Thursday, July 11, 2013

Camping in Red Lodge Provincial Park

While our family tries to get out and visit new campgrounds each year, it gets increasingly difficult when we keep finding favourite spots that we absolutely HAVE to revisit the next year.  We end up having to go camping every weekend in order to visit the beloved campgrounds from last summer and still find time to try out new ones.  It is therefore always a special treat when one of my friends visits a new campground for me, sends me photos, and a full review/write up.  I can then add the campground to my list for next year and know I'm in good hands, that it's been previewed for me, and kid approved.  

One of my friends and a member of the Calgary blogging community, Leslie Brooks, would like to share her family's adventures at Red Lodge Provincial Campground with you so please continue to her review below and leave a comment for Leslie to let her know if you plan to add it to your list of campgrounds to visit this or next summer.

Red Lodge Alberta Provincial Campground

We stayed at Red Lodge May 31-June 2 2013. This was my first time (in my memory) camping there and my husband Brian had been there as a child with his family. Our friends booked the sites so I didn’t have input into site choice, I went with their expertise given they had camped there several times before. They chose sites away from the river as it was unclear how many would be open or in original condition as this area is prone to flooding. We were a short walk to the outhouses or “dugs” as my son Grady calls them.

I found the sites well situated and a good size, we had a double site. I did not think the double site was that well designed if you actually wanted to fit two full size trailers with awnings out on it. We had one 10ft tent trailer and one pack-and-go type contraption that is like a simple trailer that folds out into a large tent.
The things I liked most about this campground were its proximity to Calgary, being on the Little Red Deer River (although I could imagine the bugs get quite bad later in the season), the playground was nice, and it was a short drive to Dickson Dam.

Dixon Dam (photo:  Leslie Brooks)

There is a small store that sells firewood for $8 a bundle and ice cream later in the season. We found cheaper fire wood at a stop on the way back from Dickson Dam. The showers and flush toilets are located in the relative middle of the campground with a parking lot should you think the walk is too far.

Camp (Leslie Brooks)
Another nice thing about the campground is that it has a walking path (sometime flooded) around the campground along the river. This path does come close to several sites so you can feel a bit like you are intruding on people’s privacy but it is a campground after all. 

I hear the river is lots of fun to raft in the later season and there were several easy drop off points for rafters. This would be great for older teens as I imagine they would spend all day in the sun rafting down the river and running back upstream to do it again. The river was pretty fast when we were there and even the dogs found it a bit challenging to swim.

Dickson Dam was by far the highlight of the trip for me, even if the interpretive centre was closed. There is a lovely field to walk through below the dam and we saw a least 20 goslings swimming with their flock and spent a good time walking around and tossing rocks in the river.

So if you are looking for somewhere close to Calgary for an easy trip with your family check out Red Lodge but be sure to call ahead to ensure there is no flooding.

End Notes

Red Lodge is located just over an hour away from Calgary near Bowden and Innisfail.  Currently there is no flooding and the campground has been repaired since the most recent flooding in June.

Thanks to Leslie for providing this review.  It sounds like we have to add it to our list for next August so that we can SUP and kayak the river.  

To check out Leslie's blog, follow this link to Ruff Ruminations.  

Have a campground you'd like to review for me?  Contact me

Dixon Dam, Alberta (Photo:  Leslie Brooks)

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