July 03, 2017

Camping in the Kootenay Plains

Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
{the view from our campsite}
The other weekend (Father's Day weekend), we ventured out on our first camping trip of the year! We really didn't have any plans to camp in June, but when my best friend Karen invited us to join her family and some others at a group site, we figured why not! Karen and her family camp a lot, but we've never been able to join them before. I knew it would be a blast for Sully to have other kids to play with during the day, and the beauty of camping with your friend who has a trailer is chances are good that if you forget something, they will have it!

We packed up Friday morning and made the 3.5 hour drive north west of us to the Calvacade Group campsite in the Kootenay Plains. For local folks, this is about 65km west of Nordegg. The drive for us was beautiful, as it took as through the mountains up towards and through the Banff and Lake Louise area. I've never camped in a group site before, so I really had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that the sites were unserviced (not an issue for us since we tent it anyway) and no running water, so pit toilets only. I called ahead to make sure that the walk from our site to the closest outhouse wasn't too far and was told that each site had it's own outhouse.

When we arrived, I was taken aback by how beautiful the area was. Nestled in amongst the mountains, you would never expect the area to be a campsite. There were 8 sites and only 3 were booked for the weekend. But each site was so large that even if you had neighbours, you would barely notice. Our site in particular, also had a large outdoor shelter, complete with a wood burning stove and picnic tables in case weather took a turn for the worse. Pretty cool! Firewood was also included in the cost of camping which was great as we didn't have to haul any along with us.
Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
We arrived around 4pm, quickly set up camp and then spent the evening cooking, eating and drinking, while the kids and Karen's dog ran around and played. So much open space for the kids! A couple sets of friends weren't able to make it after all, so it was just us, Karen's family and Karen's husband's Aunt and Uncle. It was great spending the weekend with my best friend and watching our kids play so well together.
Calvacade Group Camping Kootenay Plains
Calvacade Group Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
Kootenay Plains, Alberta Group Camping
As for night time - I'm not going to lie. It was COLD. I wasn't really thinking about how early in the year it was, so I was not prepared to be so cold at night! I definitely regretted taking my leggings out of my duffel bag at the last minute! Emmy was a trooper though and napped and slept great! Karen leant us a travel sized playpen for using in the tent, and I brought along her Dockatot. At whatever time she would wake up to eat in the middle of the night, I would just bring her into bed where I kept her till morning.
Camping with a baby
I was worried about how Sully would take going to the washroom in a pit toilet, but he thought they were totally funny and awesome! He couldn't get over the fact that he was peeing into a big hole and that there was no handle to flush. Thank goodness he thought it was a novelty to use them! And I have to say, the outhouses at the campground were spotless and maintained daily, which made using them that much easier.

I already feel like the rest of the summer weekends are filling up quick, so I'm so glad we made it out once already to camp. We do plan to keep the rest of our camping trips this summer closer to home, but we definitely plan to return to this place again in the future!
Hiking in the Kootenay Plains
Hiking in the Kootenay Plains
Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
Camping in the Kootenay Plains, Alberta
{the coolest 6 year old I know}


Do you like to camp? Where's the best place you've every camped?

Tent or trailer? :) 




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