The Final 5 Days in a Rental RV Exploring the Coastal Mountains of BC
Having picked up our RV rental in Delta, BC the first five days of our circle tour took us to Manning Park, Merritt, Kamloops and on our 4th night we stayed at Pinantan Lake Resort north off Hwy 5. This is the rest of our trip.
Day 5: We packed up at Pinantan Lake Resort and drove back the 25 km to Hwy 5 and headed to Sheridan Lake Resort, our final stop in the Cariboo Region. Once we turned on to Hwy 5 we drove 88 km to the Little Fort turn-off onto Hwy 24 and the famous Fishing Hwy. The first thing we saw was a fishing store, Little Fort Fly and Tackle. I recommend going in and taking a browse. There’s plenty to see aside from the abundance of fishing tackle. On the way to Sheridan Lake we stopped at a rest area to make lunch. That’s the best thing about having your home on wheels with you – the ease of preparing your own on-the-go-meals. Sheridan Lake Resort, at first glance, tells you it’s a popular spot with rows of RVs, trailers and camping units, as well as the motel block. Our site was treed and beside some very friendly campers. I find that campers are gregarious and always willing to share stories, advice and help one another.
Jamie and I decided to go for a walk along the lake which was just a few short steps from our campsite. On the way we chatted with a couple of seasoned Sheridan Lakers who frequent the resort as it is close to their home of Vernon, BC. They told us they have to make two trips, one to bring in their Travel Trailer and one for the boat although, they did say that they only have to make the trip with the boat once as the resort offers moorage during the camping season.
The couple let us peek into their modified unit. They had really maximized the storage space. And even though I have been camping for more than 50 years I learned a few tips and tricks.
The next day Jamie went out in a 12 ft Lund boat to take some video and drone footage. Later we walked along the upper fenced area of the property, which was made from hand cut timber that Titus, the co-owner builds. The path was created from all the cedar chips produced by the fence cutting. There were painted rocks, fairies, houses and miniature states all lining this beautiful path that visitors seem to add to each visit. For such a busy park, it is very quiet and well maintained.
Day 7 we took a short journey to Paul Lake, before heading on to our next destination for two days at Fraser Cove Campground in Lillooet, BC. We drove along Hwy 24 to the Hwy 97 turnoff just past Lone Butte passing through the communities of 70 Mile House, Chasm, Clinton, Cache Creek and into Lillooet. Fraser Cove Campground is a very unique, quaint campground and is aimed at the smaller c-class, vans and tenters. It has a switchback that stops larger towing vehicles and motorhomes from gaining access. Peter and Dawn, the operators, are very straightforward with campers about getting you down the hill – a service that is greatly appreciated. Our site was parallel to the Mighty Fraser River with a grassy knoll and a picnic table all under this wonderful weeping willow. Jamie and I walked around the property with Dawn and Peter talking about the area and all the sturgeon that are caught (and released) in this end of the Fraser.
Peter let us use the e-bikes that he has on-site, and we rode across the old (1914) wooden bridge into town, spoke to a local who was on his motorcycle and then we rode (15 minutes) into town. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit, due to Covid 19, a lot of businesses were closed to tourists to help keep their community virus free. However, we went to the local grocery store and purchased a few items for our next stage of the journey. After we were back at the campsite we sat outside listening to the roar of the Fraser and the weeping willow above us swaying in the wind. That was a great sleep.
Day 8 we woke to the sound of the river and because the heat of the morning came early, we got ourselves ready as a friend (who’s now a local) was taking us on a hike to Cayoosh Creek Dam, a fairly easy 4 km hike that takes you to a spectacular show at the dam with so much rushing water you can feel the coolness 200 yards away. Back at the campsite, we barbecued dinner and later rode over the main bridge that crosses the river.
Day 9: In the morning we packed up and headed down Hwy 99 to Whistler via scenic Duffy Lake Road, a 132 km trip, with a quick stop at Joffre Lakes to take photos. Our next camping stop was Riverside RV – A Parkbridge Camping & RV Resort. This resort has cabins, RV sites as well as some yurt rentals. Just a short walk from the resort is the renowned Scandinave Spa, as well as a 2 km walk to the Whistler Village itself. Because this was our last destination, and would be returning the vehicle the next day, I used the evening to pack up our personal effects and store them under the table and in the storage compartments outside for ease of transferring once we got back to Fraserway RV Rentals.
Day 10: Two hours and 132 km to go and we arrived at Fraserway RV in Delta. The return was very easy. We pulled up, ran inside to let them know we were back, they did a quick check of the paperwork and just like that, it was the end of a great trip. In summary, we travelled 1,500 km and filled the gas tank 4 times.
Enjoyed this blog? Read the 1st blog of our trip.
Other blogs and trips of interest in this area include:
Coast Along British Columbia’s Famed Fishing Hwy in the Cariboo
Following the BC Gold Rush Trail through the Cariboo & Beyond
For camping in this area and throughout BC go to the Camping Map
Share your BC travel and camping pictures using hashtag #campinbc, #explorebc, #bcnice, #green
It’s always a great day to #campinbc
A 10-day Tour in a C-Class Motorhome Exploring British Columbia’s Coastal Mountains
I’ve always wanted to go exploring in a Motorhome from Vancouver to the Cariboo and to see some of the Coastal Mountains en route. So, we took a circle route that started out east on Hwy 1 and ended up back on Hwy 99 to Vancouver. In between we followed scenic Hwys 3, 5, the Fishing Hwy 24 and 97. This is part 1 of 2 that took us on our journey.
This trip was booked in 2019, postponed, and rescheduled 4 times due to the Covid pandemic, so to finally make the trip a reality was more than joyous. The other thing that I was extremely excited about, was knowing that I was taking this trip with my adult son, a videographer, which meant great photos to record great memories.
The first morning we made our way out to Delta, BC in the rain. It was our first stop of the trip – to pick up our Motorhome rental unit from Fraser Way RV Rentals on Cliveden Avenue.
We were greeted by the most knowledgeable young man, Lucas. Lucas gave us the rundown of the rental process, which is not that daunting after all. Then he took us outside to meet the 22’ foot home on wheels. For such a compact unit, it packs nicely. The outside of the unit had eight lockable doors to the storage areas, and we were able to store two bundles of firewood, table, chairs, an extra propane tank, propane firepit, camera gear all in one cubby. Another storage area was great for groceries until we arrived at the first destination and could move things around.
Our next stop was at Save-On-Foods to pick up the food perishables that we didn’t pack ahead of time.
It was a wet ride to Camperland RV Resort at Bridal Falls on Hwy 1 where we had pre-booked our first night. We backed the unit into the treed site, hooked up to the power, water and sewer and hunkered down in the unit for the night listening to the rain pelt down. Just when we thought it was over – nope here comes another wave of rain harder than the last.
Morning came, and we had a slight reprieve from the rain, so we put out the awning to at least get one photo of our stay. Packed up and headed east.
Day 2 started with a 50 km drive to The Hope Slide on Hwy 3 which was noted as the second largest recorded landslide in Canada and happened in 1965, and even after all the years that have passed, you can still see the magnitude of the slide. Well worth a stop to investigate.
Another 50 km drive took us to Manning Park, where we joyfully watched the ground squirrels bobbing in and out of the numerous holes in the field in front of the resort. Managed to get this little one who was quite interested in the camera.
From Manning Park, you take the turn off right across the highway from the resort and drive up the twisty road to Cascade Lookout. The area was a buzz. Whiskey Jacks above and the cutest little chipmunks scurrying at our feet. The views are just breathtaking – well worth the drive.
Driving west back from Manning Park we took the turn-off to Hwy 5. Our next destination for the night was Moonshadows RV Park and Campground in Merritt (160 km from Manning Park). Stopped in the office, had a chat with Carol. She told us all about the Coldwater River that the park sits beside and that Moonshadows RV Park is one of the parks that country music fans flock to in the summer for what was once called The Merritt Mountain Music Festival, now known as Rockin River Country Music Fest. You can hear music from Legends like Tim McGraw and Jo Dee Messina. Carol told us thousands of camping chairs take up residence in the river for the entire weekend – I guess this is what makes Country Music so “cool” in Merritt!
If you want to visit during that time, I suggest calling Carol now to see what’s available as it fills up fast – so fast that they have to open an adjacent field just for the tenters. We were able to go out for a short walk before the mosquitoes came out for their nightly visit. The next morning, we had our breakfast at the campsite picnic table in the sun before heading out. Please note that our trip was five months before the devastating floods that swept through Merritt.
Day 3 and 4: We drove north on Hwy 5 another 90 km to Kamloops. Stopped in town long enough to get a few supplies and see some deer making their way through downtown. We took the Paul Lake exit off Hwy 5 to head to Pinantan Lake Resort some 25 km off the main highway.
As you drive down the road into the resort you are greeted with an old world look of antiques and some rustic buildings. We set up on one of the lakeview sites that overlooked a huge field where children were playing soccer. There was a communal firepit, washroom and laundry facilities. Later that evening, as the night drew in, we played a game of night bocce with a glow-in-the-dark Playboule Bocce set. In the morning we ventured around the property, taking photos and flew the drone for an ariel view.
Want to read more? Watch for our 2nd blog that continues into the Cariboo, along Fishing Hwy 24, south on Hwy 97 to Cache Creek, Lillooet, then Hwy 99 to Whistler and home.
For camping in this area and throughout BC go to the Camping Map
Share your BC travel and camping pictures using hashtag #campinbc, #explorebc, #bcnice, #green
It’s always a great day to #campinbc
Five Spots to Ice Fish and Camp this Winter in British Columbia
Ice-fishing is often overlooked as a winter activity, especially if you live in southern B.C. But fishing doesn’t stop when the temperatures drop – it only gets more exciting. Ice-fishing is a very social activity that requires only a limited amount of gear or experience. When solidly frozen, an entire lake becomes accessible without the need of a boat, and you don’t need the often-complicated casting techniques required in other fisheries. It’s as simple as drilling a hole, and dropping a line.
It is important to exercise caution, however. Always make sure the ice is thick enough to ensure a safe trip. Before you walk out onto ice, it needs to be at least 10 centimetres (four inches) thick if you are fishing alone, and at least 38 centimetres (15 inches) thick before you drive your truck onto it. Remember that a freshwater fishing licence is still required for ice-fishing, and that you should check the regulations for any closures or restrictions.
With these points in mind, along with some basic gear, you can be set for some fun times on the ice this winter. And the good news is, with many parks open year ’round that are close to great hardwater lakes, you can make a wintertime camping trip out of it.
Here are our top five spots, with recreational vehicle or camping spots close by, to try ice-fishing this winter:
Alleyne Lake (near Merritt)
Kokanee provide an exciting winter fishery in this lake. The trick is finding schools of fish. Using a fishfinder is your best bet, but if you don’t have one, start at the bottom and work your way up through the water column until you find a school.
Note: The neighbouring lake, Kentucky SE Pothole, located 50 metres east of Kentucky Lake, is closed to ice-fishing.
Camping: Check out the Winter Camping Map for campgrounds open year-round in the Merritt and surrounding area.
Swan Lake (near Vernon)
This is a great spot to fish in the winter, although you should exercise extreme caution to ensure the lake is entirely frozen before venturing out. Swan Lake is located only moments away from Vernon’s downtown centre. As you can catch rainbow trout weighing up to a kilogram (about two pounds) in size, make sure to bore your holes with an ice auger that is at least 15 centimetres (six inches) in diameter. Since fish are more lethargic in the winter, bites can be fairly light, and using a fishing bobber can help you detect when a trout is softly nibbling your bait.
Camping: Check out the Winter Camping Map for campgrounds open year-round in the Vernon and surrounding area.
Edith Lake (Kamloops)
Target both brook char and rainbow trout in Edith Lake. For brook char, try fishing with mealworms close to the shoreline. The water is clear in the shallows, and since a brookie’s bite can be very light, by laying down and looking into your hole through the ice, you will be able to see when a brookie has taken your bait and is on your line. Move out to a spot over a little deeper water, and use a big attractor spoon, followed by a hook and worm on a short leader, to try your luck for rainbow trout.
Camping: Check out the Winter Camping Map for campgrounds open year-round in the Kamloops and surrounding area.
Ness Lake (Prince George)
Ness Lake is currently stocked with both kokanee and rainbow trout. However, brook char are also present in the lake, which presents many different fishing options for the hardwater angler. Ice-fishing gear and an auger can be borrowed for free for up to a week from the Prince George Visitor Centre.
Camping: Check out the Winter Camping Map for campgrounds open year-round in the Prince George and surrounding area.
Whiteswan Lake (Canal Flats)
If Lussier Hot Springs weren’t reason enough to try ice-fishing at Whiteswan Lake, the quality of the rainbow trout in this lake is. Since the East Kootenays can be very cold, make sure you pack along appropriate warm clothing. You may want to think about getting an ice shelter.
Camping: Check out the Winter Camping Map for campgrounds open year-round in this area.
Check out winter camping in British Columbia for over 150 provincial parks and private campgrounds that are open year round.
Share your winter BC camping & fishing photos using hashtag #campinbc.
It’s always a great day to #CampinBC
Tunkwa Lake Resort in BC’s Gold Country – Come for the Loons, Not the Tunes
It was August long weekend and we were looking for a premier fishing destination, yet without too much travel. Tunkwa Lake Resort checked all the boxes, plus also added some sentimental value as it was where my husband learned to ride his bike many years ago. Located just a one-hour drive from Kamloops, Tunkwa Lake Resort is on the other side of Logan Lake when coming in from Highway 5. It offers both campsites and cabins, as well as boat rentals. While we only stayed for the long weekend, many stay longer and the resort operates through all four seasons.
Upon checking in we learned of the resort catch phrase – Come for the Loons, not the Tunes – and quickly saw this to be true. It was very quiet and peaceful throughout the resort at all times. This is the perfect location to reconnect with nature and disconnect from the world of technology. That is aided by the fact that cell phone reception is quite limited.
The first priority for us was getting ready to fish. We rented a boat and the staff were knowledgeable and helpful with getting it ready and orienting us to the lake. They also helped us pick out the best, tried and true tackle. Both kids enjoyed looking at all the tackle in the store and each picked out a lucky fly. The fish were jumping like crazy, although catching them proved to be much more difficult!
The mark of a good fishing trip is leaving with a good story, and we had a doozy. Having been shut out thus far, the boys hit the lake bright and early Sunday morning. Finally, a bite! They reeled it close and my 7-year-old was anxious to help get the fish in the boat. Somehow during the netting process the line broke and the fish escaped, with the hook, line and the bobber in tow! Disappointment ensued of course as they watched the bobber swim away. But then it happened… a nearby fisherman who no doubt saw the events unfold was able to net the fish. He kindly delivered the fish to my son and we will always remember the one that almost got away!
In addition to fishing we found numerous ways to enjoy the area. Tunkwa Lake itself is beautiful and if you’re lucky you’ll even see the wild horses roaming the meadow on the other side. Also adjacent to the lake is Tunkwa Provincial Park with many campsites, a boat launch and access to nearby Leighton Lake. There are several day use areas as well as numerous hiking and walking trails to explore. We enjoyed the little path through Tunkwa Lake Resort that leads over to the point, just on the other side of the camping area. Many different kinds of birds can be spotted in the little lagoon, and a perfect bench awaits for you to take in the view, watch the fish jump or just sit back and enjoy the quiet. Much like many years ago, the resort is bike friendly. The kids loved that they could ride with virtually no traffic and their favourite destination was the playground. We also enjoyed the open spaces for bubbles and family games of tag.
Overall, our weekend at Tunkwa Lake Resort was everything we wanted it to be – accessible, peaceful and kind enough to provide rainbow trout for dinner!
For other camping options in this area and all of British Columbia go to our Camping Map.
Share your BC camping and travel photos using hashtag #campinbc.
Paul Lake Provincial Park, a Picturesque Camping Spot Near Kamloops, BC
During the summer, Kamloops can feel like living inside an oven. The four years I resided there while attending university made me appreciate all the things I hadn’t even realized about growing up on the coast. Lucky for Kamloops residents, and all those searching for a completely classic BC Parks camping experience, just 30 minutes from the city is a haven of shady campsites, clear blue water, and a picture-perfect day use area.
Paul Lake Provincial Park is nestled in a forested valley just a short drive north of Kamloops. The park offers 90 campsites (47 of which are reservable) that are the very picture of what camping in a BC Park is all about. The treed sites are arranged in a well-spaced grid layout, with an outer paved road. My first experience with this style of park was on a family reunion camping trip somewhere in the Shuswap when I was a child (I seem to recall all the roads being named after types of fish?) and since then I have seen the same layout in many parks around the province, including Paul Lake Provincial Park. The campsite at Paul Lake is particularly well arranged, with frequent outhouses and water taps, lots of space between the sites, plenty of trees, and a pretty impressive adventure playground.
We chose Paul Lake for its variety of recreational opportunities. I had heard the day use area was excellent, and a quick look on the BC Parks website confirmed that the park offered both canoeing and hiking. With that in mind, we loaded up our tent trailer and canoe and headed for the interior. Thanks to some morning delays, we arrive mid-afternoon on Saturday and pulled into what I am quite sure was the last available space in the park amid mild panic that we were going to be completely out of luck. If you are planning a trip to Paul Lake, I suggest arriving in the morning for the 43 First Come First Served sites or even checking the park out on the BC Parks reservation system if you want to guarantee yourself a spot (at my last check, there were spaces available throughout the summer – including some weekends). Paul Lake is a popular campground and is definitely set up for family camping, so a little planning ahead goes a long way.
Whether you are staying overnight or not, Paul Lake is worth a visit for the recreation opportunities alone. The day use area is huge and offers a ton of lake front space in which to relax – including great spaces for large groups. There are lots of treed areas to provide relief from the sun and the roped off swimming area is perfect for getting in the water. The lake has great canoeing and kayaking opportunities, including the ability to paddle right alongside the soaring 900-metre cliff face of Gibraltar Rock.
If you want a break from the water, the park offers over 7 kilometres of hiking trails. Stroll along the lakefront on a little path leaving from just past the boat launch or summit the park by climbing right to the top of Gibraltar Rock. For those looking for a longer hike, the Gibraltar Rock trail continues on to the end of the lake and we saw a few people trail running the route while we were out canoeing.
From peaceful camping to busy day use, Paul Lake Provincial Park offers something for everyone. While the main beach area can be extremely busy on a hot summer day, it doesn’t take much to find your own little piece of the park, making it a worthwhile stop on any summer trip.
For other camping opportunities in Kamloops and elsewhere in British Columbia check out the Camping Map.
Share your BC camping photos using hashtag #campinbc.
Published: July 4th, 2019
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