Camp at Marten River Campground and discover the natural beauty of Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park. Sandy beaches and forested campsites await!
If you’re looking for a great place to go camping in northern Alberta, Marten River Campground is a fantastic choice. Located on the shores of Lesser Slave Lake, surrounded by boreal forest, this beautiful campground offers tons of summer fun. Whether you want to soak up the sun on sandy beaches or do some hiking, paddling and fishing, you can do it all here!
We stayed at Marten River Campground on our way to and from the Northwest Territories and are looking forward to visiting again. The beaches on Lesser Slave Lake are some of the best in Alberta, and the well-treed, spacious campsites offered welcome shade after a day in the sun. In the evenings, enjoy the sunset at the lake – just a short walk from the campground – or check out an interpretive program at the amphitheatre.
Here’s what to expect and what to do at Marten River Campground:
Camping at Marten River Campground
Marten River Campground, with 72 power sites and 38 unserviced sites, is suitable for RV and tent campers. All sites are spacious and well-treed, with easy access to the lake and nearby amenities (though Loop D is a longer walk to the lake).
There is also a Group Camping Area (Marten River) with 20 power sites.
Campsites may be reserved up to 90 days in advance & Group Camping Areas may be booked up to 180 days in advance at Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca.
Partnership Disclosure: An an Alberta Parks Ambassador, I received free camping for review purposes, but all words and opinions are my own.
Marten River Campground offers a range of amenities to make your camping trip as comfortable as possible. These include:
- Showers and washrooms
- Firewood and ice for sale at check-in kiosk
- Sewage disposal station
- Hand launch for kayaks and canoes (125 m walk)
- Fish cleaning station
Things to Do at Marten River Campground
Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, wildlife viewing, or just relaxing in nature, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful part of Alberta. Here are a few fun activities to try during your stay at Marten River Campground:
Be a Beach Bum: Lesser Slave Lake’s sand is perfect for sand castle building! In fact, nearby Devonshire Beach hosts an annual sand castle competition, “Sand Blast”, every July. Don’t forget your picnic blanket/camp chairs, and sunscreen!
Fishing: Lesser Slave Lake is a popular destination for anglers, with a variety of fish species including walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, and whitefish.
Paddling: While Lesser Slave Lake can get some big waves, when the water is calm, it’s a lovely place to paddle. Early morning and sunset tend to be the best times to get on the water.
Hiking: There are a number of hiking trails in the area, including the Freighter Lakeshore Trail which offers stunning views of the lake (22 km one way, but at time of writing, the Lily Creek Bridge is washed out), Marten Mountain Loop (12 km round trip, 380 m elevation gain or you can drive up the gravel road), Lily Lake Trail (6 km round trip from top of Marten Mountain), and Jack Pine Trail (1.8 km one way).
Swimming and wading: The lake is a great place to cool off on a hot summer day, with clean, clear water and sandy beaches. Keep kids at arm’s length; there is no lifeguard on duty.
Wildlife viewing: Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park’s boreal forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including moose, deer, and black bears.
Download the Alberta Parks Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park & Marten River Campground maps here.
Nearby Things To Do
Discover more fun things to do in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park and the town of Slave Lake:
Visit the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation: Located in central Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, this centre offers educational exhibits and programs about the area’s birds and their conservation. While you’re there, hike the interpretive Songbird Trail (600 metres).
Check out the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory: This bird observatory is located just south of the campground and offers a chance to see a wide range of bird species. Over 250 species of birds have been spotted around Lesser Slave Lake! If you’d like to learn about migration and the monitoring station, and see a migrating bird up close, sign up for a 45-60 minute Bird Observatory Tour (45 – 60 minutes long).
Visit Devonshire Beach: In south Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, you will find a long sandy beach, beautiful lakeside picnic shelter, and hiking trails. Hike the Whispering Sands Trail (1.3 km) and listen to the sand squeak beneath your feet (due to the sand grains’ size and shape); windsurf; fish; and look for birds on the Duck Pond Boardwalk (500 m)
Explore the Town of Slave Lake: The town of Slave Lake is located just 20 km south of the campground and offers a range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Get pizza to go from Alimo’s Pizzeria and eat it on Devonshire Beach!
Marten River Campground is a beautiful, well-equipped campground in northern Alberta. With its range of amenities and outdoor activities, it’s the perfect place to spend a weekend or a week exploring the natural beauty of the area.
What to Bring
Our Ultimate Camping Pack List has everything you need for a fun camping trip, and includes tips on what to look for when buying gear.
Marten River Campground is located 37 km north of Slave Lake, Alberta; or 289 km northwest of Edmonton. The town of Slave Lake is the nearest centre for groceries, gas, shopping, and dining.
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