Leaving Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and heading south we arrived at Danielson Provincial Park, it was early in the season just after the long weekend in May and we liked what we found. On the way down just north of the Danielson Provincial Park is the Gardner Dam, the world’s largest earth-filled dam creating Lake Diefenbaker on which the park is situated. We stopped at the Gardner Dam Visitor Centre for lunch, it features a beach and picnic area, no camping or overnight stays.
Danielson has three camping loops, with, I would guess 300 sites plus and overflow area. Most sites are well treed and have power and water. The sewer dumps are new and very functional. The campsites can handle both small rigs and larger units in all loops. We found the sites well groomed and a very clean campgrounds. As it was early and we did not require power we opted to stay in the overflow area just off the lake. There are approximately 12 sites with fire pits and washroom with flush toilets. Potable water and a great view of the lake with sandy beach cost $20 per night. Regular spots run $33 with 15/30 amp power.
The lake was very low when we were there but as I write this blog the lake is starting to rise due to the rains and mountain run off finally starting in BC. There is an excellent paved boat launch which gets you onto Lake Diefenbaker, a huge lake with good fishing and water sports as described in my former article on Elbow.
Danielson is home to two major hiking and biking trails one being the Trans Canada Trail and the other the Prairie View Nature Trail. The latter forms a loop which starts and returns to the park. We hiked a section of the Trans Canada Trail which follows the shoreline of Lake Diefenbaker.
The Beach Side Pavilion is a small confectionary and burger/fries take out restaurant. The Pavilion is located right off the beach area that has lots of sandy shore line. Again we were there when the water was very low but can see it features a great swimming area and day picnic area as well. We hiked a long way along the expanded shoreline due to low water and could see the high dunes of sand pushed up when the lake is full and rough.
Danielson is open all year round with camping available from the May long weekend to Labour Day. Danielson is located at 51.25167* N.long -106.8692*W and is accessible by good paved highway suitable for all size rigs.
We did a little side trip to the Coldwell Recreation Site which was not open yet so we hiked in and found a small secluded group of about 30 non power small sites. These sites are well treed and with turns that any RV over 20 feet should not attempt as posted outside the camp area. Non potable water is available and did not see a dump site. The sites are available on a first come first serve basis. We were told some long weekends the campsites are full. The area also features tables and firepits for day use picnics. It’s a neat little rustic campground located in the South Saskatchewan River Valley and not really all that close to water. The rustic, away from it all, kinda appeals to our style of camping for a few days…perhaps we will when it’s open some day.
We found Danielson a great park to camp in and enjoy a big lake, we visited our southern parks in early and off season so have no idea what booking a site might entail during summer season, best check. In my humble opinion we need more sites that are first come and not reservable it’s hard to plan any length of stay when most sites are booked weekends only and you have no place to go…no Walmarts in the area. Or a least making sure booked sites are actually occupied and if not used a no charge cancellation policy if cancelled well in advance…just saying.
We have never stayed at the the other provincial park located on Lake Diefenbaker so we pushed on to Douglas Provincial Park, our impressions of that in my next posting. This trip, due to the fuel costs, we decided to take the back roads slow down and enjoy the trip the bonus was we saw lots of great country, I could look around while driving as we met very few vehicles and we got great gas mileage as compared to the major highways. Lesson learned: Enjoy the journey as the destination will arrive quickly enough. We all should have a destination in mind, but we are truly blessed when we can enjoy the beauty in getting there.
Right now we are back at the cabin saving our pennies so we can afford some fuel to hopefully get us to Dawson City in the Yukon starting beginning of July. While away our cabin will be well cared for by a dear friend. We will bring you along on that trip as well. Since fuel is so expensive we will be looking to doing a lot of boondocking and not staying at five star campgrounds regularly. This should be a learning experience. I told a friend we may have to eat road kill and pick pop bottles along the way he said as long as the road kill is fresh we should be OK. According to my trusty partner that will NOT happen I will be getting a job along the way… and she is emailing my resume to businesses along the Alaska highway.
Thanks to those who subscribe it saves me from always having to post to Facebook and Instagram as it notifies you automatically when I do post. It also gives me more incentive to keep taking, editing and sharing our travels in this beautiful country. Not all campgrounds are created equal so will keep you posted on that as well.
Take care thanks to those who tuned in may the wind always be on you back…. watch for us studiowest.ca in our Northern Lite as we hope to meet you down the road….Charlotte and Gerry