Jul 30

Canada: Sea to Mount Robson

This is the second part of our journey through Canada. After a couple of nice days in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island it was time to head back to the main land. Our route took us from the ferry terminal to Whistler on the Sea-to-Sky highway, passing a few small villages until we got to Pemberton where we spent the night.

Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay (the ferry)

On Vancouver Island we spent the majority of our time on camp grounds without full hook up, which means that we did not have external electricity connected to the RV. Without external hook ups to electricity you can not charge your devices using the plugs that a available. As we were taking a lot of pictures the two batteries I brought for the trip werde both running low (actually one was empty and the second one at like 5% remaining power). As we expected to take one of the more beautiful drives in the world (Sea-to-Sky highway) we needed to recharge. Lucky us, the ferries offer terminals (originally made for business/work desks) that we used to recharge during the 90 minutes ferry trip.

Due to a little (translate to a lot) rain and clouds we did not see anything apart from the street we were driving on on the Sea-To-Sky Highway. Which was a pitty. Same was true for Whistler, there was so much rain and clouds we did not see the mountains. Taking a gondola to the top of the mountain did not make any sense for us as there were clouds everywhere, so we skipped that, too. So we just kept going and were hoping to escape the rain and clouds. When we reached the Nairn Falls provincial park we called it a day and stayed there for the rest of the day and night:

Next stop Okanagan Lake

The next day we started our journey to the Okanagan Lake area. Our route took us through Lillooet and Merrit to Kelowna. On the way there was not a lot to see. Locals told ust that the rivers going through the area a around 8 meters higher than usual which was due to lots of rain (we knew that ;-)) and melting ice and snow from the mountains. We did not go through Hope which was part of the movie Rambo: First Blood in 1982. The Okanagan area felt like 10 degrees celcius warmer than where we came from and we spent the night at the Okanagan Lake North campground.

As the are was nice, there was not too much rain and we had some time, we decided to stay in the area for another day. Although the campground was nice we decided to spend the night in a different campground. Checking the BC parks campground maps we found one in Salmon Arms, right at a lake that sounded pretty nice.

Of course while driving there the weather changed just a little bit and it started raining, not as much as the days before on the Sea-To-Sky Highway. As we checked into the campground we met a German park keeper who went to live in Canada some 20 years ago. His job is park guide in the summer and ski guide in the winter. Sounds like a not so bad job to me.

The next stop was still kinda close to the Okanagan area. We stayed at the Juniper Beach campground which is close to the Thomson River. There is full hook-up at not too high costs compared to other campgrounds. The river was really high and got close to the campground. Not in a dangerous way though. Something that we realized that night is that there are a lot of campgrounds that are close to railways. And at night, you can hear them. Most of the time it was not a problem for us as we were tired enough not to hear anything ;-).

Waterfalls and mountains

Sooner or later we had to move on and get closer to the mountains and Alberta. On the way there we stopped at the Clearwater lake. Unfortunately for us, it was too cold at every lake that we saw/stopped at for us to go swimming. The Clearwater lake was in the middle of the Wells Gray Provincial Park which meant taking a dirt road for 30 km which was muddy and slippery. It was well worth it as we saw some amazing waterfalls and interesting wildlife.

As there was only one street into the Provincial Park we had to take the same route out. It was not raining that hard anymore and we got used to the missing pavement so the way back felt shorter and smoother.

After the Well’s Gray Park we were headed towards Mt. Robson. There we went for a short hike and in the middle of the forrest on some rocky path we met someone jogging – barefoot. No shoes. That guy still has my depest respect, it was not an easy path and I had trouble on some parts with my hiking shoes on. There are two campgrounds at Mt. Robson, both are kinda big and parts of our campground were closed because they were not even close to being fully booked. This was our last stop in British Columbia and we would spend the next night in Alberta – in the Rocky Mountains!

We enjoyed British Columbia

In retrospect British Columbia was a nice area to stay at. The campgrounds were really quiet and we rarely saw any people. We had to get used to this at first but I think we enjoyed it as all the other places we have been to yet were always kinda crowded. So if you are in Canada and happen to be in British Columbia, make sure you rent an RV and check out places outside of cities. Also do not only stay in your RV, get out and hike around to see more/other sights that are not reachable by car! It has a great nature. Be careful with on the trails and stay on the trails as well. Watch for wildlife and respect it, give wildlife enough room to breathe and stay out of their life as much as possible.

Tags: bc, camping, canada, rv, vacation