Of all the campgrounds in Alberta we’ve visited, the one we like the best is Canyon Campground located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park near Southern Alberta’s Kananaskis Lakes. There are however, another five campgrounds in this immediate area that would come a close second.
If you’ve never been to this part of Alberta, we would highly recommend spending some time here.
Located on highway #40 about an hour south of highway #1 the fifty un-serviced campsites at Canyon campground are varied. There are some gorgeous campsites in a grassy area out in the open, allowing for lots of light to stream through the windows of your unit along with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains, while others are deep in the trees providing privacy and shade from the blistering summer Sun.
Although most of the campgrounds in this part of Kananaskis Country, including Canyon Campground, don’t provide many services (electrical, water at your site, showers, etc) there are washrooms with running water and showers at two nearby campgrounds (Elkwood & Boulton) as well as a small grocery store (Boulton). Other than that it’s just you and Mother Nature.
Water, pit toilets, fire-pits, firewood (for a fee) and a small playground are available as well as a nearby sani- dump station.
During our first visit to Canyon campground we learned that many bears frequent the area, travelling up the valley through the campground on their journey around the Kananaskis lakes. Although Parks staff do an excellent job of managing encounters, if bears are an issue for you, perhaps it would be best to stay away from this campground. For those more adventurous souls, the bears are travellers and will leave as quickly as they came as long as no food catches their attention.
A quick drive up the road in either direction will provide the hiker with ample recreational opportunities. There are several peaks to climb in the area or for those adverse to heights, the hike around the upper lake makes for a great day trip.
Highway #40, which runs South of the campground deeper into Kananaskis Country, closes for the Winter on December 1st, reopening on June 15th. This stretch of the highway provides visitors with some of the most amazing views you will find anywhere in Kananaskis, culminating in the Highwood Pass, the highest paved pass in Canada. A MUST SEE!
Fishing on either Upper or the Lower Kananaskis Lake is amazing but it would seem those with a boat make the best catches.
From Canyon Campground itself there are paved pathways meandering through the other campgrounds in the area, making for some very enjoyable bike rides, skates or leisurely walks. Again, bears can be an issue, as they were last year when their activity in the area closed several trails.
Canyon was closed last year in order to allow for some work that was being performed near the campground. It was a sad year indeed when we couldn’t stay here during that time but we are happy it is scheduled to open June 12th this year and will certainly visit it shortly thereafte
All in all, Canyon campground is the best Campground we’ve come across in the province and we’re sure you will enjoy it too.