Some people may get fancy hotel rooms, go for quiet dinners, or get some relaxing massages in some high end resort spa for their anniversaries. But us, well that’s just not our style. For our anniversary we decided to take on our first crown land camping experience. Our anniversary is October 8th, but we decided to head out the last weekend in September. Abraham Lake (Bighorn Dam) was our destination. We had read many wonderful things about it.
So here’s the thing with crown land camping. No power, no water, no bathrooms, no showers. You just pull up to a vacant fire pit you like and make camp. We nustled back in some trees that still gave us a gorgeous mountain view. When we pulled in there was a total of only 4 other people there (and this place is massive) the peacefulness and quiet was amazing. Now don’t get me wrong. I am sure that during the busy season it can get extremely full. We lucked out being end of season and the weather was quite cool. In fact the first night it snowed and we woke up blanketed in fluffy white goodness. That didn’t deter us any though…
After many,many “debates” back and forth we decided to bring our quad and our kayaks. Let me tell you for once, the husband was right! There is an endless amount of quading trails! Our first day we set off to do some exploring closer to our campsite just to check out the area. The views were incredible. The lake itself is pristine. Glacier blue water, rocky beaches and white capped mountains surround it.
So here’s a little history on Abraham Lake. Abraham lake is an artificial lake on the North Saskatchewan River in western Alberta Canada, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. It lines the David Thompson highway between Saskatchewan River Crossing and Nordegg. It was created in 1972 with the construction of the Bighorn Dam. Although its man made, it possesses the breathtaking blue waters of other glacial lakes which is caused by rock flour.
Day 2 we decided to make a trek up the highway a bit and hike Crescent Falls. This is a gorgeous hike, and in some areas not for the faint of heart. ( I most definitely did not look down at some points!) We parked at the upper look out and started there. The trail head can be hard to spot but look for the two big boulders to the right. This is where it begins. There are some steep cliffs and some sketchy points at the beginning, however these level off and leave you with a beautiful hike through the woods. The views at the end are worth the scary beginnings!!
Later that day we decided to try out the kayaks and fishing. While we had no luck on the fishing point the quick paddle around the lake was awesome! We launched from what appeared to be a boat launch of some sort near the entrance. The water isn’t overly deep where we were but the wind can pick up quickly and things can get challenging pretty quickly. So make sure you are prepared if you decided to venture out on the water.
On our third and final day, we decided to make it an all out quading adventure. We loaded up and headed out. The amount of trails in this area is endless. So much to see and explore. Cross the damn and there is a trail head with all your maps and signage. The trails are signed and easy to read. The trails we took were mostly easy, though a few spots had our hearts pumping a little quicker. I’m sure if you are a quadder who loves to get muddy and stuck there are endless opportunities for that as well.
Overall we had a fantastic anniversary road trip! Abraham Lake has taken a top spot for one of our favorite places we have visited. We can not wait to go back and explore some more. If you plan on visiting the area, please remember to leave it as you found it. These crown land camping areas may be harder and harder to come by if we are not taking care of them, and what a disappointment that would be.