Camping in Calgary

Updated December 2, 2023

Camping in Calgary has always been popular with visitors to our fair city. In addition to travelers, camping is a favourite family activity for locals. With travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic, followed by rising fuel prices, locals are choosing getaways and vacation options close to home.

Even before the pandemic we were seeing a rise in popularity. There are many reasons for this:

  • Affordable
  • Family tradition
  • Experience the outdoors
  • Explore nature
  • Improve physical and mental health
  • Disconnect from technology
  • Family bonding

The popularity of the activity is increasing and a recent study found that Millennials are embracing this and now comprise 40% of people who camp.

Brief History

Two families came together to create and grow this campground into what it has become today. We are now in our second generation running operations. Over the years we have seen a great deal of change. In the early days people arrived in the family car and pitched a tent. It was a very simple pleasure for simpler times. Over the years camping has evolved and today families are less likely to arrive with a tent.

Calgary Campgrounds

Over the years several campgrounds that were within the Calgary city limits have disappeared. This is a natural evolution and not unique to our city. A campground can have a large footprint and as a community evolves the land is acquired by developers. Another factor locally is a City of Calgary bylaw which restricts open fires. Most campers feel sitting around the campfire is a highlight of the experience.

Still Many Options for Campers

With the recent closure of Calgary West Campground there are now no campgrounds within the Calgary city limits. Fortunately there are still many campsite options, including Riverbend Campground, just a short drive from the city. Options range from privately owned campgrounds like ours to properties operated by municipalities or service clubs. Municipal campgrounds tend to be smaller. As an example, the Turner Valley Municipal Campground 28 kilometers to the west of us has just 22 sites.

Close to Calgary Attractions

If you are traveling to the Calgary area and plan to experience the area attractions, Riverbend Campground is an excellent choice. From your home base here you can just relax or discover a different adventure every day. The city is famous for the Calgary Stampede which happens for ten days in early July, This is a major summer event with an attendance of over a million visitors. Beyond the Stampede, there are things to see and do all summer long. For a taste of attractions visit our “Things to do in Calgary Area” page. For information on getting around while camping in Calgary check out the blog post here.

Fly fishing on the Bow River with the Calgary skyline in the background. Photo by Philippe Clairo

More Reasons to Stay

Beyond the city there is so much to see and do from the wonders of nature which we have in abundance to historic sites and attractions. As locals we realized we are blessed to live here and are happy to share our knowledge of popular attractions as well as some lesser known spots you might enjoy.