|Family Backcountry Trip at the Point, Kananaskis|
I mentioned in an earlier story this summer, A revised look at summer 2013 in the Canadian Rockies, that we had a bad week of rain and flooding across Southern Alberta in late June. As a result, every backcountry campground in Kananaskis was closed well into July. EVERY one! And Banff National Park wasn't looking pretty either! A vast majority of the backcountry bridges near the town of Banff were washed out during the flooding. Trails were heavily affected everywhere and I couldn't honestly find a campground that would be feasible for our family or friends with young kids coming with us.
|Trail damage and erosion in Kananaskis|
The next trip was to be equally special because we had booked an entire backcountry campground in Kananaskis for 7 families and were going to paddle into the Jewel Bay campground on Barrier Lake. That campground did finally open - a week TOO late! Nope, not bitter at all. ;)
|Jewel Bay Campground - after the flood|
My husband suggested we try to re-book Jewel Bay for later in the summer but we really had no free weekends. He wasn't willing to give up his September climbing trip (fair enough), and every weekend had something planned. Friends suggested we just go car camping instead and make the best of it. After all, we'd still be together and would have fun, right? Well...
I already said I fight for our goals and so the only option was to find another backcountry campground and go on with the show as planned, the last weekend in July. This was to be the fourth year of family backcountry camping and we couldn't just skip a year.
Fortunately, one campground did finally open in Kananaskis in time for our trip - and while it was the same campground we went to last year, at least we knew it was very family-friendly. We would be able to paddle to camp as planned, other friends would be able to hike in, AND we got space in the campground thanks to the awesome help we got from Parks staff.
|The Point Backcountry Campground, Kananaskis|
|Upper Kananaskis Lake|
We ended up camping at the Point Backcountry Campground on Upper Kananaskis Lake and everything worked out really well in the end. Parks staff had reserved a block of sites for us - in the event that Jewel Bay didn't open in time (Thank you Sarah, we love you!), we managed to keep a group of 6 families for the trip that still wanted to come, and I got to do my first SUP backpacking trip. I was very excited to ride my stand up paddle board to camp and to cross another lake off my "to paddle" list. We took our new double kayak for my husband and son, and managed to fit all of our gear into it for the night which was a huge success as our first overnight family kayak trip.
|The Kayak's First Overnight Trip|
|Backpacking on a Paddle Board!|
|Camping with Friends is always WAY more fun!|
|Paddling on Upper Kananaskis Lake|
|The Point at Sunrise|
|Morning Paddle on Mirror-Like Upper Kananaskis Lake|
To read more about camping at the Point, read my story from last year's trip, How to Fit 7 People in a Canoe - Backcountry Adventures in Kananaskis.
For more suggestions on where to go backcountry camping as a family in the Canadian Rockies, read my previously published guide, Family Camping Made Easy - Backcountry Adventures.