Last year we celebrated Astrid’s 1st birthday with 1 night of camping at Golden Ears Provincial Park. This year, we celebrated her 2nd birthday with 2 nights at Alice Lake Provincial Park. I think we can keep this tradition going until she’s at least 14.
We were very close to cancelling the trip. When Astrid got hand, foot, and mouth disease and the forecast was nothing but rain, we didn’t think it was worth going at all. But Astrid got better and the forecast improved so we decided to go for a change of scenery if nothing else. We were prepared for a disaster, but Astrid loved it and slept well. It was a great experience.
In many ways Alice Lake is a perfect family-friendly camping destination:
- It’s close to Vancouver, only an hour drive.
- The campsites are quiet, with lots of trees, a picnic table, a fire pit, and plenty of room for a tent.
- There are lots of other families with kids zooming around on bikes and scooters.
- There are some easy hikes from the campsite around Stump Lake and up to Edith Lake.
- You can rent a canoe, kayak, SUP, or paddleboat if you want to explore the lake.
- There is a great playground for little kids and an introductory mountain bike course for older kids. There are also mountain bike trails for adults.
- Lots of space at the day-use beach areas and new picnic tables. Just watch out for the geese — they will steal your lunch!
The only downside is that it is very popular. It is practically 100% reserved all summer, so you need to get reservations as soon as they become available (3 months before the date).
It was awesome seeing Astrid’s excitement discovering our campsite. She enjoyed playing in the tent and helping with the chores (like preparing food, washing dishes, and chopping wood). She kept her distance from the campfire (it was too hot for her) but she loved the marshmallows (although it did take some convincing to try the first bite). She showed us again that she’s not a water baby. Our canoe ride only lasted 30 minutes and she spent about 5 seconds in the lake. Probably for the best considering all of the geese poop.
Astrid slept well at night (it was really cold the first night and we all had toques on). She wouldn’t nap in the tent (it was too much fun) but she fell asleep in the backpack as soon as we went for a hike.
Full album of pictures.