What a delight the Pigeon Mountain hike near Canmore turned out to be. Once you…
Glamping in Alberta or comfort camping as it is also called, is a great way to ease yourself into the wilderness – and for many it will be the best way to enjoy a close to nature experience. It’s kind of like camping but without the hassle.
Across the province there are loads of glamping in Alberta options – depending on what part of the province you’re interested in exploring. But book early as glamping is becoming hugely popular.
As one gentleman I recently spoke with puts it: “Glamping is perfect for a guy like me. My back is too sore and I’m too old to sleep on the ground anymore but I still want to have the wilderness experience.”
Glamping in Alberta
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Dinosaur Provincial Park
Dinosaur Provincial Park offers seven canvas tents outfitted with many of the amenities from home including beds, linens, cooking utensils, a small fridge, lights and best of all a fan for hot summer nights.
With a “tent” in a private location overlooking the Red Deer River, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh breezes and birdsong. The main sites of interest in the park are just a short distance away. The cost is $105 – $130 per night.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park – a top spot to go glamping in Alberta
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in southeast Alberta (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) offers three comfort campsites under a stand of cottonwood trees in the Milk River Valley.
Along with your private deck you get a comfortable bed, bedding, a fan and an amazing experience in a park known for its beauty. Rates are $115 a night.
2020 Update: In all probability there will only be tenting options going forward in this park as well as the Alberta government has made significant budget cuts. Camping is still an option.
Any park that offers oTENTiks
Parks Canada has spearheaded oTENTiks – a canvas tent erected on a wooden platform with rustic furniture and a picnic table but no bedding or cooking gear.
You can rent them in the following national parks – Elk Island (near Edmonton), Banff, Jasper, Waterton Lakes and Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site. They cost $120 per night.
Sundance Lodge, Kananaskis Country for a rustic glamping in Alberta experience
Sleep in one of 12 hand-painted Sioux canvas tipis, each on its own private site in the forest. Inside the tipi you’ll find wooden floors, beds and a small heater and lantern. Outside there’s a picnic table and a fire pit.
You can rent tipis at Sundance Lodge between May 17th and September 29th, in 2019. Rates are $69.50 for a small tipi and $93.50 for a large one that sleeps four. Or rent a canvas Trapper Tent for $98.40 per night.
It comes with a wooden floor and beds with mattresses though you must bring the bedding. Outside enjoy a picnic table on a deck with a fire pit. Nearby take advantage of first rate hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
Cypress Hills Provincial Park
I’ve included Cypress Hills Provincial Park as it’s a great place to visit and with three widely dispersed backcountry huts you feel like you’re the only one in the park.
Famous for its black skies, the park is also a treat to visit for the birder, hiker or boater. The three huts are rustic – offering beds and cooking facilities but not much else. They sleep anywhere from six people to ten people and rent for $80 to $100 per night.
Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park
If you love birds and beaches then grab a group of friends and head to Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park and rent The Nest. It’s a timber-framed building overlooking the lake with room for 12 people across four rooms with bunk beds and two rooms with queen beds.
It’s quite luxurious and not the least bit like tenting. With two bathrooms, a common area, kitchen facilities and an outdoor deck, I doubt one night will be enough.
While you’re here hike the lake shore trails but most of all enjoy the birding as that is what the area is famous for. The Nest rents for $250 per night.
Pigeon Lake Provincial Park
At Pigeon Lake Provincial Park southwest of Edmonton you can spend the night in a yurt. It sits on a raised platform with a deck. The yurt comes insulated.
For ventilation there are screened windows and a skylight that opens. There are three sizes to choose from – small (4 people maximum), medium (max 6 people) and large (8 people maximum). Cooking is all done outside. Prices range from $120 – $165 per night.
Miquelon Lake Provincial Park
At Miquelon Lake Provincial Park southeast of Edmonton, you can stay in one of four six person yurts.
Sitting on a wooden deck all yurts come fully equipped (except for bedding) with queen over queen bunk beds and a pullout futon. Outside there is a picnic table and BBQ. In this park take advantage of the hiking trails. The cost per night is $140.
Charmed Family Resorts, Crowsnest Pass Area
For something that will appeal to the younger set, head to Charmed Family Resorts in the Crowsnest Pass area. Three kitted out cottages can be rented at what has been called an imaginative family resort. Most of the cottages come with a wood-fired hot tub, a fire pit, picnic table, electric fireplace, bunkbeds and more.
Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park
Check out Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park if you like the sound of camping on an island. Located north of the town of Lac la Biche, the park normally offers five lakefront cabins that can sleep up to eight people for $150 – $165 per night.
The cabins are well outfitted with a small fridge, coffee maker and microwave. Bring your own linens. Outside enjoy the sunsets from your own private deck.
They also offer tipis with four single raised platform beds for $129 per night.
Wyndham-Carseland Provincial Park
Located on the Bow River just 30 minutes southeast of Calgary, Wyndham-Carseland Provincial Park offers four comfort camping sites in a cottonwood forest. Rates are $120 per night – and for that you get a tent that will sleep four, a picnic table and BBQ.
Inside there is an electric heater, a small fridge and a coffee maker but no cookware or utensils. Outside enjoy nature from your private deck. The tents are close to riverside hiking trails as well as a canoe launch.
Mt Engadine Lodge – a year-round favourite
Not only does Mt Engadine Lodge have a yurt, but as of 2018 they have six beautiful glamping tents. The tents are luxurious, dog-friendly – and when you rent them or the yurt you get the full package of meals.
This is moose country and a fabulous area for hiking in summer and winter sports like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. The yurts and tents have mountain views. You can rent them year round by the night.
Book a stay in a yurt or glamping tent at Mount Engadine Lodge right here.
For a different kind of glamping experience head south of Calgary to Aspen Crossing in Mossleigh and book one of the fully equipped cabooses. There are several to choose from. Kids especially would love sleeping at the top of the stairs looking out to the stars. Firewood and a picnic table come with the set up along with a fully equipped kitchen.
Meska Outdoors – just opened in 2021
Meska Outdoors is a newcomer to the glamping scene, with an emphasis on community collaboration and promoting Alberta. In addition to their luxury glamping experiences, Meska offers curated activity guides and family friendly things to do, through their network of partners. Seeking to grow the demographic of people who enjoy Alberta’s backyard, Meska Outdoors is pet friendly, and successfully completed their first season in 2021. More information about them can be found on their website, or by following them on Instagram @meskaoutdoors.
Where you most like to go glamping in Alberta?
Further reading about more accommodation options in Alberta & BC
- 10 Back Country Lodges in the Canadian Rockies
- What You Need to Know About Camping on the Icefields Parkway
- Camping for Beginners – What You Need to Know
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