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  1. #1
    rookie101's Avatar
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    Default Lakes around the Calgary area

    Where do most of you guys in the Calgary/Alberta area take your boats, and what are the lakes like?

    We head out to Little Bow most of the time, and would like to find some new scenery.

    Thoughts on Little Bow: 1.5h driving time

    Launch ramp is in good shape, but can be very busy.

    Lake is a big enough that if you head to the far end it is always quiet.

    Water is plenty warm for swiming, and stays clean all year

    Not a lot of scenery, or coves to pull off in.




    Also Have a friend who has a cabin on Wizard Lake, and have been there many times: 3h driving time

    Very small, and can get very busy

    Unless you have a cabin, not much room to park your truck and trailer

    Water can get green when the weather gets warm.


    Leave a list of where you go, and what you think of it.


    Aaron
    Last edited by rookie101; 07-24-08 at 02:28 PM. Reason: added driving time to launch ramp

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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    Hi Aaron,We went out to Mcgreggor lake on the long weekend,we were warned Little bow was crowded.Had a great day cruising the lake.The lake is 40km long and about 3 km wide,can get windy,sunday was nice but a little choppy.Theres lots of pebbly beaches to stop and picnic along the way.There's a boat ramp at the milo campground but no dock.(I sucked up some rocks close to shore loading the wife and dog)Note: shut boat off when close to shore!It's about 30min closer to Cow town than little bow.Nice day trip
    Were heading to little bow on sunday
    Lee

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  4. #3
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    Interesting thread I'll have to keep an eye on this one - we vacation in Radium so thats where we have our seadoo (were newbies).

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  5. #4
    rookie101's Avatar
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    Default Two more lakes to review

    Lets bump this back to the top with a couple more lakes under the belt.

    First lake is a bit of a stretch to call NEAR Calgary, but its to nice not to add to the list.


    Kookanusa : 3h driving time

    Just west of Fernie on the BC 3 highway. Look for the sign that says Baynes lake, Kikomun rd as you wont find one for Kookanusa.

    Lots of campgrounds and boat launches if you know where to find them.

    Huge lake at 95 miles long, with half of the lake in Canada, and the other half in the USA.

    Very clean and not a rock or a weed to be seen anywhere.

    Miles of sandy shores, and coves.

    It is part of the Kooteny river, so keep an eye out for deadheads.

    One of the nicest lakes I have been on.


    The next one may interest you Lee, as it is just south west of you.




    Pine Coulee reservoir : 50min driving time

    Turn west on highway 527 at Stavely, and it's just 10 min down the road.

    Very small undeveloped man made lake. Water seems clean, and the boat launch and docks seem fairly new.

    With its narrow north south orientation, it will never get too rough.

    Newer campground, and just starting a residential development.

    There is even a ski course on the lake.

    Absolutely nothing for scenery, as it is in the middle of the prairies, but very close to Calgary for an evening swim.


    Aaron
    Last edited by rookie101; 04-19-09 at 01:31 PM. Reason: added driving time to launch ramp

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    Default Alberta

    Hi

    We live in Cochrane and Ghost Lake is only 20 minutes down the 1A for us, its always a little cooler than some lakes but is never too crowded.

    We also like Sylvan Lake, although it 1.5-1.45 hours away and sometimes gets quite busy around ramp in the main town but its big enough to get away from the crowds without too much effort.

    Have not been to Little Bow yet, may give that a try over the next few weeks, keep em coming guys, always good to have options come the weekend!

    Davo

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  7. #6
    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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    I second that vote for KoocanusaBought some property there last year.The spots are still being developed,but we have our trailer out there in a temp spot for this year.Been itching to take the boat out,but work and haying is getting in the way.Hope to get out for August long.There's a non-service campground (Sandy Shores) next door that has awesome sites right on the beach!
    We should try and plan a get together out there some day.It's worth the 4hr trip.
    Meanwhile I'm going to check out that lake by Stavely,Aaron
    Thanks

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I second that vote for KoocanusaBought some property there last year.The spots are still being developed,but we have our trailer out there in a temp spot for this year.Been itching to take the boat out,but work and haying is getting in the way.Hope to get out for August long.There's a non-service campground (Sandy Shores) next door that has awesome sites right on the beach!
    We should try and plan a get together out there some day.It's worth the 4hr trip.
    Meanwhile I'm going to check out that lake by Stavely,Aaron
    Thanks
    Is that Madera Ranch?

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  9. #8
    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battscrew View Post
    Is that Madera Ranch?
    Yup,Thats the place

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Yup,Thats the place
    We have an RV lot in Radium and were thinking about heading that way to check those out. Whats the lake like? Heard some things about water levels dropping when the gates open south of the border?

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  11. #10
    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battscrew View Post
    We have an RV lot in Radium and were thinking about heading that way to check those out. Whats the lake like? Heard some things about water levels dropping when the gates open south of the border?
    Theres a dam downstream at Libby Montana which really controls the lake level.I'm not sure but I think the highest level is mid july and then gradually lowers.We were there early May this year and it was mostly sand dunes,but there were some boats in the water.Thats the beauty of this lake as its drained once a year and in the summer its crystal clear with sandy beaches.It's fed by the Kooteny river and supposed to be great fishing.We know the owners of Madera,there great people,they'll let you camp out there and see how you like it if your interested

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  12. #11
    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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    Default Pine Coulee

    Heading out to Pine Coulee tomorrow for a day trip to cool off. If any of you calgary guys are interested I'll be the one with the bright yellow sportster.The beers on me

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  13. #12
    rookie101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Heading out to Pine Coulee tomorrow for a day trip to cool off. If any of you calgary guys are interested I'll be the one with the bright yellow sportster.The beers on me


    Hey Lee what did you think of the Coulee?
    I know it's not much, but it's a nice short drive for a cool swim. We were working on Saturday, so could not make it out, but we did manage to get on the water today (Sunday) for about four and a half hours. There was a real strong North wind which made the lake a bit rough early in the afternoon with it calming down about four o'clock. Seems nice and calm if you hang around the bridge though.


    Aaron
    Last edited by rookie101; 04-19-09 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Spelling errors

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  14. #13
    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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    Hey Aaron,sorry we missed you,We had a blast yesterday,spent about 4hrs on the water also,It was windy also ,but made for some interesting wave jumping.I was amazed at how well the boat handles on choppy water.Passenger in the spotters seat will disagree though.Found a nice little beach at the south end where you can beach the boat and have lunch on one of the picinic tables
    Nice find,and only 30 min from home. The towels and sunscreen are in the boat and ready to hook up at a moments notice
    We're off to Koocanusa on thurs,can't wait

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    Default kookanusa

    lee were did you find lot at kookanusa ?. i also would like to find one thier but have had no luck.

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    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogwild View Post
    lee were did you find lot at kookanusa ?. i also would like to find one thier but have had no luck.
    The development is called Madera Ranch,right next to Sandy Shores Campground.It's about 85k south of Fernie on the US border.The lots are still under construction,and will be for trailers or park models only(must have wheels)They haven't advertised yet but there is just a handful of lots left in phase one.Their website is down right now but I'll pm you a contact

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  17. #16
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    Default I have a lot at Koocanusa For Sale If you are interested

    I have a lot at Koocanusa. One of the few Ridge lots at Osprey Landing. Great view, lake front property with access to recreations centre which has year round indoor pool.

    Have a look:

    http://www.osprey-landing.com

    Contact me if you are interested.

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  18. #17
    Member rockywakes's Avatar
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    I'm curous where you Calgary sportboat owners get your vessels serviced?

    As for lakes I spent most of this year on Ghost, it's cold but there are some neat spots our boats can roam without worrying about $1000 props

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  19. #18
    Member wayne99's Avatar
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    Alberta Marine services Seadoo boats.

    The best lake I have found thus far is Little Bow. Ghost is much more scenic but the water is cold. If its plus 36 it's the lake to be at though. We went to MacGregor and the wind was coming from the south. Horrible !! We had to go about 27 kms through huge chop to find calm water. Little bow has lots of shelter and lots of bends in the lake. You can always find calm water without burning tons of gas like you do on a lake the size of MacGregor.

    If there was a central public launch on MacGregor I would like it better on a calm day as there are more places to pull up and drink.

    Has anyone checked out Bassano dam and Crawling Valley resevoir ? I drove out to them a few weeks back and they looked decent except you have 10k of gravel. It does look like they are building a new road to Bassano dam off highway #1. hopefully it's paved ! The lake is dammed off the Bow River but likely much warmer then ghost.

    I also heard Lake Newell is pretty cool with a long beach on an island but quite a few reefs around the island.

    Lastly Chesterswamp aka Chesterslew aka Chestermere is very close to me. I can be at the launch in 10 mins but that lake has major weeds and is the busiest lake I have ever been on ! Its like the Deerfoot of lakes LOL. Not a good lake for jetboats. Too bad they could not double the size and lose the weeds

    99

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  20. #19
    Member wayne99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockywakes View Post
    I'm curous where you Calgary sportboat owners get your vessels serviced?

    As for lakes I spent most of this year on Ghost, it's cold but there are some neat spots our boats can roam without worrying about $1000 props
    Rocky have you ran the Bow River up Ghost lake yet ? I have not with my boat yet "yet" But I have with my PWC's. There is some major white water up stream !

    Check this out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR2wgIS0eRc

    This is me a few years back in the spring run off. Very intense riding ! turn up your volume to hear the intensity of the water.

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  21. #20
    rookie101's Avatar
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    Great vid Wayne. So far i have only gone to the point where you can see the old church on Ghost. I have a new Hawkeye depth finder sitting on my desk that Kustomkarl did the install thread on and will install it this spring. Then I may be brave enough to venture a little farther.


    Aaron

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  22. #21
    Member wayne99's Avatar
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    It's all soft silt up the river until you get to the Morley bridge then there are a ton of rocks ! The only time you can go is during the spring run off. It is awesome. I spent all my time on the river and not much on ghost. The Bow river is way better then ghost ! We should team up and run the river this spring !

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  23. #22
    rookie101's Avatar
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    I think I would want to see some one else try it first, rock holes are tough to buff out........Would be fun too see a bit of the river though.
    Last edited by rookie101; 11-29-08 at 11:39 PM.

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  24. #23
    Member rockywakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayne99 View Post
    Alberta Marine services Seadoo boats.

    Lastly Chesterswamp aka Chesterslew aka Chestermere is very close to me. I can be at the launch in 10 mins but that lake has major weeds and is the busiest lake I have ever been on ! Its like the Deerfoot of lakes LOL. Not a good lake for jetboats. Too bad they could not double the size and lose the weeds

    99
    @ Deerfoot 500! Also should add there is a $50 fee at Chesterslew for any newbies checking out this thread.

    It tough not to think about boating since I just picked up my sportster after service from Bow Ridge in Cochrane and it's sitting parked in the garage now next to the cars I had Bow Ridge do the winterize as well as replace plugs etc and a full check of the boat. I'm usually use to extras when I get the four wheels fixed but they just added a few minor items and showed me the old parts even though i just trusted them. Even though I haven't hit the lake yet I'm quite pleased with their service.

    Wayne haven't had the chance to hit up Crawling valley but just did some research online and will def. look forward to checking it out. I always end up at Ghost and have become use to the frigid waters even though i never get that cold when I go snowboarding Even ended up riding Sept 30th this year with no wetsuit on while waking.

    Have been up to about the Morley bridge but never went further so I'm up to check out those waters anytime. Rookie can board my boat for the test trial and then we'll take the whole caravan up to Canmore? Imagine taking the boats to Canmore for a lunch and beer on the patio

    I really like the spot about a km east of the Morley Bridge between the island and south shore were it's 3 feet deep (60 feet wide) and I'm guaranteed very calm waters and don't even have to get fully wet to do wake sports.

    Cheers Chris
    Whats the earliest you've had your boat on the water? May 15th for me but will probably go fishing off it early this year

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  25. #24
    rookie101's Avatar
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    Default 1000 Views and counting!

    Last edited by rookie101; 05-07-09 at 02:32 AM.

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  26. #25
    Junior Member B-Jet's Avatar
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    Have any of you guys tried Lake Newell down by Brooks? My buddy raves about it quite alot.

    In these neck of the woods:

    Wabamun Lake (Good)
    Sylvan Lake (Excellent)
    Gull Lake (Average)
    Pigeon Lake (Poor)
    Wizard Lake (Good)
    Lac St. Anne (Average)
    Buck Lake (Average)
    Lake Isle (Poor to Bad)
    You can't put a price on a good time...ok, a judge or your wife can.

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