May 14, 2014 10:46 pm

Not up for roughing it? Try ‘comfort camping’ in Alberta

One of Pigeon Lake's new "Yurts" for the slightly more "high-maintenance" nature lovers among us.

Cliff Harris, Global News

EDMONTON – If you want to enjoy Alberta’s great outdoors, but without all the work that comes with tenting, “comfort camping” may be right up your alley.

It’s an option that’s available at five Alberta parks, including Pigeon Lake Provincial Park, which is once again open for business after undergoing a $7 million facelift.

The three-year project has added a number of improvements, including new showers and washrooms. There’s also a new boat launch, and expanded day parking.

“Yurts” – a modern version of traditional nomad dwellings in central Asia – are among the upgrades. By the end of the summer, there will be eight of them available at the provincial park, located just over 100 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

There are three sizes to choose from:

Comfort Camping options in Pigeon Lake.

Alberta Parks

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The queen size beds will ensure you don’t wake up in the middle of the night on rock-hard ground, as can be the case in traditional camping.

But luxury does have a price. And it’s definitely more than the $23 fee of an unserviced site at Pigeon Lake; but still considerably less than the cost of an RV or cabin.

“These are opportunities for people to, you know…go camping without necessarily having to make a big investment in equipment,” said Richard Starke, from Alberta’s Minister of Tourism, Parks, and Recreation.

The Pigeon Lake comfort camping sites also boast private decks, windows, as well as full interior power and lighting.

It should be noted, though, that pets are not allowed in or around any of Alberta’s comfort camping sites.

READ MORE: Parks Canada wants to install Wi-Fi hotspots in the wilderness

The cheapest option available – a four-person canvas wall tent in southeastern Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park – will cost your group $95 per night.

The priciest choice is a four-bedroom lodge in Lesser Slave Lake that sleeps 10. It will set you back $200 per night.

There are also, of course, thousands of regular campsites available for those who don’t mind roughing it. You can reserve your camping spot online now.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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