6 Pet Friendly Campgrounds in Alberta and BC
Your pets are part of the family and your summer adventures feel incomplete without them. While there are certain trips you can’t bring them along, camping doesn’t have to be one of them. Just head to a pet friendly campground where your pet is welcome. We’ve put together a list of parks that allow pets. We mostly focus on dogs, but also include horses.
Pet Friendly Campgrounds in Alberta
There are several pet-friendly campsites in Alberta, including those located in the province's national and provincial parks. Dogs are permitted as long as they are on leashes shorter than 3 metres (no retractable or longer leashes). Why the leash rules? Longer leashed or off-leash dogs can trigger aggressive behaviour from wildlife such as grizzly bears and elk which see them as a threat.
Banff and Jasper National Park even have fenced off-leash areas for your dogs to enjoy, however.
Your pets may also be unable to access public buildings, beaches, or swimming locations. Owners are also required to clean up after their pets and responsible for their behaviour.
For equestrians, there are quite a few parks that allow horseback riding and some are equipped with hitching rails and corrals. If you're in the national parks, make sure you have a grazing permit as well as a wilderness pass if you're overnighting in the park.
1. Kinbrook Island Provincial Park
Kinbrook Island Provincial Park has great facilities including cooking shelters, flushable toilets, laundry stations and pay phones. The park allows dogs for no additional fees in the camping area, as well as in the water and at the boat pier. There's also a dog walk area. All dogs must, however, be leashed except when in the water. Owners are required to clean up after their dogs.
This park is not equipped for horses.
2. Banff National Park
Hugely popular, Banff National Park has many different campgrounds offering a variety of services. Most welcome dogs as long as they remain on the appropriate leash. A few campgrounds provide fenced off-leash areas. There are quite a few grazing areas and campsites equipped for horses throughout the park and in back country areas. Make sure you have your grazing and wilderness permits!
3. Jasper National Park
At over 10,000 square kilometers, Jasper is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies. It is open year round and allows pets, provided they are leashed. As with Banff, there is a fenced, off-leash area available.
You can ride horses throughout the park except for on certain trails. There is stabling available, various corral locations, and two group campsites for equestrian parties.
Pet Friendly Campgrounds in British Columbia
As in Alberta, BC has many pet friendly parks. Generally, pets are required to be on a leash at all times in front country parks. If you're headed to the back country, be sure to check the rules as some do not allow pets. Taking dogs to back country areas is generally discouraged, as they can be dangerous to wildlife (or attract wildlife to you). As always, owners are required to clean up after their pets and are responsible for their behaviour.
4. Alice Lake Provincial Park
With over 90 camping sites open between March and October, this park presents awesome views and thick, attractive forests. Dogs are allowed in the park itself, but must be on a leash at all times. They are not allowed on the Alice Lake Trail, beach, playground or picnic areas.
There are no equestrian activities at this park.
5. Gladstone Provincial Park
Home to Texas Creek Campground, this park has over 60 sites and is popular with families and their four legged companions. Pets and domestic animals can be brought to campsites, but must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings.
This park allows horseback riding on the back country trails, but has no facilities for them in the campground.
6. McDonald Creek Provincial Park
This Park, which has over 70 campsites, offers an off-leash area where dogs are allowed to play in the water, but they must be under control at all times. Outside of this off leash area, pets must be on a leash at all times in the campground and day-use areas. They are not allowed on most beach areas or in park buildings. There is no horseback riding in this park.
The trend is clear - most campgrounds are happy to host your pets as long as you keep them on the leash and clean up after them. Be sure to check ahead to see if your dogs or horses are allowed on the trails and in the campground. You will likely need to reserve ahead of time!