20 Free Campsites in Alberta: Camping near Edmonton Alberta

Find Free Camping Near Edmonton Alberta

Edmonton is a city in Alberta, Canada. Its population is 938,892, making it the second-largest city in the country after Toronto. Edmonton is home to North America’s first greenbelt and one of its most prominent shopping centers, West Edmonton Mall. Its population is projected to keep growing as Edmonton’s metropolitan area expands.

Finding Free Camping Near Edmonton, Alberta

Finding free camping near Edmonton is easy with the help of Compendium. The Compendium is a search engine that allows users to find free campsites and campgrounds worldwide. Enter your desired location in the search bar on Compendium’s home page, and Compendium will show you all available campsites within a 50-mile radius of your current location.

Free Camping Near Edmonton
Free Camping Near Edmonton

You can also filter your results by type of campground (electric, tent or RV park), size of the campground (small, medium, or large), and amenities (showers, toilets, fire pits). Once you have narrowed your search, click the “Find a Camp Site Near Me” link to view a list of available campsites. You can view each campsite’s details or a list of all public grounds in your selected area. From there, it is simple to choose a camp and book online.

20 Free Campsites in Alberta

1- Dead End Road

Camping can be a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And while many people think of camping as a solitary activity, plenty of great campsites near Edmonton allow fun group camping opportunities.

One excellent option is the Dead End Road campground, just 10 minutes from the city center. This campground features over 50 large and spacious sites for tents or RVs, plus some pull-through sites are perfect for car camping. There’s also a lakefront beach, swimming area, playgrounds, and a basketball court for kids. If you’re looking for something more rustic, check out Blue Quill Campground, about 25 minutes from the city. This campground has 13 sites tucked away in the woods, and you can enjoy tranquil surroundings while still being close to all the amenities Edmonton has to offer.

So whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or want to relax in nature, plenty of great campsites near Edmonton will fit your needs. Just check out the options beforehand to find the best one for you.

NOTE: Campsites vary in availability and cost, so ask campground hosts about pricing before booking a campsite!

2- Rio Grande Sports Grounds

If you’re looking for a free camping spot in Edmonton, Alberta, you should check out Rio Grande Sports Grounds. This park has a lot of open space and is perfect for camping if you’re looking for an adventure.

The Rio Grande Sports Grounds is located just outside the city limits, so there are plenty of trails to explore. You can also walk or hike along the river through the park.

If you’d rather stay in one place, several campsites are available at Rio Grande Sports Grounds. You can find sites that are perfect for tents or RVs. Additionally, there is a bathroom and shower facilities available onsite.

Overall, the Rio Grande Sports Grounds is a great place to camp if you’re looking for an adventure free from crowds. It’s also near several attractions, including the Edmonton Zoo and Fort Saskatchewan Museum.

Location: Southwest of Beaver Lodge, along Red Willow River, at the Rio Grande Sports Grounds.

3- Slawuta Pond

If you’re looking for a free camping spot in Alberta, Slawuta Pond is a great option. This pond is located just outside of Edmonton, and it’s perfect for camping if you’re looking for a peaceful location.

Slawuta Pond is also great for fishing. You can catch bass, crappie, and catfish here, and the water is clean and clear. The campground has plenty of space for tents, RVs, and cars; bathrooms and showers are available. You can also enjoy nature walks and birdwatching opportunities nearby.

If you’re looking for a free camping spot in Alberta, Slawuta Pond is a great option. This pond is located just outside of Edmonton, and it’s perfect for camping if you’re looking for a peaceful location.

Slawuta Pond is also great for fishing. You can catch bass, crappie, and catfish here, and the water is clean and clear. The campground has plenty of space for tents, RVs, and cars; bathrooms and showers are available. You can also enjoy nature walks and birdwatching opportunities nearby.

Location: Slawuta Pond sits at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and 51 Street, Bonneville.

4- Steveville Campground

If you’re looking for an accessible camping location in Edmonton, Alberta, your best bet is Steveville Campground. This campground is just minutes from the city center and has many amenities, including a pool, playground, and tennis courts. You can also find plenty of shops and restaurants nearby.

To get there, take the eastbound LRT to Sherwood Park station and head towards Steveston Village. The campground will be on your left. Ample parking is available, and the staff are always happy to advise you where to explore in Edmonton. Check out Stevensville Campground if you’re looking for an accessible camping location near Edmonton!

Location: This campground is situated just after the small bridge on 876, on the right side.

5- Little Berland

If you’re looking for a free camping spot near Edmonton, Alberta, you should check out Little Berland. This campground is located just outside the city limits and is perfect for those who want to explore the surrounding area without spending much money.

The campground has 176 sites, each with a picnic table and a fire ring. There are also toilets and drinking water available on site. You can also find several hiking trails close by, as well as a swimming hole.

Little Berland is open from May to October, and getting there is easy. The campground is off Highway 2, about halfway between Edmonton and Calgary.

Location: Situated 70 kilometres north of Hinton on Highway 40.

6-  Cactus Corner

If you’re looking for a free camping spot in Edmonton, Alberta, look no further than Cactus Corner. This park offers free camping for all ages and plenty of amenities, including showers, toilets, and a playground.

To get there, take the Yellowhead Highway exit #236 and head south towards Strathcona County. When you reach the town of Gibbons, turn right onto Range Road 236 and follow it until you reach Cactus Corner. From there, it’s easy to find your way around the park.

If you’re looking for a more remote camping spot, check out the many public campgrounds in the area. These campsites are typically open from May to September and offer plenty of space for tents and RVs.

Location: This campground is right across the street from Cactus Corner and the Flying J in Hanna, into the woods.

7- Strong Creek Park

If you’re looking for an accessible camping location in Edmonton, Alberta, you should check out Strong Creek Park. This park has several free campsites that can accommodate tents and RVs. You can find the park by following the directions on the website or using the map on our website.

Camping near Edmonton Alberta

The park is just off Highway 16, making it easy to get to. You’ll also find a playground, a pond, and a basketball court at Strong Creek Park. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy nature while camping in Edmonton, Strong Creek Park is worth checking out.

Location: 15 kilometres from Peace River, on Shaftsbury Trail (684.)

8- Severn Dam

If you’re looking for an accessible camping location near Edmonton, Alberta, look no further than Severn Dam. This dam is located just outside the city, and numerous campsites are available for free use.

You’ll need to navigate rough terrain to get to the campsites. However, the river and surrounding countryside views are worth it. You can also find plenty of opportunities for fishing and boating on the reservoir below the dam.

If you’re looking for a peaceful camping experience without dealing with too many people, Severn Dam is the place for you.

Location: Located on Secondary Highway between Standard and Rosebud, about half a mile east of the paved road. Signs are directing you.

9- Cecil Thompson Park

Cecil Thompson Park
Cecil Thompson Park

One great option for camping in Edmonton is Cecil Thompson Park. This park has a large variety of habitats and includes a lake. There are also several designated campgrounds which offer both on-site and free off-site camping.

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Another excellent option for camping near Edmonton is the Old Strathcona Provincial Park. This park has over 900 hectares of land, making it a great place to hike, bike, and camp. There are also several designated campsites, as well as some hiking trails.

If you’re looking for free camping in Alberta, Cecil Thompson Park and Old Strathcona Provincial Park are great options.

Location: Located at the intersection of Secondary Highway 688 and Highway 2, about seven kilometres east of Peace River.

10- Sheep Creek Provincial Recreation Area

If you’re looking for a free camping destination near Edmonton, Alberta, you should check out Sheep Creek Provincial Recreation Area. This area has several free campsites that are perfect for backpackers and campers.

Sheep Creek Provincial Recreation Area is located just outside of Edmonton. It’s a great place to hike, cycle, fish, and bird watching. You can also take advantage of the many recreational opportunities available at the recreation area.

To get to Sheep Creek Provincial Recreation Area, take Highway 2 East out of Edmonton. After about 20 km, you’ll reach the recreation area. If you’re travelling in another direction, take Highway 6 south of Edmonton. The recreation area is located just north of the highway.

Location: Located just off Highway 40, on Sheep Creek Road, about 30 kilometres outside Grande Cache.

11- Horsethief Canyon Viewpoint

Horsethief Canyon Viewpoint
Horsethief Canyon Viewpoint

If you’re looking for a free camping spot in Edmonton, Alberta, you should check out Horsethief Canyon Viewpoint. This location has several designated areas to set up camp and enjoy the stunning views of the cityscape and river valley.

To get to Horsethief Canyon Viewpoint, take Highway 2 east of Edmonton until you reach the junction with Highway 881. Turn left onto Highway 881 and drive until you reach the viewpoint. There is a fee to park at the view, but plenty of free spots are available on the side of the road.

If you’re looking for a more scenic camping spot, try Rochefort Creek Provincial Recreation Area or White Sands Lake Provincial Recreation Area. Both of these locations offer great views of Edmonton and the surrounding area.

Location: Just off the N. Dinosaur Trail, Highway 838, Drumheller.

12- Municipal campsite in Dorothy

One of the best ways to find free camping near Edmonton, Alberta, is to look for municipal campsites. Municipal campsites are often open to the public and offer a variety of amenities, including showers, toilets, and fire pits.

You can use the online map tool Compendium or the Compendium app to find municipal campsites in Alberta. You can also search for municipal grounds by location or type of camping.

You can also look for free campgrounds for a more private camping experience. Free campgrounds often have strict rules about noise levels and vehicle restrictions. However, many offer access to trails and lakes.

Location: Township Road 270B, Dorothy.

13- Public land

Many public lands in Alberta offer free camping. The provincial government maintains a database of all public land that offers camping.

Another way to find free camping is to directly contact local municipalities or parks departments. Many cities have specific areas designated as free camping zones, and you can usually find information about these zones on their websites.

If you cannot access any of the above resources, you can always try contacting online camping companies or searching for private campgrounds.

Location: Just off Highway 1, along the Bow River near Canmore.

14- Orkney Hill Viewpoint

If you’re looking for a place to camp in the Edmonton area, the Orkney Hill Viewpoint is a great option. This viewpoint is located on an overlook overlooking the city and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. There are several free campsites available close to the view, as well as some paid campsites.

To get to the Orkney Hill Viewpoint, take Highway 22, west of Edmonton. After about 8km, you’ll reach the viewpoint. The road to the view is gravel, so be prepared for rough driving. If you’re looking for a more remote camping experience, check out one of the paid campsites in the area.

Location: Just off S. Dinosaur Trail, Drumheller

15- Red Earth Creek Community Hall

If you’re looking for a place to camp near Edmonton, Alberta, the Red Earth Creek Community Hall is a great option. The hall has accessible camping facilities and is only a short drive from the city center.

The community hall has other amenities, including a basketball court and a mini golf course. It’s a great place to spend a weekend away from the city.

Location: Red Earth Creek, 167 km north of Slave Lake.

16- Allison/Chinook

If you’re looking for a free camping experience, look no further than Allison/Chinook Provincial Park. This park offers free camping in both its day and night campsites.

Allison/Chinook Provincial Park is located just north of Edmonton, Alberta. The park is open from May to October, and it has 102 campsites that can accommodate up to 40 tents or 82 vehicles.

To reach the park, take Highway 2 east from Edmonton and turn onto Highway 20 (Leduc). Drive approximately 16 km until you reach the park entrance on the right.

Location: Directly west of Lethbridge, along the BC border, and off Tecumseh Road.

17-  Athabasca Ranch

If you’re looking for an accessible camping location in Alberta, you should head to Athabasca Ranch. This ranch offers free camping among its many attractions, such as a petting zoo, trails, and more. You can also enjoy the views of the Rocky Mountains from here.

To get there, take Highway 2 east out of Edmonton. Drive until you reach the ranch, which is about an hour away. You can also take the Trans-Canada Highway to Athabasca Ranch, just a few minutes from Highway 2.

Athabasca Ranch has plenty of other attractions if you’re not interested in camping. There’s a playground, an amphitheatre, and more. So if you’re looking for free fun in Alberta, check out Athabasca Ranch!

Location: Just off Highway 40 North and adjacent to Highway 18, outside Hinton.

18- Blackstone/ Wapiabi

If you’re looking for a free camping spot in Alberta, you’ll want to check out Blackstone/Wapiabi. This park has over 100 acres of land that’s perfect for camping. You can also use the facilities onsite, including a playground, pool and spa.

To get there, take Highway 2 south of Edmonton. Once you reach the town of Blackstone, turn left onto Wapiabi Road and drive until you reach the park.

Location: Located northwest of Rocky Mountain House, at the southern edge of Jasper National Park.

19- Brule Lake

If you’re looking for an idyllic camping experience near Edmonton, Alberta, look no further than Brule Lake. Rolling hills surround this beautiful lake and offer plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking.

There are several free campsites located close to Brule Lake. The closest is the Brule Lake Provincial Park campsite, which is only a few minutes away by car. The park has several camps ranging from primary sites with no amenities to full-blown campsites with toilets, showers, and fire pits.

If you want a more primitive camping experience, check out the Brule Lake backcountry campground. This site is only accessible by foot or bike and features three primitive campsites. There’s no running water or showers, but there is a private fire pit available at each site.

If you’re looking for a less busy camping spot, try the Mount Allan Backcountry Campsite. This site is only open during the summer, but it’s one of the largest free campsites in the area, with over 150 locations. It features flush toilets, hot showers, a playground for children, and a fishing pond.

Location: Brule Lake PLUZ is off Highway 16, on the edge of Jasper National Park, straight west of Edmonton.

20- Castle Special Management Area

Castle Special Management Area is great for free camping near Edmonton, Alberta. This area has a wide range of habitats, making it perfect for all types of camping enthusiasts. There are even several designated areas for camping with electricity and water.

Castle Special Management Area is also great for solitude seekers. It’s located far enough away from the city that you can enjoy the peace of nature but still close enough that you can quickly get to town when you need to.

If you’re looking for free camping in Alberta, Castle Special Management Area is the perfect place to check out!

Location: Located on the border to BC, along Highway 774 southwest of Pincher Creek.

The benefits of camping in Edmonton

Camping offers a multitude of benefits for those looking to escape the stress of urban life and immerse themselves in nature. Here are just a few reasons why camping near Edmonton is a great idea:

  1. Relaxation: Camping provides an opportunity to relax and unwind in a natural setting. The quiet sounds of nature and fresh air can be incredibly restorative.

  2. Reconnecting with nature: Spending time in nature is beneficial for mental health and well-being. Camping offers a chance to immerse oneself in nature and reap the benefits of spending time outdoors.

  3. Physical activity: Camping often includes activities such as hiking, swimming, fishing, and more, which provide ample opportunities for physical activity and exercise.

  4. Quality time with loved ones: Camping offers an opportunity to disconnect from technology and spend quality time with friends and family. It also provides an opportunity to bond over shared experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

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How to find a campsite near you?

Camping is a great way to get out and experience nature. There are many different types of camping, from primitive camping to full-service camping. Here are some tips on how to find a campsite near you:

  1.  Check online resources. Many campgrounds have websites that list their offerings, and sometimes the park service has information on specific campgrounds.
  2.  Get a map. Maps can be obtained from most recreation offices or online. It’s important to know where you’re going and the availability of facilities such as toilets and water sources.
  3.  Gather information. Ask locals if they know of any good camping locations near you. Also, check out campground reviews and ratings to decide which is best for you.
  4.  Be prepared for cold weather. If you plan on camping in the winter, bring appropriate gear, such as warm clothes and a suitable sleeping bag

Camping near Edmonton Alberta

How to find a campsite near the city of Edmonton?

Finding a campsite near Edmonton can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to look. However, with a bit of research and some help from the internet, you can find a great spot to camp without spending a cent. Here are four tips for finding free camping near Edmonton:

1. Check online resources

. One of the best ways to find free camping near Edmonton is to use online resources. Many websites list campsites in and around the city. You can also use search engines to find specific camps.

2. Look for nearby parks.

Another way to find free camping near Edmonton is to look for nearby parks. Many parks in the area have designated camping areas that are free to use. You can also look for public campgrounds open during certain times of the year.

3. Ask around.

Ask your friends, family members, or coworkers about free campsites near Edmonton if all else fails. It’s always worth a shot!

4. Bring your gear.

If you’re willing to bring your gear, you can save money by camping outside of the city limits. There are many remote areas in and around Edmonton.

What types of camping are there near the city?

There are many different types of camping available near the city of Edmonton. Some popular options include:

  • Campsites with electric and water hookups are perfect for tents and RVs. Many have showers and toilets available, but some do not.
  • Camping areas without electricity or water are found near rivers, reservoirs, and other natural areas. You must bring your supplies, including a tent and sleeping bag.
  • Camping in provincial parks: This is the most expensive option, but it offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, and other activities. Local parks often require a permit, though some do not.
  • Hostels and budget hotels: These offer basic sleeping facilities for a low price. Some also offer shared kitchens and bathrooms.

FAQ

Is there free camping in Alberta?

Yes, there are free camping options available in Alberta. Many of the provincial parks in Alberta have designated areas for free camping, also known as “random camping.” These campsites usually do not have any amenities such as water or electricity, but they offer a chance to experience nature and enjoy the beauty of Alberta’s landscapes. There are also many Crown land areas where camping is allowed for free. However, it’s important to note that these sites may not have designated campsites or facilities, so following Leave No Trace principles and ensuring you are camping sustainably and responsibly is essential.

How to Find a Tenting Site Near Edmonton, Alberta?

Finding a camping spot near Edmonton, Alberta, can be fun and easy if you know where to look. Many local government areas offer public lands perfect for camping without paying fees. Additionally, many parks have designated camping areas that are free of charge. There are also several private campsites available that offer discounted rates for long-term stays.

Do you need a permit to camp in Alberta?

Yes, having a permit to camp in Alberta would be best. Different camping permits are available depending on where you plan to camp.

For front-country camping in established campgrounds with amenities like fire pits, toilets, and picnic tables, you’ll typically need to reserve a campsite in advance and pay a fee. You can make reservations online through the Alberta Parks website or by calling the reservation line.

Backcountry camping requires a backcountry camping permit, which is also available through Alberta Parks. These permits allow you to camp in designated areas within provincial parks and protected areas. You’ll need to obtain a license for each night you plan to stay, and there may be restrictions on group size and camping locations.

If you plan to camp on Crown land, you don’t need a permit, but you should follow all applicable rules and regulations. Additionally, some private campgrounds may require a receipt or reservation as well.

How much are campsites in Alberta?

The cost of campsites in Alberta can vary depending on the location and amenities offered. Front-country campsites in provincial parks with amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water and electrical hookups range from around $20 to CAD 40 per night. Some sites cost more for larger groups or prime locations.

Backcountry camping permits in Alberta typically cost around CAD 12 per person per night, plus an additional fee for groups of six people or more.

Private campgrounds in Alberta may also vary in price, depending on the location and amenities offered. Prices for private campgrounds may be comparable to those for provincial park campsites, but they can sometimes be higher, especially in popular tourist areas.

It’s a good idea to check the specific fees and rules for the campground or park you plan to visit ahead of time so you can plan your budget accordingly.

How do I get a campsite in Alberta?

To get a campsite in Alberta, you can follow these steps:

  1. Decide on the location where you want to camp. You can choose from various provincial parks, private campgrounds, or backcountry camping areas.

  2. Check availability and make a reservation. For front-country camping in provincial parks, you can make reservations online through the Alberta Parks website or by calling the reservation line at 1-877-537-2757. Private campgrounds may have reservation systems, so check their websites or call ahead to inquire.

  3. Pay any required fees. You’ll be prompted to pay for your campsite using a credit card when making a reservation. If camping in a provincial park, you may also need to purchase a park pass or vehicle access permit.

  4. Check the details of your reservation. Make sure you know the dates of your reservation, the location of your campsite, and any rules or regulations that apply to your stay.

  5. Pack and prepare for your trip. Ensure you have all the equipment, food, and supplies for your camping trip. Be sure to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

It’s important to note that some campsites may fill up quickly during peak season, so making a reservation as early as possible is a good idea to ensure you secure a spot.

When should I start camping in Alberta?

The camping season in Alberta typically begins in late May and runs through September. However, the specific timing for when you should start camping depends on the weather conditions and your personal preferences.

The best time to camp in Alberta is during the summer months of June, July, and August when temperatures are generally warm and the days are long. This is also a popular time for camping so campsites may fill up quickly, especially on weekends and holidays.

If you prefer cooler weather and fewer crowds, you might consider camping in the shoulder seasons of May or September. Remember that the weather can be unpredictable during these months, and some amenities, such as showers or flush toilets, may not be available.

It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast and park conditions before heading out on a camping trip and come prepared with appropriate gear for your needs.

Where is it legal to camp in Alberta?

In Alberta, there are several places where it’s legal to camp. These include:

  1. Provincial Parks – Alberta has over 70 provincial parks with designated camping areas that offer a range of amenities and services for front-country camping. Some parks also have backcountry camping options.

  2. National Parks – Alberta has five national parks, each with established campgrounds and backcountry camping opportunities.

  3. Crown Land – In Alberta, Crown Land is public land, not privately owned or designated as a park. Camping is generally allowed on Crown land for free. Still, some regulations must be followed, such as obtaining permission from the appropriate authorities, following Leave No Trace principles, and avoiding sensitive environmental areas.

  4. Private Campgrounds – Many private campgrounds throughout Alberta offer campsites with various amenities and services, such as electricity, water, and sewer hookups.

It’s important to note that while camping is legal in these areas, specific rules and regulations may need to be followed, such as obtaining permits, respecting fire bans, and practicing responsible camping practices. Always check the rules and guidelines for the area you plan to camp in before setting up camp.

Conclusion

Alberta has plenty of free camping options if you want to get away from it all and spend some time camping in the great outdoors. Check out our list of free campsites in Alberta to find one close to where you live or work. Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot near a river or forest or just an open space with a few amenities nearby, we’ve got you covered!

EnjoyLivingCanada Team
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