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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Family River Rafting with REO

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.

Being a large group we booked the activity several months in advance. The company required we prepay to secure our spot and we were happy to accommodate. Due to the kids schedules we only had Saturday open so we went ahead and booked it. Everyone was very excited and it seemed to get the kids keen to attend.

A ROUGH START

As the trip approached we were all very excited. A couple of weeks out we received an email from the company advising they needed to move us to Sunday morning. We had been bumped for a bigger booking and the sad proof money talks $$$. This was very disappointing because we had booked and paid for 15 spots well in advance and the only day that worked was Saturday. The short notice didn’t give us time to book with another company and the solutions they offered were not ideal. After several back and forth emails we agreed to a time that was okay and a small discount was offered. We were not pleased but there wasn’t much we could do, the kids were exciting to raft and the company would not give us a booking on Saturday. What was even more disappointing was that 2 days before our trip one of our group injured their back and when we called to ask for a refund we were denied. It seemed they were able to make changes to the reservation but we were not. Not very impressive customer service but we had paid and needed to make the best of it.

BUT A STRONG FINISH

Our first job was to get all our gear. The system very efficient and they had suitable sizes to accommodate all of us. Once we geared up we headed off on our trip and had 3 rafts. The guides split our group by size and by options of who wanted the front (wet) seats and who wanted the safer ride. Of course the kids all wanted to be in the front. The rapids were perfect for our experience level and the guides were competent and fun. We had time to jump in and swim, time to splash fellow rafters and time to paddle hard through the rapids. As most companies, they had an employee taking photos from the banks and each boat was able to purchase their digital photos. All three boats purchased the package and it gave us great memories and lots of laughs.

After rafting our package offered a light lunch of sandwiches, salads and plenty of wasps. We also had time to look around the facilities. It’s a really neat set up. They had a hot tub, great fire pit seating area and volleyball nets for those who wanted to partake. The company also offers luxury yurts to book if you want a 2 or more day excursion. Some of the yurts over-looked the river bank and were very enticing. There is quite a variety of trips offered; yoga retreats, various lengths of rafting trips and romantic get aways. The options are not cheap but they look like a lot of fun and the yurts looked very comfortable. If this is a vacation that interests you it would be worth checking out

Even though we had a tough start to our adventure I would still recommend this activity and with some reservations I would also recommend the company. They could have done a few things to provide better customer service and had they handled the situation better this might have been a raving rafting review. At the end of the day we all left happy, had great memories and photos to take with us.

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.

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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WOW Golf Course, Penticton BC – Review

Well the name says it all – WOW Golf:

  • WOW – The view!
  • WOW – The number of balls we lost!
  • WOW – The challenging greens!
  • WOW – I am so glad we had a cart!
  • WOW – That was a fun round of golf!

This unique and challenging 9 hole course is worth an afternoon of golf. We were camping at OK Falls Provincial Park and planned to golf each morning and hit wineries in the afternoon. After a round at WOW Golf I think we might have been smarter to hit the wineries before the golf course.

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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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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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BC is Burning! Residence Step Up!

We are  2 weeks into one of the worst forest fire seasons in British Columbia’s history and there is little relief in sight. Currently there are 162 fires burning and a total of 131000 hectors of forest scorched. With little rain in the forecast it is hard to know when things will improve.

HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

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