Top 10 Alberta Winter Camping Destinations

By Samantha Lemna  | 
11/14/19 11:30 AM
    

A small teardrop trailer parked in a snowy campsite with snowshoes leaning against it.

Not everyone wants to escape the snow. If you’re into winter activities, you’re likely looking for some places to go where you can ski, snowshoe, snowmobile, or otherwise enjoy the winter wonderland. Luckily, there are lots of places you can explore in Alberta. Here are 10 of our favourite spots for winter camping in Alberta:

  1. Whirlpool Winter Hub
  2. Miquelon Lake
  3. Lake Louise
  4. Beauvais Lake
  5. Elkwater
  6. Wapiti
  7. Gregg Lake
  8. McLean Creek
  9. Sulphur Gates
  10. Dinosaur

*Please note that many of these campgrounds are first-come, first-served in the winter with self-registration. Campgrounds may only accept cash or cheque. Most have reduced services and you will likely need to bring your own water.

 

1. Whirlpool Winter Hub Campground

Located in Jasper National Park just 25 minutes south of Jasper, this campground is a perfect place to experience Canada’s winter. With access to cross country skiing, snowshoeing, interpretive programs, and a warming hut, this is a great place to stay. 

There are reduced services. There is no electricity, drinking water, showers, or sani dump. 

RV and tent sites are available for $15.70 per night. A fire permit is $8.80 per night (it comes with firewood). 

 

2. Miquelon Lake Campground

Located only an hour southeast of Edmonton, this campground is the perfect winter escape. There are 10 powered winter campsites (in Loop A) for $20-$27 per night. While you’ll need to bring in your own water, there is a warmup shelter. Enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and stargazing. 

 

3. Lake Louise Trailer Campground

This is winter camping at its most luxurious. There are sites with electric, water, and sewer hookups (or electric only). There are heated washrooms with showers, flush toilets, and hot and cold water. Adjacent to the village of Lake Louise, this is a convenient place to stay if you want to ski, snowshoe, or explore the area.

 

There are 189 campsites and the fee is $32.50 per night and a fire permit is an additional $8.80 per night (not all sites have firepits). 

 

4. Beauvais Lake Campground

This beautiful campground is a great place to cross-country ski, ice fish, and snowshoe in the winter. There are 15 winter campsites for $19 per night. There are pit toilets but you’ll need to bring your own water. This campground is 2.5 hours south of Calgary and just over an hour west of Lethbridge. 

 

5. Elkwater Campground

Although this campground is almost 4 hours from Calgary (just under an hour east of Medicine Hat), it’s definitely worth the drive. There’s a playground and you can toboggan, cross-country ski, snowshoe, ice fish,  fat tire bike, and skate in the park. The cafe, museum, and store are also open during the winter months. The sites are $29-36 per night. 

 

6. Wapiti Campground

Perfectly located just outside of the Jasper townsite, there are 75 winter campsites for $28-$33 per night, plus a fire permit at $8.80 per night. There’s electricity, hot showers, drinking water and fire pits. This well-equipped campground is as luxurious as it gets for winter camping.

 

Plus you have great access to all types of winter activities, the town, and the beauty of Jasper National Park.

 

7. Gregg Lake Campground

There are 16 winter campsites at this campground in William A. Switzer Provincial Park. There are unserviced and electrical sites available in the winter although water is turned off during the winter months. You can cross country ski, snowshoe, and ice fish here. This campground is just over a three-hour drive from Edmonton and six hours from Calgary - the scenery is worth it!

 

8. McLean Creek Campground

McLean Creek is a perfect place for winter adventures. You have direct access to the OHV trails plus there are cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat-tire biking trails nearby. There’s also a playground.

 

There are 170 winter campsites, 74 unserviced sites for $26 per night, and $33 per night for powered sites. Firewood is available but there is no water available between October and May. Only an hour from Calgary, this is a perfect place to try out winter camping or make a quick winter weekend getaway.

 

9. Sulphur Gates Campground

For the more adventurous, this campground is located 4.5 hours west of Edmonton or just over 7 hours from Calgary. There are 14 unserviced campsites for $26 per night. There are pit toilets and you’ll need to bring water. The road is not maintained in the winter, but if you can make it out here, you’ll have access to some incredible scenery. Enjoy the snowshoeing!

 

10. Dinosaur Campground

There are 65 winter campsites available in Dinosaur Campground, some unserviced and some with power. These are $24 and $31 per night, respectively. Services are reduced in the winter - there is no firewood, water, showers, or flush toilets The sani dump is available year-round.

 

This campground is located in Dinosaur Provincial Park, just over 2 hours east of Calgary. The visitor centre is open year-round. There are hiking and snowshoeing trails to explore as well as a playground.

 

Other Places for Winter Camping in Alberta

There are 36 provincial park campgrounds open year-round (including group and back-country sites) as well as more with extended camping seasons. Banff and Jasper National Park also have winter camping options. Some private campgrounds are also open year-round. 

 

Some people boondock during the winter months as well but keep in mind the weather can be extreme and roads may be un-maintained. 

 

Of course, if you’re not equipped to camp in the cold, there are many hotel options in and around Alberta. 

 

Where’s your favourite place for winter camping in Alberta? Leave a comment below!

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