5 Places to Camp This May Long Weekend

Best of Calgary is a celebration of the people, places and voices that make Calgary an amazing place to live and call home.

Written by: Kelsey Woods

With less than two weeks away from May long weekend, it’s time to start planning your camping excursion! For many, this will be your first weekend out of the year - if you dare to brave our unpredictable Alberta weather. The forecast may look nice, but we’ve really seen it all on this weekend over the years - sun, snow, rain, sleet, you name it. If you decide to camp this coming Victoria Day weekend, you must prepare for all the seasons: flip-flops, sunglasses, toques, mitts, rubber boots and flannel jackets all make their way into your overnight bag.

If you haven’t chosen a spot yet, there are plenty of places near Calgary for you to escape the city and enjoy some time with nature. Check out these five top spots for your camping trip:

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1. Tunnel Mountain Campgrounds

Just one of many places to camp in Banff National Park, this campground is located only an hour away from the city. Both Tunnel Mountain Trailer Park and Tunnel Mountain Village II Otentik are open for reservations from May 9 until October 6 while Tunnel Mountain Village areas are open year round. Enjoy your days exploring new forests, mountain trails and icy lakes only to return to a roaring fire and smoky hot dogs to top off the day. Make sure to swing by and pick up a park pass on your way into town if you don’t already have one as these are required in the national park.

2. Bow RiversEdge Campground

Open April 1 to October 31, this campground in Cochrane offers 144 full-serviced sites only 30 minutes out of Calgary. Situated on the Bow River, enjoy your days spent by the water while still enjoying beautiful views of the mountains without driving all day to get to them. Laundry, washrooms, showers, a playground and a group gathering area are all provided here. You will find knowledgeable, friendly staff around every corner to help make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

3. Hoodoo RV Resort and Campground

With ample green space and plenty of sites to book, drive east this May long and enjoy a change of scenery as you explore the Drumheller hoodoos with the family. This campground is open and booking well into the summer so get your calendar out and book a weekend now so that you have it locked in place. Providing thirty sites with water and power hook-ups, this campground also has two children's playgrounds, a full-sized baseball diamond, volleyball net, soccer field, nature trail and coin laundry. Whether you have a large trailer or a teeny tiny tent, all are welcome at this family-friendly campsite.

4. Nature's Hideaway Family Campground

This campsite has only been accepting reservations for two weeks, so email your requests in now to hold your spot. Located only 20 minutes southeast of Calgary, Nature's Hideaway is a natural paradise for all to enjoy. With a natural landscape of 100-year-old cottonwood poplars and the Highwood River encircling the property, there’s plenty of room for you to relax, spread out and enjoy the sunshine and shade on the water’s edge simultaneously. With power, water and septic hook-ups available, you may never want to leave! Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

5. North Fork Campground

This quiet campground found in North Fork Provincial Recreation Area is six kilometres west of Millarville. With 34 sites available, it is a great basecamp for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding in the Sheep Valley. The sites here are unserviced and on a first-come, first-serve basis, but at only $26/night, they go fast. Head out here Thursday night or sometime Friday to secure your spot before the weekend rush.


Happy May long camping weekend, Calgary!


Kelsey Woods is the Content & Editorial Manager for Best of Calgary.


Kelsey Woods