Crimson Lake Alberta is one of the closest places to Rocky Mountain House that you can take the family for some water fun. There’s a beach, cordoned off swimming area, boat launching area, and a nearby campground. It’s 16 km northwest of Rocky, just head out west on highway 11 and follow the signs.
Picnic tables on the sandy beach are great for parents to read a book while their children make sand castles. I’ve done that a few times here with my own children. There’s a playground right by the lake too. Suntanning and swimming is pretty popular here. Great place to take the kids out for a day, just pack a lunch and a couple chairs.
This lake is almost 2 kilometres long and over 1.5 km wide, and as deep as 9 meters. Power boats and water skiing allowed, and plenty of opportunity for kayaking, canoeing or sailing. This isn’t the place to go fishing, though. For that you can check out the nearby Twin Lakes.
Lots of trails to explore in this area. The Amerada Trail goes right around the whole lake, but there’s about 20 km of gravelled trails in total for hiking and mountain biking. The same trails are used for cross country skiing all winter. Get completely immersed in a peaceful wilderness experience as you hike through the trees on these well maintained trails.
The Crimson Lake Campground is pretty upscale, with shower and laundry facilities. There’s an on site store, amphitheatres, and playgrounds here. Camping sites are available with power and water for trailer camping,and all include fire pit and picnic table. Some sites are reserved, but half are available for first come, first served campers. Over 170 Alberta camping sites can be found in this excellent facility. I’ve always liked these sites, and I camped here myself. You really get the feeling that you’re far from home in the deep wilderness when you’re surrounded by spruce trees.
Also near here is JKL Trail Rides and free petting zoo, right across from the Crimson Lake Provincial Park. The petting zoo has goats, sheep, guinea pigs, chinchillas, bunnies, ducks, turtles, and other animals. They even have a kangaroo, which doesn’t seem likely in redneck Alberta, but there you have it. JKL has daily trail rides, wagon rides, and programs for all riding abilities.
Overall, Crimson Lake is great destination. Close to lots of trails, access to watersports locations, great camping spots and plenty of activities. If you need supplies from town, Rocky Mountain House is less than 15 minutes away, and has two large grocery stores. Night life fun is available for those looking for that sort of thing.
If you’re travelling to this destination on Highway 54 through Caroline, be sure to stop at Caroline Supplies and pick up anything you forgot. Caroline Supplies is one of the best independent outfitters for Alberta outdoor gear that I’ve found. Other than that, you can find camping supplies at Canadian Tire on the North end of Rocky.