This summer after completing my minivan camper buildout I went on a few trips to some of the free campsites in Alberta. I would have liked to have gone to more but between all of the smoke that was in our province from all of the fires in British Columbia and the early snow and cold at the start of September as well as some prior commitments that was all I was able to get too.
Located about an hour east of Calgary Alberta on route 840 is Severn Dam. Severn Dam is a county owned free campsite that has pit toilets, some sites with fire rings, garbage bins and is stocked with trout. There is no hookups, firewood or potable water. To get there it is mainly paved roads except for the last ¼ mile which is gravel but in excellent shape.
I had a great time there, ended up staying for six nights. It was fairly quiet except for a few partiers on the weekend. It is just a reservoir with lots of open fields around it, so it got quite windy at times. It was really hot when I was there, about 30 C or 86 F, so ended up getting a pretty good sunburn on the first couple of days.
The part I really liked about the spot was all the White Pelicans that came there nightly on their way north. Some nights there were up to 30 of them that came in.
Another free campground located just outside of Sunnybrook Alberta. It is a very well kept campground located on a reservoir/dam. There are pit toilets, fire pits, garbage and potable water available for sale from a machine up near the highway.
Again, it is on the prairies so it has open fields surrounding it and can get fairly windy there. I only spent 2 nights there. It was fairly nice on the day I got there after visiting Dinosaur Provincial Park but was really cold and windy on day 2, about 4 C or 39 F, so ended up spending the second day mainly in the van reading and editing photos. Didn’t really take any pictures there, wasn’t much to really see.
The day I left was really nice out again so I headed to Drumheller Alberta which is only about 45 minutes away and spent the day there. There is so much to see in Drumheller that we will do a separate post just on this town. From the Royal Tyrrell Museum, the Hoodoo’s and all the great scenery that is in the area. The Drumheller post will only be for people on our Facebook page and our mailing list subscribers, there will even be a 10-minute video that we made when we visited there last winter. Links are available at the end of this post.
Preachers Point Staging Area
Located about 60 km or 37 miles west of Nordegg Alberta in the Rocky Mountains, this was by far my favourite spot that I got to this year. It is a no frill camping area with no facilities whatsoever, so pack it in/ pack it out and bring a toilet (there is vault toilets a couple miles west at Stiffler falls), and there is no cell service unless you drive east about 15 minutes which was actually kind of nice.
Preachers point is on Abraham Lake and the views are spectacular. There is probably space there for about 50 campsites. There were campers there from class A’s to people in tents, some looked like they had been there for a while.
I ended up staying there for 2 nights and using it as a base camp to take day trips into Banff National Park. The entrance to is only about a 15-minute drive from Preachers Point and Saskatchewan Crossing is about 10 minutes further.
On the second day, I ended up driving as far as Lake Louise and then back to Bow Glacier Falls to do an amazing day hike up to the falls.
Bow Glacier Falls is located along the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park at the historic Num-Ti-Jah lodge. The trail to the falls is only 4.6 km or 3 miles and is fairly easy most of the way until you get to the last mile which is quite rocky but well worth the effort to get closer to the falls.
I wanted to climb to the top of the falls via a route that is normally accessible around the side, but was still to snow covered to safely do it even though it was in July. I’ve seen videos from people who have done it when it clear and its fairly treacherous.
On the return drive home, I went the longer way up the Icefields parkway through Jasper Alberta, there is such great scenic views that way so even with all of the highway construction going on at that time it was well worth the extra time.
Hope you will join us on our next travel post which we will show you parts of our trips to Drumheller Alberta. If you didn't get a chance to see how we built out our minivan camper then you can see it by clicking on this link. https://www.levelsofminimalism.com/120-day-healthy-living-exchange/our-minivan-camper-buildout-part-1
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You can check out some of our previous posts, just click on the pictures below. Or if you'd like to see any of our posts from the last year then you can click on this link. https://www.levelsofminimalism.com/feacb410d7bf0b3a2a89a362c4ca1aadf7a21165