellent hiking and biking trails but you would need to drive because it is across the highway.

Campground Cons

  • Very difficult to get a reservation.
  • Some sites are very narrow giving very limited privacy.
  • A vehicle is needed to access the nearby hikes and other activities.
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Shannon Falls Provincial Park- Squamish, BC – Hike Review

Hiking has become one of our favorite activities while camping and Squamish is the perfect hiking 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.

This park also offers access to the extremely popular Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. The park has rock climbing opportunities and although we do not partake in this, it is fun to watch the climbers navigate this challenging climb. Cycling is permitting on the trails making the park that much more popular.

We have visited this park a few times and enjoyed it for different activities. When our kids were young we took a picnic and the kids played at the bottom of the falls on the various rocks, wading in the crisp water. As they got older we enjoyed the trails and the amazing views. The park trails lead to the Sea to Sky Gondola which we have done twice. It is possible to hike to the top but our fitness level and motivation resulted in an enjoyable ride up the gondola.

PROS FOR THIS PARK

  • Well maintained trails that are accessible for all.
  • Well marked trail signs and maps.
  • Plenty of public washrooms some with flush toilets and running water.
  • Information centers set up during peak season.
  • Picnic areas with BBQ holders and picnic tables.
  • Concession on site.

CONS FOR THIS PARK

  • Crowds, Crowds, Crowds
  • Difficult to get parking later in the day.

Come to the Island – 7 great reasons to float on an island.

As you know we are social campers, not back country hard core campers. We love to gather with friends and family at a lake and hope for sun. This usually involves several women blowing up individual flotation bed and paddling several feet into the lake. I realize this sound terribly laborious and you must marvel at all the obstacles we have endured.img_5004

  1. How can so many women chat while continuing to floating away from each other?
  2. How can your drinks still be full by the time you reach your destination?
  3. Doesn’t the lake keep pushing us back to shore, resulting in constant paddling.

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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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No Mess Individual French Fry Packets

I am always looking for easy recipes to  make while camping. I often find lots of meat recipes but am looking for an option to roasted potatoes. This option would be much higher in calories but my kids would love it and it looks like an easy clean up.

Grilled Foil Packed Cheesy Fries

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Ingredients

1 bag (14 oz) frozen crinkle-cut french fries
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup grated cheese
2 tablespoons sliced green onions (2 medium)
2 tablespoons cooked real bacon bits
  • Heat grill to medium-high heat. Toss frozen French fries with melted butter.
  • Tear off 2 (12-inch) lengths of  Heavy Duty Foil to make foil boats. Place half of the fries in a single layer in the center of 1 piece of foil. Loosely fold foil around edges to form a boat, leaving large hole at top to allow steam to escape; repeat with remaining fries and foil.
  • Place foil packets on grill over indirect heat. Cover grill; cook 20 to 30 minutes, stirring once, until fries are crispy and baked through. Top each packet with grated cheese; cook about 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and bacon bits just before serving.

 

6 Helpful Changes to Discover Camping You Need to Know!

Recall our blog about how hard it is to find a campsite in BC at peak times?   This week marks the start of some related changes to Discover Camping, BC’s Provincial Campground reservation system. These changes will impact the Front Country Campgrounds in several ways but how successful these changes are is yet to be determined. Here is a summary:

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Pro Packing Cubes – a simple product to save valuable RV space!

downloadPro 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.

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Cool Camping Couch that stores in a bag! Really?

While doing some research for my blog I came across this neat product.

http://lamzac.com

It comes out of the Neatherlands and is marketed as a hangout couch for camping, festivals or days at the beach. They claim it is easy to inflate and reduces down to a small storage bag. Sounds like a great addition for any outdoor enthusiast. They claim to ship anywhere in the world so would love to hear from those who have tried it.

Girls camping weekend! The difference a family makes 

IMG_6006This weekend I am heading to a local campground with a few coworkers for a girls weekend. We all work in an elementary school so as we wade into June this weekend will be a great way to celebrate the end to another school year and help us recharge as we work through the last crazy month of school. Don’t get me wrong, I love camping with my family, but getting away for a girls weekend is an entirely different kind of trip.

How is camping with the girls any different than camping with your family? That question would only come from a husband or child, but if you are wondering, let me summarize.

OK Park1. Food: First, we need a lot less of it. Second, not having steak or bacon on the shopping list is the first sign there is no testosterone attending. We prefer to graze (code for eat all day) on appetizer type foods. Dips, cheese, crackers and fruit are the main features on the menu.

2. Clean up: When camping with family it often feels like you get one meal cleaned up in time to start the next.   With “the girls” the dishes just magically disappear every time someone gets a drink.

IMG_59983. No pets: Because the family is staying home, so are the dogs. This makes the biggest difference to the level of relaxation. No barking every time a fellow camper walks by, no early morning pee walks and no leash dances while trying to untangle them from around camp chairs.

4. Games: On girls weekends the games are all about laughs and socialization. Heads Up, Taboo, and Cards Against Humanities replace crib, Risk and other competative type games. Everyone participates and each game ends when the wine bottles are empty.

IMG_0166I would never change any of my family camping trips. If you are familiar with my blog you will understand that camping is our one real chance to connect as a family. It allows us to get away from the chaos of our everyday life and enjoy time together. Having said that, I am looking forward to some time with my friends, where I don’t have to be a mom or a wife and can just think of me. That sounds selfish I know, but I can’t wait.

My wine is chilling, the sunscreen is packed and my my chair is at the door. Bring on the weekend and I know my family will be excited to hear all the crazy camping stories when I get back.

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