Beauvais Lake Provincial Park, Pincher Creek, AB, Canada
Driving time from Calgary
Grab a campsite
Beauvais Lake has lots of places to pitch your tent – nearly 100 campsites with both drive-in and walk-in options. As always, the best sites are the ones you need to work for. To access the walk-in sites, drive past the main campground, park on the road and follow the short trail. Unlike the drive-in spots, it’s not possible to reserve these walk-in sites, so get there early. Claim your site, bring your solar-powered supplies (there’s no electricity) and set up your own little wilderness retreat. Oh, and use the food locker provided – this is grizzly country.
Jump in the lake
Beauvais Lake is a beautiful place for swimming, so once your campsite is set up, go for a dip. If you managed to snag a walk-in site, the shore is only moments away. If you’re in the main campground, it’s a short walk. Take in the scenery and watch for animals – ospreys are often seen plunging into the lake to catch fish.
Rise before the sun
There’s nothing like watching the sunrise over the mountains, especially when it’s reflected on the surface of a calm lake while the forest wakes up around you. It’s worth the early rise (and camp coffee can help you ease into things). Since you’re up anyway, go for a walk to the wetland area at the southeast corner of the lake. This is prime moose habitat, and dawn provides some of the best odds for seeing one.
Scramble or stroll
Beauvais Lake Provincial Park has about 20km of hiking trails, so get out there and explore. The park’s showpiece hike is the Mount Albert Backcountry Trail, a 7km loop that has a viewpoint from the top of Mount Alberta. This trail involves 250m of elevation gain and some scrambling. For a more leisurely stroll, South Shore Trail, a 3km level trail along the lake, is a great option. Regardless of which trail you go for, you’ll be hiking in pristine montane territory, so keep an eye out for wildlife and keep the 7 Leave No Trace tips in mind.