“ Address: 8018 Mons Road / Whistler / BC / Canada / V0N 1B8 „
I have just returned from an incredible two week break in British Colombia, Canada.
With only two weeks to explore this amazing Canadian province we had to be very select about where we visited. Our first two days were spent in Vancouver and we then headed up to Whistler to experience some of the mountains and incredible scenery. As with any big trip money is an obstacle especially with the exchange rate being particularly poor and with Whistler being notoriously expensive. So we opted to camp! We regularly go camping in the UK so it seemed to be the ideal solution, of course with the added complication of bears to deal with but we felt confident that it was a sound choice.
Finding a good campsite online was incredibly easy, entering Whistler camping instantly brought up RV resort and campsite. Due to its proximity to Whistler, the stunning photographs on its website, the facilities offered and the ease of online booking we didn't waste any time reserving our plot. We had concerns about the night temperature so initially only booked for one night.
Riverside RV Resort and Campsite is located on Highway 99, perhaps more commonly known as the Sea to Sky Highway for the epic drive it delivers from Vancouver to Whistler. Once you reach Whistler the campsite is well sign posted and set off the main road so as not to be disturbed by road traffic.
If, like us, you are back packing then the Greyhound coach drops you right in Whistler Village and the campsite offers an incredibly convenient shuttle bus that runs at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm which picks you up and takes you to the campsite. It is also a great opportunity to get to know the campsite owner who visibly loves his home even after over 20 years. He was more than happy to feel us in on bear protocol which is strictly enforced at the camp site.
After our very informative shuttle ride I was already sold and knew that I would love the campsite, this was helped by the sudden arrival of a heatwave with the temperature pushing 30 degrees making ideal camping weather. Check in was simple and efficient with a help desk being open from 8am till 8pm. We were able to extend our stay to three nights with each night costing $35, a bargain in comparison to the hotel prices. A map of the facilities and our tent location was provided as well as walking directions into Whistler Village. As well as a front reception a well stocked shop, bike hire, computer with chargeable internet access and a café that opened at 7am till 3pm offering a range of tasty meals.
High season costs $57 for RV pitches.
The tent pitches are located in a nice wooded area with a river running behind them. The woods provide some much needed shade and are also set back and separate from the RV's which was nice and gave us a perfect camping experience. Each plot featured its very own fire pit, picnic table and benches and a grill to go over your fire pit. Bear nets are a common feature of Canadian campsites and are basically a net which is kept away from the tents that you put all food and toiletries into and hoist up around 25 ft above the ground. I was dubious at first at leaving all my make-up and perfume but everyone is in the same boat and there is a real element of trust. One night we stored some muffins for breakfast. The next morning some local squirrels had literally decimated the plastic container and all the muffins so it is not just the bears you need to watch!
The RV pitches are beautifully landscaped and nicely spaced so you can have your own area to sit with family. They are fully equipped with electricity, water and sewage connections.
As is evident from the photograph the resort is open all year with log cabins on offer for the princely sum of $189 per night.
**The Facilities and location**
The toilet and showers were amongst the best I have experienced on a campsite and I saw them being cleaned and stocked twice a day. A coded lock on the door means that only resort habitants can use them, a very popular cycle and walk path runs through the site so it is quickly apparent why the lock is needed. The showers cost 25c for a minute and a half and although they are good showers it is a little pricey in my opinion.
When coming out of the bathroom I spotted some wild chipmunks who appear to be the campsite critters. Midges were also a bit of a problem so pack repellent.
The on site café came in handy due to our inability to store food, we had breakfast on a few mornings which was well priced and very tasty.
The location really cannot be beaten, the river is a beautiful jade colour, desperately cold because of the melting snow from Blackcomb mountain but perfect for using to chill beers! The valley path that runs through the site provides a 10 minute cycle or 25 minute walk into Whistler Village and is well lit so ideal for coming back after a night out. The walk takes you out into stunning panoramic views up into the mountains and I never tired of it. The site is served by the local bus service but the walk is so pleasant we never used it. You do have to go to Whistler Village to sample the bars and restaurants but in terms of location and the feeling of being in the wild the campsite is excellent.
**My Final Thoughts**
Maybe it was the combination of the sun, wildlife, falling asleep to the sound of a river, waking up in a wood, the amazing views, the well kept facilities and the helpful staff but I loved this place! I really cannot think of a better way to visit Whistler in the summer as it provides the all round experience that people seek when they go to Canada. You simply could not replicate this in a hotel. I was hesitant about camping in Canada because of the bears but provided you follow the advice of the locals and on no account leave food or toiletries in your tent they are not something to be feared.
The bike hire was more expensive and shorter time allowances than other places and also the internet was expensive and slow, I suspected that it was so slow to encourage you to pump more money into it but maybe Im being cynical! As my boyfriend pointed out I was on holiday and should not have been checking my emails anyway! But other than those two very minor points I cannot fault it.