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Old 03-16-2005, 08:31 PM   #1
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British Columbia Bound

We're "newbies" w/ our Classic and want to go to BC from Austin--maybe stopping on Vancouver Island if possible and then to Whistler, then Nelson (just north of Spokane) then back into the US. Any recommendations for great RV camps? State parks esp.-- or private--our needs are only electric, water, and incredible natural beauty. We'd probably like to go up thru New Mex., Calif., Oregon and Washington and back home thru Montana, Wyoming and Colorado--we'd love to hear from anyone who stayed at campgrounds they loved. We're planning to take 4-6 weeks for the trip and bring our 2 white labs--probably leave in mid to late May or early June. And has anyone used the Rand McNally trip planner--do you like it? And do we need solar panels for this length trip? Hope to hear from you--Debbie and Dennis Sneed


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Old 03-17-2005, 08:28 AM   #2
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Washington parks

Hi Debbie & Dennis,

Washington has some beautiful parks - two of my favorites are Fort Flagler near Port Townsend and Cape Disappointment (don't let the name fool you - it's beautiful with miles and miles of beach and two lighthouses) on the coast. Here is a link to Washington State parks - click on "Park Information" to get a map of the state with all associated parks. I've also added link to the ferry that can take you to Vancouver Island from Port Angeles.


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Old 03-17-2005, 08:51 AM   #3
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Sounds like a beautiful trip you've planned. Please take (and post) pictures, for those of us facing years of work on gutted trailers.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:14 AM   #4
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Any Oregon state park on the coast is guaranteed to be awesome camping. They all are nice. My favorites are Bullards Beach (Bandon), Beverly Beach (Newport), and Fort Stevens (Seaside). In Washington, Graylands Beach State Park has been renovated and expanded with brand new beautiful sites right next to beach in dunes. Belfair St Pk is on the Hood Canal and great spot for taking ferry over to Seattle from Bremerton.
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Old 03-17-2005, 11:17 AM   #5
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Bring some fleece...

There are a number of great campgrounds on Oregon and WA coast, as other posters have mentioned... There are also a couple near Port Townsend and the Olympic National Park, though it is technically a "rainforest" and fog, drizzle and gloom are part of the routine, even in mid summer...

Depending on length of trailer (we did with prior 24' Nomad..) you should really consider taking ferry from Anacortes WA through San Juan Islands, and getting off at San Juan/Friday Harbor and then Orcas Island... THe campground on San Juan is "Twin Lakes" between towns of Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor... Visit Pig War battlefield and other sites.. We sat on hillside on west of island watching bald eagles gliding overhead, while small pod of Orca's (aka "Killer Whales") actually herded a large batch of salmon into a dead-end cove for lunch. A couple folks in kayaks and one rubber tour boat also witnessed the show form the water..

Orcas Island is also accessable by ferry, with one campground there and the resort at south end (used to lumber baron's mansion) is worth the visit..

Finally, you can get back on Wash State ferry for Victoria, andd there several large campgrounds on road between Victoria and Sydney on Vancouver Island.. Add a little "High Tea" at Empress Hotel, visit to BOuchart Gardens and several other local museums and pubs, and you can then take BC ferry from Sydney over to city of Vancouver... Circle back and drive home via Seattle.. Special rules for campers, dogs and don't bring full gas cans (they'll not be allowed on ferries) but it's pretty simple with info from AAA or tourist offices...

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Old 03-17-2005, 04:43 PM   #6
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The BEST RV park I've ever stayed in is Ripple Rock RV Park on Vancouver Island. It's not the easiest place to get to - about 13 miles north of Campbell River, the last several of which are gravel - but well worth trying to get reservations if you're somewhere in the area (they're pretty well booked during the season - and for good reason).

We also like Jim and Mary's Campground just west of Missoula, MT, and the Yellowstone's Edge RV Park, 20 miles south of Livingston, MT.

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Old 03-17-2005, 05:29 PM   #7
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We have not made it to BC yet with our trailer, but you guys are sure making us want to go! Vancouver BC used to be a regular trip for us by car, staying in hotels. It's my favorite city to visit, there's so much to do. We've always felt safe there even right downtown.

Oxblood, if you make the trip be sure to let us know how it goes.

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Old 03-17-2005, 07:38 PM   #8
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This certainly is a timely post.

Petunia and I have met a couple from B.C. while wintering here in AZ. They have invited us to visit them in the Okanagan Valley.

Looks like we'll be spending most of our time there as well as the Kootenays. It's going to be a great Spring ... Summer .. and Fall ... can't wait to get there!

While you are Washington ... be sure to visit the Washington Land Yacht Harbor in Lacey (near Olympia).
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Old 03-17-2005, 07:52 PM   #9
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It has been several years since we stayed at Goldstream campground just North of Victoria but it is a beautiful place, and close enough so you can zip into Victoria and enjoy the beautiful city. We have camped all along the WA and OR coast and it would be hard to find a bad place to camp. Be prepared for rain, 'tis the season, but I find if I have my rain gear it doesn't rain as much as when I leave it at home. It sounds like a great trip in store for you, we're envious.

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Old 03-18-2005, 05:57 AM   #10
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it has been many, many years since ive been to the island...i believe you can still hop on the ferry at nanaimo to vancouver instead of returning to victoria....

steph: did you have tea at the empress?

Porky: you lucky porcine...the okanagan valley is beautiful....
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Old 03-18-2005, 07:43 PM   #11
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Welcome Debbie and Dennis,
Gosh, there are so many scenic areas to see on such a trip. My 25 years experience is limited to the New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana areas so I will address those segments.

I feel youd be remiss, if on the way up you didnt cross into Colorado from Taos. The area south of Taos is quite scenic but more importantly it sets you up for the area around South Fork, Colorado. Id plan on staying a day or two in the South Fork area at the South Fork Campground located just east of town on the banks of the Rio Grande River. You will not find anyone throughout your whole trip that will make you feel more welcome than Jerry and Linda Tullos (219-873-1477). Out of South Fork, take a day trip up to Creede and over to Lake City. Other day trips out of South Fork to Summitville and up Pool Table road would also be in order. Leave South Fork by way of Wolf Creek Pass over to Pagosa Springs where Id plan to stay for another night. Out of Pagosa, take a day trip up to Williams Creek Reservoir. This just might be the highlight of your trip. There are excellent US Forrest Service campgrounds at Williams Creek Reservoir where weve stayed numerous times, but it is about a 16 mile trip in there over normally well maintained dirt roads. I didnt know if you would want to take your trailer up there but the scenery is different and simply outstanding. Out of Pagosa, proceed west to Durango where you now have a decision. The Million Dollar Highway heads north out of Durango to Silverton and the idyllic Ouray. Ive pulled our 31 over this highway many times, but be forewarned - there are numerous 10 MPH switchbacks. You might want to make a day trip out of this leg as well and stay in Durango. If not, then leave Ouray by way of Ridgeway and proceed west over to Naturita and on to Dove Creek where you will enter Utah and can then proceed to Moab, Utah. If you decide to make a day trip out of the Million Dollar Highway, you can head west out of Durango and take in the numerous cliff dwellings including Mesa Verde around Cortez. From Cortez you can also proceed to Moab by way of Dove Creek. At Moab, visit the Arches National National Park. Within driving distance from Moab are the Bryce Canyon, Canyon Lands, Capital Reef, and Zion National Parks. All are worthy destinations. If time permits, travel on north through the Flaming Gorge Recreational Area of Northern Utah to what is my all-time favorite scenic destination: Grand Teton National Park. You might as well exit Grand Teton by driving up through Yellowstone National Park on your way to Glacier-Waterton National Park.

Now, I doubt that you will have the time to visit all of these places, but they are on your way and any of them are well worth your time and effort. Personally, Id recommend that if you didnt have time for anything else, that you take the time to visit the South Fork, Creede and Lake City areas in Colorado along with the Williams Creek area above Pogosa Springs, Colorado. No National Park status, but beautiful, beautiful scenery.
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Old 04-17-2005, 11:33 AM   #12
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Sounds Like Fun!

Debbie and Dennis,

Welcome to the world of Airstream travel.

We live in Newport, on the Oregon Coast halfway between Washington and California. There are many things to see on the coast, including the Oregon Coast Aquarium (where Keiko from "Free Willy" spent several years), a vintage aircraft museum at Tillamook (housed in a WWII blimp hangar) a maritime museum in Astoria (where Lewis and Clark expedition reached the Pacific Ocean 200 years ago).

As often as we can, we travel to Canada. You can catch ferries on Highway 101 (the coast highway) at Port Angeles, Washington - a direct route across to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Two other ferry runs on Interstate Highway 5 are at Anacortes, Washington, and Tsawwassen, BC, just after entering in Canada. Both of these wind through many of the islands of Puget Sound. The Anacortes run makes stop at some of the little islands, while the BC runs is a direct route.

I would recommend the coast in May/early June. By July, it's the peak of the travel season, with our daily population and traffic tripling over the rest of the year.

Our favorite campground in Canada: we love to stay in Kelowna in the foothills of the Rockies. It is on Okanagan Lake, many miles (or in Canada, many Km's long). It is the 'home' of Ogopogo, Canada's 'Loch Ness' Monster.
I didn't find a link. but here's their info:

Lakeside RV Park
654 Cook Road
Kelowna, BC V1W 3G7
Phone: 250-860-4072

Hope this helps. Contact us back if you have any questions. Enjoy the trip!

Jim & Karen
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Old 04-17-2005, 12:11 PM   #13
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Whistler Camping

Athough we have not camped at Whistler, BC we have skiied there several times. During our last trip, this spring, we decided to look for an RV park where we could put our AS in the winter and do some extended skiing (retirement is coming soon) and we found a 5 star year around facility. Visit for more information.
We traveled the California and Oregon coast during an extended vacation from Michigan and never stayed at an unsatisfactory campground. You will need reservations in Oregon at the state parks. But there are some wonderful sites. Try Honeybear near Gold Beach, OR, Benbow (sp) Valley, CA.
We also parked for a nominal fee along the Pacific Californina coast at a NP called Orrich (sp). You have to get there early as rigs start to line up along a 5 mile stretch of 101, parking so the coast (view of Hawaii) is curbside.
Keep us posted of your travels.
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Old 04-17-2005, 01:14 PM   #14
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D & D, we will be making the trip just a bit ahead of you...leaving May 5 from the San Antonio area. Our route will take us up through New Mexico, a 3-day stopover in Moab, Utah, through southern Idaho, five days east of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington, then into BC just east of Vancouver. We will spend 3 weeks in central BC fishing with the Wild Rainbow Caravan (they still have room, if you're interested), before heading on up to Alaska.

From previous trips, I remember the scenery along the Columbia River was great. We also have camped on Vancouver Island, including Goldstream, and Pacific Rim National Park. Do go by a bakery in Nanaimo and buy the famous Nanaimo Bar pastries.

Good luck, and maybe we'll see you down the road.

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