Home Destinations Camping at Red Lodge Provincial Park, Alberta

Camping at Red Lodge Provincial Park, Alberta

by Karen Ung

For a quick and fun getaway, head to Red Lodge Provincial Park near Bowden, Alberta. The forested campground on the banks of the Little Red Deer River is a wonderful place to wade and float. Nearby attractions include Bowden Sun Maze, Red Lodge Ranch, and Discovery Wildlife Park.

Fun things to do in and around Red Lodge Provincial Park, Bowden

Red Lodge Provincial Park Campground

Red Lodge Provincial Park Campground has power and unserviced sites, showers, a playground, camp store, cook shelters, day use areas along the river, and three group camping areas. Campsites are shaded and private, but some are smaller than others, so book accordingly when you reserve your site. Reservations are recommended at this popular campground.

Kids will enjoy the playground, wading, rafting, and biking behind C loop in the trees along the river. According to the campground operator, “The kids call it the skate park.” For more fun, stop by the Craft Cabin for free activities (summer only), then get an ice cream at the camp store.

Note: There is no lifeguard on duty. Keep children within arm’s reach when they are swimming and rafting.

Rafting the Little Red Deer River

Our favorite thing to do at Red Lodge Campground is raft the Little Red Deer River! Start at Loop A or B (there are many places to access the river) and float down to the take out spot in Loop D. The takeout is marked with a yellow sign (see below).

Depending on water levels, the float can take 30 minutes to 2+ hours. On our last visit (August 21, 2019), it took 40 minutes to float from Loop B to Loop D. The water varied from ankle deep to chest high (3-4 feet deep), so we only got out once to pull the raft to deeper water.

Wear lifejackets with whistles and water shoes / sports sandals as you will have to get out occasionally in shallow spots (and you need footwear for the walk back to your site/car!). Paddles are recommended for steering around fallen trees. 

Discovery Wildlife Park

Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, is home to orphaned animals (from the wild and zoos) including cougars, bears, lions, and wolves. The highlights of our visit were the Bear Show; getting a photo with Berkley, a 2.5 yr old Kodiak bear; the Cat Show; watching the raccoons; and feeding the monkeys. Plan to visit at showtimes (shows included in admission) so you can see the animals in action and learn more about them. 22 minutes from Red Lodge Campground.

Bowden Sun Maze & Eagle Creek Farms U-Pick

August is the perfect time of year to visit Bowden Sun Maze. See 100,000 sunflowers, get lost in the maze, visit the farm animals, then pick some organic vegetables (pay by the bucket or pound depending on the vegetable) at the adjacent U-pick farm! Flowers are also available (pay by the stem). 11 minutes from Red Lodge Campground.

Red Lodge Ranch

Red Lodge Ranch has trail rides (10 & up), pony rides (1-10 years old), and a cool High Ropes Course (13 & up). Reservations required. 9 minutes from Red Lodge Campground.

Directions from Calgary

Red Lodge Provincial Park is located about 1 hour and 15 minutes north of Calgary. Take Highway 2 north (for about 100 km) to Exit 357 for AB-587 W, then head west on AB-587 for 15.6 km. The campground is on the right hand side of the highway.

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