A Guide To Slave Lake Camping: Best Campgrounds, Backcountry Camping & More!

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Last updated on May 28, 2023 by Wandering our World

Slave Lake has a wide range of camping options for RVs and tent campers, with everything from luxury resort camping with all the amenities you need to backcountry camping in the Lesser Slave Lake Wildland Provincial Park. As well as everything in between.

One of the biggest reasons people visit Slave Lake is for the fantastic fishing in the lake, which is some of the best available in Alberta during the summer and there’s even ice fishing opportunities during the frozen winter months.

And if you’re planning your own Slave Lake camping and fishing adventure then you’re in the right place!

Why? Well we know this area well, and so want to share with you everything we know about the island. Below we show you the best campgrounds on Slave Lake, explain the rules around backcountry camping at Slave Lake, and even show you the best places to hike and what festivals and events are on throughout the year!

So read on to begin your Slave Lake camping adventure!


  1. The Best Campgrounds at Slave Lake
  2. Backcountry Camping at Slave Lake
  3. Best Time to Camp at Slave Lake
  4. Scenic Hiking Around Slave Lake
  5. Festivals and Events at Slake Lake
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/AndrisBarbans

The Best Campgrounds at Slave Lake For Fun, Views & Adventure

1. Norm’s Walleye Camp

Norm’s Walleye Camp is located along the Lesser Slave River, close to the entrance to Lesser Slave Lake. It provides easy access to a boat ramp and is the perfect location to set up your RV and take your boat out fishing all day.

The RV park is open from spring to fall and is tucked away from other parts of Slake Lake, making it a quiet area, and most people spend their days out on the water rather than at the campground.

Amenities and Facilities

There are 40 full hook-up RV sites and a number of power-only RV sites. You can moor your boat on the private dock rather than pulling it out of the water every day, which saves you a lot of time, especially during the busy season.

You’ll find covered fish cleaning areas to clean up your fish after a long day. And if you don’t have your own boat, then you can rent one from the campground.

Coin-operated showers are available, which include full bathrooms for you to use as well. There is also a deck with chairs to relax along the river.

There is a playground with a lot of room set up for kids, so it’s a family-friendly campground.

What’s Close By

Lesser Slave River is right by the campground with easy access to Lesser Slake Lake, so it’s a perfect location for fishing on the river or going out into the lake with your boat.

Close by is also Devonshire Beach which is located within Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park; it’s either a 5-minute drive or a 20-minute walk. It’s a 1.5 km beautifully maintained beach where you can go swimming, relax, sunbathe on the beach,  or even cast a line from the shore and spend some time fishing from land.

The Important Info

Rates: $41 – $44 per night

Address: Thompson Street, Slave Lake, AB

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/welcomia

2. Shaw’s Point Resort

Shaw’s Point Resort provides RV and tent camping on the shores of Lesser Slave Lake. All sites are first-come, first-served, but the resort will find you a spot based on your requirements. And if the campground is too busy, they will place you into the overflow area at a discounted rate!

The campground is open between May to October, though exact dates may change, so check before visiting.

Fishing is a big part of the resort experience here, and Shaw’s Point Resort is home to the annual Golden Walleye Classic tournament, held each year on the September long weekend. So it’s the perfect place to base yourself as a keen angler.

Amenities and Facilities

Available at Shaw’s Point Resort are flush toilets, hot showers, laundry facilities, a store for your camping and snack essentials, and all sites are full hookup for your RV.

There is a group kitchen available to cook up your food, along with fish cleaning stations, a marina and boat ramp, alongside RV and boat storage if you plan to come back yearly.

Available within the campground is a restaurant that serves up a range of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you don’t want to cook for yourself.

Boat rentals are available for the day or only a few hours as well; no boating license is required.

And every Saturday there is a farmers market set up within the campground giving you access to a range of local products to use or take home with you!

What’s Close By

You’re right on Lesser Slave Lake so you can head out and go fishing on your boat straight when waking up. You can also take a short 10-minute drive to reach the Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park, which has a great range of hiking and mountain biking trails of varying difficulty levels.

If you’re looking for something a little different to eat, the Shaw’s Point Burgers and Pizza restaurant is a short walk from the campground and provides great food and fantastic views of Lesser Slave Lake.

The Important Info

Rates: $47 – $57 per night

Address: Range Rd 141, High Prairie, AB T0G 1C0

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Bobex-73

3. Big Fish Bay RV Resort

Big Fish Bay RV Resort is a full-service campground located right on the southeast shore of Lesser Slave Lake, with the town of Slave Lake right behind it for easy access to all the town’s amenities that you may need.

It provides RV and tent camping options, along with bungalows and cabins to rent if you need a break from camp life.

It’s a great location to base yourself and your family while fishing in Lesser Slave Lake. You’ll need to launch your boat from the public launch 5 minutes drive from the resort and then anchor your boat offshore of the campground during your stay.

Amenities and Facilities

The campground is large with over 100 sites, some are full hook-up while others are power hook-up only. Some of the sites are directly on the lake, while others are further back, but all have access to the same amenities and facilities.

All sites have access to showers and bathrooms, along with a fire pit and picnic table at each site for personal use. There is also a playground and park area for the kids to play and adults to relax.

There is also fish cleaning area and cold storage to throw your fish guts into after you’ve cleaned everything you caught.

Firewood and ice are available from the campground office, which is located at the entrance.

What’s Close By

Located right behind the campground is the town of Slave Lake, so you have access to the full range of restaurants, pubs, and everything else you need. One of the closest options is Dog Island Brewing which provides local beers and tasty food after your long day out on the water.

One of the biggest reasons that you visit Big Fish Bay RV Resort is the easy access to Slake Lake, where you can head out on your boat and catch Walleye and Jackfish.

If you don’t have your own boat, you’ll find a number of boat rental companies close by, including Roland On The River. You’ll be able to rent and launch your boat from the same location and then let Roland On The River deal with cleanup at the end of the day.

The Important Info

Rates: $25 – $55 per night

Address: 1000 Caribou Trail, Slave Lake, AB T0G 2A0

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/cookelma

4. Marten River Campground

Marten River Campground is located within the Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Campground and has 111 sites, with many located overlooking the beach and lake. All are separated by trees creating a great private site for you and your family and friends.

The campground is open from May to October each year; exact timings may change, so check online before arriving and book your campsite early during the summer months.

Amenities and Facilities

The campground is set up for tent and RV camping; sites provide full hook-up or may be unserviced, so check which site you’re booking.

Each site has a fire pit and picnic table; there are showers and flush toilets available, along with a water tap to collect water and take it back to your site. In addition, you’ll find a playground for the kids, though the entire park is a playground for all ages!

Firewood is also available for an additional fee.

What’s Close By

The Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park surrounds you on all sides, including direct beach access to Lesser Slave Lake, which has beautiful white sand beaches for relaxing on, or you can launch your kayak, kitesurfing board, or boat onto the water to explore or go fishing.

During the winter, the park is also a fantastic area for cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and snowshoeing along the trails in the park.

The park is a fantastic bird-watching area, including the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory, which provides tours of the area looking for local birds during the summer months. You’ll also find the Boreal Center for Bird Conservation, which provides a huge range of educational opportunities for the kids.

Throughout the park, you’ll find a number of hiking trails that match different fitness levels, including the easier Jack Pine Trail, part of the Trans Canada Trail, and the more challenging Lily Lake Trail.

The Important Info

Rates: $26 – $33 per night

Address: Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, Slave Lake, AB

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Ronstik

5. Spruce Point Park Campground

Spruce Point Park Campground provides tent and RV camping sites, along with a marina for easy boat launching into Lesser Slave Lake. It’s located further away from Slave Lake town so has a big range of amenities and activities available so you won’t need to go far.

The campground is large, but most sites are spread along the beach front, with trees surrounding each site, providing a private area for all sites.

As well as camping and a marina, the campground has a large rodeo section that provides various events throughout the year, so it’s the perfect campground if you’re attending or simply looking to see a real-life rodeo.

Amenities and Facilities

Spruce Point Park Campground accepts tent or RV camping, with 102 campsites on the lakefront, 61 campsites just back from the lakefront, and nine sites right by the marina. Sites may be powered or unpowered so ensure you pick the right site for your needs.

Every campsite gets a fire pit and picnic table, and there are water taps throughout the campground to bring water back to your site.

The marina building has showers and flush toilets available. You’ll also need to pay for marina berths if needed and a daily boat launching fee.

A recreation area by the front gate provides a range of activities, including an 18 hole mini-golf course, horseshoe pits, bocce ball, volleyball, badminton, and frisbee golf, and all supplies are available in the play area of the campground.

There is a free-use area of the campground for campers and visitors too, which includes picnic tables, fire pits, a playground, basketball courts, and two ball diamonds.

Pets are welcome at the campground, and there is a dedicated beach area to take your pup for a run in the sand and into the water.

What’s Close By

Spruce Point Park Campground isn’t close to many things, and the primary reason for staying here is the easy access to Lesser Slave Lake with its marina and boat ramp so you can launch out into the lake for some of the best fishing available in Alberta.

Lesser Slave Lake is known as “The Fishing Hub Of The North,” and Spruce Point Park Campground is close to a number of known hot spots in the lake to catch Burbot, Northern Pike, Walleye, and Yellow Perch.

If you do need some supplies, Kinuso is only a 10-minute drive down the road and has a grocery store, bars, and even a restaurant called Real Country Steak and Pizza. It’s a closer option than Slave Lake, which is 30-40 minutes down the road.

The Important Info

Rates: $30 – $40 per night

Address: Range Road 104, Kinsuso, AB

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/SolisImages

6. Hilliard’s Bay Campground

Hillard’s Bay Campground is located within Hillard’s Bay Provincial Park on the shore of Lesser Slave Lake. There are 170 campsites available for RVs and tents with powered and non-powered options available.

You have access to a white sandy beach to relax and enjoy and easy access to Lesser Slave Lake for swimming, kayaking, and fishing from the shore, or out of your boat.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Boreal Forest Interpretive Trail starts off from the campground and takes you through an easy 1 km looped hike to see the local flora and fauna. It’s a great way to start your day before going out fishing.

Amenities and Facilities

Available in Hilliard’s Bay Campground are hot showers and pit toilets. Water taps are available to bring water back to your campsite too, and there are some full hook-up RV sites with a sewage dumpsite for RVs, and dumpsters for your trash.

There is a boat launch available and fish cleaning stations to clean up and dispose of your catch of the day. Fire pits are available to cook your fish as well, and then you can eat it on one of the provided picnic tables!

What’s Close By

Lesser Slave Lake in front of the campground is well-known as a popular fishing lake. However, Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park is a great place to hike and mountain bike through various trails too. You’ll find a range of trails to match your skills and ability without being too crowded.

If you’re looking for something to eat, you’re only a 10-minute drive from Shaw’s Point Burgers and Pizza. You also have the town of Gouard only 13 minutes away if you need to top up your camping supplies from the local supermarket.

If you’d like to go fishing on the lake but don’t have your own boat, Shaw’s Point Resort offers hourly or day-use boats to get out onto the lake and go fishing and exploring. That’s just a short 10-minute drive from Hilliard’s Bay Campground.

The Important Info

Rates: $21 – $27 per night

Address: Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park, Alberta

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/StephanieFrey

Backcountry Camping At Slave Lake: Everything You Need To Know!

DISCLAIMER: Below we give general advice, but we always recommend staying in an official campground. If you choose to go backcountry camping, then make sure you do so with someone who already knows the area where you’re planning on camping for your own safety.

Backcountry camping is allowed in the Slave Lake region within the Lesser Slave Lake Wildland Provincial Park, which is located on the north shore of Lesser Slave Lake. There are no fees or permits required to backcountry camp there, but you won’t find any type of facilities available.

There are some rules when backcountry camping in Alberta, which include:

  • No camping within 1 km of a designated campground.
  • No camping within 1 km of a road, provincial park, or provincial recreational area.

So your only legal option is to camp within a Wildland Provincial Park, and there is only one near Slave Lake.

You should also check for any regional fire restrictions before and during your backcountry trip.

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Eshma

Best Time To Camp At Slave Lake

The best time to visit Slave Lake is from May to October when all campgrounds are open. Many of the campgrounds in the region are seasonal, so you will have limited options during the winter months.

However, Slave Lake is a great place to visit during December – March too, when the lake freezes and ice fishing becomes an extremely popular activity. You’ll be able to hire a shack or connect with a group to learn how to ice fish.

Summer month temperatures in Slave Lake can range from 3 to 23 degrees on average.

Winter month temperatures in Slave Lake can range from -19 to 0 degrees on average.

Tent camping during the winter months can be very challenging, especially if you don’t have the right equipment and supplies, so it isn’t an ideal time to visit unless you’re well prepared.

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Anatolly_Gleb

Scenic Hiking Around Slave Lake: Some Trails To Try

Slave Lake has a range of great hiking trail that surround the lake. Many of the trails can be hiked or biked. And during winter, you may be able to ski or snowshoe along the same trails.

Allaire Trails are a cluster of hiking and walking trails around the town of Slave Lake; most are leisurely and don’t require any preparation. However, this is an entry point to the Trans Canada Trail System.

Nine Mile Point is a grouping of 10.5 km of hiking, biking, and snowshoeing trails. It’s a 15-minute drive to reach the entry point from the town of Slave Lake.

Boreal Bird Conservatory hiking path is located in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, and it provides the best birdwatching and hiking experience in the area.

Lily Lake Trail is a short hike into the backcountry and takes you 2.6 km into Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park to Lily Lake, where you can relax, swim, and even fish before returning.

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/leszekglasner

Festivals and Events at Slake Lake

Slave Lake and the surrounding area of Lesser Slave Lake have a range of festivals and activities throughout the year, though the majority will be during the prime camping season of May to October.

1. Slave Lake Slam Ice Fishing Tournament (February)

During February, Slave Lake is frozen over, and there is a multi-weekend ice fishing tournament with cash prizes for the winners.

You need to register, but the judging is done online, so you will submit your catch through their app and then release your fish.

2. Songbird Festival (May)

The Boreal Center for Bird Conservation runs the annual Songbird Festival in May or June. It provides a great way to experience the spring migration into the boreal forests.

There are a range of fun events and many opportunities for guided walks through the forest for a great learning experience.

3. Angler’s Cup (June)

In June, there is the Angler’s Cup, a sports fishing tournament that hands out thousands of dollars in cash prizes to the winners. So if you’re a keen angler, this is a great time to visit and show your skills on the water.

4. Golden Walleye Classic Fishing Tournament (September)

During September, the Golden Walleye Classic Fishing Tournament runs from Shaw’s Point in Lesser Slave Lake. You’ll be able to register but will need a boat, and there are cash prizes totaling $65,000.

There is also a kid’s fishing tournament before the primary tournament commences, giving younger kids an opportunity to complete.

Prizes are awarded for the heaviest fish, youngest angler, oldest angler, and a variety of other awards to ensure they’re spread around, and so everyone has fun in the tournament.


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