Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Take Your Quads on Vacation

Last summer we put our quads on a trailer and took them on vacation with us to Vancouver Island. Our destination was Stella Lake near Campbell River. Here's the article that was just published in the Spring 2018 Riderswest Magazine and on their website.

Take your quads on vacation.

My husband and I have ridden ATVs in our home region of Powell River, B.C., for 15 years. In 2017, we explored the Campbell River region on Vancouver Island.

Old logging road to Bear River.

I follow the Campbell River ATV Club (CRATV) on Facebook and the CRATV Forum and know they are active in trail maintenance. They’re also instrumental in developing long-distance ATV routes (Riderswest article) and have secured riding permission in some towns to access fuel, restaurants and overnight accommodations. CRATV uses the Pye Mountain Recreation Site, which they built as a base for club activities. It can be accessed via Highway 19 north of Campbell River and the Elk Bay Forest Service Road (FSR).

Stella Lake Beach campsite.

We wanted to camp near water, so we selected Stella Lake based on a recommendation from friends in the Powell River ATV Club. There are two ways to get there, either by Elk Bay or Rock Bay forest service roads. We chose the Rock Bay to Stella Lake FSR because, with our double quad trailer, we wanted to avoid the steep hill and tight turn on the Elk Bay route. On the way we stopped at the Roberts Lake Resort café for one of their famous cinnamon rolls.

Blue sky and water at Stella Lake from Elk Bay FSR.

We travelled in June on a Thursday. Stella Beach’s campsites were mostly open and we chose one with lake access. We offloaded our quads at the entrance, then parked the trailer in the ample site. There are pit toilets, picnic tables and fire rings, but campers should bring drinking water. Even in June, the campground filled over the weekend, but there are other camping spots in the area.

Excellent signage including experience level.

From our campsite, we rode forest service roads and trails developed by the Campbell River ATV Club. There’s excellent signage that includes experience level symbols. As an intermediate rider, that was very helpful. We also purchased Backroad Maps software for our Garmin GPS to make us more confident about riding in a new location.

Overlooking Johnstone Strait from Rock Bay FSR.

Some of the most memorable rides were to Elk Bay on Johnstone Strait, visiting the Pye Mountain Rec Site, and going to neighbouring Pye and McCreight lakes. My favourite ride was along an old logging road that branched off Bear Bight Road and wound through second growth to the Bear River (a.k.a. Amos de Cosmos Creek). Here, we enjoyed a picnic lunch in warm sunshine surrounded by a meadow of sweet gale.

Sunny day for a picnic at Bear River.

Where will you be going this summer? Check out the Powell River Quad Rides blog and Powell River ATV Riders’ Facebook group and bring your quad on vacation to the northern Sunshine Coast.

Check out Coastal BC Stories about quad riding including Farther Up the Main by Wayne Lutz. -- Margy


  1. We would love to get to Vancouver Island some time. Really nice shots. Looks like you had a great time.

    1. I don't get to the island very often even though it is only 25 miles away. It costs about $75 to get there by ferry in our car and over $100 if we take our quad trailer. But on a camping vacation, the expense is offset by the free lodging and we take our food with us. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy