Camping at Little Bow Provincial Park

by - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Little Bow Provincial Park is a relaxing beach getaway only two hours from Calgary. The water is warm, the sand is perfect for building sand castles, and there's great boating and fishing on the Travers Reservoir.


Our Experience

The girls squeal as I clamber onto the SUP with them and stand up. After a few wobbly seconds, we find our balance and paddle to the floating dock. Melissa and MJ are also trying SUP for the first time and doing great. The swimming area is the perfect place to learn to SUP as the small bay's waters are calm save for the occasional wake from powerboats. Miya (8 years old) is even able to SUP on her first try!

Stand up paddleboarding at Little Bow Provincial Park
We spend the rest of the afternoon swimming, building sand castles, and relaxing. Of course, we get an ice cream at the Concession too! When we've had enough sun, we retreat to the shade of large balsam poplars along the beach.

Swings at Little Bow Provincial Park
Beach fun at Little Bow Provincial Park
Dinner finds us back at camp where the girls work together to start a fire without matches. Emi gathers balsam poplar fluff and shapes it into a little nest, then Miya strikes a ferro rod to make a shower of sparks over the nest. The fluff bursts into flame and in short order, the kindling and bigger pieces start to burn.

A Loop, Little Bow Provincial Park
After a good supper and too many marshmallows, it's fishing time. We walk past the beach to the marina, which is quite busy at this time of night. Some boats are returning and some are heading out, while several people fish from the dock. A man pulls a large walleye from the water and tells us it's his 29th fish of the day! Many more walleye are caught (and released) that evening with jigheads and minnows, as well as a little pike.

Heading to the dock
Sunset fishing
In the morning, we enjoy more sandy, splashy fun before checking out. It's been fun and relaxing. We plan to bring our canoe next time so we can explore the reservoir!

Campsites and Campground Amenities

This well maintained, prairie campground has 1 loop with power (Loop B) and 2 unserviced loops (A & C), and a Group Camping Area. A loop is closest to the beach, but B & C are closer to the showers and flush toilets.

Most of the campsites are partially shaded by cottonwood trees with minimal privacy. Sites on the outer side of each loop tend to be larger and more shaded. 

Amenities: Showers, flush toilets (in shower building only), concession, SUP and fishing boat rentals, boat launch, marina, picnic area, fish cleaning station, firewood.

Little Bow Provincial Park Beach
Little Bow Provincial Park Marina

Know Before You Go

  • There is no lifeguard on duty. Keep children within arm's reach!
  • The Concession takes cash only and the nearest ATM is in Champion, 19 km away.
  • Fishing boat and stand up paddleboard (SUP) rentals are available at the Concession stand. SUP rental: $25/1 hr or $40/2 hrs.

Getting There

Little Elbow Provincial Park is located two hours southeast of Calgary. We drove down on Highways 2 & 529 (fastest) and returned via AB 23 & 24 to stop in Vulcan.

Road Trip Stops

Check out the Okotoks Erratic, Nanton Grain Elevators (free!), or Claresholm Museum via Highway 2. Return on Hwy 23 & 24 to check out the Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station and try on Star Trek outfits!

Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station
A different kind of trek for me! ;)

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