Don’t have a reservation this May long weekend? That doesn’t mean you have to stay home. Try your luck at one of Alberta Parks’ First Come, First Serve (FCFS) campsites. Here are a few suggestions for campsites with a good amount of FCFS sites, tips and tricks for securing one, and what to do if your plans fall through.
Great Alberta Parks FCFS campsites to try
- Paddy’s Flat Campground
Nestled in the Elbow River Provincial Recreation Area, and not far from Calgary, Paddy’s Flat Campground offers 98 well-treed sites. Backing on to the Elbow River, there’s easy access to hiking and mountain biking trails nearby.
- Lake McGregor Campground
Just north of Vulcan in a peaceful prairie setting, you’ll find 100 FCFS sites at the Lake McGregor Provincial Recreation Area. Set up camp and spend your long weekend sailing, wind surfing, water skiing, canoeing and fishing on the lake.
- Rock Lake Campground
A large campground with 112 FCFS sites, Rock Lake Campground in Rock Lake Provincial Park is a great spot to relax and enjoy the Rockies. Just west of Hinton, you can access staging areas for the Wildland and Willmore Wilderness Park, including hitching rails and corrals if you’re bringing your horses along.
- Willow Rock Campground
Located near Canmore, the Willow Rock Campground in Bow Valley Provincial Park is a great base for a weekend of hiking, fishing, and sightseeing in the Rockies. It offers 124 FCFS sites, including 34 sites with power. The upper powered loop can accommodate large RVs, 35+ feet.
- Rochon Sands Campground
Enjoy lakeside camping at Rochon Sands Campground at one of 69 FCFS campsites. Canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, power boating, fishing, birding and wildlife watching, there’s so much to do.
- Sandy McNabb Campground
West of Turner Valley in Sheep River Provincial Park, Sandy McNabb Campground has 112 well-treed sites with power hookups. Enjoy the peaceful river setting and great hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails in the area.
See all Alberta Parks campgrounds with FCFS sites.
Tips for getting a last-minute site
- Check in with the reservation site a few days before the weekend, you may get lucky and scoop up a cancelled reservation.
- Arrive as early as possible for a FCFS site. You’re more likely to get a spot Monday-Thursday than on a Friday or Saturday.
- Drive farther. The farther you get away from the city, the thinner the crowds get.
When all else fails, boondock! Turn your camping trip into a road trip, boondocking as you go on Crown Land, truck stops, or store parking lots that allow overnight parking.
Where are you heading this long weekend? Be sure to stop by for any last-minute RVing supplies. Happy Camping!