Snowshoeing at William A. Switzer Provincial Park. Image credit: Parks Canada
We may not have the warmest winters, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get out in our RVs and enjoy the great outdoors! From cross-country skiing to ice fishing, many provincial parks in BC and Alberta are open for winter fun as well as RVing. Here are a few of our top picks to visit this winter.
Elk Falls, Vancouver Island, BC
The large campground at Elk Falls Provincial Park provides a convenient base camp for day tripping, with Gold River, Rock Bay, and the parks of Quadra and Cortes Islands nearby. You’ll find 122 vehicle accessible campsites bordering the Quinsam River and set into the forest.
Winter activities: This area is said to have the finest year-round salmon fishing in Canada.
Golden Ears Provincial Park, Maple Ridge, BC
A popular summer spot, winter camping is also available at the Gold Creek campground in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Named after the twin peaks of Mount Blanshard, the beautiful mountain setting is a welcome retreat from the city.
Winter activities: There is an extensive system of trails for hiking and horseback riding, and Alouette Lake is a popular spot for boating.
Porteau Cove Provincial Park, Squamish, BC
Porteau Cove Provincial Park, Squamish, BC
The coveted ocean-side campsites at Porteau Cove Provincial Park are open through the winter, with beautiful views over Howe Sound to the mountains beyond on the most southerly fjord in North America.
Winter activities: Squamish and nearby Whistler offer endless winter activities. The park itself is a popular spot for scuba divers, featuring a series of man-made reefs and two sunken vessels.
Pigeon Lake Provincial Park
South of Edmonton, Pigeon Lake Provincial Park offers winterized sites open year-round, with power available.
Winter activities: Try your hand at ice fishing once the lake has frozen over, or go cross-country skiing along the shoreline.
Miquelon Lake Provincial Park
Miquelon Lake Provincial Park features several lakes, the largest of them being Miquelon Lake, and offers plenty of winter activities just southeast of Edmonton. Loop A in the Miquelon Lake Campground is open for first come first serve camping during the winter, with power available at some sites.
Winter activities: You can skate on the lake or enjoy skiing along the Miquelon Lake shoreline or wind through the 20 km of backcountry trails. There are trails open for dogs, including the groomed ski trails for skijoring (cross-country skiing with the help of one or more dogs!).
William A. Switzer Provincial Park
William A. Switzer Provincial Park is nestled in the foothills 21 kms northwest of Hinton on Highway 40, and features a chain of five small lakes. Winter camping is available at the Gregg Lake campground.
Winter activities: You can go sledding, snowshoeing, explore 13 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski trails, and try ice fishing or skating on any of the lakes in Switzer Park (ice conditions permitting).
McLean Creek Provincial Recreation Area
A popular campground not far from Calgary, McLean Creek Provincial Recreation Area, offers 170 winter camping sites with unserviced and power options. Loops C & D are specifically designed for OHV users, with trails from these loops providing easy access to the McLean Creek Public Land Use Zone staging area.
Winter activities: McLean Creek campground is the perfect base to explore the many trails of the McLean Creek Public Land Use Zone.
Beauvais Lake Provincial Park
A beautiful campground in the foothills, Beauvais Lake Provincial Park offers well-treed sites for winter camping, although the number of sites available are subject to snow and road conditions.
Winter activities: There are many trails which range from easy to challenging for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Beauvais Lake is also a popular ice fishing destination.
Cypress Hills Provincial Park
Winter camping is available at Elkwater and Spruce Coulee campgrounds in Cypress Hills Provincial Park.
Winter activities: Cypress Hills Provincial Park is truly a winter playground! You can toboggan, snowshoe, explore 30 km of groomed cross-country ski trails, hit the slopes at the Hidden Valley Ski Resort, ice fish at Elkwater Lake, Reesor Lake and Spruce Coulee Reservoir, or even try kicksledding or fat biking. During the winter, the Old Baldy Campground loop is turned into a 1.5 km long skating track.
Writing on Stone Provincial Park
The peaceful campground in Writing on Stone Provincial Park is located in the Milk River valley, and offers camping year-round with power available.
Winter activities: Take a walk through history and marvel at the pictographs and hoodoos. Trails are open year-round.
Do you have a favourite winter camping spot? Share it with us in the comments! And if you’d like further advice on winter RVing, stop by and speak to our knowledgeable staff at Bucars, we’d be happy to help you prepare for your winter trip.