If you’re looking for a close mountain getaway, head to Bow Valley Campground in Bow Valley Provincial Park. Only one hour from Calgary and half an hour from Canmore, Bow Valley Campground allows you to unwind while staying plugged in (perfect for those weekends you are on call).
Bow Valley Campground Amenities
This family-friendly campground has the following amenities:
- Shaded, private campsites
- Power and water sites, unserviced sites, and walk-in sites
- Camp Store / Concession for camping essentials, firewood, and snacks
- Paved bike trail and several hiking trails connecting the campground to trailheads and Day Use Areas. See Family Fun in Bow Valley Provincial Park for more information on things to do in the park.
- Cell phone reception so we could connect with friends we were meeting at the campground
- Clean outhouses: Toilet paper and hand sanitizer were always full and washrooms were clean even though the campground was full.
- Boat launch
- Interpretive programs
Reserve a campsite online at Alberta Parks Reservations.
Things to do at Bow Valley Campground
There are several pleasant hikes in Bow Valley Provincial Park with very little elevation gain, so they are suitable for children. My favorite family hikes near the campground are Many Springs and Middle Lake. Flowing Water Trail, at Willow Rock Campground, is another nice short trail.
Cyclists will enjoy the paved Bow Valley Bike Path. I would rate the path as moderate for kids; easy for adults. For a longer ride, bike the Legacy Trail (also paved) from Canmore to Banff!
There is also fishing and geocaching in the park. For more information on recreational activities in the park, please see my story: Family Fun in Bow Valley Provincial Park.
Know Before You Go
- A Kananaskis Conservation Pass is required to park in Kananaskis. Purchase your pass online from the Government of Alberta.
- Make a reservation 90 days in advance! This popular campground fills up fast. If you’re unable to get a spot, try for a first come, first served campsite at Willow Rock Campground.
- The campground is between two highways and is across the river from train tracks, so bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. I was woken up a few times in the night, but my family slept fine.
- Outhouses are few and far between, so book a site near the showers or outhouses if you don’t want to ride your bike to the toilets.
- Pick up firewood when you register as Loops C, D & E are a bit far from the store.
What to Bring
Our comprehensive Camping Pack List has everything you need a weekend away, as well as tips on what to look for when choosing a tent, sleeping bag, or sleeping pad.
Bow Valley Campground is a great mountain getaway close to Calgary. Visitors will appreciate the short drive to camp, assortment of short and scenic trails in the area, and shaded, private campsites. We loved that most of the campers were families who stayed put for the weekend, so there was very little traffic in the campground and everyone was quiet after 10 pm.