Moose Lake Provincial Park camping is located in the north part of Alberta, 240 km northeast from Edmonton off Highway 660, and the closet town is 15 km (9.3 mi) west of the park – Bonnyville town. It was one of those road trips that took us almost seven hours to get there. I would say it’s the farthest one that we have to travel in Alberta. Even though it’s been so far away from our home in Calgary, we were happy to discover it and camp out there.
We dedicated the whole day to this trip, and we drove approximately 560 kilometres from our home. We had a couple of stops along the way to grab some food, let Mara (our dog) out and top up our gas tank. The overall trip was not difficult, and since it was the first time for us, we enjoyed the views of changing landscapes as we were progressing along the route.
The campground was easy to find, with many road signs and a big one at the entrance to the campground. There is another neighbouring campground, Franchere Bay, that we checked on our way back home. To be honest, we liked it less than the Moose Lake campground. We found it too crowded, with smaller size sites, sitting back-to-back to each other and almost no privacy.
The Moose Lake campground has decent-sized sites located at some distance from each other. In addition, many sites have semi or full privacy, thanks to the massive bushes growing all around the area.
Campground Sites and Amenities
The campground is located in the boreal forest that gives you the vibe of being in the old forest, almost like in the Jurassic Park movie. Giant lake, many trails, pine forest with thick moss carpet on the ground and a lot of different berries – these are some of the key elements that defined this place for us.
Our site was covered with the jack pine needles and had tons of sticks that Mara appreciated very much.
The typical provincial park fire pit and movable table were located at some distance from the trailer, and we had plenty of room to walk around them.
The loop we stayed at was less than a 5-minute walk to the lake with sand beach and benches. Unfortunately, it was not a pet-friendly one, so we had to get a bit on aside from the public beach, so Mara could enjoy the lake.
The typical activities that you can do at this park are:
- Short hikes along the well-marked trails
- Canoeing and kayaking
- Landscape and wildlife photography
Speaking of Moose Lake, at the time when we stayed there, the lake was infested with the blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria), that can pose a danger to humans and animals. We were worried about our dog, so we took an extra precaution to ensure no blue-green algae on the water where Mara was swimming. You can always check the latest Alberta Park Advisories at their website to get the latest updates for any parks in the province.
We visited this park in July, so we were lucky to catch hot days and enjoy the lake.
Speaking of swimming, it was the lake where Mara learned how to swim. Olena and I took our turns watching Mara while one of us was enjoying the lake’s warm water. So, next time you plan to visit Moose Lake, don’t forget to bring your swimsuits and swim trunks, you will have a great time on the water.
There is a boat launch located at the entrance to the campground, so if you have a bigger boat, it is convenient to use it.
We brought our Pelican Explorer 14.6 DLX canoe while staying at the park.
According to the information located near the boat launch, the lucky fishermen can catch many types of fish. Among them are brook stickleback, burbot, Iowa darter, lake whitefish, ninespine stickleback, northern pike, spottail shiner, tullibee, walleye, white sucker and yellow perch.
There is no campground host in the park. However, we have seen park staff passing by, checking reservations.
There is firewood for sale at the campground. The storage and sales place is located between sites # 10 and 12, and hours of operations are written on the fence. The price is $10 per tote. It is a typical price for Alberta provincial parks.
There are 59 campsites, among those 47 with 15/30 amp power hookups.
We booked a site with an electric hookup and enjoyed a 30 amp connection. We had enough room for our screen house/pavilion, as well as camp chairs and canoe. So, the site was quite big.
Group Use Sites
There is a group use sites area at the south of the campground. It was closed due to the COVID-19, though.
There is a water tap hookup at the entrance to the site loops. So if you have a freshwater hose, you can fill up your trailer tank. However, water is not potable, so you’ll need to boil it.
The dump station is located at the exit from the campsites. It’s pretty big, so you will have plenty of room to get in and out with your trailer.
When we needed to use it, it was out of service. So we had to go to the close by Franchere Bay campground and use their dump station.
You have to have a reservation to stay at this campground. There is no first-come, first-served type of sites.
We reserved our stay at the campground using the official Alberta Parks website. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this campground was operating at half capacity, so we made our reservations a couple of months in advance. During our stay, all the reservable sites were constantly busy.
Cell Service / Reception
I worked a couple of times from the campsite table, tethering from my iPhone. We used Rogers, and the signal’s strength was good enough to have Teams calls and exchange files with my colleagues. Moreover, we uploaded photos to social media and texted with our friends. So, this campground is perfect for those who want to stay connected while enjoying the campground.
Hikes Trails and Other Activities
There are many trails all around the park. Alberta parks map will guide you on your hikes. We have thoroughly enjoyed our daily walks and checked out all the trails presented to us.
The views were spectacular, and most of the hikes were easy to moderate difficulty. When I say moderate, I mean it will take a couple of hours for you to walk, but nothing strenuous.
While walking the trails, we saw waterfowl, songbirds and even hawks. In addition, we spotted a couple of deer walking in the distance. We also saw bear poop, so we always carried bear spray and checked our surroundings.
There are tons of wild berries bushes along the trails, primarily Saskatoon berries.
That was the first time us visiting Moose Lake Provincial Park, and we really liked it. The big lake, pine forest, trails, convenient campsites and proximity to the town (Bonnyville) made our stay very enjoyable.
We will definitely be coming back to this campground in the future.