Cranbrook, BC is sometimes on route between Oregon and Ontario, or more specifically between Creston and Waterton Lakes National Park.
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How did we first discover Cranbrook, BC?
We stopped to stretch our legs and look for a place to sleep for the night. Moyie Lake Provincial Park is easy to access from Highway 3/95, and offers exclusive public access to the lake, tons of green grass, sandy beaches, flush toilets, picnic tables, a playground, and beautiful views.
Day use parking at the beach is easy to find. I grabbed a picnic table for dinner and the kids hit the beach.
Things started to go bad pretty quickly, however, when I swatted one fly while getting the cooler and a second fly while getting the stove.
By the time I was set up to cook there were more flies than I have ever seen in one place and I am from Michigan so I have seen a few black flies. This, however, were the black fly scary stories that people tell around campfires during full moons.
I rushed dinner, ran everything back to the van, and by some stroke of luck, the van was nearly fly-free. The van was a mess, I was frazzled, and desperate to get back on the road again!
Anytime, other than this day in mid-June, I would gladly endorse staying at Moyie Lake but we certainly were not staying that day.
If you decide to stay there in June, here are a few items that I may consider packing.
Fly strips – yes, these still make these and you can hang them in your van!
Mosquito head netting may seem like overkill but I would have paid good money for a head net!
Where did we stay?
We rolled into Cranbrook just before dark and, for lack of a better plan, followed the little signs with the blue camping symbol. We didn’t have much confidence in this plan as the signs led us right into town and to the front desk of Mount Baker RV Park.
If you are anything like me, you may want to stop reading as soon as you see the words “RV Park” but please continue reading! Mount Baker RV Park was like a little bit of paradise. In that moment, it was everything we needed and then some!
One side of the park are RV hookups and the other side leads over bridge crossing a stream to a open green space that is intended mostly for tents. There were not any tents in that space and we didn’t need hook-ups, so we paid the nominal fee and slept in a field of freshly cut grass, next to a river, with flush toilets, hot showers, and laundry facilities.
I didn’t really even need to do laundry but I did anyways. The kids threw sticks in the river, kicked soccer balls, and did somersaults. Things couldn’t get any better!
We woke up the next day and realized that we really were in the town of Cranbrook. From Mount Baker RV Park, we walked to town and loved what we saw.
Cranbrook BC: 5 Things To Love
1. The Historic Downtown
A few blocks from our campground we found the historic downtown full of local shops and restaurants.
2. The people
Locals on the street and in shops smiled and stopped to chat. People in cars smiled and waved “hello” as we crossed streets or parking lots.
3. The restaurants
Historic downtown offered tons of food options. We weren’t even looking for a restaurant but we couldn’t resist!
Soul Food is a local farm to table cafe and restaurant. We sat at a table outside, had drinks and two rounds of food!
4. Diverse downtown shopping
Just as we weren’t really looking for a restaurant and we didn’t really need to do laundry, we weren’t really looking for a large grocery store but there we were. Historic downtown Cranbrook, a stone’s throw from our campground, also happened to have a large chain grocery store so we picked up some odds and ends!
5. Cycling routes, side walks, and parks
Cranbrook has it all. There are bike lanes, cycling routes, cross walks, and parks all over downtown. Check it out! You won’t be disappointed!