STARS: 4.75 out of 5
BUFFALO POUND CAMPGROUND, NEAR REGINA, MANITOBA, CANADA: GPS 50.5730° N, 105.3912° W
This campground -- and specifically camping loop -- was a sweet surprise. We booked this one last minute, without knowing anything about it. J needed an airport to fly out of, so she wanted to be near Regina (Buffalo Pound is 50 minutes away from Regina and 20 minutes to Moose Jaw).
First of all, I highly recommend loop LCA (Lower Chalet A) or even LCB. We were in LCA 3 which is a nice spot and can be reserved, whereas some of the sites are first-come. This loop is as close as you can get to a boondocking environment within a formal campground. The other loops (we drove through them all), were much more like a traditional campground. We personally like the boondocking feel, and this provided it. It's a big open space with posts at the back indicating your designated general area. But you can pretty much park however you want -- straight forward, at an angle, sideways -- as long as you fit within the general area of your posts.
There were two bathroom-style options. On the far end were drop toilets that were old but clean. Near LCB were flush toilets with four separate stalls, all large and with running water. I used both at different times because the bugs were really bad at night and were drawn to the lights of the running water bathroom. This meant you got blasted with bugs as you tried to enter the bathroom, and if someone had left the door to the room open for even a minute, there was a tremendous amount of bugs buzzing around the room at top speeds. It felt like a Hitchcock movie. They were always cleaned the next morning, so I'd use them during daylight hours. But at night, I opted for the drop toilets, which were in the dark, so therefore, sans bugs.
This provincial park is huge, and every loop had it's own feel. A few of the loops were for long-term campers. Others were also short term. Some were for small RVs and tents; others for larger rigs. I can't review them all here, but just be aware of that.
Another super-cool feature of being in LCA is that we were near the Rankin Group Loop (15 minute walk). If this loop is unoccupied, you can use it as a day use area. We got to swim with our dog there which was really delightful. The lake is rocky and sandy so very clear water. It was a nice temperature as well. If it is occupied, though, it is off-limits. There will be a sign indicating its status.
In addition, the park has a pool (nice, big circular with sloping sides down to a 4 foot or so deep center), a small "golf course," a place to rent bikes and kayaks and other water mobiles, a climbing wall, and more things like that. We went often to the pool because our son was visiting us and he LOVES the pool. I was very pleased it was there, and enjoyed it as much as he did. There is no hot tub, however.
The showers were fine. Most were by the pool area, although we used ones further down by trails end that were separate rooms as opposed to private stalls. They were free but the water pressure varied tremendously from a slight trickle to a powerful blast. So check them out before you strip down.
There is an easy dump with potable water.
We did not have cellular at our campsite, but from Rankin Group area and throughout most of the rest of the park, we did. There is good cellular at the check-in gate at the entrance to the park.