Bucars Blog — November 15 2013

Winter Camping Near Calgary

Winter camping can be a great way to experience all the activities Alberta’s snow-filled mountain playground has to offer. So pack up your RV with all your winter gear, and explore one of these great year-round camp sites around Calgary.

Mount Kidd RV Park

One of the more popular campsites, Mount Kidd is close to Calgary and within Kananaskis Country, a provincial park with a variety of recreational activities in winter.

Neighboring Nakiska Ski Resort, site of the 1988 Olympic Alpine events, offers skiing and snowboarding. Nearby Fortress mountain provides private cat skiing excursions daily. Other nearby activities include cross country skiing on Kananaskis Country groomed trails, ice climbing, ice fishing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

It is suggested to make a reservation well in advance; the Mount Kidd Reservation system allows you to book 90 days in advance of your arrival.

Nakiska Ski Area

Nakiska Ski Area

Website: https://www.mountkiddrv.com

Time from Calgary: 60 mins

Directions: Begin travelling West toward Banff on TransCanada Highway 1/16th Ave N. Take Exit 118 and turn left to travel South on Kananaskis Trail towards Kananaskis County. Travel for 28 kilometres and Mount Kidd RV Park will be on your right hand side.

McLean Creek

Winter camping available on a first come, first serve basis on the eastern slopes of the rocky mountains in Elbow River. Chinook winds, or warmer winter weather patterns, are common to the area and temperatures can fluctuate by 30 degrees.

The campsite is well maintained in winter with power hookups to keep your RV warm.

Activities close to McLean Creek include cross-country skiing, tobogganing, hiking, ice climbing and snowshoeing.

Cross-Country skiing

Cross-Country skiing

Website: http://www.albertaparks.ca/mclean-creek/information-facilities/camping.aspx

Time from Calgary: 55 mins

Directions: Take Glenmore Trail SW Westbound for 25 kilometers until reaching a roundabout at Hwy 22 junction. Take the 3rd exit off the roundabout and head South on Hwy 22, through Bragg Creek (Keeping right at the White Ave. junction). Turn Right when you reach Hwy 66 West, travelling 9 kilometres until you reach McLean Creek Trail and turn right into the campground.

Mountain View Camping

Located 15 minutes east of Calgary, Mountain View Camping allows RV enthusiasts to stay in the comfort and privacy of their motor home while being within a short drive of the many attractions of Calgary.

Skiing, snowboarding, and other exciting attractions await at Calgary Olympic Park for the more adventurous. For those interested in shopping, Chinook Mall and Cross Iron Mills are within a 25 minute drive. The Calgary Zoo, Calgary tower, and popular winning Calgary restaurants are closeby in the downtown core.

Calgary in winter

Calgary in winter

Website: http://www.calgarycamping.com

Time from Calgary: 25 mins

Directions: Take TransCanada Hwy 1/16 Ave NE eastbound until reaching Range Road 284. Turn left, and the campground is on the right hand side.

Sheep River Provincial Park

On the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, Sheep River is named for its population of bighorn sheep and next to Sheep River Wildlife Sanctuary.

This campground is a great location for nature lovers, with plenty of wildlife in addition to the sheep including elk, moose, and deer and Sheep River falls. Nearby Sandy McNabb park offers 37 kilometers of groomed cross country ski trails and ice-skating,

Bighorn sheep

Bighorn sheep

Website: http://www.albertaparks.ca/sheep-river.aspx

Time from Calgary: 75 mins

Directions: Take Hwy 22x/Stoney Trail westbound for 16 km until reaching Hwy 22, and turn left to head South. Drive approximately 28 kilometers before turning right to head west on Sunset Dr/AB-546A. Continue onto Township Rd 194A, and turn left on Sheep River Rd, driving until you reach the campground.

Chain Lake Provincial Park

Offering a variety of powered, pull through, and back in sites, this campground is a popular scenic trip for Alberta locals. Heated community kitchens have gas stoves, perfect for keeping warm while winter camping.

For those that enjoy ice fishing, Chain Lakes offer an opportunity to catch Rainbow and Bill Trout. Nearby daytrip attractions include Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, Bar-U National Historic Site, and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

Ice fishing

Ice fishing

Website: http://www.albertaparks.ca/chain-lakes-pp/information-facilities.aspx

Time: 60 mins

Directions: Take Hwy 2 south for 69 kilometres to Exit 234, and turn right on AB-533 W; turn left to stay on AB533-W and continue to Township Rd 144A. Once you reach Hwy 22, the campground will be on the west side of the hwy straight ahead.

View Winter Camping within 60 Minutes of Calgary in a larger map

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