The best camping within the city limits is at the Rainbow Valley Campground (13204 45th Ave., 780/434-5531 or 888/434-3991, www.rainbow-valley.com , mid-Apr.–mid-Oct., tent sites $26, powered sites $30). The location is excellent and, as far as city camping goes, the setting is pleasant. Facilities include free showers, a laundry room, a barbecue grill, a playground, and a cooking shelter. In summer, all sites are full by noon, so reserve ahead by credit card. To get there, turn south off Whitemud Drive at 119th Street, then take the first right and follow it into the valley.
If you’re coming into the city from the south, take Ellerslie Road west from Highway 2 to access Whitemud Creek Golf and RV Resort (3428 156th St., 780/988-6800, www.whitemudcreek.com , $45). The 125 fully serviced sites are bunched together in the middle of a full-length, nine-hole golf course ($35), which is adjacent to a pleasant little creek. Facilities include a stocked trout pond, modern washrooms, a laundry room, and a clubhouse restaurant. To get there, follow Ellerslie Road three kilometers (1.9 miles) west from Highway 2, then take 127th Street for three kilometers (1.9 miles) south, then 40th Avenue west for a similar distance.
Farther out, in Spruce Grove, is the Glowing Embers Travel Centre (26309 Hwy. 16, 780/962-8100 or 877/785-7275, www.glowingembersrvpark.com , Apr.–Oct., $38–45). All facilities are modern, and although tents are allowed, they may look out of place among the satellite-toting RVs. Facilities include a recreation hall, a grocery store, wireless Internet, a restaurant (breakfast and lunch only), an RV wash, a laundry, and service bays with licensed technicians on hand.
Half Moon Lake Resort (21524 Hwy. 520, 780/922-3045, www.halfmoonlakeresort.ca , tents $35, hookups $38–42) is on the shore of a shallow lake, 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Edmonton . It has a large area set aside especially for tents, but the emphasis is mainly on activities such as fishing, swimming, canoeing, boating, and horseback riding. To get there from downtown, head east on 82nd Avenue to Highway 21, three kilometers (1.9 miles) east of Sherwood Park, then south to Highway 520, then 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) east.