Paradise Valley – Camp In This Piece Of Paradise!

Paradise Valley Campground – Squamish, BC

Paradise Valley Campground in Squamish BC was our last stop on our July 2015 Sea-to-Sky Tour, without kids or dogs.   Our first night was at Nairn Falls in Pemberton, from there we headed to Whistler for 3 nights at Riverside Resort and Campground with our last 2 nights at Paradise Valley Campground. When we were planning to camp in Squamish we immediately looked into Alice Lake Provincial Park but not surprisingly, that was booked solid. After a few internet searches we found Paradise Valley. We had never heard of this campground but we needed 3 sites and they had 3 left so it was a perfect match. Having to take the last 3 available sites put our expectations at a low level; from their map it appeared our sites were right off the main road near the office so we were anticipating a noisy night.

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Let me say we were PLEASANTLY surprised by this campground. Right from the drive in on a very picturesque country road, the entire campground experience was pleasing. The road is very rural (so much so that our GPS thought the address was a mile or two shy of the actual location) meaning traffic noise was not an issue. There is a train track running down the other side of the campground and it did generated noise about 5 times per day, but sleeping in a trailer allowed us to mute the sound a bit


The sites at this campground are large, some so big we all could have set-up on one site in particular. They are all well treed and offer ample space between sites. Only low lying bush separates the sites meaning you can see your neighbors but because the sites are so large it wasn’t a concern. There web site does have RV size limitation due to all it’s trees but for our party this was not an issue. They have 14 sites that offer hook ups but the sewer was not positioned near the electrical & water.  Two of us have side drain connections and could not utilize the sewer hole. Only our motorhome friends have sewer at the back allowing them to drain.  We noticed this placement design on all the sites we saw.
The sites offer a level RV spot (unless noted on their web site) but the ground cover is dirt making for a dusty stay. A load of gravel would do this campground well but I guess with the size of these sites it would cost a small fortune.   They did say they normally water more, but there were restrictions at the time.

Sites I would recommend (Site Map)

  • We were in sites 4, 6 &11 and I would stay in any of these again.
  • From walking around I would say 9 &13 would be my top choice, but really they are all good choices.
  • Our trip was cut short due to a family emergency so I didn’t get a chance to check out the non-serviced sites. We will try to get back so that I can update those in the future.

Campground Highlights

  • IMG_2009 (2)The bathrooms: these were the nicest camp bathrooms I have ever seen. The tiling and detail are really a surprise at a campground, and they were always kept clean.
  • Site size: all the sites were very large and some were huge.
  • Hook up options: you have the choice of hook ups or not.
  • Trails: the campground contains several short hiking trails
  • Coffee shop: a small store/cafe is offered on site.
  • Green space: they have 2 large geen spaces for activities
  • Group campsite: not often offered in a private campground.
  • Bike Rental: available on site

Campground lowlights

  • IMG_2019Sewer location: not near mid trailer hook ups making use of sewer difficult
  • Campsite ground cover: the dirt ground cover made for a dusty stay
  • Train tracks: there is no way to avoid the sound of a passing train
  • No music or radio at all: this could be a positive or negative but we did miss listening to music, although not enough to avoid the campground

Things To Do

  • IMG_2004Hiking the many trails on site.
  • Visit the Salmon Hatchery
  • Biking
  • Alice Lake
  • Fishing

Links

Whistler, BC – Things To Do And See In The Summer.

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riverside-receptionWhistler, British Columbia is one of my favourite places to visit in the summer. There is so much to do and so many people to watch that it is impossible to be bored. As mentioned in my review of Riverside Campground, we spent 3 nights in Whistler with 2 other couples all camping in RV’s. Β We planned to hike, bike and enjoy the beach during this trip and we were not disappointed. Continue reading

Riverside Resort – 5 Tips To Help You Request The Best Site!

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Riverside Campground in Whistler, BC was our home for 3 nights in early July. If you are familiar with BC you will know Whistler is a destination spot for both summer and winter vacationers. We have wanted to camp in Whistler for a few years now so last year we scouted out the 2 private campgrounds in the area and decided Riverside would be our selection for this summer’s trip. After 3 nights at Riverside I can say would highly recommend this campground for many reason. I hope you find this review helpful when selecting a site.

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Photo taken from Riverside campground web site
Photo taken from Riverside campground web site. This is a photo of the new upper section

The main reason we chose Riverside was because of its location. It is just outside Whistler Village and is wonderfully connected via paved and lit cycling/walking trails. The other private campground in the area, Whistler RV Park, boast incredible views but it is a long way from the village and I feel only accessible by automobile. We like our summer beverages so decided a bike commute would work best.

Like a few other campgrounds we have booked, this campground didn’t allow us to select a specific site and only allowed you to put in requests. We asked which sites would give us the most privacy and were told the full service sites in the original part would be best. We booked 3 sites as we were traveling with two other couples. When we arrived we were each given a site on Douglas street and found we were right next to each other (Douglas 6,7 & 8). That worked great for us and once at our site we were pleased to find some trees separated us from the surrounding campsites. Now that I have seen the campground, if I was traveling with another group, I would recommend getting sites that back onto each other rather than side by side. An example would be Douglas 6 and Elderberry 1) There is more privacy trees on the sides of the sites rather than the end of the sites and therefore we felt like we were looking into the people behind us’ campfire.

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I would also strongly recommend trying to gets into the lower, original section of the campground. We walked up to look at the 2 new sections and were shocked at how small these sites were. We found many people had to move their camp chairs out to the road area in order to sit as a small group. There was also very limited length space in these sites, so much so that the campground provides a parking lot for guest to park their tow vehicles in. This is a huge inconvenience because, being in the heart of bear country, most people use the back of their trucks to store coolers, BBQs and all the other forbidden bear attractions that must be put away each night. I commented on how the lower section provided quit a bit of room per site considering it is a private campground. Well these upper sites do not get the same review. They are much shorter than any campground I have been to and have very little privacy between or behind each site.

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My thoughts on the campground

Site Recommendations and Map

  1. If I was to put in a request there are the sites it would ask for D1,2,3,4,5. E1,2,3,4, A1,2,3,4,5,6 H8,9,10,11
  2. Sites H8,9 & 10 are nice because they are off on their own a bit
  3. Try to avoid W 8,9,10 & 11. They have nice views but no privacy to the road or golf course
  4. The pull through sites are typical pull through with no privacy but very convenient
  5. Try and avoid the upper section but if that is all you can get this campground is worth the stay for location alone.
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Campground Highlights

  1. Location, location, location
  2. Lower campsites, for a private campground the lower sites were well treed and a decent size. Keep in mind we are comparing this to other private campgrounds, not provincial sites which tend to be even more private.
  3. Large, clean, secure shower houses
  4. Putting green course, playground and sand volleyball court on site
  5. Various accommodation options, camping, cabins, & yurts
  6. WiFi, although also a con as it was very spotty
  7. Quiet for a private campground so close to the town
  8. On site restaurant and convenience store

Campground Lowlight

  1. Not a lot of privacy, better than most private campgrounds but still very close.
  2. Spotty WiFi
  3. Mini golf was not discounted for guests
  4. New upper section sites are very small, short and have limited privacy.
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Things to do

  1. Putting golf
  2. Volleyball
  3. Playground
  4. Open area for field games
  5. Biking trail to village runs right through the campground
  6. All of Whistlers many features are within walking distance: hiking, biking, golfing, lakes, swimming and many more.

Links

Nairn Falls – This Campground Is An Amazing Hidden Gem!

Nairn Falls Provincial Park is located 5 minutes outside Pemberton and 25 minutes north of Whistler making it a great home base for those wanting to enjoy the many outdoor activities in the area. We recently camped a night there before heading into Whistler.

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We decided to only stay one night mostly because of the limited facilities. Nairn Falls has no hook ups, which is the case with most provincial parks, but it also only has pit toilets and well water making it a bit more primitive than the camping we normally do (aka, I like my showers). We were planning a Monday night stay, so after checking the Discover Camping Reservation System which indicated the chance of getting a first come first serve site was high, we headed there without a site reserved.

Now this doesn’t sound like a big deal to most people but I am someone who likes to plan things down to the smallest detail so this was a risky move for me and even riskier for my husband who had to deal with my heightened stress.The drive from Vancouver to Nairn Falls is spectacular and worth the trip on its own. We arrived around noon and after cruising around the campground we settled on a site. We were meeting another couple so it was an added bonus that we could get double site 8/9. The camp sites at this park are large so there really isn’t a bad site to be had but all the sites along the cliffs edge have spectacular views and are worth reserving ahead of time if you can get one. Not surprising those sites were gone but a site across the road from the view was the next best thing. It was also close to the washrooms and far enough off the road to distance the traffic noise.

The main reason we decided to stay at Nairn Falls was for the local hiking so after we set up we headed out to complete the Joffre Lake hike. This has to be one of the most spectacular hikes in the area and it only took around 2 hours to complete. That evening we enjoyed the views of the campground and drinks with friends.

The next morning was check out so we only had time for a short hike. We saved the Nairn Falls hike for that morning because it can be completed in under and hour. It was an easy hike and worth the view at the end.

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Berry picking with a view!

Once packed up we were ready to head out but it was too early to check into our Whistler campground so we decided to explore Pemberton. We had passed North Arm Farm the day before and wanted to go back to find some fresh berries. The views from this farm were amazing and after buying a “hand pie” we sat on the swings and took in the sites. I had never berry picked before so myself and one of our friends headed into the fields, bucket in hand. It didn’t take us long to realize why they can never hire berry pickers. In our short 15 minute pick we were both covered in mosquito bites. After gather enough berries for sangria and cereal we called it a day and headed back to the safety of our vehicles. On to Whistler it was but not before declaring Pemberton and Joffre Lakes a successful stay.

Here are my thoughts on the campground.

View Site
View Site

Recommended Sites

  1. Sites 2,4,6,7,11,13/14,16 are prime view sites. Get them if you can, they are worth it.
  2. Avoid sites that back onto highway 99, although there is a lot of bush to dampen the noise, the highway is right there so they are the noisiest

Campground Highlights

  1. The mountain views and area hikes.
  2. Large, easily accessible sites.
  3. Great privacy between sites.
  4. Clean and well maintained.
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What the view sites look like from the trail.

Campground Lowlights

  1. Pit toilets
  2. No hook ups
  3. Only 2 water spots in the park.

Things to do

Other Links

Joffre Lake Hike – Pemberton, BC

Joffre Lake

imageLast weekend we headed out for a 7 day 3 campground excursion with 2 other couples. I affectionately called it the 7 day hike but after day one we were not sure we would still be walking. 4 of us arrived at Nairn Falls Provincial Park in Pemberton, BC and after arrival I explained my 7 day hike theme. As a group of campers who call bocci exercise, you can imagine how well received my idea was but they are all troopers and appeasingly agreed. Continue reading

Nairn Falls Hike – Pemberton, BC

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Hike number 2 on our 7 day hiking trip was Nairn Falls located just south of Pemberton. We had set up camp at Nairn Falls Provincial Park for one night so we needed a short hike in the morning before we had to check out. The hike from the parking lot to the falls is only 1.5 km so it fit the bill just right. It was also an easy hike and because we were all recovering from our Joffre Lake hike the day before it seemed perfect. Continue reading