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“Lots of room, but not enough in the right places”

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Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch
Ranked #32 of 43 Speciality Lodging in Golden
Reviewed 27 August 2012

Staged with a paraglider landing field, there appears as you drive in to be plenty of space, with the large entrance, paraglider field, horse pasture, tent area, and surrounding open ground next to the Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch. Decent signage along the highway and roads help guide you, though the last signs say "GEAR", which is fine, but is not the full name and on a dark rainy night might throw off an anxious, tired traveler.

The office is new and nice but in an odd spot, requiring one to walk around a living quarters to get to it. Large RVs like ours end up blocking signed check-in parking spots staged to the side, another odd arrangement, but not troublesome I suppose unless you arrive at a busy time.

The two biggest gripes I have are #1) the gravel road has a zillion small potholes, from the entry gate all the way through the RV camping loops. One huge one in particular at the far turn got me off guard because I was watching #2) tree limbs, my second big gripe. The pothole is virtually unavoidable, even if I had seen it, since it overs a good chunk of the sharp right curve... through trees. Getting slide outs out was a trip due to the tree limbs hanging on both sides of the site; to what I could see, most of the sites are that way. Being in the shade is nice, but not if I have to get out my ladder and do some pruning to get set up.

There are a lot of mosquitos, but that's not the Park's fault; just come with repellant on before stepping out to set up camp or do any pruning. And the advertised WiFi? I had to bring my iPad to the office porch before I could log on, and there are about 3 Internet links on the airwaves, so you have to choose the right one before you connect; but it seems a solid connection once you get online. The clerk agreed it had little range, and that even they had trouble getting on from the living quarters next door (30 feet away). So don't expect to get online from your RV, a few hundred yards away.

You don't hear much highway noise, but yeah the train whistles as it goes nearby once in a while, but hey, it's the Canadian Rockies... Trains go along with the deal. We got used to it after several weeks in Banff and Yoho National Parks. The ads I read mentioned horse trail trips and a ranch atmosphere, or at least that's the impression I got. I don't really see a ranch as such, like I've seen elsewhere in Ranch/RV Park setups.

Otherwise, it is not a bad place and has newer electrical and water hookups, though no sewers. The dump site is odd, as it's set up for easiest access if you are entering the sewerless campground; this is reverse for what most people will need... to dump when leaving the park. They appear to also have a nice large events building as well, likely for parachute and hang gliding festivities and other large gatherings, where the campground is handy to event goers. Today the laundry facilities, though clean and new and well arranged in a large nifty shower and restroom building at the head of the woods where the park sites are, had only one each of the several washers and dryers working... the rest were out of order. A sign indicated a repair had been ordered, and since today is Monday, it's no big deal until the park gets busy again.

It's a place with new buildings and facilities, and lots of grounds. Flowers adorn the office deck and the lawns are cared for. Now if they'd put some work into filling the potholes and trimming trees, perhaps removing some that crowd the RV park loop so larger coaches like ours (36' diesel with towed car) could maneuver with a tad less worry, I'd give this park a much higher rating.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Hafcanadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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36 - 42 of 49 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2012

We were not at all pleased with this facility. The tenting sites are extremely small. There is barely enough room to put up a normal size tent, let alone room to park a vehicle and move about. The tenting sites were a VERY (ridiculuosly) long walk from the washrooms.

As other reviewers have mentioned though the worst part is the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes here are absolutely insane. The campground seemed very swampy, it's located in a very low lying area, and had a lot of overgrown grass, bushes, and standing water.

It's also very expensive for such a disappointing facility and it's also a fair distance outside of town.

On the plus side the RV sites looked nicer then the tent sites and were much closer to the washrooms, and the location is near good xc mountain biking.

I would say avoid this place unless you like camping in a swamp with clouds of mosquitoes. The golden municipal campground is a much better alternative and the campground on the road up to KHMR is also much nicer

  • Stayed: August 2012
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3  Thank actf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2012

Golden Eco Adventure Ranch (GEAR) has amazing potential. It's location, nestled amidst picturesque mountains, is close to Banff, Radium Hot Springs, Yoho and Kootenay. GEAR also has a super friendly staff.

GEAR describes itself as "luxury" camping. Save for the beautiful shower/washing facilities, GEAR is far from luxury.

The tent sites are very small. A medium-sized tent would not fit. Compared to Provincial, National and KOA-type sites, GEAR's sites are roughly 1/3 to 1/4 the size.

What made our visit the most unpleasant was the over-abundance of mosquitos. No amount of insect repellent, campfire smoke or citronella would keep them from feasting on campers. I have camped in every Canadian province and have NEVER encountered mosquitos to this magnitude!

A quick survey of the grounds revealed many avoidable mosquito habitats. There was a pile of garbage in standing water adjacent to the camping area and the bear-proof garbage bins were overflowing. Also, the sites had poor drainage and thus had a great deal of standing water.

The mosquitos made outdoor activities at GEAR unbearable.

Mosquitos are unavoidable when camping, its part of the territory. GEAR has amazing potential but has been negligent in maintaining their grounds.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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3  Thank campinGnat80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2012

We spent a night here on our short RV trip from Vancouver to Calgary. The ranch was easy to find and located just far enough away from the highway to be easily accessed and not hear traffic. Sure you will hear the train a lot but that's unavoidable it seems travelling through the Rockies. The sites are decently spaced apart and they have some very modern and clean showers, bathrooms and laundry facilities. The staff are friendly and generally seem to enjoy their job and want you to enjoy your stay just as much.

Room Tip: Great for RV's and Tents!
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank CandyGnomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2011

Stayed here a coupled days for my honeymoon and it was so much fun! We flew into Canada and could not bring a lot of camping gear so the yurts worked out great. The camp ground is located right next to a paragliding and hand gliding landing area and it was cool to watch them. Stayed here late august and the bugs were a non issue and it was sunny and warm the entire trip. We enjoyed golden and GEAR very much.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank MCA_MN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2011

We drove into the campground in late July 2011 and noticed everyone was hiding out in netted shelters. Then we quickly found out that GEAR is basically located in swampland adjacent the river. It had been raining that day but not a lot and our whole site was surrounded by standing water including the fire pit. Upon exiting the vehicle we were swarmed by thousands of misquitoes. We have camped in Manitoba, Sask, Alberta, and BC and NEVER have I seen them this bad. Within minutes my toddler had bites all over her and she was wearing repellant.
The bathroom/shower house is gorgeous! However, we dont like to use our trailer bathroom unless its an emergency or late at night and there is only one bathroom and its a LONG walk.
We had booked the site for two nights but left early the next morning. Our site was so narrow there was no where to sit outside the trailer because there was water everywhere and the firepit was in the middle of a small lake.
Very unhappy with this place for mountain camping. We camp all over the Rockies and this was one of the worst we have been to. Would have preferred to stay in the National Park with no services which is what we did for the next night rather than continuing our stay here.

Room Tip: We were in site 54 - TERRIBLE!!!! Narrow!!!
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank campingmommaAB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2011

Awsome campground. Has nice clean, private sites and great fire pits. The bathrooms are very clean, great free hot showers. If you;re a paraglider or hang glider, this is the place to be. You can land right inthe field at the campground and about a 1/2 hr to top of take off site. If you are a mountain biker, you can ride a few mintutes and be in the Moonraker trail system. It took me about 1/2 hr to ride to Kicking Horse on trail. Lots of moquitoes in Golden this year!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Allinmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch

Address: 872 McBeath Rd | Community of Nicholson, Golden, British Columbia V0A 1H2, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Kootenay Rockies > Golden
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 43 Speciality Lodging in Golden
Hotel Class:2 star — Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch 2*
Number of rooms: 95
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