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Thread: Where to camp in the winter?

  1. #1
    OLC Member
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    Feb 2015
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    Question Where to camp in the winter?

    Hello all,

    I'm doing a cross-country run (Ottawa to Tuktoyaktuk) and I'm going to be sleeping in my vehicle, so basically I need to know where I can park for the overnights. What are some good places to go or look for in the winter? I'm not particularly picky, as long as it's safe. Specific areas I'm thinking about stopping near: Thunder Bay area (ON), Saskatoon area (SK), Grand Prairie area (AB), Hyland River Park area (BC), Dawson (YT), Inuvik (NT). Any ideas or specific locations would be super helpful. Thanks!

  2. #2
    OLC Member klahanie's Avatar
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    Well, I'll take a stab at this ...

    Firstly, welcome Janvier and props to you for taking this dream trip !

    The place name that stood out from the list above is Hyland River PP - pretty sure I know that spot. The camping area is on the NW side of the river, accessed by a short road that doubles back on the highway, clearly visible on "street view". Not much to the campground and no gate (a few years back) or camp right by the bridge (and highway!). The kicker will be whether you'll be able to turn off the highway or be blocked by a snow plow created snow bank - something to be mindful of when travelling though areas with expected snow accumulation.

    As you may know many river crossings have potential camping areas adjacent to the main road. These could be a clearing from construction, the old road to a past bridge alignment, ford, water access etc. Often they'll be a spot used by anglers for parking or camping. Ditto for "boat launches" in rural areas.

    I'll mention nearby Liard Hotsprings in the off chance you don't know about it - worth visiting and it's open all year.

    Just south of Saskatoon is Pike Lake Prov Park which is open all year - a rarity worth noting. I realize many have an aversion to paying camping fees but it would be prudent IMHO to have a back up plan travelling thru the prairies.

    For Gande Prairie I know there are a few rec sites (or parks) south of town along Hwy 40 (S to Grande Cache) but I expect they'll be closed - but gated, IDK. You'll be starting to get into mountains here btw. Also there is the famous Forestry Trunk Road (turn south at Goodwin, east of GP) that might have some options. The general area - and continuing into BC is oil and gas country so they'll be many side roads but I can't give you any for sures

    For Dawson, you'll travel through an industrial area before you reach town centre that might have something. Also could try turning left (south) onto Bonanza Creek Road (where Claim 33 Gold Panning is) and keep driving toward Dredge 4 Nat Hist Site. Might be able to find a spot on that road - if it's plowed. Also take note of the intersection for the Dempster (this would be before you reach Dawson) there is a service station and some highway truck parking IIRC.

    Finally, don't be afraid to ask, at a real service/repair gas station or small town restaurant etc. for a place to crash - like in their parking lot.

    Enjoy and be safe !
    Last edited by klahanie; 02-26-2015 at 04:43 PM.

  3. #3
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    Wow, thanks so much! I'll have to write all this down in my notes and do some research. Much appreciated!

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