These destinations, nestled in Alberta, offer the opportunity to unplug, relax, and immerse yourself in the natural world.
Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton is a national park located in southwest Alberta. It is famous for its scenic beauty, including stunning views of the Rocky Mountains and glacial valley. Waterton Park offers a range of activities for adventure-seekers, from hiking and kayaking to rock climbing and bird watching. Be sure to take the time to hike to some of the park's beautiful waterfalls. For a more leisurely day, you can enjoy a scenic drive around Waterton Lake while taking in the breathtaking views of the mountains and wildlife, which includes bighorn sheep, moose, grizzly bears, and elk.
There are several campgrounds to choose among, and some offer amenities such as washrooms, showers, and electricity. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made on the Parks Canada website. Before you book or head out, also check wildfire status.
- Townsite Campground: Located within the Waterton townsite, this campground offers 238 campsites with various amenities such as power, water, flush toilets, and showers. It is open from early May to late September.
- Crandell Mountain Campground: Situated in the Red Rock Parkway, this campground has 129 sites and is surrounded by beautiful scenery. It provides basic facilities only. The sites are not serviced and there are no showers.
- Crooked Creek Campground: A privately owned and operated site with fully serviced and unserviced sites, tent sites, power, and showers.
- Backcountry Campgrounds: For those seeking adventure, Waterton Lakes National Park has several backcountry campgrounds, accessible by hiking or riding. These campgrounds have limited facilities and require a pass.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is known for its unique geological formations, impressive Hoodoos, and ancient petroglyphs left behind by Indigenous peoples. The park is situated in the Milk River Valley and is a place steeped in history and spirituality. Writing on Stone also offers several activities to enjoy, like kayaking, canoeing, and hiking.
The park's campsites offer charm and the opportunity to spot some of the wildlife, including snakes, coyotes, and owls. Due to the park's popularity, it's essential to make reservations in advance, which can be done on the Alberta Parks website.
The campsite offers fire pits, grocery, pit/vault toilets and flush toilets, water, showers, and a playground. Those that prefer cabins have a rustic option of small cabin sites that sleep up to three people.
When camping at Waterton Park and Writing on Stone, it’s best to be prepared. Pack appropriate clothing and gear, including insect repellent and sunscreen. Make sure to bring the right camping equipment and ensure it's in good condition to avoid unnecessary accidents. Bear spray and a first aid kit are essential to have, just in case of an emergency. Additionally, follow the leave no trace principles to ensure that the park remains in pristine condition and free of trash, so others can enjoy it as much as you did.
Waterton Park and Writing on Stone offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where you can experience the beautiful scenery and wildlife of Canada. These two parks are fantastic camping destinations that offer a serene environment to unwind and relax. Whether you choose to hike, kayak, or simply unwind by your campsite, both parks offer an escape to nature that is truly worth experiencing. As John Muir once wrote, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” So, go forth and experience the beauty and wonder of both Waterton Park and Writing on Stone for yourself.
Nerissa McNaughton is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the 2023 Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.