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.
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:
We usually back the trailer up without bickering or ending in hours of silence. Go Us!!!!
We have not lost keys in the last 3 trips. Those who travel with us realize this is a big accomplishment.
We have remembered to fill the water tanks on 3 of the last 5 trips, without being reminded!
We have found common ground on our “gas war”. Blair likes to see how long we can travel after the gas light comes on and I go into panic mode once we get below half a tank.
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:
It is beautiful with lots of opportunity to hike and kayak, two of our favorite things.
It is remote – no one will witness our bickering if it does occur!
We are on an island – if we decided to bail on the trip it is not easy or cheap to get home giving us a better chance of sticking it out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How can so many women chat while continuing to floating away from each other?
How can your drinks still be full by the time you reach your destination?
Doesn’t the lake keep pushing us back to shore, resulting in constant paddling.
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 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.