Between the strong American dollar and Canada’s 150 celebrations and free national parks, Alberta’s mountains are expected to be packed this summer. But for Albertans, there’s nothing to fear. Long after the tourists go home, the mountains will still be there. So if you’re itching to go camping this summer, here are some of my favourite unique spots.
Stettler is famous for it’s fantastic steam train, and Prairie Junction features cabins and an RV park that have built up a boardwalk the Stettler steam train will stop and pick up and drop off guests. Which means you cold be relaxing under the prairie sky one minute, then enjoy a truly amazing experience on an authentic steam train the next! It’s a perfect getaway and not one you’ll soon forget!
This part of Alberta is also another gem. If you’re itching to go to the mountains, Rocky Mountain House is just a short trip on the beautiful David Thompson highway, but the area makes for a great home base for road trips. The national park features tipi and trappers tent camping, as well as, authentic indigenous experiences. Because if we’re going to talk about Canada’s history, we of course have to honour our indigenous past.
Another neat feature is that the park’s parking area is 50 meters from the tents and tipis, which means it won’t feel like you’re camping in a parking lot. Plus, Rocky Mountain House is far away from the big city lights, you’ll be sure to see some amazing shows in the sky.
Okay, maybe it’s not completely realistic to ignore the mountains this summer. So if you’re itching to camp in the rockies, your best bet might be the tipis and trappers tents at Sundance Lodges. You can also rent camping equipment if you want to experience that.
Waterton is that small town that you’ve always heard of and have never been, and I honestly, I don’t understand why. Waterton is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Canada and so many Calgarians haven’t been. The great thing about camping in Waterton is the fact that you’re camping right in the centre of town, which is only about five or six streets. From your tent, you’ll see snow-capped mountains, the beautiful shores of Waterton Lake and animals in every direction!
Those from the Edmonton-area are likely very familiar with Rainbow Valley, but this summer the campground is bringing something incredible to the River Valley. They are adding a new aerial park, and it’s the first in Canada. The aerial park features mazes of zip lines, board walks, road swing and high wires. It’s family-friendly, with challenges for everyone from toddlers to grown adults! This looks amazing!
Did you know that Innisfail is home to a zoo the same size of the Calgary Zoo? I’ve written about it a few times and the Discovery Wildlife Centre always makes for a great road trip. But now you can camp there too. The sites are located all around a stocked fishing pond (so you can literally sleep with the fishes) and the zoo offers exclusive evening experiences only to the campers like walking with wolves, big cat encounters and a little “meet and greet” with some bears.
I’m a big fan of comfort camping, but it takes out all the hassle of camping, like buying stuff that you need to go camping. A few years ago, I checked out the yurts at Pigeon Lake and loved them. You can also find comfort camping tents in places like Writing on Stone Provincial Park and Dinosaur Provincial Park, although most are booked already for 2017. Definitely start planning for 2018!
Where are some of your favourite places to camp in Alberta?