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Maybe Next Year
By: Jim Alseth

One of my dreams for our family is to be able to circuit North America in our RV. Gas prices and other circumstances dictated otherwise this summer, so we had to confine our travels to sunny Alberta. Exploring this beautiful province is never a bad choice as it provides enough recreational vehicle opportunities to last a lifetime.

Our vacation began with a trip to Gull Lake Provincial Park, a ninety minute drive south of Edmonton. Lakeview Campground, situated on the west side of the lake towards Bentley, is one of two Provincial Park campgrounds on the lake. Several private campgrounds also reside along the shoreline. It had been a long time since our last visit, having stayed there every summer for many years when our children were young. It`s no wonder we loved it so much, we commented to ourselves. Though the water quality is deteriorating, this resort is still one of the best family campgrounds anywhere.

Exceptionally manicured, yet rustic, Lakeview features well laid out, level sites, the vast majority with immense shade trees. There are plenty of modern, well-kept restrooms, playgrounds and bike trails. The shower-house (coin showers) are spacious and clean. In spite of the excellent basic facilities, this campground makes you feel like you`re out of the city. There are no rentals for every toy under the sun, no amusement-park type atmosphere here. At night the campers are characteristically quiet. The network of bike trails weave through a wetlands habitat and one of them will even take you 5 km into the quaint town of Bentley. Boating and fishing are permitted.

We moved on after a few days to the Nordegg area and the David Thompson Resort. We`ve met people from other parts of the world camping here who have said they`ve seen nothing like the landscape here. (See previous article for more on the Nordegg area.)

From Nordegg we came back to the Rocky Mountain House area and tried a campground new to us, Crimson Lake Provincial Park. This park is similar in feel and quality to Lakeview, only more rustic, and located just west of Rocky Mountain House. Just down the road is a picturesque little trout lake called Twin Lakes, where my youngest daughter Kari caught her first two rainbow trout. They were just large enough for supper and tasted great. A tiny gal fishing off the dock right beside us totally outdid us though. She pulled in a lovely 7 lb rainbow which she could hardly carry (she was such a petite little thing.) Losing that fish to her was worth the grin she had as she lugged it blissfully back to her car.

Once again, camping in Alberta has provided outdoor enjoyment for our family that I`m sure ranks with anyplace in North America. I`m looking forward to investigating that claim though when we do our continental tour, one of these years...

Published: 9/28/2006
Source: Great Camping Spots

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