Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team
Last updated on January 26, 2023
Banff and Jasper tend to capture all the headlines of “best” places to be and camp in Alberta, but the mountainous western region of our province has so much more to offer. Instead, we suggest you think of Crowsnest Pass, Waterton Lakes National Park, and yes, David Thomspon Country.
Found east of the Icefields Parkway, almost smack dab between Banff and Jasper, it’s a region that offers remarkable scenery, numerous opportunities for outdoor adventures, and tremendous spots to camp. Anchored by the small town of Nordegg, it’s a destination that is growing in popularity but still mostly known as a local’s favourite. And it is with the generous advice of locals that we publish this post on the best camping in Nordegg and area.
Camping in Nordegg
Nordegg Provincial Parks Campgrounds
Thankfully, there are plenty of campgrounds in the Nordegg area! The following campgrounds are all managed by Alberta Parks; note that “PRA” stands for “Provincial Recreation Area” which are campgrounds and day-use areas managed by Alberta Parks.
Note that, in many cases, the campground operator is actually Westward Bound Campgrounds. You’ll also find that many of the campgrounds listed cannot be reserved; it is recommended to get to the sites as early as possible, especially on weekends. In most cases, the maximum stay at the same site is 16 nights.
It’s also important to note that firewood is often not provided or available for purchase at these sites, but it can be purchased at the Bear Essentials Store found 6 kms west of Nordegg.
Fish Lake Campground
Fish Lake Campground, found in the Fish Lake PRA, is one of the larger campgrounds in the Nordegg area. With 81 non-serviced sites and 24 with power, there are large pull-through sites available. Located conveniently along the David Thompson Highway on Shunda Lake, only 6 kms west of Nordegg, there are outhouses, pump water (for water jugs only, no trailer fill-ups), and a floating dock. Fishing, swimming, and boating are all very popular, as is hiking and mountain biking.
Reservations are required; there are no first-come, first-served sites. For more about Fish Lake Campground, including rates and reservations, click here.
Goldeye Lake Campground
With 44 non-serviced sites, Goldeye Lake Campground in the Goldeye Lake PRA is an excellent Nordegg campground. Only 8 kms west of Nordegg, it’s a great spot to canoe, swim, fish, or hike (there’s a loop trail around Goldeye Lake that’s definitely worth a few hours of your time). The lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout fingerlings every June for adequate fishing resources. Pump water, outhouses, fire pits, and picnic tables are provided.
Reservations are not possible, so get here as early as possible for a spot. For more about Goldeye Lake Campground, including rates, click here.
Dry Haven Campground
Dry Haven Campground in Dry Haven PRA is one of the smaller Nordegg camping spots, with only 14 non-serviced sites. Found 11 kms west of Nordegg, amenities include a wood stove, outhouses, and access to trails. While the campground is rustic, it’s also one of the calmer campgrounds in the area, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet amongst the trees. There’s a gravel pad, picnic table, and fire pit at each site, although there are no picnic shelters at the campground (so pack accordingly in case of rain).
Reservations are not possible, so get here as early as possible for a spot. For more about Goldeye Lake Campground, including rates, click here.
Thompson Creek Campground
At 76 kms away, Thompson Creek Campground is a bit farther from Nordegg than some of the other sites on this list. However, it’s worth a visit due to its fantastic fishing, hiking, biking, river canoeing, and wildlife viewing. With 55 non-serviced sites, it’s also slightly easier to get a spot here than some of the other smaller campgrounds.
For more on the Thompson Creek Campground, including rates, click here. Note that reservations cannot be made; it is a first-come, first-served campground.
Two O’Clock Creek Campground
One of the best spots to explore the western parts of David Thompson Country, the Two O’Clock Creek Campground is small but mighty. With excellent views, the 22 non-serviced sites are found 64 kms west of Nordegg. Popular in winter as well as summer, there are excellent opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, cross country skiing, and ice climbing nearby.
There are no reservations possible, so it’s best to get here as early as possible. For more about the Two O’Clock Creek Campground, including rates, click here.
Found 13 kms east of Nordegg, the Harlech Campground in the Harlech PRA has 17 non-serviced sites. This is a fantastic place to camp if you’re looking for a spot along Shunda Creek. There’s also lots of access to hiking trails and ATV trails, while amenities include fire pits, pump water, and outhouses.
Harlech Campground cannot be reserved. For more, including rates, click here.
Crescent Falls Campground
Crescent Falls Campground is another excellent spot for camping near Nordegg. Found approximately 27 kms west of Nordegg, there are 31 non-serviced sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. To get into the campground, you have to go down a hill and cross a creek, which may not be suitable for all vehicles or trailers; it’s advised to first walk down the hill and investigate the area before deciding to make the creek crossing.
There are also capacity limits in the day-use area, so it really is best to get here as early as possible in order to secure a spot. And while the campground was once known for its equestrian camping, that option has now been removed.
Reservations are not possible at the Crescent Falls Campground. For more about the campground, including rates, click here.
Approximately 30 km east of Nordegg, you’ll find Saunders Provincial Recreation Area. With only seven tent sites and two RV sites, all non-serviced, the campground is definitely one of the smallest in the area. Don’t be fooled, though… it’s an absolutely stunning place to camp, especially as you’re along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Canoe and fish your days away, or explore some of the nearby hikes. Amenities include outhouses, a boat launch, and fire pits.
Reservations are not available for the Saunders Campground. For more, including rates, click here.
Found 5 kms east of Nordegg on the David Thompson Highway, Beaverdam Campground in Beaverdam Provincial Recreation Area is one of the smaller Nordegg campgrounds. With only 11 non-serviced sites (8 tent sites and 3 RV sites), there are still plenty of things to do here; you’ll find ATV and hiking trails nearby, plus a boat launch and dock. There’s no camp shelter at Beaverdam, but there are outhouses for use.
Beaverdam Campground is a first-come, first-served spot, so it cannot be reserved. For more, including rates, click here.
Ram Falls Provincial Park
Though it’s over an hour’s drive from Nordegg, you might want to consider Ram Falls Provincial Park for camping. Not only is it an absolutely beautiful spot, but there are also 54 non-serviced camping sites. With fire pits, vault toilets, and pump water, it’s one of the more rustic spots to camp on this list, but the chance to spot bighorn sheep along the riverbanks makes it one of the favourite campgrounds in the region. You also have amazing access to view Ram Falls themselves.
For more information on camping in Ram Falls, including rates and reservations, click here.
Shunda Viewpoint Group Use Site
Found 26 kms west of Nordegg, the Shunda Viewpoint Group Campground has picnic tables and outhouses available. With a stunning panoramic view of Mount Brazeau and the North Saskatchewan River Valley, there are terrific hiking trails in the area and access to ATV trails (although ATV use is not allowed in the campground itself).
Reservation is required through Alberta Parks or by calling (877) 537-2757. Note that the maximum stay at the Shunda Viewpoint Group Campground is five nights at the same site.
Snow Creek Group Use Camping
The Snow Creek Group Campground is a non-serviced 30+ group camping site found 17 kms west of Nordegg. Amenities include pump water, outhouses, horseshoe pits, and an enclosed shelter with a stove. With unbelievable views of David Thompson Country all around you, there’s also a small creek that runs on the edge of the campground. While ATVs are not allowed in the campground itself, there are plenty of ATV and hiking trails nearby.
This site is by reservation only; book online at Alberta Parks or call (877) 537-2757.
Cavalcade Group Campground
Cavalcade Group Campground is one of the largest in David Thompson Country, as there are eight non-serviced group sites available across Kootenay Plains. Open from May until Canadian Thanksgiving, each site has pump water, fire pits, and picnic tables, while sites 1, 4, 5, and 7 have camp shelters. Though these group sites are a bit farther than others – you’ll find them 64 kms west of Nordegg on the David Thompson Highway – they offer excellent accessibility to Siffleur Falls and other nearby hikes.
Make sure to book online at Alberta Parks or by calling (877) 537-2757; these sites are by reservation only.
Nordegg Private Campgrounds
Upper Shunda Creek Campground
One of the best places to camp in Nordegg is at the Upper Shunda Creek Campground. Found on Shunda Creek Road, there are lots of options for tents, RVs, and big rigs. Each site comes with a fire pit and picnic table, while other amenities include firewood for purchase, outhouses that are cleaned daily, and an on-site store. You’ll also have amazing access to Nordegg, Abraham Lake, and the rest of David Thompson Country, not to mention hiking trails, biking trails, fishing, canoeing, ATV trails, swimming, and so much more.
Upper Shunda Creek Campground is open from May 1st until September 30th, and booking ahead is highly recommended.
Outwest Camping & RV Park
Though a bit farther from Nordegg than some of the other options – it’s a 30-minute drive from Rocky Mountain House – Outwest Camping and RV Park is great for those who have an RV and want to stay in the area for a while. With more than one hundred huge drive-through sites, each with its own fire pit and picnic table, the private spot has everything you need for a relaxing holiday overlooking the Prairie Creek Valley. Amenities include flush toilets, hot showers, a laundry room, and so much more, making it one of the best RV parks in the region.
David Thompson Resort
Stay at the David Thompson Resort for phenomenal accessibility to Abraham Lake, Nordegg, and the rest of David Thompson Country. This spot really has it all: sites for tents and RVs, but cabins and a hotel, too (just in case you need a break from camping once in a while).
There are various amenities depending on which campsite you choose, but no matter what, you’re rewarded with amazing views, the quiet calm of nature, and the chance to spend some time in the beautiful Alberta outdoors. There’s also an incredible array of nearby activities, including horseback riding, golfing, kayaking, fishing, and even helicopter tours.
Centennial Park Campground
Found in Rocky Mountain House, Centennial Park Campground is a good private option for camping near Nordegg. With both unserviced and powered sites, other amenities include fire pits, showers, and indoor restrooms. It’s also a chance to sightsee around the town of Rocky Mountain House and the surrounding area. Open May long weekend until September long weekend, it’s best to book ahead by email or by calling 403-845-3720.
Backcountry Camping in Nordegg
Backcountry campsites are accessed by hiking, cycling, or riding horseback over a considerable distance, so they are best for experienced campers. Here are a couple of the backcountry camping areas found near Nordegg.
White Goat Wilderness Area
Get ready for stunning scenery and a camping spot all to yourself! Backcountry camping can be physically tiring, but areas like White Goat make it all worth it; think spectacular mountain peaks, lush forests of spruce and pine, and lots of wildlife viewing. Be prepared to hike for a few hours before reaching the wilderness area and setting up camp. Access from the east, closest to Nordegg, is at the junction of the David Thompson Highway and the Cline River.
For more information about the White Goat Wilderness Area, click here. You can also call 403-845-8349.
Siffleur Wilderness Area
Found in the Canadian Rockies, the Siffleur Wilderness Area encompasses over a hundred thousand acres of mountains, alpine lakes, and beautiful, flower-filled meadows.
Starting at the Siffleur Falls staging area off the David Thompson Highway, approximately 65 kms from Nordegg, you have to hike for a considerable distance along the North Saskatchewan River until you reach the areas permitted for backcountry camping (you are not allowed to camp in close proximity of the falls themselves).
For more information about the Siffleur Wilderness Area, click here. You can also call 403-845-8349.
Crown Land Camping in Nordegg
Alberta crown land camping doesn’t have to be complicated. In a nutshell, beyond the public and private sites across the province that you can camp in for a nightly fee, Alberta residents are also able to peg their tent or drive an RV onto public (aka “crown”) land. It is also commonly known as “random” camping or “boondocking”. “PLUZ” is a term you see often, meaning Public Land Use Zones.
Very important to note is that you are required to purchase a Public Lands Parking Pass before you embark on your crown land camping trip. It costs $20 per person for 3 days or $30 per person for an annual pass. You can purchase your pass online here.
Here are some spots for crown land camping in Nordegg.
Kiska/Wilson PLUZ is by far the most popular spot for crown land camping near Nordegg, and it’s one of the most beautiful areas in the province. Covering the area along the David Thompson Highway, Abraham Lake, and Nordegg itself, it also has the most options for recreational activities and spots for crown land or random camping.
At 1,000 square km, there are opportunities for hiking, cross country skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and so much more. As with the other PLUZ areas mentioned, camping is permitted as long as you camp at least 100 ms from lakeshores and at least one km from a PLRA or PRA.
Here is more information on crown land camping in Kiska/Wilson.
Located along the Forestry Trunk Road north of Highway 11, the Blackstone Wapiabi PLUZ is used for hiking and camping all year round. With almost 500 square kms to explore, there are fantastic hiking, cross country skiing, and equestrian trails available. Campsites must be at least 100 ms from a lakeshore, and no campsites or fires are permitted within one km of a Public Land Recreation Area or Public Recreation Area.
For more on crown land camping in Blackstone Wapiabi, click here.
Job/Cline is a large – and stunning – backcountry area located between the David Thompson Highway, the White Goat Wilderness Area, Jasper National Park, and the Blackstone Wapiabi PLUZ. Often accessed through the Kiska/Wilson PLUZ, this huge area of nearly 1,400 square kms is popular for hiking, cross country skiing, horseback riding, fishing, and snowmobiling. Crown land camping is available, as long as you camp at least 100 ms from lakeshores and at least one km from a PLRA or PRA.
For more on random camping in Job/Cline, click here.
We’ve got a lot of camping resources on this website – check this ultimate guide to Road Trip Alberta bingo cardscamping in Alberta as a place to start.
And if you love the idea but want a mobile, temporary roof over your head, check out our guide to RV rentals in Alberta.