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?
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)
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:
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
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
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
Things To do:
Well the name says it all – WOW 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.
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.
We 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. It is by far the most popular campground, making it difficult to get into. We also stayed at Coldspring Campground the same trip and you can find that review by clicking here.
There are two loops in this campground. I would recommend the large loop if you have a choice. We camped here in early September and stayed in site 13. It was a very large level site that had limited trees but because the sites are so spread apart it still felt very private. There are 92 sites in the large loop and they are all generally good. The park is located high in the mountains so the days were warm but the evenings were very chilly. Camping in this park is a hiker’s paradise with endless trails for every level. The park does an amazing job of providing literature on all, including: the trail name, starting point, level, distance, elevation, estimated time, special features and a short trail description. We did the Canyon Nature Trail and part of the Lightning Lakes Chain. Both were very scenic and easy hikes that almost anyone can handle. There are so many trails it is difficult to decide which one to do. If you’re lucky, you will see some wildlife along the way.
After completing your hike you can then enjoy some time at the lake. The campground is located next to stunning Lightning Lake, which is perfect for kayaking, canoeing and, if the weather is warm enough, swimming. They offer boat rentals at the lake for those who want to give it a try. Some trails require a short portage. The park also has several horse and bike trails. If you like the outdoors this is the campground for you.
Here is my advise for this campground:
Things to do:
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~Lao Tzu
Making the most of every mile along the way...
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The attitude of making time to explore and do things that make me happy
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