Subi & The 5

Oldman Dam Provincial Recreation Area – Pincher Creek, Alberta

We’re headed north to British Columbia and Alberta in Canada for a few weeks visiting friends and family. We have been having lovely weather so it was a terrific drive north. We like to take our time and get stopped by early afternoon.

We headed up through Idaho via part of the International Selkirk Loop and into British Columbia and then over the Crowsnest Pass into Alberta.  The Crowsnest Pass is the southern most highway pass in Canada for crossing the Canadian Rockies over the Continental Divide. It sits right along the British Columbia/Alberta border and it about 4,500′ high.


After the pass we continued through Fort McLeod and on to Pincher Creek located about 35 miles north of Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta.  It is one of the windiest areas in Canada and is known for its wind turbines.

Not too much further north east is the Cottonwood Campground at the Oldman Dam Provincial Recreation Area. There are 3 other campgrounds in the Recreation Area, Windy Point, North Fork, and Chinook RV campgrounds but they are further west and north of the river.   The Cottonwood Campground sits along the south side of the Oldman River and provides 82 campsites, 50 are unserviced and 30 provide 15 AMP.  The gravel sites are long, neatly manicured, level, and offer some site privacy. We love this place. Don’t confuse this campground with the Oldman River North Provincial Recreation Area which is north of Crowsnest Pass 20 or 30 miles and way off a long dirt/gravel road.

The Oldman River was one of the rivers which flooded in the June 2013 flood which is considered one of the costliest natural disasters to hit Canada.  We could see parts of the road still lying on the river shores while the bridge is still under going construction.


Campground: Cottonwood Campground
Location: About 8 miles north east of Pincher Creek, Alberta off highway 3 (Crowsnest Hwy)
Site: B40
Cost: $23 ($CAD) ($30 for electrical 15 AMP)
Services: dry camping
Comments: A lovely, peaceful, well maintained provincial park with lots of long, level sites along the river.  We loved sleeping with the windows open and hearing the rush of the river.


Some of the other sites in the campground.


The campground has a playground for the kids and a few walking trails along the river where you can view not only the river but the wind turbines in the distance and a bit of wildlife.



  1. LOVE your blog entries!!

    Cottonwood Campground looked virtually empty. Sometimes you can make more money by charging less. Something governments NEVER learn. 🙁


    1. Thanks Larry! Yep, it was almost empty. I think there were two other rigs there. We chalk it up to Canada schools being in session until end of June. AND it was mid-week instead of the weekend. By the time school is out every campground is packed hence why we choose end of May/early June to travel. Perfect!!

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