Winter campers are a tough breed. While most of us enjoy the warmth of summer, when we can pitch our tent on the comfy ground, and then head for a swim, winter campers smile at the thought of venturing out into temperatures below freezing, and sleeping in the frosty air. Well, for those people, here is a list of provincial parks in Alberta that offer winter camping. BRRR...

Beauvais Lake Provincial Park

The campground's availability depends on the weather, which could end up closing the access roads. There are 13 kilometres of ski trails for cross-country enthusiasts.

Location: Located west at Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: Beauvais Lake campground has 15 winter sites for campers.

Winter activities: Cross-country skiing; ice fishing; snowshoeing.

Winter Amenities: Firewood; fire pits; cook shelters; pay phone; pit privies; warm-up shelter; water tap; food storage pole; fish cleaning station.

Coordinates: Lat: 49.409159889 Long: -114.116039408

Contact: 403-382-4097/403-627-2021

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Carson-Pegasus Provincial Park

The park is popular for the abundance of mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, black bear, weasel, mink, muskrat, beaver, snowshoe hare, chipmunk, red squirrel, porcupine, coyote and lynx. There are 6.5 kilometres of groomed trails for skiers.

Location: Located in central Alberta, Canada within Woodlands County, around McLeod Lake and Little McLeod Lake, approximately 23 kilometres north of Whitecourt. It is accessed by Highway 32. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: Carson-Pegasus campground has 6 winter campsites available.

Winter activities: Bird watching; cross-country skiing; ice fishing; snowmobiling (off site); wildlife viewing.

Winter Amenities: Firepits; firewood; picnic shelter; pay phone; pit privies; warm up shelter.

Coordinates: Lat: 54.297304712 Long: -115.643440917

Contact: 780-778-2664

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Chain Lakes Provincial Park

Chain Lakes Provincial Park is located in a region that is often extremely dry. For this reason, only communal fire pits are provided in the park's campground. Chain Lakes Day Use area is open year-round.

Location: Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Nanton. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: Chain Lakes campground has 92 winter camping spots available.

Winter activities: Ice fishing.

Winter Amenities: cook shelters; communal firepits; firewood; fish cleaning stations; pay phone; pit privies; water (pump or tap).

Coordinates: Lat: 50.2165056171 Long: -114.193984807

Contact: 403-382-4097

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Cypress Hills Provincial Park

Cypress Hills is an inter-provincial park that spans the southern Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary. It is Canada's first and only inter-provincial park, and is home to a number of diverse plants and animals. Hunting is available at the park - winter campers should check with park officials for rules and regulations regarding hunting.

Location: Located southeast of Medicine Hat. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: There are three campgrounds at the park that offer winter camping. Two campgrounds are open for winter camping at Cypress Hills. Elk Lake has 7 campsites for winter use. Spruce Coulee has 9 winter camping sites.

Winter activities: Cross-country skiing; downhill skiing; ice fishing; skating; snowshoeing; tobogganing.

Winter Amenities: Cabin/lodge rentals; cook shelters; firepits; firewood; pay phone; picnic shelter; pit privies; warm up shelter.

Coordinates: Lat: 49.6398151268 Long: -110.178133847

Contact: 403-893-3833

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Dawson Provincial Recreation Area

Noted as a spot for horseback riders, the park also welcomes campers and day users who would rather not get on to one of those beautiful beasts.

Location: Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: Dawson Equestrian campground has 10 sites for winter campers, even the campers who did not come in on horseback.

Winter activities: Horseback riding; snowmobiling (off-site).

Winter Amenities: Firepits; hitching rails; pit privies.

Coordinates: Lat: 51.0229342701 Long: -114.882393639

Contact: 403-678-0760

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Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, nad fossils and sp[ecies found here are on display in museums all over the world.

Location: 48 kilometres northeast of Brooks, Alberta, and a two and a half hours drive southeast of Calgary.

Campground: Dinosaur Campground has 65 spots available for winter camping.

Winter activities: Bird watching; wildlife viewing.

Winter Amenities: Cook shelters; firepits; firewood; pay phone; pit privies; picnic area.

Coordinates: Lat: 50.760095 Long: -111.519734

Contact: 403-378-4342 ext. 235

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Fisher Creek Provincial Recreation Area

The Freeman River day use area is open year-round.

Location: Located next to the #32 Highway, about 14 kilometres south of the town of Swan Hills and about 281 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: The Freeman River campground has 10 sites available for winter camping.

Winter activities: Snowmobiling (Off-site)

Winter Amenities: Firepits; firewood; pit privies; water pump.

Coordinates: Lat: 54.5722671661 Long: -115.40422075

Contact: 780-333-3377

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Kinbrook Island Provincial Park

Kinbrook Day Use area is open year-round. Star gazers and bird watchers will love being here. The park is situated at an elevation of 770 metres and is 11 km² in area.

Location: Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: Kinbrook Island campground has 122 winter camping sites.

Winter activities: Bird watching; cross-country skiing; ice fishing; skating; snowmobiling (off-site).

Winter Amenities: Cook shelters; firepits; firewood; fish cleaning stations; pay phone; picnic shelter; pit privies; water-tap.

Coordinates: Lat: 50.437189109 Long: -111.910595976

Contact: May-Sept: 403-362-2962; Sept-Apr: 403-378-4342

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Lake McGregor Provincial Recreation Area

The day use area is open year-round. For those who want to get "back to basics", Lake McGregor is the place to be.

Location: Located 80 kilometres southeast of Calgary, on the east shore of Lake McGregor reservoir. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: All of the campsites at the park, 100 in total, are unserviced and are available for campers all year round.

Winter activities: Bird watching; ice fishing;

Winter Amenities: Firepits; firewood; picnic shelter; pit privies; water pump.

Coordinates: Lat: 50.5654369237 Long: -112.917670523

Contact: 403-897-3933

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McLean Creek Provincial Recreation Area

The Mclean Creek Staging Area and McLean pond are open year-round.

Location: Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: McLean Creek campground has 170 winter sites available.

Winter activities: Snowmobiling (off-site).

Winter Amenities: Firepits; pay phone; picnic shelter; pit privies; water pump; water tap.

Coordinates: Lat: 50.888672901 Long: -114.679582426

Contact: 403-949-3132

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Miquelon Lake Provincial Park

Skijoring, available at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. Have fun!

Location: The park is located about 65 kilometres southeast of the city of Edmonton.

Campground: Miquelon Lake campground has 159 campsites available for winter camping.

Winter activities: Bird watching; cross-country skiing; skating; skijoring; snowshoeing;

Winter Amenities: Cook shelters; firepits; pay phone; picnic shelter; pit privies; warmup shelter; water tap.

Coordinates: Lat: 53.246091569 Long: -112.872995631

Contact: 780-672-7274

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Oldman Dam Provincial Recreation Area

View wildlife at the Castle River Wildlife Area. Before you do any fishing, ensure you have the proper permits.

Location: The park is located 41 kilometres northwest of Crowsnest Pass on Forestry Trunk Road or Hwy. 940, accessible from Hwy. 517.

Campground: Two campgrounds offer winter camping. North Fork campground has 10 spots available. Chinook RV campground has 30 spots.

Winter activities: Ice Fishing.

Winter Amenities: Firepits; firewood; picnic shelter; pit privies; water pump; water tap.

Coordinates: Lat: 49.5840504453 Long: -113.983180093

Contact: 403-382-4097

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St. Mary Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area

While at the park, visit such landmarks as Remington-Alberta Carriage Centre, Great Canadian Barn Dance and Waterton Lakes National Park.

Location: Located about halfway between Lethbridge and Cardston. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: Camp in one of 15 winter campsites at St. Mary Upper Campground.

Winter activities: Ice fishing.

Winter Amenities: Firepits; picnic shelter; pit privies; water pump; water tap.

Coordinates: Lat: 49.3453985464 Long: -113.136176184

Contact: 1-888-653-2522

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Sulphur Gates Provincial Recreation Area

Sulphur Gates is a staging area for equestrian users and backpackers going into Willmore Wilderness Park.

Location: Located about 20 kilometres northwest of the Town of Grande Cache and about 140 kilometres northwest of the Town of Hinton, 442 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Campground: Sulphur Gates Campground has 11 spots for winter camping.

Winter activities: Horseback riding.

Winter Amenities: Firepits; firewood; hitching rails; horse corrals; pit privies; water tap.

Coordinates: Lat: 53.8712033582 Long: -119.187531065

Contact: 780-827-7393

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Vermilion Provincial Park

Vermilion offers visitors a lot to do in the winter, with trails for cross-country skiing and horseback riding, with many of the trails located along the southern slope of the valley and protected from the sun.

Location: Located in the east-central part of the province, in Vermilion River County. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: There are 18 powered sites, with sewer facilities, and 7 powered sites available for winter camping in the park.

Winter activities: Ice fishing; tobogganing; cross-country skiing.

Winter Amenities: Cook shelter; firepits; firewood; fish cleaning stations; pay phone; pit privies; water pump; water tap; sewage station.

Coordinates:

Contact:

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Waterton Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area

Waterton is a great place to enjoy the peacefulness of nature.

Location: The park is located 25 kilometres south of Pincher Creek on Hwy. 6; 25 kilometres east on Highway 505. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: Waterton Reservoir Campground has 25 campsites available for winter camping.

Winter activities: Ice fishing

Winter Amenities: Firepits; firewood; pit privies; water pump.

Coordinates: Lat: 53.3676797132 Long: -110.909771506

Contact: 780-853-4372/780-853-8221

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William A. Switzer Provincial Park

The skiing at William A. Switzer Provincial Park is great for visitors.

Location: The park is located on both sides of the Bighorn Highway, between Grande Cache and Hinton. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: There are 6 campsites available for winter campers at Graveyard Lake / Halfway Campground; there are 38 sites available at Gregg Lake Campground; and there are 25 sites available at Jarvis Lake Campground

Winter activities: Bird watching; cross-country skiing; ice fishing; wildlife observation.

Winter Amenities: Cook shelters; firepits; firewood; fish cleaning stations; pay phone; pit privies; water pump.

Coordinates: Lat: 53.485503 Long: -117.80416

Contact: 780-865-5600 or 780-865-8395

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Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

This park is full of historical rock art, documenting the history of the First Nations people, Blackfoot and Shoshone, who have lived on the land for more than 8,000 years.

Location: The park is located about 100 kilometres southeast of Lethbridge. Check the website for exact coordinates.

Campground: Writing-on-Stone Campground has 61 sites available for winter camping.

Winter activities: Bird watching; wildlife observation.

Winter Amenities: Cook shelters; firepits; firewood; pay phone; pit privies; water tap.

Coordinates: Lat: 49.084271 Long: -111.619575

Contact: 403-647-2364

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