Camping in the Canadian Badlands

Distracted by the picture perfect scenery of the yellow canola fields as they contrasted against the bright indigo blue sky, we drove through rural range Alberta roads to Pine Lake, and the Spruce Bay Summer Resort. Sasha hadn’t been camping since she was a kid, and her and her sister went on an adventure to explore the Canadian Badlands region. One of their biggest adventures? Trying to get into their tent…

Spruce Bay Summer Resort  Spruce Bay welcome sign for camping in the Canadian badlands

Spruce Bay Summer Resort has been family owned and operated since 1946, offering guests the perfect place to take a “tent” down memory lane, one campfire at a time. Located on the picturesque Pine Lake, and only a short 35 minutes south east of Red Deer, Spruce Bay Summer Resort is the perfect campground for those looking to escape for a few days.  From roasting marshmallows for s’mores to renting a paddle boat and touring around the lake, to sandcastle competitions on the beach, this resort is where to go to both relive your own childhood summers and create some brand new family memories too.

Hey Youtube, Can You Set Up My Tent?

Spruce Bay picnic table and fire pit from camping in the Canadian Badlands

A green and lush campsite welcomed us when we arrived at 8:30 pm that night, which meant two things, we had a beautiful little spot to set up our tent ,and limited time to do so.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had to set up a tent (read: never), so if you’re in a similar boat I would recommend arriving earlier to give yourself time before it gets dark. We managed (with the help of YouTube) to beat sunset which gave us plenty of time to enjoy a charcuterie board on the picnic table and s’mores by the fire pit. It made for lots of laughs and even better instastories.

Campfires Encouraged

Camping in the Canadian Badlands with smores and a fire pit

There’s nothing like bonding with your sister around a campfire. Snuggling close to the fire, quality conversations with no interruptions, the smell of smoke in your hair, and sticky fingers from your after dinner s’mores. Whether you’re 3 or 30, life is simply better when you’re with your family around a campfire. Spruce Bay has firewood for sale in their general store if you need to purchase some (or you can bring your own).

Morning Sunrises On The Beach

Camping in the Canadian Badlands at Spruce Bay dock

One of our favorite moments at Spruce Bay was waking up early and enjoying our coffee on the dock. The lake was as smooth as glass, and the uninterrupted beauty of the sun reflecting off the water gave us time to walk up and down the dock, take photos, and bask in the warm sun.

Paddle & Motor Boats

Spruce Bay dock and paddle boat

Getting out on the water is easy at Spruce Bay Resort, with a variety of boats available for rent. Choose between horsepowers, by renting man powered paddle boats and row boats, or motor boats if you’re looking to go a little faster!

Playground & Sandy Beaches

Camping in the Canadian Badlands at Spruce Bay playground on beach

The beach is the perfect place to build memories. All you need is a kids imagination, a couple buckets, and a shovel and this beautiful beachside can become anything your heart desires. Spend your day building sandcastle creations, and running into the lake to cool off in between modeling sessions. Check out this throwback photo that we found of families playing at Spruce Bay

Spruce Bay playground throwback photo
Photo credit Spruce Bay Summer Resort

General Store

Spruce Bay general store

Do you remember being a kid racing down to the local general store with a hand full of change that Dad dug out of his pocket? You’d run as fast as your legs could carry you and head straight for the 5 cent candies, making the difficult decision of which ones to pull out and drop in your brown paper bag. Pass along this tradition at Spruce Bay  general store which was made for little people to explore. Adults will love the store too, stocked with all the essentials (and items you may have forgotten at home!)


Spruce Bay washrooms

Digging in the sand, swimming in the lake, and campfire hair, as wonderful as it is to spend the day outdoors, there’s nothing like showering off and having nice facilities to do it in before you snuggle into your tent!

Please Come Again

Spruce Bay exit

If you want to hit the “Back” button on life, then camping in the Canadian Badlands and lake activities with the whole family at the Spruce Bay Summer Resort is where you should look to reserve your next summer vacation. To learn more about Spruce Bay or book your own trip to this great Canadian Badlands destination please visit their website.

Are you thinking about going on a trip through Alberta the Canadian Badlands? Here are some articles to help you with your planning.

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Is this a sponsored post?: While we were graciously hosted by the Spruce Bay Summer Resort for our camping in the Canadian Badlands, our opinions, experiences and photos are our own.


Jami Savage
Jami Savage
Jami Savage is one of the top Family Travel Writers in Canada, and has been featured on CTV and Vancouver Sun, and more. Go here to read our families story about how we went from backyard adventurers to world travelers, and how you can do the same. If you want to send Jami a quick message, visit her contact page here.

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Jami Savage

Full Time Travel Writer, Mom who is passionate about empowering and educating travelers on how you can use your own tourism dollars as a catalyst for positive change worldwide. Click here to learn more about us, our family, and how we lead an adventure filled life!

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