Cluxewe Resort and Campground – Port McNeil, BC – Campground Review

Deciding on 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 have the resort needed

  • We were able to get 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. Our trailer shower is very small and the water pressure is low. This was a welcome addition.
  • A highly rated restaurant on site if we got tired of barbecuing and dishes.
  • Access to an estuary that provided calm and easy kayaking opportunity.

Our Trip

Night 1: We arrived at our ocean front site and took the kayaks out right away. 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 you would have thought you were paddling on a lake. The scenery was spectacular and the sun was shinning. Once back at Telegraph Cove we enjoyed lunch on a patio over looking 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.

Kayaking in Port Alice

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 and hour of paddling we called it quits and headed back to the campground for an afternoon on the beach.

Campground Info

View from site 51

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 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 angler 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.

Sites to book

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.

Campground Pros

  • 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 neighbours 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.
  • Playground
  • Sani-dump
  • Centrally located for day trips to various parts of the northern island.

Campground Cons

  • 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.)

Links

Bear Creek Provincial Park – Kelowna, BC

https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/BearCreek

Bear Ck 2b

When our kids were young we kicked off summer by heading to Bear Creek Provincial Park for the Canada Day long weekend. It felt like the official start of summer and you could almost be guaranteed to have good weather. Kelowna has a great Canada Day Festival in town with lots to do for the entire family and even without Canada Day you will most certainly be able to find something fun to do. The last time we were at Bear Creek was in 2004, this is largely due to the fact the park is hard to reserve, but these notes are based on those trips so the next time I am in Kelowna I will go back to check it out again.

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Married 20+ Years, 2 Weeks Camping Alone For The First Time!

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:

  1. We usually back the trailer up without bickering or ending in hours of silence. Go Us!!!!
  2. We have not lost keys in the last 3 trips. Those who travel with us realize this is a big accomplishment.
  3. We have remembered to fill the water tanks on 3 of the last 5 trips, without being reminded!
  4. 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.

Our Route

We planned to take the ferry to Duke Point and driving to Miracle Beach for our first 3 nights. Miracle Beach has plenty of hikes within a short drive, great beaches to walk along and Campbell River is just a short drive if we have forgotten items and or want a dinner out.

From there we head to Port McNeil. This made a great home base to explore the north. We planned to spend a day at Telegraph Cove kayaking, a day in Port Hardy checking out the town and driving/hiking to Cape Scott, a day around Port Alice to kayak and explore the area, a day visiting Alert Bay, and a couple days around our site just relaxing and enjoying the oceanfront views.

After the northern segment, we headed to the popular and remote campground on Loveland Bay. This was to be the beach portion of our vacation and chance to relax, read and swim.

We ended the trip at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. Here we planned a cave tour, some kayaking and a hike before heading back to the ferry at Duke Point and home. ­­­

It was an ambitious trip with lots of packing up and changing of locations but it gave us lots of opportunity to review several campground. I am currently finalizing all the reviews and the summary of how we made out. Spoiler alert, we came home together and lasted the full 2 week without any issues!

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.

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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.

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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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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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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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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.