We live in one of Canada’s most beautiful provinces, so if pitching a tent and roasting marshmallows are two of your favourite pastimes, you’re not alone! This sunny season, stock up on beer, toss the gear in the car and hit the hills, valleys, and peaks that we’re so lucky to call our backyard. Here are 12 bucket list camping spots in Alberta – because you should make your weekends count!

CARSON PEGASUS PROVINCIAL CAMPGROUND

Located northwest of Edmonton, this lakefront campground has plenty of comforting amenities and a view that’s hard to beat. Also, from their boat launch, fish cleaning stations, and a pier to their on-site convenience store, parks, and showers – guests can stay for a long time and still have a good time.

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 462 km
Distance from Edmonton: 205 km

REFUGE BAY

No matter the time of year stargaze through the transparent roof of a Refuge Bay geodome – a romantic glampsite in Cherhill, Alberta. In addition to falling asleep under a bed of stars, guests can also break a sweat in the wood-burning sauna and use the on-site BBQ.

Where: 56524 Range Road 50, Cherhill, AB
Distance from Calgary: 402.3 km
Distance from Edmonton: 105.8 km

CRIMSON LAKE CAMPGROUND

With an interpretive centre, rentals, and beautifully groomed trails, Crimson Lake is one of Alberta’s best. This place was made for family camping – all of which is only made better by the fact that it’s also lakeside and absolutely beautiful. Go swimming, boating, or just hang out on their large beach – it’s paradise!

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 231 km
Distance from Edmonton: 226 km

RIVER GROVE CAMPGROUND

Located in Drumheller, River Grove Campground is a local fave. Not only is it within close proximity to the hoodoos and Royal Tyrell Museum among trees and wildflowers – but it’s also got an arcade and convenience store right on site.

Where: #25 Poplar Street North, Drumheller
Distance from Calgary: 136.4 km
Distance from Edmonton: 280.2 km

ASPEN CROSSING 

Aspen Crossing is not your average campground. Here, guests can experience comfort, fresh air, and history either from their tent an RV or (for those of you who prefer to glamp) their repurposed train cars. Not only is this place inviting and open, but the park also has a ton of family-friendly perks like its pigpen, flower garden, chicken coop, and even a lagoon where you can wind down with your feet in the sand.

Where: Box 30, Mossleigh, AB
Distance from Calgary: 90.2 km
Distance from Edmonton: 375 km

CREEPY HOLLOW

Creepy Hollow is one of the most unique, most underrated spots on this entire list, period. Unlike anything else you’ll see in the province, this haunted experience acts as a campsite, haunted house hybrid with creepy touches throughout the entire park. Explore spooky mazes, participate in murder mystery nights and play games with other guests during your stay! It’s essentially a Halloween-themed summer camp for adults.

Where: 44046 AB-4, Warner, AB
Distance from Calgary: 275 km
Distance from Edmonton: 566 km

ELK ISLAND RETREAT 

Located only 45 minutes outside of Edmonton and around 3 hours from Calgary, the Elk Island Retreat and dark sky reserve offers a variety of different woodsy experiences great for everyone – and we mean everyone. Don’t want to stay the night? Take advantage of their picnic experience. Want to park your RV? They’ve got plenty of room! Travelling with a glamper? The site also has cabins and even geodomes. Check it out!

Where: 54371 Range Road 205 Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
Distance from Calgary: 349 km
Distance from Edmonton: 54.9 km

RAINBOW VALLEY CAMPGROUND

Located in Edmonton, Rainbow Valley is about so much more than just pitching a tent and making s’mores. Here guests can experience sun, fun, and nature (within city limits) – as well as their aerial park! This is another good one to take a friend or family member if they’re not an experienced camper.

Where:  119 Whitemud Dr. NW, Edmonton, AB T6R 2V4
Distance from Calgary: 296 km
Distance from Edmonton: 0 km

CASTLE FALLS 

The Castle Falls Campground is truly something else. Surrounded by trees, water and cliffsides, this stunning spot is one where campers can swim, fish, explore or dive! Here you can really “discover the beauty of Alberta’s southern Rockies.”

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 239 km
Distance from Edmonton: 530 km

HIDDEN COVE 

 

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Located on Alberta’s Maligne Lake, Hidden Cove really lives up to its name. In fact, to get here – guests actually have to kayak their way to the dock, but Is it worth it? Absolutely! Not only is this place tucked away and private, but it’s also perfect for those who need to keep busy during their staycation, after all, you’ll also be surrounded by Jasper’s most beautiful – most paddle-able lakes.

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 461 km
Distance from Edmonton: 403 km

SUNDANCE BY BASECAMP

Want to go totally off the grid and spend a few nights under the stars? Sundance is a cozy  ‘glampground’ with cute little huts for rent and comfortable, earthy amenities, hiking trails, and privacy. We’d recommend staying in one of their cozy trapper’s tents that come complete with heaters, beds, and wooden floors for the ultimate experience.

Where: AB-40 Kananaskis, Alberta
Distance from Calgary: 95.7 km
Distance from Edmonton: 382 km

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL CAMPGROUND

Lastly – we’ve got the beautiful Sir Winston Churchill Campground. Located 5 km east of Lac La Biche, this in-province island getaway offers an authentically Albertan camping experience. Here, guests can swim, paddleboard, go boating, lounge on a sandy beach, fish, hike or bike – in addition to staying in their choice of RV, Tent or rental cabin.

Where: Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 529 km
Distance from Edmonton: 225 km

There you have it, friends! 12 bucked-list camping spots in Alberta! Have fun, be safe – bring emergency bear spray, and be kind out there, friends!