10 Best Beaches Near Calgary for 2021

Best Beaches Near Calgary

Calgary has sunny weather with minimal clouds and a few days of rain annually. In fact, Calgary has more sunshine days than any other major city in Canada, 333 days in total!

While Calgary is known for having a shocking amount of sunny days each year, the beaches in Calgary also have a reputation that exceeds your imagination.

These beaches are worth a stop if you want to head out on a hike or just spend some time enjoying the great outdoors.

Whether you’re a native Calgarian looking for a new beach to visit or a visitor seeking out the best beaches near Calgary, this article is for you.

About Calgary, Alberta

The city of Calgary is located in the province of Alberta in western Canada. It lies at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, in the transition to the prairie in the south of the province, about 80 km (50 miles) east of the Canadian Rockies.

With more than 120 languages spoken, Calgary is the third most diverse major city in Canada, with more than 1.4 million residents.

According to the Census estimates for 2021, Calgary has a population of about 1,581,000, making it the second-most populous metropolitan area in western Canada and Canada’s fourth-largest.

Also, financial services, television and film, transportation and logistics, energy, technology, aerospace, manufacturing, health and wellness, retail, and tourism constitute Calgary’s top economic sectors.

Furthermore, the city of Calgary is one of the wealthiest, cleanest, and most livable in Canada. The cost of living in Calgary is lower, the job market is good, and taxes are also low. In fact, the provincial personal income tax rate in Calgary is just 10%.


10 Best Beaches Near Calgary

There are many beaches around Calgary to choose from, depending on your mood or desire.

Here are some of the best spots to get the fill of the sun and sand under your toes.

1. Johnson Lake

Johnson Lake Beaches in Calgary

In Banff national park, Johnson Lake is one of the few lakes where you can comfortably swim. You can indeed swim in any lake, but it isn’t enjoyable for that long.

You can enjoy swimming, paddling, picnicking, and hiking at this picturesque lake and if you have time, look for the old hermit cabin built-in 1910.

Picnic tables are also available east of the beach, but bring a picnic blanket if you want to go right into the water. And if the parking lot at Johnson Lake is full, you can paddle and picnic at Cascade Ponds.

Additionally, Johnson Lake is considerably warmer than Banff’s large lakes, including the adjacent Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka. Therefore, remember to bring your swimwear to Johnson Lake.

Address: 11km north of Banff, off Lake Minnewanka Scenic dr.

Activities: Picnic, swim, hike, paddle

2. Edworthy Park

Edworthy Park Calgary

The south side of Edworthy park has an excellent spot for hanging out by the water just under the bridge. The Bow River is a fun place to throw rocks or play under the bridge.

Also, the area is beautiful, and if you get hungry, you can stop by Angel’s cafe on the north side for lunch, coffee, or ice cream!

However, it is essential to exercise extreme caution if you decide to enter the Bow River. Knee deep is often too deep, and kids can get washed away by the current on occasion if they fall in.

Address: 5050 Spruce Dr. SW, Calgary, AB T3C 3B2

Activities: Playgrounds and river access\

3. Sibbald Lake

Sibbald Lake Near Calgary

Sibbald Lake Provincial Recreation Park is a small lake with a sandy/rocky beach. Although this lake is a bit murky, it might be interesting to mention it as an alternative to some of Calgary’s more famous beaches.

This lake is ideal for digging in the sand, dipping toes in the water, and paddling around on a raft or board. The picnic tables are also situated at the top of the hill, and two sets of wooden steps lead down to the beach.

Address: Sibbald Lake Provincial Recreation Area, 53 km east of Canmore on Hwy.

Activities: Swim, sand and trails

4. Trout Beach

Trout Beach Calgary

Trout beach is situated across the George C. King Bridge (formerly St. Patrick’s Bridge) from East Village.

Children usually spend hours playing by the water and exploring the rest of the island as the Bow River flows into this tiny “inlet.” It is a safe place for kids to swim and play.

While watching your children play, you can enjoy a chocolate croissant from the Sidewalk Citizen Bakery and a cup of coffee from Phil and Sebastien’s in the Simmons Building!

Address: St Patrick’s Island, Calgary, AB T2E 7V6, Canada.

Activities: River access; playground, swim, explore

5. Bowness Park

Bowness Park Calgary

One of the best places to take your kids is Bow River Park, located on the Northside of Calgary. The Bow River rushes through the park, yet you can dip your toes in the water and toss pebbles thanks to the boulders that stretch into the river.

Also, kids enjoy watching ducks in the lagoon and throwing rocks into the shallow water when the water is low. In the summer, you can rent boats, and the park has a train that runs through it.

Although Bowness Park does not have a sand beach, it’s a great spot in the city for your kids to dip their little toes in the water.

Address: 8900 48 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2B2

Activities: Lagoon access, river access, wading pool, and playground

6. Big Hill Springs

Big Hill Springs

Big Hill Springs is more than an excellent spot for a quick walk. It also has great swimming and exploring the area for small children.

It is also a peaceful and quiet place where you can spend a few hours walking around and looking at the incredible mountain lake views and walking trails.

Additionally, the water is calm and shallow enough to allow small children to play. It is surrounded by large boulders giving them places to jump off into the water or explore caves underwater.

However, it may become rather crowded on a sunny day, but your children can enjoy limitless exploring thanks to the shallow water, tiny waterfalls, and logs to lean on.

Address: Range Rd 34A, Cochrane, AB T4C 0H4, Canada.

Activities: Sand, explore, trails and play in the water

7. Quarry Lake

Quarry Lake Calgary

The summer is the perfect time to visit this beach, which has a small sandy beach and incredible mountain views. Among the nearby hikes are Ha Ling Peak and Grassi Lakes.

Canmore Nordic Centre has some excellent mountain biking as well. After a day of adventure, you can treat yourself to ice cream at the Canmore school bus or supper at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company.

Picnic blankets and packed lunches are required for this beach, but with panoramas of Mount Rundle, Ha Ling Peak, and the Fairholme Range, there is no better location to have lunch.

Address: 2km southwest of Canmore, off Spray Lakes Road

Activities: Mountain views, mountain biking, sand

8. Sylvan Lake Provincial Park Beach

Sylvan Lake Provincial Park Beach Calgary

This beach, located about an hour and a half west of Calgary, provides a variety of enjoyable activities. Your little digger will love playing in the sand on the large sandy beach.

There are numerous grassy, tree-covered areas on this beach where your family may rest in the shade. Now comes the real fun: canoeing, powerboating, kayaking, fishing, windsurfing, water skiing, or sailing with the kids.

Beach volleyball is also available at Sylvan Lake, and you’ll undoubtedly enjoy a fun-filled day. The beach is just off Lakeshore Boulevard, lined with ice cream shops, stores, and restaurants.

If you wish to stay for the weekend, Jarvis Bay Provincial Park has a campsite nearby. There are also restrooms on-site and accessible parking.

Address: 4403 Lakeshore Dr, Sylvan Lake, AB T4S 1C4

Activities: Playground, canoeing, boating, fishing, kayaking, water skiing, sailing, and windsurfing

9. Sikome Beach

Sikome Beach in Calgary

This beautiful beach is Calgary’s sole publicly accessible beach. Therefore it’s always jam-packed! Fortunately, it’s also fairly big, so there’s plenty of space for everyone to relax or dig in the sand.

Sikome is an artificial beach with a sandy bottom, so you won’t trip over any jagged rocks while attempting to dive into the water. You can also rent Life jackets at the beach.

Furthermore, a couple of nearby playgrounds are perfect for little ones who aren’t fans of the water. There are also restrooms and change rooms on-site, as well as first aid services.

You can either make hamburgers and hotdogs on your grill during lunchtime or choose from the concession stand.

Address: Southeast quadrant of Calgary, within the Fish Creek Provincial Park.

Activities: Sand, playground, swim, picnic

10.  Ebeling Beach Calgary

Ebeling Beach Calgary

In Alberta, Ebeling Beach is one of the largest, and there is a shallow swimming area for little fishes that aren’t yet ready for open water.

If you have a child who likes to be a monkey, there’s also a playground on the sand just off the ocean. In addition to the hot food, concession stand on the beach, and you will also find the Ripples concession store nearby, so you can always get bottled water, burger, or freezie when you need it.

At the beach, you’ll also find washrooms and change rooms, as well as an outdoor shower, to rinse off the sand at the end of the day. You can bring your lounge chair and beach toys, but Spot needs to stay at home.

The coolest part is that you can get to the beach for free, and there’s free parking, too! But you need to get there early. The beach typically fills around 11 a.m, so plan on leaving home earlier, staying at the beach the whole day, or camping nearby.

Brewers Campground is also the ideal location to camp since it is close to the beach. It is, however, a traditional campsite, with no power or running water.

Address: Gull Lake, AB T0C 2J0, Canada

Activities: Swim, playground, picnic

READ: Best Restaurants in Calgary

6 Safety Tips for Visiting Beaches Near Calgary

Here are some tips to make your visit to one of the best beaches near Calgary safe and enjoyable.

1. Protect your Feet

If you plan to take your shoes off and walk the beach this summer, be aware of some things that can harm your feet.

Though the water in Alberta is warm enough to swim in, enjoying the beach might not be so blissful if you get injured. Sharp shells, rocks, bits of glass, and other debris have been known to cut feet at city beaches.

Therefore, you should never step onto unfamiliar rocks if you are not sure what’s underneath. For safety purposes, it’s recommended that you wear reef shoes when you visit beaches near Calgary.

2. Slather on the Sunscreen

The easiest way to avoid over-the-top sunburn and other heat-related illnesses is by slathering the sunscreen.

Though beaches are great places for kids to play in the water, it is essential to ensure everyone has sunscreen.

Stock up on sunscreen and make sure everyone in your family is protected from damaging UV rays before heading out to one of Calgary’s beaches.

Additionally, you should remember that sunscreen must be reapplied every 2 hours to stay effective.

3. Drink the Suitable Liquids

When you head to the beach, remember to bring plenty of water. Alcohol is unhealthy to mix with sun exposure making it much more dangerous at the beach than in the bar.

Also, drinking alcohol can cause dehydration, which increases your risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Your ability to cool off will be impaired if you are dehydrated.

Therefore, drinking suitable liquids before, during, and after your mud run adventure will not only help to rehydrate, but it will also help your body fight off dehydration.

4. Swimming safety

You may not think of Canada’s warm waters as dangerous, but you still need to remember your water safety. The warm freshwater lakes can be just as dangerous as the saltwater beaches; there are many hazards that you don’t expect.

Therefore, children should always choose a supervised beach or wading pool with lifeguards. And any adult who plans to swim should wear a life jacket while near the water’s edge. Life jackets can help adults maintain their balance on slippery surfaces.

Another important water safety tip is never to swim alone or too far away from the shoreline. Remind everyone in your party never to jump into unknown bodies of water, and be careful not to dive headfirst into shallow waters where you can’t stand up.

5. Watch the weather

If you’re watching the weather and planning a beach vacation based on it, don’t hesitate to change your plans if something comes up.

Check on the weather first thing in the morning on your trip, and make sure you keep on top of it as your travel day approaches.

The weather is often unpredictable, so it’s vital to monitor your conditions up until your last minutes in your vehicle heading to the beach.

If you notice there are rising tides or rising winds in any direction, or if the sand is too wet to walk on, turn around and look for somewhere else to relax.

6. Beach security

If you plan on visiting a local beach near Calgary, make sure to check for safety regulations and what is provided at the beach.

Some beaches will not have certified lifeguards or safety regulations in place, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t swim. It just means that you should be aware of your surroundings and take preventative measures accordingly.

You should always check to ensure that there is a certified lifeguard on duty while you are at the beach. But if there is not, never go deep in the water.


The city of Calgary boasts a stunning array of beaches, from water sport enthusiasts to quiet shorelines perfect for relaxing.

But it may be challenging to choose a beach near Calgary since there are many fascinating beaches to explore.

Hopefully, now you know the best beaches in Calgary and how to make your visit safe and enjoyable.

So what are you waiting for? The sun is waiting.





Join The Discussion

Compare listings