Cluxewe Resort – Port McNeil, BC
Choosing a campground on the Northern Island was a challenge. We were unfamiliar with the area and didn’t want to be packing up and moving to a new site every couple of days. We decided on Cluxewe Resort because it checked several of our boxes.
“Must haves” the resort needed
- An ocean front site which was our top priority!
- It had power and water. We were not sure we could make it 6 nights on just our battery
- It was centrally located to all the adventures we had planned. 30 minutes or less to everything – Port Hardy, Port McNeil, Telegraph Cove and many of the off road trips we wanted.
- It had a laundry room, which was important as we approached the halfway point of our trip.
Bonus items the resort offered
- A shower house
- A restaurant on site if we got tired of barbecuing and dishes.
- Access to an estuary that provided calm and easy kayaking opportunity.
Night 1: We settled into our ocean front site and took the kayaks out for a paddle. The ocean was so calm you would have thought it was a giant lake. We paddled around the point and through the estuary. It was very relaxing to paddle as the sun set and the wildlife surrounded us.
Day 2 and 3: The weather was unsettled so we spent the time exploring Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Telegraph Cove. We were very thankful to have electricity at the trailer so that we could stay warm inside playing games, reading and storm watching from our rear window.
Day 4: The sun was out and we wanted to kayak at Telegraph Cove. We headed back with our kayaks and spent a few hours on the water around the cove. We have our own kayaks but if you do not, there are a couple of places that offer guided tours and kayak rentals. Again, the water was clam and current was light so we enjoyed a few hours on the water. The scenery was spectacular and the sun was shinning. Once back at Telegraph Cove we enjoyed lunch on a patio overlooking the cove and a walk around the various buildings reading about the interesting history. If you are looking to do any whale watching, grizzly bear or wildlife tours, Telegraph Cove is the place to book these from.
Day 5: Blessed with sunshine once again we headed for Cape Scott Provincial Park. This was a 2 hour drive on a bumpy logging road. We took this trip on a weekend so there were not logging trucks, which made the drive much easier. Once we arrived at the parking lot it was an easy 40 minute hike to San Joseph Beach. Wow, was this hike worth it. We arrived at a beautiful sandy beach famous for its stone haystack formations and endless sand. We loved it and wished that we were adventurous enough to walk in and camp at these amazing locations.
Day 6: We drove out to Alice Bay to check out this part of the island. It was a beautiful paved road with amazing views of the inlet. We stopped at several view points for photos. At the old mill, we found a dock that we could launch our kayaks from. The water in this bay was turquoise and looked so inviting. Once in the water we realized the currents and winds were just too strong so after a half an hour of paddling we called it quits and headed back to the campground for an afternoon on the beach.
We stayed in site 51, it was one of the oceanfront sites and offered amazing views of the Strait. From our campsite we could see all kinds of wildlife: whales, otters and seals swam by; eagle, blue heron and hawks flew overhead; and fish were jumping everywhere. It was our evening entertainment to sit on the beach and watch as the anglers tried to catch a fish while the cruise ships crossed, various wildlife visited, and the sun set in amazing colors. That alone made this campground worth the stop.
The Campground’s 3 Areas
The Front Loop – This first section as you enter is more like a parking lot and appears to have several long-term/seasonal campers. These sites offer full hook ups and seem to attracted recreational anglers who want a summer spot for the fishing season. I would not recommend staying in these sites if you can avoid it.
The Estuary Loop – This is a loop near the back of the campground and all sites offer full hookups. Many of the sites back onto the estuary and some have a view of it. This area offers little privacy between sites; but the sites are level, open, grassy and vary in size depending on your camping equipment. The young woman at the desk warned us that the flies in this area are often bad so that should be taken into consideration when booking. These sites are close to the playground, shower, laundry house and main office.
The Ocean Loop – This loop has several oceanfront & ocean view campsite with a few estuary campsites as well. I would recommend booking into this loop. It is away from the busy area of the office, laundry, and playground. You feel remote, making these sites very quiet. Most of the sites are treed for privacy and many offer power and water with some forest sites at the end of the loop having no additional services. There is a bathroom in this loop but the showers are back by the office.
7 Tips For Booking The Best Sites
Any of the 50’s are great. They are large, level, treed for privacy and offer ocean views. Here is the order I would rank them if you have a choice of sites.
- Although not in the 50’s, sites 46 & 47 are the two best full service sites. They are oceanfront, private, large and have great views. They are near the office and busy area, but if you want full service, these are the sites to get.
- Site 57 has best ocean view but that comes with no privacy. It is positioned so you can enjoy the sunset right from your site. The site is open to the elements so awnings and tarps are not an option.
- Sites 50, 51, 52, and 53 are all equal sites. They have privacy, ocean views and are a good size for any unit.
- Site 54 is a huge site but not much of a view. You have access to the beach but you cannot really enjoy the view from the site. It would be my last choice of the ocean front sites.
- Site 55/56 is a very large double site and has a great ocean view and lots of privacy.
- Sites in the loop 80-93 are in a good location with sites 80 and 81 being my first choice. Although they offer little privacy they have unobstructed views of the ocean and easy access to the beach. The rest of the sites in this loop are good but do not have ocean views with some offering estuary views.
- Sites 59, 60, 61 and 62 are the non-serviced sites. They are very private and are right on the ocean for great views. Sites 64 and 65 are off on their own and great if you are camping with a group, Site 68 is on the estuary and on its own as well. The other non-serviced sites are very open to each other and offer limed privacy.
- Located on the ocean with lots of beach access for all to enjoy! Be sure to visit the estuary.
- A variety of services depending on your needs; full service, power/water and no service sites.
- Hot, clean and large shower rooms that are only $1.00 for 6 minutes
- Laundry room with well-maintained machines and freezers for your catch of the day.
- Boat launch (not sure how good this is: it appeared very steep) and 2 fish cleaning stations.
- An award-winning restaurant on site: our neighbors went for dinner and said the food was amazing and the sticky toffee pudding for dessert was worth a visit by itself.
- Office store with basic supplies and some local artisans gift items.
- Ocean front cabins for those who do not want to camp.
- Centrally located for day trips to various parts of the Northern Island.
- Construction – the campground is building a new area and the noise of the machinery can be heard in most of the campground.This is only a temporary con (our visit was in the summer of 2019.)