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 first come, first served 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, larger tent pads, and more signage/washrooms. Random camping is no longer permitted in the park, but you can camp for free in designated camping areas; more info below.

Castle Provincial Park has four rustic campgrounds, two group camping areas at Syncline (reservations required), comfort camping (reservations required), and nine free-of-charge designated camping areas (obtain a free permit online and put it in the self-registration kiosk).

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


Castle Provincial Park campgrounds have basic amenities – pit toilets and firepits – so bring your own drinking water and firewood. 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 sites suitable for tents and RVs. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 campsites (unserviced). 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! Check out Alberta Parks – Castle Provincial Park – Comfort Camping for more information on the five cabins you can book in summer 2018. Reservations required.

Castle Designated Camping Areas

Camp for free (until further notice) in Designated Camping Areas 1-9. Note that you must complete a permit at the self-registration kiosk and pack out all trash. There are no washrooms or trash bins at the designated camping areas, so 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.

Backcountry Camping

The first of three backcountry huts in Castle Wildland Provincial Park will be completed in fall 2018. All three huts will be operated by the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC). Check out the announcement on the ACC blog for more information here.

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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Camping in Castle Provincial Park, Alberta
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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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