RV campers who want a quiet camping area close to the water should add Thunder Lake Provincial Park in Tiger Lily, Alberta, Canada to their places of must-visits. The park, aptly named, sits on the northeastern shores of Thunder Lake. Thunder Lake has 2.71 square miles (7.03 km2) of surface area, giving anglers and boaters plenty of space to fish and explore. The water recreation at Thunder Lake is excellent. Visitors can pick from activities like swimming, boating, windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, and playing on the beach. There is a water activity for almost everyone’s liking here.
Like most Canadian parks, the Thunder Lake Provincial Park buildings and facilities operate on a seasonal schedule. Even though some of the park is closed during the winter, other areas, like the lake, remain open for winter recreation. Staying here during the summer, you will most likely experience warm summer days filled with plenty of sunshine and cooler temperatures at night. During the park’s peak operating months, Thunder Lake Provincial Park averages 68℉ (20℃) during the day and 42℉ (5.5 ℃) at night. During the summer, you can expect to see rain an average of ten days each month. The sunny days and chillier nights make a perfect combination for water activities during the day and s’mores and campfires after dark!
Thunder Lake Provincial Park is located in Tiger Lily, Alberta, Canada. The park is 87 miles (140 km) northwest of Edmonton, and 226 miles (364 km) north of Calgary.
The scenic drive takes RVers past lakes, rivers, and the Canadian Rocky Mountains frame your journey to the west of your drive. The campground is located 13 miles (21 km) west of Barrhead on Highway 18.
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 Thunder Lake Campground is a beachfront camping area that provides the amenities that RV campers desire. The pet-friendly, multi-looped campground accepts reservations during the peak park season, and it and allows first-come, first-served camping around the peak operating season for particular campsites. Camping fees are payable when you make your reservation. The Thunder Lake Campground has sites with electric (15 and 30 amp) and non-electric utilities, and all sites have a fire pit and picnic table. Many of the driveways allow room for larger RVs. The max length for an RV and tow vehicle together is 60 feet. Inside of the campground, there are flushing toilets, showers, vault toilets, and a place to purchase firewood. This campground also provides drinking water, a dump station, and the beach and playground area is close by. A small concessionaire runs during the peak summer season, so if you’ve forgotten something at home, you don’t have to go far to get what you need. Please respect the park’s quiet hours and silence your generators between 11:00 pm until 7:00 am. Guests who require a generator for medical reasons should contact the park for more information. Because animals frequent the area, all campers should store food, toilet, and pet-related items in the trunk of your vehicle or another hard-sided storage container and dispose of your trash in the bear-proof bins. Bears are cute, but you don’t want to wake up next to one. A hungry bear is a grouchy bear!
Bring your beach chairs, your towels, your suits, and your sunscreen, and lounge lakeside at the Thunder Lake beach. There are two swimming areas, both located near camping and the day use facilities. Both swimming areas are close to showers, restrooms, and drinking water, and one of the swimming areas is near the concession stand. Before you plan your day outside, prepare yourself for the weather, and always ensure you prepare yourself for safe swimming by bringing someone along with you.
The best part of staying at a park like Thunder Lake Provincial Park is the opportunity to stay and play in one place. The day use areas at Thunder Lake gives people of all ages something to do. If you have kids, bring them to the playground or take them to the swim beach. If you are into fresh produce and little shops, plan to visit the farmer’s market which is located near the beach and the playground. Most of the day use areas have restrooms, drinking water, and plenty of parking close by, so you won’t have to worry about being too far away from the areas of the park you need to visit the most.
What’s a better way to see a lake than to see it with a boat? Boating on Thunder Lake makes it easy to traverse the water quickly or to find a secluded fishing area. Larger watercraft like motorboats and sailboats are permitted on the lake, but so are smaller boats like kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. Bring your boats and head to the water using the launch, or push off from the beach if you have a hand-carried watercraft. Before you set sail, be sure to check out Alberta’s boating laws. You don’t want to get caught without a personal flotation device or proper registration!
Thunder Lake Provincial Park isn’t a park with rocky terrain and strenuous hikes offering steep hills and challenging grades. This park offers hikes that are suited for people who enjoy leisurely walks through trees, camping areas, and beaches. Many of the trails are flat and short, so hiking gear isn’t needed. You will be fine setting out on foot wearing your comfortable footwear and carrying a small bottle of water. Before you head out, you can pick up a park map or download a map from online. Getting outside is one of the best parts of camping, and there isn’t an activity that’s better to see the sights than by hiking.
When you visit Thunder Lake, plan to bring your fishing gear and see if you can catch one of the lake’s resident fish. The park has a pier and a boat launch as well as a few fish cleaning stations scattered throughout the facility. You can fish year-round in Thunder Lake if you have the proper equipment. Alberta residents between the ages of 16 and 65 need a fishing license, and all non-residents regardless of age must possess a permit before heading to the water. For information on fishing rules and regulations, pick up an Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Guide which is available for print or as a download.
Bring your handheld GPS devices and participate in one of the world’s most exciting electronic scavenger hunts. Geocaching is a fun game where people of all ages can explore new places, find fun treasures, and leave behind a cache for the next person. Thunder Lake Provincial Park participates in the Geocache phenomenon by allowing some of the hidden treasures within the park’s boundaries. If you think you’d like to try out this exciting activity, visit the Geocaching website to get started. Scavenger hunts have never been so technologically tricky!