Nestled in the Alberta Foothills, on Phyllis Lake, west of the town of Caroline, Alberta, and south of Rocky Mountain House, the Phyllis Lake Provincial Recreation Area and campground provides a quiet lake and picturesque setting for RV campers. The world famous Banff National Park and Canadian Rockies are situated to the west, and on a clear day the mountains are visible from the Provincial Recreation Area, creating a spectacular backdrop for area campers.
The lake is limited to human powered and electric motorized boats so there are no high speed, noisy, power boats on the lake. This contributes to the preservation of local wildlife and creates a tranquil environment for the campgrounds and recreation area. The lake has a population of loons, water birds that are known for their eerie calls, and contribute to the natural ambiance of this lakefront campground. Wildlife in the area including deer, moose, and aquatic and migratory birds are common sights along the shoreline.
The campground has 21 unserviced sites for RVers to enjoy with their families and do some hiking, boating, swimming, and wildlife spotting. An evening around the campfire at Phyllis Lake, with the haunting calls of loons, coyotes, and the star filled Alberta sky makes for a memorable RV camping trip.
Phyllis Lake Provincial Recreation Area can be accessed from the cities of Edmonton, Red Deer, and Calgary by taking Highway 2, a well paved 4-lane highway, to Innisfail and heading west on Highway 22 to Caroline, Alberta. The town of Caroline is a short 15 minute drive from Phyllis Lake and has services and amenities for campers in the area. From Caroline go west on Highway 22 for 8.1 kilometers (5 miles), and continue straight on Highway 591 for a further 6.7 kilometers (4.1 miles), west, to Township Road 74. Head north on Township Road 74 for 1.1 kilometers (.68 miles) to the Phyllis Lake access road then turn left onto the access toad for 950 meters (.59 miles) to reach the Phyllis Lake Recreation Area and campsite. The access roads are dirt and gravel surfaced and subject to weather conditions. The road can be muddy and slick in wet weather, or dusty in dry weather, and loose gravel, after the road has been recently maintained, can cause RVs to skid at high speeds. Travel slowly and use caution to avoid bumps, potholes, loose gravel, and washboard on dirt and gravel surfaced routes.
Peace, quiet, nature, and scenery are prominent qualities of this pretty little lake and campground. The Phyllis Lake campground has 21 unserviced sites, suitable for tenting or RVs. There is a hand boat launch and dock on the lake. The absence of large, gas-powered boats on the small lake contributes to the natural, quiet atmosphere at this peaceful campground, and preserves the local wilderness habitat.
Amenities at the campground include a hand water pump, fire pits, outhouses, picnic tables, garbage containers, and fish cleaning stations. The majority of the sites are in the open untreed area near the water and face the lake with beautiful views. Treed areas and trails are adjacent to the campground and provide shady walking areas nearby where local wildlife are frequent sights in and around the campground. Bring your own firewood and drinking water, as water from the pump may not be suitable for drinking, cooking or cleaning.
The region around Phyllis Lake has trails that are popular with ATVers and snowmobilers, however offloading and access to the trails from the Phyllis Lake Recreation Area is prohibited. If you are planning on sledding or riding the trails in the region be sure you know where snowmobiles and ATVs are permitted and obey local regulations. Enjoy crisp fall days when the trails are firming up on an ATV or Glide across the snow on chilly winter days.
Be sure to dress for the weather. A GPS to prevent becoming lost is recommended in heavily forested wilderness areas.
During winter months, when the lake surface freezes to an adequate depth, visitors can drive their vehicles out onto the lake, auger holes thru the surface and fish through the ice. You will need a valid Alberta fishing license, the same as during the summer months, so be sure yours is current. Trout in the lake make a tasty treat even in winter.
Be sure to have warm outerwear when ice fishing in sub freezing temperatures. Many ice fishers also bring wind shelters and portable stoves to beat the chill.
During the late fall and early spring it is possible to see the Northern Lights in the Alberta sky from the Phyllis Lake Recreation Area. Venture out in cooler months when this natural phenomenon is possible or just to check out the brilliant stars. The night skies in this region rank #4 on the Bortle Scale, which means there is some light “noise” from nearby development, but overall the night sky is clearly visible, and a good stargazing environment is provided.
Phyllis Lake Recreation Area has hiking trails in and around the campsite where visitors camping with RVs can enjoy a brisk invigorating hike or a leisurely stroll near the lake.
While hiking you can spot many local birds including migratory birds, waterfowl, and sometimes birds of prey like owls or hawks. The large forested area to the north of the lake is also home to deer, moose, coyotes, and other wildlife. Use caution around large mammals, and be aware of your surroundings so you don’t have an altercation with local wildlife or become lost in heavily treed areas.
Phyllis Lake provides an ideal environment for canoeing and kayaking. This quiet natural lake in the Alberta Foothills, and the distant Rocky Mountains provide spectacular scenery.
The lake is not open to gas motored boats, only electric powered boats and human powered watercraft are permitted on the lake. No high speed boat traffic is present on the water surface to create wakes or pose a hazard to canoes or kayaks who can enjoy gliding across the glass-like surface on non windy days. Because the lake is relatively small, even when the wind is up the surface is not particularly rough and is ideal for paddling.
Phyllis lake is about 500 meters (547 yards) long and 400 metes (437.5 yards) wide at its widest point. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout and there are perch in the lake that have been illegally introduced and are considered an invasive species. You will need a valid Alberta fishing license to fish on Phyllis Lake and should be aware of local rules and regulations to ensure you don’t exceed limits.
Watch out for local water birds which are plentiful on the lake and avoid hooking these feathered friends. Electric motor and non-motorized boats are permitted on the lake however gas powered motorboats are prohibited.