Elk River Provincial Recreation Area | Outdoorsy

Elk River Provincial Recreation Area


The Canadian province of Alberta is world-renowned for its diverse landscapes and geographical beauty. With picture-perfect scenery around every corner, it is the largest of the three Prairie Provinces. Located along the Elk River within the foothills of Alberta, the Elk River Provincial Recreation Area offers the perfect base for your outdoor adventure. Just by the hamlet of Lodgepole, this recreation area and campground is secluded and remote, providing the perfect opportunity for a calm and peaceful outdoor holiday.

The site at Elk River is particularly well suited for RV camping, with spacious campsites nestled amongst the mixed forest and along the river banks. The river originates from the melting ice glaciers at Elk Lakes, providing clean and cold freshwater that is teaming with fish. Explore the trails and discover the breath-taking rugged charm of this scenic spot, discover horse riding and OHV trails in the area, and sleep under the stars amidst a truly dramatic setting. Read on for a breakdown of everything that you need to know about RV camping at the Elk River Recreation Area.

Share this Guide

Camping Accommodations

Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Electrical hookup
Water hookup
Generator use
Food storage
Sewer hookup
Dogs & cats

RV Rentals in Elk River Provincial Recreation Area



If you are driving, the best way to get to the Elk River Recreation Area is by heading to Lodgepole. Take Highway 620 and travel 17km in a southwest direction, before getting onto the Elk River Road for 47 km.

Driving along the Elk River Road offers a glimpse into the rugged natural beauty of the province. However, it is advised that you check the weather before you make your trip to ensure clear roads and always pay full attention as wildlife in the area has been known to cause road traffic accidents.


There is free parking in several spots around the recreation area. Each campsite has space for three vehicles when two are used as sleeping quarters. If you are camping in tents, there is space for two cars. When you are in the recreation area, you must drive carefully and pay attention to the speed limits as children may be playing in the area. In order to protect the local flora and fauna, you should always stick to the roads and trails already in place.

Public Transportation

Due to the remote location, there is very little public transport available in the region, and you will need to drive to this park.

Campgrounds and parking in Elk River Provincial Recreation Area

Campsites in Elk River Provincial Recreation Area

Reservations camping

Wolf Lake West Provincial Recreation Area

This Wolf Lake West campground is almost 30 km away from the Elk River recreation area. There are over three hundred sites and this is a great choice for anyone who is into water sports, with canoeing, boating, and swimming available in the summer months.

First-come first-served

Elk River Provincial Campground

With camping for tents and RVs, the campgrounds at the Elk River Recreation Area offers sixteen different campsites, which are available from early May to the end of October. The campground is pretty basic, but it offers an excellent location for exploring the nearby countryside and getting back to nature. Generators are allowed in the parks but must adhere to regulations, particularly during quiet hours from 7 am to 11 pm.
Pets are also permitted but should be leashed and under control at all times. Although there are water pumps nearby, due to changes in the Public Health Act, they are no longer able to guarantee that the water provided is completely free of pathogens. To ensure potable water, you may wish to take your own drinking water or have a water filter on hand.

Brown Creek Provincial Recreation Area

Just 26.7 km away is another beautiful Canadian park, the Brown Creek Recreation Area. This small campsite has all the basics, including fire pits and pit/ vault toilets. This is a pretty remote park, but there are lots of activities available, including fishing, cycling, wildlife watching and skiing in the winter.

Seasonal activities in Elk River Provincial Recreation Area



Enjoy some al fresco dining in the Albertan wilderness, with so many spots around the park providing a picturesque picnic location. If you are looking to achieve the full camp experience, nothing quite beats a campfire and at the Elk River recreation area campground, you can find fire pits at each site. However, this is an unserviced campground and you will need to take your own firewood for the duration of your stay.


The cold, clear water of the Elk River provides the perfect spot to catch trout, mountain whitefish, northern pike, and so much more. It is one of the best dry fishing rivers in the continent, and you are bound to land a big one.
If you do plan on visiting Elk River to fish, you must ensure that you have an appropriate Alberta angling license. This also applies to Albertan residents between the ages of 16 and 65. You also need to check out the current catch and release regulations, with limits placed on multiple species to ensure sustainability.


There is nothing quite like exploring the great outdoors and the Elk River Recreation Area provides the perfect getaway for hikers of all abilities. From easy walking trails to more challenging options, the Recreation Area and the surrounding countryside is ideal for this purpose. If you are planning on hiking during your trip, it is recommended that you stick to the trails. Make sure you wear appropriate gear and always check the weather report before you head out.


Horseshoe Pits

Horseshoes is a fun game that promises to keep the whole family entertained. Played by either two individuals or two teams, the aim of the game is to throw horseshoes onto metal stakes within the ground.
At Elk River Recreation Area there are a few horseshoe pits, so campers and visitors alike have the opportunity to play this fun and competitive game. Providing the perfect way to spend a few hours, kids of all ages will soon want to get involved with this time-honored tradition.


With breath-taking views and panoramic vistas, amateur and professional photographers alike are sure to be inspired. Elk River Recreation Area is an ideal spot for nature photography, with the chance to discover Instagram-worthy scenery around every corner. Be careful; moose, black bear, elk, and wolves are known to inhabit the area. Do not approach wildlife and remember that safety is paramount at all times.

Horse Riding

The best possible view of Alberta is certainly obtained from the saddle, with horse-riding being a popular way of exploring the local area. Remember that equestrian use is not permitted within the recreation area itself, but there is access to informal horse riding trails nearby and there are also stables and horse riding treks in the surrounding vicinity. Horse riding trails can be subject to closure in inclement weather.