The camping areas Ive explained disappear than a one-day walking away from a trailhead. I have not included any camping areas that are more than two days in on a multi-day walking, such as those you find on the Skyline Trail or the Brazeau Loop.
Do you desire to understand where the best camping areas in Alberta are situated? Over the last 10 years I have actually been backpacking and hiking in the Canadian Rockies with an eye to keeping in mind the area of the most stunning and best laid out camping sites. Too frequently, camping sites are stuck off in the woods, away from any views whatsoever.
Some of the best campsites in Alberta are simple to gain access to– while others really make you work for them. The campgrounds explained arent in drive-up campgrounds save for one exception. A few of the things I look for in an excellent campground are views, well-positioned camping tent pads, properly designed eating areas, a semblance of privacy, and the capability on cold nights to have a campfire.
This post includes some affiliate links. If you make a qualifying purchase through one of these links, I will get a little portion of the sale at no additional expense to you. Thank you for your assistance.
Enjoying the early morning view down the length of Glacier Lake simply a few feet away from our camping area
Finest campgrounds in Alberta
Lake Minnewanka lakeside camping areas
Now for the bad news. All the campsites, save for Ghost Lakes, have a stringent “trek in a tight group of 4 and no pet policy” between July 10 and September 15th, to minimize problems with bears. You can hike solo or as a group of 2 with canines at other times.
Map needed: Gem Trek Banff & & Mt. Assiniboine
If youre eager to invest a few days at one of the campgrounds then you might either hike further down Lake Minnewanka or do the hike up to Aylmer Lookout to delight in superlative views of the lake.
Schedule backcountry reservations online here.
If you want a late or early season camping experience, select one of the camping areas along Lake Minnewanka. If you trek in from the Devils Gap in the Ghost River Wilderness Area then you can enjoy a warm beachfront experience at the far end of Lake Minnewanka at Ghost Lakes camping site.
Campfires are allowed at all campsites along Lake Minnewanka, disallowing fire constraints.
Excellent signage for the walking and the camping sites
You could do a side-trip from some of the campsites to go up Aylmer Lookout
Point Campsite, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
Its a gorgeous campground, with some campgrounds providing charming views. There are 2 eating locations with bear lockers and a couple of outhouses.
Book a backcountry appointment through the Alberta Parks website.
The Point Campground is open year-round. The majority of people gain access to it via an easy 3.4 km walking from the Upper Kananaskis Lake trailhead. We accessed it one summer by kayak– however be alerted that Upper Kananaskis Lake can get very windy.
Map for the location: Gem Trek Kananaskis Lakes
Among the camping areas at the Point Campground
Great background for cooking at the Point Campground
Tombstone Backcountry Campsite
Taking pleasure in evening views of the mountains and Big Elbow with nearly no bugs in late June.
The only campsite at Three Isle Lake I saw with a view (and there was still snow in early July).
One of the best camping areas in Alberta is the Tombstone Backcountry Campground. The closest access point is the parking lot for Elbow Lake on Highway 40. People trek and bike into the camping site.
This campground makes an excellent base for hiking to the Tombstone Lakes and to Rae Lake. It is open from June 14– November 30th. Reserve online here, 90 days out..
The cooking location is large and there is plenty of bear-proof storage. On hot days the bear proof storage gets the complete brunt of the sun so your food can go bad quickly. It was really hot (+30 ° C) when we checked out and even products like apples were hot to consume. There is a fire pit and a good sitting area with a view for the cooler nights.
There are two locations with camping sites, half a kilometre apart, which we didnt recognize up until we treked past the furthest one on the method to South Kananaskis Pass on the early morning we were there. Campsites come with bear lockers and picnic tables. Campfires are not permitted.
Tent platforms are on well-drained gravel in the trees– and many have a fair degree of personal privacy; we did see individuals using hammocks too.
Map for the area: Gem Trek Kananaskis Lakes.
Three Isle Lake Campground, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
The camping area is open from June 23– November 30. Keep in mind that the Forks Campground– a typical stopping ground en route in– is closed for refurbishment in summertime 2022. Book online here.
Map needed: Gem Trek Kananaskis Lakes.
Tent pads are rather well spaced at the camping area, so you dont feel like youre on top of your neighbour. None of the campsites have views per se, it was just a 30-second walk for us to be able to delight in the view you see below..
Its a stiff walking to get to Three Isle Lake Campground but it can be done in a day. There are just a few campsites with lake views, all are a short range from Three Isle Lake– so there are times you really feel like you have the lake to yourself. There is great deals of privacy at this camping site and lovely views down by the lake. However, I understand that the lake looks more like a bathtub later on in the summer season as water levels drop.
3 Isle Lake at 7 AM.
Score this camping area and attempt close to the lake.
Paradise Valley Campsite, Banff National Park.
Taylor Lake Campground in Banff National Park.
The very best camping areas in Alberta– Jasper National Park version.
A nice set-up for enjoying a fire with a view.
There is one drawback however, which is both highway and train noise. Depending upon your camping area location, you perhaps able to mitigate highway sound– however all the best with the train. Dont forget the earplugs.
The Four Point Campground is large and you seem like you have personal privacy. There are firepits, bear lockers and excellent views of the Brazeau River simply a minutes walk away. From the parking area, its a 13.9 km walking via Nigel Pass though there isnt more than around 400 metres of elevation gain. Schedule that camping area here..
Facilities are fundamental– toilets, bear lockers, a washing up sink and picnic tables.
Be sure to make the walking through often– shoulder-high willows to reach Sunset Pass. You might even continue to Pinto Lake. On the hike out, permit time to trek to Sunset Lookout so you can enjoy grand views up and down the Icefields Parkway.
The campgrounds are well-spaced. Youll find bear lockers and picnic tables too. The other advantage of a night here is an evening walk over to the Giant Steps, a short range away.
Schedule 90 days out on the Alberta Parks website. The park is open for camping from April 15th– October 30th.
The Four Point Campground is a little used around the edges however it is in a lovely place close to the river.
Evening sunset by the Four Point Campground on the Brazeau Loop Trail.
Bow Valley Provincial Park campground.
Ive included it the best camping sites in Alberta list since of its accessibility and some truly charming camping areas on the Bow River. There is likewise some excellent easy hiking and biking in the park so its an excellent location for young families.
Map required: Gem Trek Kananaskis Lakes.
I will be camping at Maligne Pass this summertime– so Ill see if it makes this list.
There are a couple of campsites that I needed to point out– due to the fact that theyre standouts and they arent far from the Alberta border.
Elbow Lake is a sensational emerald green colour.
Beautiful backdrop where you get your water.
The Norman Lake campground remains in open blended forest– and all campgrounds have personal privacy. The eating area and fire pit deal excellent views of the close-by mountains and willow flats. Because you do not see many individuals and there are options to do a couple of excellent hikes, I think this is one of the finest camping areas in Alberta.
Its a 6.5 km one way hike up to Taylor Lake with 595 metres of elevation gain. There is the alternative to do the hike to OBrien Lake, a really beneficial side-trip in fall..
The Glacier Lake hike is a great early-season one as its snow free earlier than many and its not too hard as its simply 9 km one way with an elevation gain of 475 metres.
There are five camping sites– a couple with exceptional lake views, in a mature forest. I quite liked this place and think this is one of the finest campgrounds in Alberta.
There is rather a choice of camping areas– and though none are bad, some are better than others. From this campground there is easy access to Laughing Falls, Twin Falls, the Iceline and Whaleback Ridge.
You can book online here..
Due to the fact that most of my walkings have actually been longer multi-day walkings, I have less experience with camping areas in Jasper National Park–. I liked hiking the Skyline Trail, however I didnt like any of the camping areas. On the Brazeau Loop hike, there were a number of camping areas that were good, the Four Points Campground and one at Brazeau Lake, but its a two-day walking in.
The campsite is being reconditioned in 2022 and will reopen in summer season 2023.
Taylor Lake in all its fall splendor.
The Laughing Falls campground is an easy 4.4 km one method from the parking area with only 125 metres of elevation gain. The campsite itself is rather lovely with its area next to the river, and just a brief range far from Laughing Falls. If you are preparing other hikes in the location, its a fantastic location to camp too.
At Taylor Lake, there is a little camping area with just 5 camping tent pads. If you can ever snag a booking starting around mid-September, then youll be front and centre of some of the best larch viewing in the Rockies.
Map needed: Gem Trek Bow Lake & & Saskatchewan Crossing.
The walking into the Elbow Lake campground is brief– as little as 25 minutes or up to an hour if youre hiking in with extremely young children. As a bonus, there are a couple of camping areas with lake views. Or do the fantastic hike to Piper Pass.
The camping site at Paradise Valley is off in the trees but the cooking area delights in a pretty background– and its within about 75 metres of Paradise Creek, a perfect location to take pleasure in a glass and sit of white wine or a morning coffee. This is a campsite that is in a wetter area of the park so I would extremely recommend a go to later on in the season when the bugs have actually died down. The area is likewise known for its wonderful larch displays so consider a beautiful but cold camping experience here in mid-September.
Map required: Gem Trek Lake Louise and Yoho.
View from the Many Springs Trail in Bow Valley Provincial Park.
A fire keeps the late August chill away.
Elbow Lake Campground, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
Finest camping areas that are close to the Alberta border.
Map required: Gem Trek Banff and Mt. Assiniboine.
Our walk-in campsite near Takakkaw Falls.
Glacier Lake Campground, Banff National Park– among the finest campsites in Alberta.
The group cooking location with bear boxes.
This is one of the few campsites that you can only schedule 24 hours in advance by calling 403-522-1264 in Lake Louise or 403-762-1556 in Banff. You can likewise get authorizations at Parks Canada Visitor Centres in both Banff and Lake Louise too.
Youll find camping tent pads, dry toilets, picnic tables and bear evidence storage. You can book it here..
Takakkaw Falls walk-in camping area in Yoho National Park.
Laughing Falls Campsite, Yoho National Park.
Our tent was on soft pine needles within spitting range of the Bow River.
Map required: Gem Trek Bow Lake & & Saskatchewan Crossing.
The Takakkaw Falls stroll in camping site is a marvelous one. Its a first come, first served campground that is open from June 16th until October 10th. There are carts offered at the Takakkaw Falls parking area so you can even schlep in comfy camp chairs and a cooler.
Enjoying our breakfast with a view down the length of Banffs 4th biggest lake.
On the Tonquin Valley Trail, there are a number of lovely camping areas– but again they are a number of days hike in. When bugs are bad, the Amethyst Lakes camping area and Surprise Point campground would be my two favourites– however both would be bad options in the height of the summertime.
Norman Lake Campground, Banff National Park.
Map required: Gem Trek Lake Louise & & Yoho
Strategy to camp here later on in summer season when the bugs have waned. Reserve it here.
You can delight in a red chair moment at Yoho Lake.
Map needed: Gem Trek Lake Louise & & Yoho.
. Laughing Falls is a great newbie backpacking trip– with lots of options for day hikes.
The older I get the more I am into convenience on a camping trip. So, if the walking in is not too hard I take this light-weight outdoor camping chair. Its a treat to be off the ground.
To make the many of your camping experience, inspect out some of these camp video games.
Yoho Lake Campsite, Yoho National Park.
Things to bring to the best campgrounds in Alberta.
Even in the height of summer season I take my down sweater by Patagonia. It packs well into a sack to make a pillow to, though there are great deals of real camp pillows out there– which may make all the difference between a bad sleep and a terrific sleep.
The Yoho Lake campsite is accessed from the Takakkaw Falls parking area via a 4.2 km hike with 304 metres of elevation gain. The campground remains in open woods beside Yoho Lake. Theres a good amount of privacy and great views from the cooking area, plus you can take pleasure in a red chair minute. Outdoor camping is on the forest floor and campfires are not permitted. This campground offers exceptional ease of access to the Iceline Trail or the Emerald Triangle trek.
If there is ever an equipment failure, cue a ripped camping tent or down sleeping bag, I have actually discovered the Gear Aid repair tape to come in convenient..
The camping tent we use– and I like a lot, is the MSR Hubba 3 -individual camping tent as we often have a pet with us. Its fast to put up and durable.
I will continue to add to the very best camping areas in Alberta list as I discover them. If there are some you know, please leave a comment, keeping in mind that they cant be more than a days walking in from the parking area.
Tents in the trees at the Yoho Lake Campground.
Click on the picture to bookmark to your Pinterest boards
If you trek in from the Devils Gap in the Ghost River Wilderness Area then you can enjoy a bright beachfront experience at the far end of Lake Minnewanka at Ghost Lakes camping area. There are only a couple of camping sites with lake views, all are a short range from Three Isle Lake– so there are times you actually feel like you have the lake to yourself. The walking into the Elbow Lake camping area is brief– as little as 25 minutes or up to an hour if youre hiking in with extremely young children. Ive included it the finest camping sites in Alberta list since of its ease of access and some truly beautiful camping sites on the Bow River. On the Brazeau Loop trek, there were a couple of campgrounds that were excellent, the Four Points Campground and one at Brazeau Lake, but its a two-day hike in.