Home Destinations Camping in Castle Provincial Park, Alberta

Camping in Castle Provincial Park, Alberta

by Karen Ung
Castle Provincial Park offers great camping and wild mountain adventures on paths less travelled – only three hours from Calgary.

The water is calm as we paddle across Beaver Mines Lake. Campers wave to us from shore and fishers quietly tend their lines. It’s a peaceful evening and we still can’t believe we got a last-minute campsite near a lake on this gorgeous August weekend.

Beaver Mines Lake, Castle Provincial Park
Beaver Mines Lake, Castle Provincial Park

Stacey and Chad from Lethbridge tell us it’s always like this here. Chad grew up in Blairmore, less than an hour away, and has spent a lot of time in the Castle. He recommends a pickerel rig to catch trout in the weed beds offshore and shows us how to set it up. It seems to work well for them! My kids, on the other hand, aren’t patient enough to sit still, so we explore the campground before settling in for the night.

The next day, we hike Table Mountain (2232 metres elevation). Although it’s a well-known peak, we see only two people on the trail all day! The 29 degree (84 F) heat may have something to do with that. Later, we learn that Castle Falls is the place to be on a hot day – for cliff jumping and wading.

For more fun things to do in the area, see our story Castle Provincial Park: Your Next Alberta Road Trip.

Camping in the Castle

Since becoming a provincial park in early 2017, Castle has received new infrastructure and upgrades. Some of the changes include: reservable campsites, a beautiful warming hut at Syncline South Day Use, cabins at Beaver Mines Lake and Castle River Bridge, larger tent pads, and more signage/washrooms. Random camping is no longer permitted in the park, but you can camp for a low fee in designated camping areas; more info below.

Castle Provincial Park has four rustic campgrounds (three reservable, one first come first served), two group camping areas at Syncline (reservations required), comfort camping (reservations required), six designated camping areas (fees in effect as of June 1, 2022), and one equestrian designated camping area fees in effect as of June 1, 2022).

Beaver Mines Lake, Castle Provincial Park
View of Beaver Mines Lake from Table Mountain, Castle Provincial Park


As of 2020, Beaver Mines Lake, Castle River Bridge and Castle Falls Campgrounds are 100% reservable. Lynx Creek Campground remains first come, first served.

Beaver Mines Lake is the largest campground in the area with 76 unserviced, reservable sites suitable for tents and RVs. Bring your own drinking water and firewood. Loops A-C have good tree cover. Loop A is furthest from the lake, Loop B has some some walk-in tent sites and car camping sites, and Loop C has a few lakeside spots.  Loop D, the “View Loop” is on a little hill above the lake and has more open sites.

Enjoy fishing (Beaver Mines Lake is stocked with rainbow trout), paddling, and hiking at this pretty lake. The boat launch and trailhead for Table Mountain are near the entrance to the campground. See our story Hiking Table Mountain for details on this easy scramble.

Beaver Mines Lake, Castle Provincial Park
Beaver Mines Lake, Castle Provincial Park

Castle River Bridge,1 km off Hwy 774, is adjacent to sandstone bluffs along the Castle River. It is open year round unless there has been very heavy snowfall (check park advisories before you head down in the off season). Try for trout, kayak the rapids, or hike to Carbondale Hill Fire Lookout. All 25 campsites are reservable. Sites are suitable for tents and RVs. Potable water is now available. Bring your own firewood.

Castle River near Castle River Bridge Campground
Image Credit: Alberta Parks

Castle Falls, a popular cliff diving spot, is 6 km down Castle Falls Road. Campsites are in mixed forest with partial shade or full sun. 45 unserviced, reservable sites. Bring your own drinking water and firewood.

Castle Falls, Castle Provincial Park
Castle Falls, Castle Provincial Park
Image Credit: Alberta Parks

Lynx Creek is a small campground 16 km from Hwy 774 with 27 spacious first come first served, unserviced campsites. The River Loop has a few campsites right next to the Carbondale River.

Lynx Creek Campground, Castle Provincial Park
Lynx Creek Campground, Castle Provincial Park
Image Credit: Alberta Parks

Group Camping Areas

There are two group camping areas in Castle Provincial Park: Syncline A (max capacity: 15 units) and Syncline B (max capacity: 20 units). Amenities include picnic shelter, pit toilets, firepits, and horse corral. Reservations required.

Comfort Camping

Comfort camping is available at Beaver Mines Lake and Castle River Bridge! Check out Alberta Parks – Castle Provincial Park – Comfort Camping for more information on the cabins. Reservations required.

Castle Designated Camping Areas

As of June 1, 2022 fees are in effect for Castle’s Designated Camping Areas. Designated Camping Areas 1-5 and the Equestrian Designated Camping Site have fire pits and pit toilets; Designated Area 6 has no amenities. Pack out all trash so the site will be clean for the next camper!

Sites are first come first served; self-register at the kiosk when you arrive. These roadside camping areas are best suited to RV camping.

To get more information, or download the Castle Designated Camping Area permit, visit Alberta Parks | Castle Provincial Park | Designated Camping Areas.

Random Camping aka Wilderness Camping

Random / wilderness camping is not permitted in Castle Provincial Park, but is permitted in adjacent Castle Wildlands Provincial Park. Park rules require you to camp at least one km from roads or backcountry facilities, and it is advised you camp more than 30 metres away from water sources.

Haig Lake, Castle Provincial Park
It’s a short hike to beautiful Haig Lake, Castle Provincial Park.

Recreational Activities in Castle Provincial Park

For information on things to do in the park, see our story: Castle Provincial Park, Your next Alberta Road Trip.

Alberta Parks offers interpretive programs year-round in Castle Provincial Park. For more information, check the information kiosks at campgrounds and day use areas or visit the temporary Visitor Centre at South Syncline.

If you’re in Castle Provincial Park in late August, don’t miss the Huckleberry Festival at Castle Mountain. Fun for all ages!

For winter fun including snowshoeing, skiing, ice fishing, and cross country skiing, please read Winter Fun in Castle Provincial Park.

Beaver Mines Lake in winter
Snowshoeing on Beaver Mines Lake, Castle Provincial Park

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oilersfan95 January 6, 2019 - 3:01 AM

Are the access roads to the campgrounds paved?

Playoutsidegal January 28, 2019 - 10:28 PM

The highway (AB 774) through the park is paved, but it is about 5 km on gravel to reach Beaver Mines Lake Campground, 1 km on gravel to Castle River Bridge Campground, 6 km to Castle Falls and 16 km to Lynx Creek. Hope that helps!

oilersfan95 January 29, 2019 - 2:31 AM

Thank you. That's perfect. Thanks for your help.

Jennifer Rose June 21, 2018 - 10:15 PM

Just wondering if the post on hiking in Crowsnest Pass might be published soon? We are thinking of making a trip there in a few weeks and have never hiked in the area

Playoutsidegal January 29, 2019 - 5:07 AM

Sorry I missed this! I chatted with locals and they told me the five best hikes in Crowsnest Pass. You can check them out here: https://playoutsideguide.com/2017/09/the-best-hikes-of-crowsnest-pass.html

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