ALBERTA'S CROWN LAND, Forestry Trunk Road, car camping works too!

Please don't think that all the places I would recommend involve 100 kms paddles or 50 kms hikes, sometimes that's not entirely necessary to get decent wilderness!  For me crown land camping is the next best thing! 

In Canada, Crown land is public lands administered by the Government. Non-patent land meaning that it is managed entirely by the Crown.  There is no title that transfers Crown land from Government to private entities; however, industry, trappers, farmers etc. can apply to the administering Government body to use the land for a specific purpose for a specific time.  This includes building lease roads.  Finding public lands involves going on to the administering Government lands page (search crown land in the jurisdiction) you wish and follow the map.  You will be looking for public camping opportunities.  Many lakes, rivers and in Alberta, in the mountains there is opportunities for some very phenomenal car camping experiences with the feel of the rustic, because they are not serviced (or populated) campgrounds.

I won't say the C word, but two years ago when it hit my heart was broken.  In Alberta, at first you weren't allowed out at all.  I struggled to understand.  Who the heck was I gonna get C from in the middle of nowhere!  Why were they doing this to me?  The one bit of joy I had was no longer permitted, nothing like feeling like you are grounded at 40 for nothing!    

In those early days going to a provincial park was out of the question, but one of the very first outdoor options to open was good 'ole backcountry, crownland camping!  And I will take what I can get.  Besides, I don't want crowds of people when I am out camping.  And in Alberta's mountain areas most of the tourist areas are full of crowds.  I also find that the places that have more people and tourists also have more bear problems.  Bears like food, and once they learn humans are a source of it, they will be around.  As I tell people I never see a bear in the bush, I see them in town though, or at peopley campsites!

I grew up in northern Ontario, and my experience was that driving up one of the old logging roads is where you find a great spot, not too peopley!  :)  I learned in that time during the C word, that the same was true for Alberta.  Head up the infamous Forestry Trunk Road!  It's not touristy, lots of locals and lots of great spots to hide out with some fantastic mountain scenery.  I have never been a fan of highly commercialized areas.  Banff is wonderful, Jasper is better, but up the forestry trunk road is way better!  Armed with a Backroads map book, my brand new Woods 6 person tent, some food and a couple dogs, we headed to Blackstone Recreation Area one weekend.  What a beautiful spot, tucked there in the mountains, a river to walk to and play at, and some serenity in a crazy world.

Here's your warning though about being in the foothills of the mountains. The weather changes quick!  You go to bed it's comfortable, in the middle of the night it drops to frigid temperatures, temperatures that make your teeth chatter, but hang on, by morning you will being scorched out of your tent by the hot summer Alberta sun.  In other words, layers!  Bring layers, and 4 seasons worth of clothes, you might need all of it, in the same 12 hours!  Seriously...  It's true!

Let me share a couple pictures from that lovely weekend getaway to Blackstone Recreation Area!

I actually do look forward to spending more time in Alberta doing more trips with my grandchildren, did I mention I am a grandmother to three, two grandsons and a granddaughter.  Oh and I have three daughters!