Outpost Wetlands

Outpost Wetlands
Photo © Lance Tiedemann

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Comments and Ratings

This is a wonderful area to discover the wide variety of birds, and other wildlife including black and grizzly bears, moose, whitetail deer, elk, coyote and on occasion wolves and bobcats. Everyone should visit this little known area of southern Alberta at least once in their lives.

Submitted by Angie Terrell-Wagner (07/14/2014)

A wonderful out of the way place to stay. The way camping used to be.

Submitted by Heidi (01/04/2013)

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Alberta Parks

(403) 382-4097
dial 310-0000 for toll free (toll-free) www.albertaparks.ca

Campground Operator

1 -888-653-2522
Police Outpost Provincial Park
LAT: 49.7329
LON: -113.4060
Elevation: 3064 FT (934 M)
Campground or Cabin Description

Police Outpost Provincial Park is a great multi-day base for birders, anglers and paddlers exploring southwestern Alberta. The adjacent Outpost Wetland Natural Area is a haven for birds and other wetland creatures. The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Government of Alberta cooperatively provided funding to purchase this special area. The people and the Government of Alberta gratefully acknowledge donations from Kettenbach Farms Ltd. and Arthur and Violet Scott who helped make protection of this Natural Area possible.

In the autumn, especially, with a stunning view of golden aspens in the foreground, this park provides an excellent vantage point to appreciate the many moods of Chief Mountain, just across the border in Montana.

The Outpost Wetland is characterized by a unique groundwater hydrology that fosters high biological diversity and provide year-round habitat for many species, especially birds. The wetland has developed along the banks of Boundary Creek, which flows through a wide glacial melt water channel with a high water table. As a result, this extensive wetland is now a diverse complex of willow thickets, sedge meadows and emergent vegetation that provides important habitat for many wildlife species and makes up one of the most productive bird habitats in this region. Species such as the black tern, sandhill crane, American bittern, common snipe and the marsh wren depend exclusively on habitat like the Outpost Wetlands for survival.

The park includes several trails, including a 7km self-guided interpretive trail that provides an excellent overview of the fescue grassland and aspen parkland habitat.

Anglers please note: Police Lake has a trout limit one over 50 cm Open April 1 – October 31 – Bait Ban Closed November 1 – March 31 Consult current Alberta Guide to Sport Fishing Regulations for other regulations that apply.

Archeologists have documents fairly extensive use of lake by First Nations people. As well, being close to the international border, this was a favored route for whiskey runners in the late 1800s. The Park is named for the outpost that was established by the Northwest Mounted Police in the late 1800’s to help bring law and order to the west.

From the campground, Range Road 270 north provides a direct connection to Alberta Highway 5 and Waterton Lakes National Park.

Police Lake is stocked with rainbow trout, for catching and cooking over the campfire. A boat launch is provided for paddle boats, float tubes, and low-power motor boats.

For a superb few days in the area, plan for bird watching / birding, fishing, put the boat on the lake, or the kayak, or canoe, wildlife viewing, enjoying a campfire from you campsite, picnicking and relaxing in the shade of the aspen. 

Number of Camp Sites


Campground Style


Maximum Campsite Spur Length

21.3 meters

Facilities Available

Sanitation dump, pit toilets, fire pits, firewood sales, great campsites, group camping, camping, picnicking, picnic tables, boat launch, dock, boardwalk, hiking trails, viewpoints, parking.

Group camping by reservation.

Nightly Fee

visit www.albertaparks.ca for current camping fees and information

Maximum Length of Stay Allowed

14 days

Campground or Cabin is Reservable
Campground or Cabin is Hosted
Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark

Just north of the border, west of Alberta Highway 2, at the site of an early Northwest Mounted Police post established to protect natives from exploitation by liquor traders.

From Montana, drive 16 km north on Alberta Highway 2 to junction with Outpost Lake Access Road. Continue on access road 23 km southwest to provincial park.

From Alberta, start 10 km south of Cardston on Alberta Highway 2 at junction with Outpost Lake Access Road. Continue on access road 23 km southwest to provincial park.