Okay, so maybe you’ve never heard of Ram Falls Provincial Park. I get it. Until last year, I had no idea either until I scrambled to book a campsite mid-season—it was all that was left. While I was happy to book it, I felt kinda bad. It can’t be easy to be shoved aside for the more popular Peter Lougheed or the more alluring Writing-on-Stone. It may not have hoodoos or towering mountains, but this place is its own kind of special. I’m here to tell you that Ram Falls deserves better from all of us.
We visited the Ram Falls campground in early September, and I gotta admit that it was pretty chilly. But the great thing about car camping (or frontcountry, as they say) is that you can bring as much gear as you want. We tend to build a duvet nest in our tent—it’s delightful. We’ve been using our MSR Elixer 3-person tent for years. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you what’s so great about this terribly underrated park.
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About Ram Falls Provincial Park
This unserviced provincial park provides a somewhat rustic camping experience. But for those wanting a break from city living, you probably won’t mind that Ram Falls only has vault toilets (outhouses) and no running water. Bring drinking water with you, and a water filtration or purification system (like this MSR MiniWorks filter we use). You’ll also need to bring your own firewood. But that’s a small price to pay for peace and quiet among the evergreens. Fresh air and freedom will rejuvenate your tired heart and mind.
I love camping next to the water, and Ram River with the gushing falls certainly fits the bill. There are 50 sites in this fairly remote campground, about 65 kilometres from the town of Nordegg. Access to the park is on the gravel Forestry Trunk Road 734, which is probably part of the reason why this place can be fairly quiet. It’s all part of the Ram Falls charm!
Read more: 10 Waterfalls in Alberta That You Should See
How To Get There
There are a couple of different routes if you’re coming from Calgary. You could take the faster way up Highway 2 and then west through Caroline. Or you could go past Cochrane and then north on the narrow winding Highway 40. This is a longer trip, but you might see wild horses roaming free (and it’s also a nice country drive). Either way, you’ll eventually end up on the dirt roads (very dusty!). The drive will take around 3.5 hours from Calgary. It’s a good idea to bring a map for the drive (cell reception is sparse).
I’ll also note that there are no grocery stores near the campground. As far as I know, the closest spot for supplies is Nordegg about an hour away. Your best option is to bring everything with you (and check twice!).
Why Stay at Ram Falls Campground?
The campsites are peaceful at Ram Falls, with plenty of privacy from the neighbours (that is if you have any). Thick trees are perfect for hanging hammocks and tarps, so the weather is no bother, really.
One of the nice features of this campground is the viewing platform for Ram Falls and the Ram River Valley. It’s a stunning spot and within walking distance from your campsite. If you want more exercise, there’s a short trail that goes east of the lookout for more views of the river valley.
Read more: Weekend at Beautiful Boulton Creek Campground in Kananaskis
Things To Do in the Area
As I mentioned, Ram Falls campground is off the beaten path so there’s not much nearby. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole weekend in your hammock (I mean… you could though…).
If you want an adventure, head north toward Nordegg to find the two-tiered Crescent Falls. This is a very popular place, even on a rainy day. There are other hiking trails in the area if you want something more rigorous.
We gladly stopped at the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site on our way home to see what it’s all about. Prepare for a walk through history. You’ll find remains of the 19th-century fur trade forts along the North Saskatchewan River. If you’re strapped for time, just drive toward the centre to find the buffalo paddock on the right side of the road. Before making the journey home, we took a stroll along the riverside on the Chimney Trail, and even met the blacksmith in his nearby shop!
Read more: The Beautiful Maligne Canyon Hike in Jasper National Park
Choose Ram Falls—You Won’t Regret It
So, there you have it. Ram Falls campground is a rustic, peaceful, and iconic provincial park for all to enjoy. I know, I know—there are many beautiful parks in the province. But I’d still say that Ram Falls deserves to be on your list. It’s a part of Alberta that feels like an adventure. So the next time you’re scrolling through the Alberta Parks reservations, consider booking a site at Ram Falls. You’ll thank me for it (probably!).
Thanks for reading all about Ram Falls! Have you visited this campground? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments below.
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Great write up with all the deets. Can’t beat that Hubba Hubba for car camping. Might want to correct that ‘two-tired falls’ ha ha
Glad you enjoyed it. Do you have a Hubba Hubba? Ours is the Elixer 3 — great tent also.
And all fixed. Looks like I was too tired – haha!