Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: Dry Gulch Provincial Park

Panorama of Radium (apologies for the quality,
but you get the sense of the space)
Location: 5 minutes outside Radium Springs
Website:  BC Parks
Map: Google Maps
Camping Facilities: Exclusively Car Camping
Grade: B+
Stargazing: Canopy blocks it out, but if you can find an opening, it's probably not terrible (though you're close to the Town of Radium Springs
Summary: Small loops with decently segregated campsites
Thoughts: Nice hiking trail, quiet (in late September)
Lussier Hot Springs - worth the trip,
if you've never seen natural hot springs
After a few attempts in BC's Provincial, we were generally skeptical about what each following park would provide.  Would it be another disaster like Steelhead or a winner like Pyramid Campground in Wells Gray?  This one probably beat them both, since it was extremely quiet (likely due to the lateness in the camping season) and had sites that were pretty well spaced out.  Much like Pyramid, this one has hand pumps and some flush toilets, but no showers.  I can't recall if there was hot water in the comfort station, but if I were to guess, I'd say no.

The only reason I would suggest coming to this area is if you have plans to explore further south.  Radium Hot Springs seems like a water park for the enjoyment of families and if that suits you, then great.  If it doesn't, then you better get driving.  The only undeveloped, natural hot springs in the area are an hour's drive south of Radium - the Lussier Hot Springs.  These are definitely less crowded (though we went on a Sunday night in the offseason and it was still tricky finding a spot where my wife and I could sit together), but have no admission fee and you don't feel like you've entered the Magic Kingdom.

All in all, Dry Gulch is better than staying in one of the cheesy hotels in the Radium town site, with roomy sites, decent privacy and good spacing between campers.

View from hiking trail leading from Dry Gulch Campground

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