High up in the mountains of southern British Columbia, near the United States border, you’ll find the town of Rossland. The town has a rich history in gold mining dating back to the 19th century and walking through the streets, you get a sense of it — from the old architectural style of the buildings, to the museum that houses artifacts from Rossland’s heyday as a boomtown. This review covers everything you need to know about the only campground in historic Rossland.
“It is the only campground in the area and it serves as a basecamp for riders visiting from all over North America and the world.”
Today, Rossland’s mining history is largely a memory, but the town has been carving out a new legacy, and this one hinges on mountain biking. From the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) epic Seven Summits Trail, to riding on nearby Red Mountain, to the trails that surround Rossland itself, there is little doubt that this legacy is, and will continue to be, a strong one. Nestled in the midst of all this riding is the Rossland Lions Community Campground. It is the only campground in the area and it serves as a basecamp for riders visiting from all over North America and the world.
The Rossland Lions Community Campground is a small campground suitable for both tents and RVs such as trailers, vans, campers and motorhomes.
It is located at 932 Black Bear Drive, just west of the intersection of Highways 22 and 3B. It is within walking distance of Rossland’s historic main street and the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre. The Frontier-Paterson Canada/United States border crossing is only a 10 minute drive south from the campground on Highway 22.
How close is the riding?
As with my other reviews, this Rossland campground review would not be complete without mentioning nearby riding. There is extensive riding accessible directly from the campground itself. There are two main options:
- You can ride into Rossland itself and use one of the many trail access points from town. From these access points you are able to make your way to the several different riding areas near town.
- This is the closest and easiest option: there is a trailhead just down the road from the entrance to the campground at the end of Black Bear Drive. This is the trailhead for Drake’s (upper) and leads into the Malde Creek riding area. From this trailhead, the Drake’s (upper), Doukhobor Draw and Tamarack trails can be linked together to form a climb that will take you to the Malde Creek shuttle drop-off. There are numerous descending options from this point including SMD, The Flume and Whiskey trails. Whiskey leads back toward Rossland while SMD and The Flume end up near Highway 22, not far from the United States/Canada border crossing.
Or, if dirt jumps are your thing there is a skills park adjacent to the campground.
See the Trailforks map of the Malde Creek riding area below.
Malde Creek on Trailforks.com
A note on the Seven Summits Trail
While the Seven Summits Trail is relatively close to the Rossland Lions Community Campground, I wouldn’t say it is within riding distance for most people. Riding the Seven Summits from the campground would involve lengthy highway rides at the beginning and end of this already epic point-to-point-style trail. Luckily, the Seven Summits shuttle pickup location is nearby, at the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre. This shuttle is run by Mountain Shuttle and while the pickup location is an easy ride from the campground, you will need to bring a vehicle to leave at the endpoint of the Seven Summits Trail.
If you’re thinking about riding the Seven Summits Trail while in Rossland you may find our in-depth trail guide helpful.
Tell me about the sites
The Rossland Lions Community Campground has a total of 18 numbered sites. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. Beyond these similarities, the site services are divided up as follows:
- 9 sites – water only
- 4 sites – 15 amp power, water and sewer
- 1 site – 30 amp power, water and sewer
- 2 sites – 15 amp power and water
- 2 sites – unserviced
The seven sites with power are also paved and are likely best suited for an RV of some kind, whether it be a van, trailer, camper or motorhome. However, they could likely also be used for a tent, in a pinch.
The remaining 11 sites are all either gravel or grass. The 2 unserviced sites are suitable for tenting only or possibly a van, while the others could be used for either an RV or a tent.
In addition to the 18 numbered sites, there does seem to be an area with sites meant for first-come, first-served campers. This area is likely best suited for tents and is located near the BBQ gazebo.
Click here to view a map of the campground.
My thoughts on the sites
Overall, I found the campsites to be tidy and well-kept. I stayed in one of the paved RV sites and the utilities (power, water, sewer) all worked as they should. Of note is that there are few trees in the campground, save for around the sites along the north edge. This means that there is little shade or privacy. That being said, the sites are well spaced so at least when you’re outside you aren’t sitting right next to your neighbour!
- If you’re looking for firewood, you can get some for FREE at a nearby pole yard! Five minutes south of the campground on Highway 22 you’ll find Paterson Pole Yard. It is near the highway, on the west side. At the entrance to the yard there is a bin labelled “free wood” where you can pick up wood for your fire. I did notice that the bin ran out of wood from time to time, so don’t wait until the last minute to get yours!
What’s the cost?
The cost breakdown for the different site types are as follows:
- 30 amp power, water, sewer – $40/night
- 50 amp power, water, sewer – $35/night
- All other sites – $30/night
The pricing above is for a single tent or RV per site. There is a $10 fee for each additional unit.
Pets are allowed at no additional cost.
What are the amenities like?
The Rossland Lions Community Campground is home to a number of amenities worth mentioning in this review. None are specific to mountain biking, such as a bike wash station or repair stand for example, but riders will find the warm showers nice to have after a day of riding! Here is a list of notable amenities:
- Warm showers
- Flush toilets
- Large BBQ gazebo
- Free WiFi
- Firewood for purchase
- Shared sani-dump
Campground amenities explained
Warm showers and flush toilets are located in the main bathhouse building. They are nice and private as the toilets and showers are together in private rooms. The showers are free.
For those without a barbecue, there is one located in a large gazebo that is free for use by anyone in the campground. If you’re camping in a tent and the weather turns bad, the gazebo can also be used as a place to get out of the elements while you cook and eat.
If you need to stay connected, the campground has free WiFi. It seems to work best near the bathhouse building. When I stayed at the campground, I was at the south end and the WiFi reception was spotty at best. If you aren’t able to get WiFi reception at your campsite, but need to stay connected, there is cell service in the campground.
In addition to the pole yard mentioned earlier, there is firewood available by delivery. To order, call “The Wood Guy” at (250) 364-3993 before 7pm and he will bring it right to your site. There is a minimum purchase of two bundles at $6/bundle. During the busy season you may also find him driving around the campground in the late afternoon/evening offering to sell firewood.
Garbage disposal and recycling are located in a central building near the middle of the campground. Both are secured inside the building to keep scavengers away. There is recycling for most types of materials, not just cans and bottles.
For those in an RV who are staying at a site with no sewer access, there is a shared sani-dump station next to the bathhouse. It is available free of charge to registered campers.
Can I make a reservation?
Campsite reservations can be made online here, on the Rossland Lions Community Campground website.
If you cancel your reservation within a week of your stay, a 50% deposit, plus a 5% administration fee will be withheld. If you cancel your reservation more than a week before your stay, a 5% administration fee ($10.00 minimum) will be withheld.
Is there anything else I should know?
- Checkout time is 11am.
- Quiet hours are 11pm to 8am.
- Pets cannot be left at the campsites unattended.
Small campground, big riding!
The Rossland Lions Community Campground is a great place to stay if you’re looking to ride in the Rossland area. The rates are quite reasonable, especially if you are camping in an RV. You won’t often find sites with full hookups for less at other campgrounds.
“Whether you have a tent, van, or RV, staying at the Rossland Lions Community Campground means there will be riding everywhere you look!”
Looking at a map of the riding around Rossland leaves little doubt that this town takes its mountain biking seriously. The area attracts riders from all over North America and the world. A single campground in the area, and a small one at that, means that it is regularly bustling with mountain bikers. Some are heading out to ride the infamous Seven Summits Trail, others to test their skills on the technical climbs and descents rideable right from town, or to practice their skills at the nearby bike park.
Whether you have a tent, van, or RV, staying at the Rossland Lions Community Campground means there will be riding everywhere you look!
I would love to hear from you! If you have anything to add to this Rossland campground review, please leave a comment below. If you have any questions, please visit my contact page! I will respond to every inquiry.
If you’re looking for more information on things to do in the Rossland area, visit the Tourism Rossland website. For more on the rich history of the Rossland area, check out the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre website.