Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area
Guide

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Introduction

The Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation area is located on Ghost Lake, a reservoir created by the Transalta Dam of the Bow River. The lake gets its name from local indigenous legends that claim a ghost haunted the river that supplies the lake from the east side. Which makes a great campfire story for visiting RVers!

Situated on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies, in the foothills just west of the City of Calgary, the Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area, the nearby mountain parks, and the Ghost River Wilderness Area to the north, feature magnificent views of the majestic mountains and the opportunity to spot some unique wildlife including bighorn sheep, moose, mountain lions, bears, wild horses, and even rare timber wolves.

The campground and day use area on the reservoir provide plenty of recreational fun on the deep lake  which is about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) long and 1.5 kilometers (.9 miles) wide with an average depth of 60 to 90 feet. There are boat launches, a marina, and a beach, all with the backdrop of the mountains to the west, and that famous, sunny Alberta blue sky.  A truly beautiful location that will take your breath away. If you are looking for spectacular scenery and lots of fun activities for the whole family on your RV camping trip, this site has it all.

RV Rentals in Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area

Transportation in Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area

Driving

Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area and the associated campground is so simple to get to from the City of Calgary, you will be there in no time!  Just under one hour drive from the city centre and less than half an hour from the city limits, all you have to do is hook up your rig and go down highway 1A, which will take you right there!  Enroute, you will travel through the town of Cochrane, where you can stock up on any supplies you forgot - it’s also a great place to stop for ice cream. The route through Cochrane is somewhat winding, and you will have to slow down when traveling through the townsite. From Cochrane it is only another 18 kilometers (11 miles) west to Ghost Lake. The campground and recreation area is across the lake which can be accessed via the bridge on Highway 1A.  The entire route is paved and easy to navigate. An alternate route is to take Highway 1, the Trans Canada Highway, west of Calgary to Highway 22, and then head north until you reach Highway 1A where you will head west at Cochrane. Since the entire route is paved, you don't have to worry about inclement weather making access roads muddy or rough! 

If you are coming from the west you can take highway 1A from Kananaski  right to Ghost Reservoir or take Highway 1 from Banff or Canmore to the Highway 22 Junction and head north.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area

Campsites in Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Ghost Lake Campground

The Ghost Lake Campground, situated at the Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area, has 80 unserviced sites that can accommodate RVs and tenters. There is a maximum of two units per campsite, and the campground is open from May 1 to October 15, weather permitting. Note that in some years, when snow remains late in the season or comes earlier than usual, dates may change. The campground is right on the water's edge and allows campers easy access to the beach and activities on the lake. There is a hand water pump available but campers should bring their own drinking water, and firewood is available for sale at the campground. Outhouses are on site, however there are no flush toilets. Campsite amenities include picnic tables and fire pits at each campsite. Boat launches, a beach, and a marina allow visitors to get plenty of activity out on the water. The campsite is within view of the Rocky mountains and the area has plenty of natural beauty and local wildlife to enjoy. Banff National Park, the Kananaskis Area, and the Ghost River Wilderness Area are just a short drive away, and offer nature lovers plenty of wilderness and wildlife sights and sounds!

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area

In-Season

Sailing/Wind Surfing

Steady winds are a prominent feature of Ghost Lake, which has a rocky shore, and becomes deep quickly. These features make it perfect for sailing and windsurfing which are popular pastimes on the lake.  The Ghost Lake Sailing Academy, located at the lake offers individual private lessons and classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced sailors. Experience the thrill of wind powered watercraft during your camping trip, a truly unique opportunity not available at most campgrounds.

Fishing

Before fishing in Alberta Lakes you need to ensure you have a valid fishing license for the area and are aware of the fishing regulations and  limits for Ghost Lake. Ghost Lake has a boat launch and marina, and power boats, electric motors, and non-motorized craft are permitted on the lake. You will find a wide variety of trout species in the lake including Bull Trout, Brook Trout, Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, and Brown Trout. 

Power Boating

The marina located at the campground has moorage for power boats and two boat launches for use. Have fun waterskiing, pulling a tube, wakeboarding, or just cruising around the beautiful lake with the Rocky mountains soaring in the background. The marina offers a variety of services to campers looking to get out on the lake and enjoy the beautiful water. Keep in mind, the water in this lake is cold, so if you are waterskiing, tubing or wakeboarding a wet or dry suit are good options and a life jacket is a must.

Off-Season

Ice Driving

When the surface of Ghost Lake freezes to an appropriate depth, ice driving on the lake becomes possible. In fact, Ghost Lake is the site of two Guinness World Record ice drives, one for shortest braking distance on ice and another for the fastest vehicle slalom relay. Contact the local sports car clubs in the nearby City of Calgary for more information on ice driving activities and events at Ghost Lake. 

Ice Sailing

With 11.6 square kilometers (4.5 square miles), of ice surface on the lake in the winter, and a sailing club that hosts this unique activity on weekends, why not check out ice sailing in the off-season? An ice boat is a boat or frame outfitted with skis and a sail allowing you to glide across the surface of the frozen lake, with the power of the wind for propulsion. Because of the location and steady winds in the region, the lake surface is often free of snow to allow this specialized activity.

Ice Fishing

Off season fishing requires a valid fishing license and adherence to fishing regulations just as in the warmer summer months.  Multiple trout species can be caught while ice fishing during the off season through a hole created in the ice surface. Before driving out on the lake for fishing, ensure that the ice thickness is adequate to support your vehicle's weight. Warm outerwear, wind shelters, propane stoves, and ice fishing gear are recommended. 

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