Clearwater county boasts forest, foothill and mountain landscapes and offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. Whether boating, biking, hiking, skiing, fishing, hunting, camping, or riding your off-highway vehicle, we welcome healthy, vibrant and safe exploration of our area.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor adventure that is happening all the time, all around the world. To play, participants use the Geocaching app and/or a GPS device to navigate to cleverly hidden containers called geocaches. There are millions of geocaches in 190 countries waiting to be discovered—there may be some in Clearwater County so let’s get started.
To find locations in and around Clearwater County refer to:
Hiking in Clearwater County is a great way to explore the area while experiencing nature and wildlife. Each trail offers an adventure from scenic day hikes in Crimson Lake Provincial Park to multi-day wilderness excursions in the mountains surrounding Abraham Lake. There is something for everyone to enjoy. Grab your backpack and find a trail that’s right for you.
There are many different locations in the area that are open to hiking. Many of these spots are easy to reach and are well worth the hike.
Unless you are familiar with the area, you are advised to consult one of many books about hiking in the area, such as, "Hiking Alberta's David Thompson Country" by Pat Kariel and Eric Schneider, and "Backroad Mapbook" for further information about these and many other hikes.
Remember to alert others about your plans and to take precautions to avoid getting lost. The following are just a few of the amazing hikes to be found within Clearwater County:
- Siffleur Falls: From the well marked parking lot on Highway 11 at Kootenay Plains, follow the easy 3.7 km route across the suspension bridge over the North Saskatchewan to the falls. The area is an ecological reserve.
- Allstones Lake: Access from Highway 11 at Allstones Creek along Lake Abraham, the trail climbs over 500 m in the 3.2 km distance. The trail provides a spectacular view of Allstones Lake from above, as well as some great vistas.
- Shunda Mountain Lookout: On top of old "Baldy" at Nordegg is the forestry lookout with a staff person who gets lots of visitors up the old fire road trail. The hike is 6 km from the gate across the access road.
- Coliseum Lookout: The next mountain overlooking Nordegg has the distinctive crown on one end. The access trail begins near Shunda Creek Campground and it is a moderate 7 km hike.
- Landslide Lake: This lake can be reached from the Cline River bridge on Highway 11 or from the trail head east of Thompson Creek Campground. It's 10 km from the bridge, and a little shorter, but steeper attack from the south trail head. It is well worth the effort however. The trail from the bridge is also the access to Lake of the Falls, Pinto Lake and Entry Creek.
- Baseline Lookout: Baseline Mountain is located SW of Rocky Mountain House on Secondary Highway 752. The lookout is 4 km from the access road gate. Canada Cup Mountain bike racing has been held here.
- Rocky Mountain House and Crimson Lake: For a stroll or bike ride, Rocky has paved and gravel trails throughout the town and they connect to the trail systems at Crimson Lake Provincial Park and Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site
For further information on hiking opportunities refer to:
Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs)
West of Rocky Mountain House the Clearwater forest provides abundant opportunities for ATV exploration and adventure. Trails are maintained by various ATV and outdoors groups such as the Bighorn Heritage ATV Society and Rocky Fish and Game.
The importance of staying on designated trails cannot be emphasized enough. High traffic volumes without concern for the environment could devastate some areas. The Bighorn ATV Society, Alberta Sustainable Resources or other clubs can provide maps and advise on trail conditions and levels of difficulty, and rules for trail etiquette. Clearwater County is planning to developing a multi-user trail system along abandoned Rail line, covering 109 kilometers between Rocky Mountain House and Nordegg.
Outdoor pursuits, including OHV riding are considered a way of life for many Albertans. Most OHV riders consider it a privilege to be able to ride their OHVs and enjoy Alberta’s natural landscape. If exploring an area by OHV is your passion, then Clearwater County has a lot to offer.
For further information on OHV opportunities refer to:
Local OHV related businesses:
- https://www.glennssportsline.ca/ (OHV sales and service)
- https://www.gatewayss.net/ (OHV sales and service)
- https://www.752westrvatvpark.ca/ (RV – ATV camping)
- https://www.outwestcamping.com/index.html (RV – ATV camping)
If you are a fishing enthusiast, then Clearwater County is the place you want to be. World class fisheries are abundant with opportunities to catch rainbow, brook, brown, lake, and tiger trout. In addition, other species include walleye, mountain whitefish, northern pike and yellow perch. Once summer fishing is done, return to the area for winter fishing.
For further information on fishing opportunities, rules and regulations refer to:
(NOTE: Most bodies of water in Clearwater County are in ES2 of the Alberta Fishing Regulations)
|Fishing License Vendors|
|Rocky Mountain House|
|Canadian Tire: 5440-46 Strett||Phone: (403) 846-0077|
|Grandview Stage: Hwy. 752 by Cow Lake||Phone: (403) 845-6404|
|Pudgee’s Food and Gas: 4904-62 Street||Phone: (403) 845-4477|
|Husky Gas: Hwy 11 East||Phone: (403) 845-3636|
|Rocky Mini Mart: 4924-47 Avenue||Phone: (403) 845-5300|
|Caroline Supplies Ltd.: 5116-50 Avenue||Phone: (403) 722-3922|
|Alhambra Corner Store: Hwy. 11||Phone: (403) 729-3003|
Within 30 minutes travel, Chambers Creek recreation area sports maintained trails and campsites from which to base a wilderness adventure. Within a 40 minute drive of Rocky Mountain House, Jackfish Lake recreation area provides riding opportunities with trails leading to Lawrence Creek, Baptists River, and Macgregor Lake.
Further out, within 90 minutes’ drive from town the Kiska/Wilson Forestry Land Use Zone provides maintained trails around the east end of Abraham Lake, and along Crooked Creek and Joyce Creek. Maintained trails are marked and built with family and the "recently skilled" in mind. More steep, difficult trails are available but detours around these are always in place.
South on the trunk road from Nordegg or west of Cow Lake to the trunk road and then north, is where the Hummingbird Recreation Area can be found. Three maintained trails, the Hummingbird Creek trail, the Canary Creek Trail and the Onion Lake trail all provide exquisite scenery, and a full day of riding. Many backcountry campsites already are in place for those who prefer a longer stay. Grizzly and black bear, bighorn sheep, whitetail deer, elk, wolf, marten and fisher all inhabit the area. Loons can be seen in the lakes and will serenade you with their wilderness solos in the quiet hours of twilight, and the Swainsons thrush will provide you with his thrilling call early in the morning and late in the evening if you happen to be there during the month of June.
Whether you are in search of small game or large game, Clearwater County offers a variety of species for your hunting experience. The foothills and mountains are home to white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, and black bear.
For further information on hunting opportunities, rules and regulations refer to the Alberta Guide for Hunting Regulations.
|Hunting Licence Vendors|
|Rocky Mountain House|
|Tackle and Trail: 5027 – 45 St.||Phone: (403) 845-5183|
|Canadian Tire: 5440-46 St.||Phone: (403) 846-0077|
|Pudgee’s Food and Gas: 4904-62 St.||Phone: (403) 845-4477|
|Husky Gas: Hwy 11 East||Phone: (403) 845-3636|
|Caroline Supplies Ltd.: 5116-50 Ave.||Phone: (403) 722-3922|
|Alhambra Corner Store: Hwy. 11 east of Rocky Mtn House, Ab.||Phone: (403) 729-3003|
Clearwater County has trails and terrain for all levels of rider experience. Whether you prefer a peaceful ride through the woods, or a face paced single track ride, you are sure to find your biking bliss.
For further information on mountain biking refer to:
- Alberta Mountain Biking Trails
- All Trails for Alberta Mountain Biking
- Rocky Mountain House Biking Trails
- Rocky Mountain House Best Biking Trails in Alberta
Padle Sports - Canoeing / Kayaking / Paddle Boarding
Clearwater County is a destination spot for those interested in canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Whether you are interested in fast moving water or the quiet stillness of a lake, Clearwater County offers it all.
For further information on paddle sports refer to:
Provincial protected areas (provincial parks and provincial recreation areas) can be found throughout the county. The largest being Crimson Lake Provincial Park.
To find details on individual campgrounds, locations, and reservations, visit the Alberta Parks website.
Private campgrounds are numerous and offer various amenities.
Refer to the following links:
- Alberta Camping Sites