Abraham Lake Camping Guide – Random Camping in Alberta with Kids

Early in the summer is a magical place for Abraham Lake camping. Through June, the water is usually so low that you can drive for kilometres down on to the lake bed – it’s a popular camping spot that just gets more popular as the water rises and you see more and more tents pop up through the area. 

Located between Nordegg and Banff Park, Abraham Lake is actually a man made lake. Popular during the winter months with those incredible ice bubbles, it’s actually even more incredible during the summer with the gorgeous blue water from the Saskatchewan Glacier. 

Abraham Lake Camping

Random Camping, or camping where you don’t need a reservation or campsite, comes with a bit of preparation. In short, you can camp in the Public Land Use Zone areas, as long as you follow the rules. That’s one of the thrilling parts of random camping, finding the invisible roads in the area that lead to trails where you can set up camp, gorgeous views all around. 

With no online reservation system, and a place you can head out to for a last minute camping experience, you can still find many secluded spots, as you pass by the popular lakeside. It’s more popular this year than ever, and finding your own secluded ‘spot’ is one of the best parts. 

The most popular place for Abraham Lake Camping is five minutes past David Thompson Resort. It’s an easy access point for vehicles and trailers, and for this reason, is quite busy. It’s a good introduction to Abraham Lake camping, as there are plenty of people nearby, close proximity to David Thompson Resort (if you need wood, etc.) and is easily accessed if you’re showing up later in the day. Though busy, it’s spacious, and you won’t feel cramped like a traditional campground. 

There are no facilities at Abraham Lake Public areas. That means no washrooms, no water taps. While you’re camping, pack in what you’re going to pack out. Leave it better than you found it, and bring all trash home with you.

Reminder: There are no Facilities when You’re Random Camping

  • What about the bathroom (if you’re tent camping)? Well, you’ve got a couple of options here: bring your own toilet facilities, there are many options from pop up tents where you can do your business, solution to dissolve human waste and bags that you can pack back in your vehicle and bring it home to dispose of. Less complicated, is finding a spot in the woods (away from the trail, away from water) and digging a hole, making sure to bury it when you’ve finished. The third option, is to find a nearby trailhead or facilities (David Thompson Resort) for a visit to the washroom and playground. 
  • There is no water. Make sure to bring all of the water you need, with you. If you’re hiking with kids, bring even more water than you think you need.
  • It can be cold. The warmest day can lead to the coldest of nights. Make sure you have warm sleeping bags if you’re setting up camp at Abraham Lake.

Being mindful when Abraham Lake Camping that you are going to pack out all of the trash you accumulate, in your vehicle, changes the way that you pack. When we pack for a camping trip on Public Land Use Zone, we remove the packaging from everything. Using reusable containers for as much as we can, removing packaging from things like if there is a pool float or sand toy that we’re bringing that has been newly purchased.