RV campers and outdoor recreation seekers who are looking for a rustic provincial park that is close to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, should reserve a campsite at Red Lodge Provincial Park. The park is the ideal destination for camping because the meandering river and thickly forested trees create the perfect backdrop for your RV or camper, but you won’t find yourself cut off from the amenities that you prefer to be close to when you choose a place to stay.
Red Lodge Provincial Park is close to some of Canada’s most visited national parks such as Banff National Park and Kootenay National Park. Campers who prefer quiet camping conditions away from the crowds of national parks should consider staying at Red Lodge Provincial Park while taking day trips to the more populated destinations. The drive to Banff is 115 miles (186 km) and will bring you to the snow-capped mountains and glacial lakes from a more flat terrain surrounded by rivers and evergreen forests. Depending on the direction you are coming, there may be steep or mountainous passes to traverse along your route.
Red Lodge Provincial Park is located in Bowden. The town is small and has a few restaurants and local services. The closest city to the park with the most amenities and activities is Red Deer, Alberta, which is located 35 miles (57 km) north of the park. Red Deer is the place to go if you are interested in nature, the arts, and recreational activities. The city offers places to eat, fuel, and find the services you might need along your journey. RV camping at Red Lodge Provincial Park is ideal for almost any type of traveler because it blends the feeling of nature with the bustle and activity of neighboring cities and parks.
Red Lodge Provincial Park is located in Bowden, just north of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, approximately 75 miles (121 km). Before leaving Calgary and heading north on Highway 2, prepare and fill up your gas tank in the town of Airdrie, the last city with an RV-friendly gas station and dump station before reaching your destination. The route is relatively straight and easily maneuverable for RVs and trailers. Once you get close to the park, follow the posted signs to the gatehouse.
The park is open from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm. Park entry fees vary depending on the facility and use. Contact the park for more information. The park is open seasonally.
There are no direct public transportation routes at this time.
The Red Lodge Campground is a large campground separated into four different loops. Each loop of the campground follows the bend of the Little Red Deer River making up one large campground. There are two types of RV sites to choose from depending on what kind of camping you prefer. Loops A, B, and D have unserviced, basic-style sites, while loop C offers 15 and 30-amp electrical hookups. All of the spaces, regardless of the loop, have a picnic table and a fire ring, and some driveways accommodate RVs and trailers over 60 feet in length. The campground is thickly forested providing shade and privacy for many of the campsites. Campers have access to drinking water, modern restrooms, showers, a firewood station, picnic areas, a playground, and a dump station. Please respect the park’s quiet hours and silence your generators between 11:00 pm until 7:00 am.
During the summer, the Little Red Deer River is the place to be if you enjoy river recreation. Popular activities include canoeing, kayaking, and floating. If you don’t have a boat or tube, there are opportunities to rent canoes and other watercraft from local outfitters in some of the neighboring cities. If you want to float or boat, but you don’t want to try the sports alone, then sign up for a guided float tour and let a seasoned guide navigate the river for you. Whatever water adventure you choose, you will be sure to have a fun time while exploring some of Alberta’s scenic wilderness.
Alberta provincial parks encourages everyone, regardless of age, to get outside and explore. The Family Discovery Packs program takes exploration to the next level and strives to get kids involved by providing rentable packs that teach kids about insects, birds, and astronomy while walking around the park. If you are interested in renting a pack, stop by the Park Office. There is a nominal fee for renting packs, and all renters leave a deposit which is refundable once returning the packs. Be prepared to leave a small deposit, such as a driver’s license or a set of keys.
When it’s hot outside, the best way to cool off at Red Lodge Provincial Park is to head to the river for a swim. The Little Red Deer River is warmest during late summer and early fall, but people swim during most of the park’s peak operating months because the need to cool down isn’t isolated to a month or two. The park has a few small sandy shorelines where swimmers can wade into the river. There aren’t any supervised swimming areas, and all swimmers should adhere to safe water levels before going for a swim. Before you swim, you can ask a member of the park staff where the best swimming areas are within the park, as well as talk to the park staff about safe water levels.
If river fishing is something you’d like to try, then the Little Red Deer River is the ideal place to cast your reel. Anglers may fish between April and the end of October, and fishing is permitted from the headwaters downstream to Cottonwood Road as well as in the tributaries. The Dogpound Creek tributary is not open for fishing. The Little Red Deer River has trout, mountain whitefish, and Northern pike, and depending on the time of the year, there may be limitations on fishing and limits.
Alberta Provincial Parks are excellent places to visit if you are a geocacher. Geocaching, a hand-held GPS scavenger hunt, is a family-friendly activity that is suitable for people of most ages. Red Lodge Provincial Park is one of many Alberta parks that permits hidden caches within its boundaries. Becoming a geocacher is simple. Before heading to the park, purchase a suitable GPS unit and visit the world geocaching website for information on cache locations, gaming rules, and other bits of information you will need to be a successful geocacher.
Are you interested in becoming a birdwatcher, or are you an experienced birder? Red Lodge Provincial Park has numerous places along the shore where birds, especially migratory birds, rest. Although the birdwatching opportunities are good within the park, the best place to see migratory birds during the spring and the fall is the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, located about an hour from the park. The Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary is Alberta’s first Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and it is the place to visit to see a variety of bird species. There are hiking trails and various landscapes such as wetland, grassland, and forest for guests to view birds. Bring your bird guides, your binoculars, and your cameras and add the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary to your itinerary!