When it comes to adventuring, there can sometimes be a bit of stress while trying to sort out the logistics.
From all the excursions that you want to experience, the places you want to see and the people you may want to meet along the way, there are many variables that come together to ensure an unforgettable journey. And where you sleep at night can make or break your memories from a trip.
That is why the staff here at Glacier Raft Company have compiled a list of our favourite free (that’s right!) campsites near our lovely mountain town that we have all tested and tried ourselves, so you don’t have to!
This one is for those coming into Golden B.C. and are looking for a sweet spot to crash for the evening that is fairly close to downtown. Situated near one of the warmest lakes in Golden (you can swim in it… it’s cold, but manageable and refreshing!), these small tent campgrounds provide a great spot for those seeking a place to sleep close to town, yet still far enough away from people.
Located about 12 kilometers up the mountain towards the ski resort in Golden, this small camping area is well maintained and links up to one of Golden’s most extensive trail networks – the Moonrakers. The lake itself is fairly popular for locals, so you won’t be too secluded, and is home to a sandy beach. It is more suitable for tents, as it is too small for trailers and RV’s.
Follow the road up to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (7th Street North) for about 12 minutes until you see a green sign to Cedar Lake. Turn left and follow the arrows towards the campground.
The cost for this campsite is a little over $10.
For those looking for a bit more adventure, Gorman Lake is a wonderful little hideaway. Bring your backpacks and hiking shoes, because there is a 3.3-kilometer hike to the lake. But once you are there, beautiful mountain peaks and a stunning lake will be your company for the evening.
An open area near the lake is ideal for camping, with a few fire pits. Also, look out for a canoe by the lake! It’s there and available for anyone to enjoy.
To access the trailhead, you must drive down the Dogtooth Forest Service Road (you turn right off of 7th Street North in Golden, closer to the bottom of the road leading up to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort), past the golf course.
This road leading to the trailhead can be bumpy at times, so a truck is definitely ideal although a car can manage the journey. Just a heads up that the hiking trail itself may still have snow until July.
This one is more for locals looking to get out of town for a bit, or those driving through the Icefields Parkway (A.K.A. the highway linking Lake Louise and Jasper). This secluded campsite is ideal for those looking to escape all amenities for the night, as you won’t find any cell service - or even stores – nearby.
Hiking trails are abundant in the area, and the scenery itself is worth the drive alone. RV’s, cars and tents all have room to snuggle up nicely beside the majestic Abraham Lake.
This campsite is located right off the fairly deserted Highway 11, towards Nordegg. To get to Highway 11, you head up the Icefields Parkway (Highway 95) to the North Saskatchewan River Crossing. Here, you turn right and head east towards Nordegg.
Be on the lookout for the turnoff for Preachers Point Staging Area on your right. It appears shortly after your first full view of Abraham Lake – about 15 minutes once you turn of Highway 95 (past the Siffluer Falls trailhead).
If you are looking for a campsite with a view only a few minutes outside of town, then the Wapta Falls Recreation Site is the place to go.
This camping area has only a few sites available, but the view is spectacular. Wapta Falls, the largest waterfall of the Kicking Horse River, is visible from the site making this one of the more visually stimulating campsites in the area, and the roar from the rushing water is very calming.
It’s located just outside of the Yoho National Park boundary, which means you will have some extra time to sleep in if you are hoping to hike within the park itself. Plus, to get down to the base of the waterfall is easy!
To access the campsite, take the exit off Highway 1 to Beaverfoot Road. Follow this road for 7-kilometers until you see a sign for Wapta Falls Recreation Site on your left.
So get out and enjoy the wild nature that surrounds our hometown. With all of these gorgeous camping areas nearby, we here at Glacier are very aware at how lucky we are to have them just outside of our doorstep.
Now go live an adventure!
Cheers, from the Glacier crew.