Whitney Lakes Provincial Park is located three hours north of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The park considers itself an idealistic camping location that is reminiscent of many children’s camping experiences because it is a rustic camping area but with many amenities of home. RVers and outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy camping near the water as well as all of the activities that the park offers its guests.
The park, once a glacial area, has four lakes surrounded by birch, pine, aspen, juniper, and spruce trees. The thickly forested area creates a shaded playground for activities such as hiking, biking, hunting, wildlife watching, and water activities.
Besides the natural features, Whitney Lakes Provincial Park has historical roots that helped build the area in and around what is now a provincial park. People interested in history should take time to visit the historic site that holds two houses that once served as trading posts during the height of the Alberta fur trading boom. Close to the park are several other historically significant sites that support Alberta’s past as a growing settlement. Many of the sites have interpretive information describing why the area was significant at one time and how these sites remain an important part of Alberta history. Pick up a park map for details on how to visit these places of interest.
Whitney Lakes Provincial Park is located 140 miles (240 km) east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in a forested lakefront facility.
The park’s facilities operate on a seasonal schedule, but some areas within the park, such as the lakes and the trails, are open through the winter. Campers should pay their fees when making their reservations online. Camping permits are issued when establishing reservations. Campsites not reserved are issued on a first-come, first served basis, and permits and payments may be made within the park or camping areas.
Stay near the water at Whitney Lake Campground, a reservable and pet-friendly campground that has sites with 30-amp electrical hookups and primitive sites with no hookups. Many of the spaces permit RVs and trailers over 60 feet in length, and all of the campsites have a fire pit and a picnic table. The closest dump station is located near the campground by the entrance to the park. The campground has trash receptacles, a playground, a boat launch, fishing area, restrooms, drinking water, and a water pump. There are several campground registration areas within the campground. Guests are asked to keep generator noise to a minimum to protect the sounds of nature. All noise and other activities that may disrupt your neighbors must stop between the hours of 11:00 pm to 7:00 am.
The Ross Lake Campground is a seasonally-operating, pet-friendly campground that accepts reservations, as well as several registration areas located within the campground. Camping sites have 30-amp electrical hookups with fire pits and picnic tables. Many of the driveways are large enough for RVs and trailers over 60 feet in length. The campground has restrooms, pay showers, drinking water, water pumps, grills, a playground, a boat launch, a beach, and a fishing area. There are places located inside of the campground to purchase firewood should you want a fire. The dump station is close to the campground near the entrance to the park. Guests are asked to keep generator noise to a minimum to protect the sounds of nature. All noise and other activities that may disrupt your neighbors must stop between the hours of 11:00 pm to 7:00 am.
Whether you like to fish from a boat, or you enjoy boating for sport, the Whitney Lakes Provincial Park has four lakes to choose from depending on the type of boating you’d like to do. Borden Lake only permits canoes on the water. Whitney, Ross, and Laurier permit both power boats and canoes. The lakes that allow power boats have boat launches to access the water. All watercraft must comply with Canada Shipping Act regulations. For questions relating to boating rules and restrictions, contact Transport Canada.
Bring your fishing tackle and spend your trip fishing on one of the three lakes. Whiney, Ross, and Laurier lakes have perch and pike, and anglers may drop their lines in the water from the shore or a boat. The fishing areas are mainly located near boat launches, so if you like both shore and boat fishing, it is easy to try your hand at both. Before heading to the lakes, make sure you understand Alberta fishing regulations, as fishing limits, bait, and other rules change seasonally. Contact Alberta sportfishing regulations for details and more information.
Bring your mountain bikes and your hiking shoes and spend time outside with the whole family. The trail system at Whitney Lakes Provincial Park is extensive, and there are different types of trails that offer opportunities for varying ages and abilities. From meandering paths along the shores of the water to more hilly terrain through some of the thickly forested areas, you can spend an hour or a day walking or riding. More adventurous guests who enjoy hiking and overnight camping can plan a backpacking trip. The possibilities are numerous with over 18 miles (30 km) of trails to traverse. For more detailed trail information, download a park map before your trip, or pick up a map when you arrive.
Whitney Lake is a beautiful wildlife watching location because of its wetland landscape surrounded with thick forests of spruce, pine, aspen, juniper, and birch trees. The water supports different species of animals while also attracting some beautiful birds. Birdwatchers should bring their bird guides and binoculars and be on the lookout for some of the park’s 145 species of waterfowl and birds. Mammals like the moose, black bear, deer, and beaver create their homes around the water while amphibians like salamanders and frogs move from land to water to support their way of life. If you are searching for a specific animal species, plan to sit outside quietly, and see what creatures come your way.
One of the best times to experience the forest is during the winter season where most people would prefer to spend time indoors. If you want to see the park from a different perspective, visit Whitney Lakes Provincial Park when the hiking and biking trails are covered over with snow, and the only sounds you will hear is the beating of your heart and the silence of a heavy snowfall. Bring your skis and snowshoes or rent them from a sporting goods store nearby, and see why so many Canadians adore winter. Be sure to pick up a park map before heading out to the trails, so you are acquainted with the different routes and prepare yourself for changing weather. The trails are not groomed in the winter, so skiing and snowshoeing is more of a backcountry adventure at Whitney Lakes.
Do you ever wonder what people are doing outside on the frozen lake inside of the little huts? People who love to fish will find any excuse to get to the water, even when the water is frozen over. Some of the best fishing is done during the winter because the fish’s activity patterns change, and many fish congregate toward the surface of the frozen water, making it easier to catch a fish. Pike and perch fishing is excellent on Laurier, Whitney, and Ross Lakes during the winter. Before you head to one of the lakes, familiarize yourself with Alberta’s Sportfishing rules and regulations.