In the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Abraham Lake spreads for almost 33km and is a stunning summer setting, but also a winter wonderland in the snowy seasons.

There was a time when this lake was little known, but those days are long gone. That’s mainly down to social media putting Abraham Lake on the map, as photographs of this lake’s extraordinary ice bubbles (due to rising methane) during winter have made their way around the world in recent years.

We still love camping at Abraham Lake though, and as we know this place so well we’ve decided to share with you our favorite Abraham Lake campgrounds below. All will bring you breathtaking views and wonderful adventures in one of Canada’s most beautiful spots.

We then share with you information on backcountry camping at Abraham Lake further down this article too. Before giving some bear safety tips. So read on to begin your Abraham Lake camping adventure!

Camping at Abraham Lake: The Best Campgrounds for Fun, Views & Adventure

Despite being located in a remote region, there are some excellent campgrounds around Abraham Lake. Although none actually lie directly on the shoreline.

However there are many close by, and several sit beside smaller lakes so you can still enjoy spectacular waterside views while camping.

Most of the Abraham Lake campgrounds offer a very rustic camping experience, and facilities are basic. Yet depending on where they are, they can act as a great base for exploring different parts of this region.

We look at backcountry camping at Abraham Lake later. But first, here’s some of our favorite Abraham Lake campgrounds, and why we like them so much.

Abraham Lake camping

1. David Thompson Resort

Situated close to Abraham Lake and set amongst mountains, this campground offers everything from un-serviced camping sites to 30 amp full-service sites. They also have premium RV sites with easy access for large rigs.

It feels like a luxury campground, especially with the views of the snow-capped peaks from their restaurant patio, alongside the campground’s excellent facilities. But the rates to stay here are actually very affordable.

The facilities are top notch, and include a restaurant, laundry and tour/ticket assistance for activities in the region. Free WiFi in public areas is an added bonus considering how remote this place is!

In general this campground provides a fun and relaxing experience in a wilderness setting with fantastic amenities deep in the Canadian Rockies. It’s also a dog friendly Abraham Lake campground, although your pets will have to be on a leash.

As this place sits just a few hundred meters from the shoreline of Abraham Lake, David Thompson Resort is one of the closest campgrounds to the lake. Which is a big added bonus to staying here.

Amenities and Facilities

Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring. While shared facilities include full-service washrooms, showers, and dishwashing stations. There’s also WiFi, laundry service, a restaurant, bar and a convenience store on-site!

There are multiple activities to keep you entertained like a playground, mini-golf, volleyball net, frisbee golf and much more! Abraham Lake is only a short walk away too.

What’s Close By

Experience nature’s genuine rugged magnificence when staying here. With plenty of places to visit via trails and roads, there is something for everyone.

Hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing can all be done in the local area. Whilst nearby attractions include the beautiful Crescent Falls and Coral Creek Canyon.

The Important Info

Rates: From $30 per night

Address: AB-11, Cline River, AB T0M 2H0

Website

Abraham Lake camping

2. Two O Clock Creek Campground

The Two O’Clock Creek Campground is relatively small but every site offers a great view of the surrounding mountains.

This campground is situated in the gorgeous Kootenay Plains Provincial Recreation Area, at the very southern end of Abraham Lake.

It’s basic, but picturesque thanks to lovely mountain views, and offers unserviced sites suitable for RVs and tents.

Most of the sites are based in open grassland, but there’s also a few found next to Two O’Clock Creek. This is a first come first served campground, so it’s worth turning up early to try and grab one of those creekside sites.

Hikes through the spectacular rocky terrain are possible directly from the campground, and you also have some great viewpoints right behind this campground too.

On top of that, this place is pet friendly and you can get discounts for seniors (65+). It’s a small and rustic campground, but is perfect if you’re looking to really get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

And as an added bonus, this site is known locally as being a great spot for stargazing and spotting the Northern Lights due to the lack of artificial light!

Amenities and Facilities

Every site has a picnic table and fire pit, and firewood can be purchased on site. The shared facilities are basic, and there’s only two dry toilets.

There is also a water pump. However the water is not always potable so you will have to bring your own drinking water.

What’s Close By

This campground is a great place for adventure lovers. There are many activities available in the surrounding region from fishing, hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking.

Nearby attractions include Kootenay Plains and Siffleur Falls, while Abraham Lake is just a short drive away.

The Important Info

Rates: $28 per night

Address: Kootenay Plains Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta T0M 2H0, Canada

Website

Abraham Lake camping

3. Cavalcade Group Campground

Cavalcade Group Campground is one of the most scenic campgrounds in the area and we’ve found it to be a great base to explore the western parts of David Thompson Country which has some wonderful hiking trails. 

Each site can accommodate from 7 to 30 units, making it the perfect spot for big family groups or community groups to come and camp at an affordable price.

This campground sits close to the famous Icefields Parkway – regarded as one of the most beautiful roads in the world – yet it still has a secluded feel to it. It’s a special place to stay.

The campsite is huge, well maintained and offers great accessibility to nearby hikes. Which includes a fantastic 5km trail that starts from the day-use parking area. That trail is ideal for beginner hikers and ends at the stunning Siffleur Falls.

If you’re looking for group campground options, then it’s hard to beat this Abraham Lake camping choice.

Amenities and Facilities

This is rustic camping, but the campsites do have access to fire pits and pit/vault toilets as well as picnic tables. There are kitchen shelters at sites 1, 4, 5 and 7.

There’s no running water and no cell service. But that makes this place the perfect spot to disconnect from the world.

What’s Close By

There are multiple beautiful hiking trails around this campground. It’s also close to several national and state parks where you can hike, kayak, fish and more! Whilst the popular Icefields Parkway is close by too.

Nearby attractions include Kootenay Plains Provincial Recreation Area Nature Reserve and Siffleur Falls.

The Important Info

Rates: From $215 per night for group camping

Address: David Thompson Hwy, Alberta T0M

Website

Abraham Lake camping

4. Fish Lake Campground

Fish Lake Campground is a secluded and spectacular site in the centre of old-growth wilderness adjacent to Shunda Lake.

While this campground is a few kilometers from Abraham Lake, Shunda Lake has some of the best rainbow trout fishing in the area so we wanted to mention it. And thankfully there’s even a boat launch at this campground so it’s easy to get out on the water.

The sites are spacious, secluded and peaceful with plenty of shade from trees. Most of the campsites are unserviced, but there are 20 with power.

All in all we think this is a great campground if you like fishing or just want to enjoy the great outdoors. There are some lovely hikes accessible from Fish Lake too, and Abraham Lake is just a short drive away.

Amenities and Facilities

The campsites have picnic tables, tent pads and fire rings. There are many sites that are big enough to accommodate RVs and trailers too.

Drinking water and flush toilets with wash basins are available as well. On top of that there’s also a fish cleaning station, picnic tables and grills. Firewood is accessible for purchase at the campground.

Fish Lake Resort, which is within walking distance, has a small store and waterfront cafe. It also has some RV spots in case you fancy a change of scenery but still want to stay in the same area.

What’s Close By

Fish Lake Campground offers extraordinary fishing, swimming and hiking opportunities.

Kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and boat access are all possible from the boat ramp on the campground, and there’s multiple hiking trails within easy access – the Fish Lake Trail in particular is worth trying.

Nearby attractions include Kootenay Plains, and the mining ghost town of Nordegg which has a museum that’s well worth visiting.

The Important Info

Rates: From $28.00 per night

Address: Range Rd 155 Rd, Alberta T0M 2H0

Website

5. Thompson Creek Campground

This campground is located in Thompson Creek Provisional Recreation Area just a few kilometres southwest of Abraham Lake and has wonderful camping opportunities.

Thompson Creek Campground lies on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River deep in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. So expect incredible views and campsites right beside one of Canada’s most beautiful rivers.

However this is a rustic camping experience, so expect very basic facilities. There are 56 unserviced sites that operate on a first come first served basis.

But a big bonus is the fact those sites are well separated from each other so it feels like a much more private camping experience than some of the other campgrounds in the area.

Amenities and Facilities

The campground has firepits,  pit/vault toilets, and a water pump – although it’s best to take your own drinking water as the water on site isn’t always potable.

The sites are unserviced so there are no RV hookups available, but there are sheltered camp kitchens.

It’s a rustic Abraham Lake camping experience, but the riverside location here is hard to beat.

What’s Close By

There’s an abundance of hiking trails in the region and the campground has easy access to a picturesque trail with views of the Saskatchewan River Valley. That trail is situated across the bridge. There’s also a trail to Thompson Creek Falls.

Nearby Saskatchewan has a restaurant, souvenir shop, gasoline and diesel – though expect higher than usual rates due to the remote location.

This campground is also very close to Abraham Lake and several national parks where you can hike, kayak, birdwatch and walk to your heart’s content!

The Important Info

Rates: From $28.00 per night

Address: Nordegg, AB T0M 2H0

Website

Abraham Lake camping

6. Goldeye Lake Campground

Goldeye Lake is a popular campground along the David Thompson Highway, that sits right beside the lake that shares its name.

The sites are secluded and give that distinctive Alberta camping experience. With Goldeye Lake sitting right beside the campground it’s possible to spend time fishing on the lake, or you can rent a canoe from the nearby Goldeye Centre and get paddling.

There are 44 unserviced but spacious sites that can fit most RVs. Those sites are surrounded by lovely Aspen and Spruce trees and feel private.

The one potential issue is that this place does get quite busy at weekends so if you’re looking for the sounds of nature – rather than the sound of kids playing and RV generators – this may not be the place for you.

Amenities and Facilities

While still a rustic experience, the facilities are pretty good.

There’s a boat launch, pit/vault toilets, water pump, firewood, and fish cleaning stations. The water on site isn’t potable, but you can get drinking water from nearby Fish Lake Campground which is just a short drive away.

What’s Close By

If you’re looking for adventure, this campground makes for a fantastic base camp for exploring the ghost town of Nordegg or beautiful Abraham Lake.

Along with fishing, kayaking and swimming at the lake by the campground, other popular activities in the area include horse riding, geocaching, and biking. Shunda Lake and the Coliseum Mountain Trail are also very close by.

The Important Info

Rates: From $28.00 per night

Address: Goldeye Rd, Alberta T0M 2H0

Website

7. Upper Shunda Creek Campground

Upper Shunda Creek Campground has wonderful forest campsites in a quiet setting. It’s perfectly located for exploring the area, but also great for just relaxing by a campfire.

And campfires are possible at all 33 of the campsites as each one has a fire pit and picnic table. While those sites are unserviced, the facilities at this clean and well-maintained campground are better than most (as we show you below).

The campsites are spacious and can handle large RVs, big rigs and trailers, and are flanked by trees so they feel private.

On top of that a creek – which is good for swimming – runs through the campground. Which just adds to the overall picturesque setting. There’s even a few sites that are creekside so ask for those when reserving!

Amenities and Facilities

This campground has well maintained toilets that are cleaned daily, fire pits, picnic tables, potable water, and pull thru and back end sites.

Despite being a small campground, Upper Shunda Creek has a small on-site ‘snack shack’ where you can get basic supplies, goodies, snacks and maps. Firewood can be purchased on site too, and there’s even decent cell phone service.

What’s Close By

On-site activities include swimming in the creek and hiking the several trails that can be accessed directly from the campground.

Nearby attractions include Nordegg’s historic nine-hole golf course, the Brazeau Collieries Mine National Heritage Site, Nordegg Museum and Ghost Town, and Abraham Lake.

This campground really is in a great location for exploring the local area and its history.

The Important Info

Rate: From $22 per night

Address: 405058 Shunda Creek Road, Nordegg, AB T0M 2H0

Website

Abraham Lake camping

8. Crescent Falls Campground

This campground is located a few kilometres north of Abraham Lake, but is well worth staying at due to the fact it sits extremely close to Crescent Falls which is a spectacular waterfall you have to visit. From this campground there’s also access to some nice hiking trails that will take you along the top of Big Horn Valley.

They only have a few sites for RVs and tents, but this campground is one of the best to visit if you’re looking for a true camping experience in nature.

It feels remote, serene and quiet, and the night sky is unpolluted by artificial light. That makes it perfect for watching the stars or spotting the Northern Lights.

Amenities and Facilities

This campground has fire pits, picnic shelters, water, dry toilets, and a community kitchen.

While there is water, it’s not usually potable so it is advised to bring your own drinking water.

What’s Close By

This campground has beautiful viewpoints nearby and an incredible waterfall close to it. There’s many wonderful hikes close by too, which opens up opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife watching.

The Important Info

Rate: From $28 per night

Address: Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta T0M 2H0

Backcountry Camping at Lake Abraham and in Canada: Everything You Need to know

Backcountry camping, also known as wild camping, is generally tolerated in Canada. Although there are certain areas you are prohibited from camping in. These include:

  • National Parks
  • Cities
  • Provincial Parks

In Alberta specifically, backcountry camping is allowed in parks that have been designated ‘Wildlife Provincial Parks’. you can find a list of those parks by clicking here.

Alberta also asks that any backcountry camping is done at least one kilometer from campgrounds, roads, Provincial Parks and Provincial Recreation Areas.

It’s worth mentioning that rangers and conservation officers do patrol regularly and will hand out hefty fines to people backcountry camping in these prohibited areas.

Sometimes it is possible to purchase a ‘backcountry’ camping permit. That would then allow you to camp in a park outside of a campground. Not all parks offer them – and they’re not widely advertised. If there’s somewhere you wish to camp, then get in contact with local authorities to see if these are available.

Abraham Lake camping

As for where you are allowed to camp, Canadian residents can camp for free on Crown Land – which is publicly owned land. Thankfully 89% of land in Canada is classed as ‘Crown Land’. However much of that is still off limits – National Parks, for example, are also Crown Land.

In general: If land is publicly owned, it’s not one of the prohibited areas that we listed above, and you are far from settlements – you’re likely to be on Crown Land that can be camped on for free. However, keep an eye on local maps for confirmation, and obey any signs that say camping is prohibited

There are still rules for backcountry camping on Crown Land, however:

  • You may camp in the same place for 21 days only in one calendar year.
  • After 21 days you must move to a place at least 100m away if you wish to continue camping.
  • While free for citizens and Canadian residents, non-residents must obtain a permit to wild camp on Crown Land.

In Alberta specifically, there’s other rules you must follow when backcountry camping. They are:

  • You cannot camp within 60m of a water source.

  • You cannot camp within 50m of a hiking trail.

  • You must not use rivers, steams or lakes to wash clothes.

  • You cannot go to the toilet within 100m of a water source. Make sure to use a trowel (like this folding one) to bury any human waste – don’t just leave it out in the open.

  • Tents can only be pitched on land that is not overgrown.

Camping at Lake Abraham: Bear Safety

Like many areas of Canada, there are bears roaming around the Lake Abraham area. While encounters are rare, you must take steps to avoid attracting them to your campsite. 

With that being the case we advise:

  • If you have a vehicle nearby, store food there rather than in a tent.

  • Use a bear box or bear canister to store food, rubbish, and anything with a scent.

  • Don’t pitch your tent near where food is being stored.

  • Never approach any bear, regardless of its size.

  • Don’t spray anything with a scent – that can attract bears.