Located just 7 km north of highway #3, northwest of Coleman, Alberta Canada, Chinook Lake Campground is located in a stunning corner of Southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass
While the drive in can be a dusty one due to the approximately 3 km of gravel roads, the lake itself is gorgeous, the wildlife prolific and the campground well maintained.
As one explores Chinook Lake Campground and the trails surrounding the lake, it becomes apparent that this lake is close to the hearts of the residents of the Crowsnest Pass who have adopted this lake as their own and not only help to maintain it, but use it to host a variety of community events that add to the neighbourly feeling of the park.
With 99 campsites, Chinook Lake Campground is large, but divided into 3 separate loops is well laid out.
Our favourite loop is down by the lake which is accessed via a steep road, so we normally leave the fifth wheel trailer at home in favour of our tent and hope we can find a campsite down there. Many of the lakeside campsites can accommodate larger RV’s, so if you do decide to drive your unit down the hill it may just fit.
It’s remarkable to watch the resident Osprey (large birds of prey) fishing alongside me and the half dozen other fishermen trying their luck; quite a sight as they plunge into the depths of the lake to catch their next meal.
The loops on top of the hill are also well treed providing glimpses of the surrounding mountains through them, most notably, Crowsnest Mountain, a solitary majestic mountain, sharing the areas name.
There are no services at this campground other than fire pits, outhouses and hand pumped water that must be boiled prior to use. Cell phone reception is sketchy down by the lake but most can receive calls in the campsites up on the hill. The lake has a nice beach and is well stocked with fish.
Located in a Provincial Recreation area near the Forestry Trunk Road, the Alberta government allows use of off-road vehicles in the area adjacent to the campground, so it is popular with those with quads and dirt bikes. Although the sound of the off-road users can be heard from the campground, we have never been bothered by it. This campground is definitely worth a visit and provides a good base camp for exploring the Crowsnest Pass