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Old 04-19-2007, 11:15 AM   #1
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Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper

I would appreciate any information on campgrounds from those who have visited these areas. I am thinking about staying at Tunnel Trailer campground in Banff, than going up to the trailer campground at Lake Lousie and the on the Jasper.

It is a big trip for me, so fisrt hand advice will be a big help.

Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:55 AM   #2
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I've traveled the Ice Fields parkway twice, once in 2002 and last summer. The campgrounds that are very close to Banff can be crowded. We stayed a few (5 maybe) miles away at a campground by a lake with no hook ups and enjoyed getting out of the crowds.

Did not overnight at Lake Louise.

Both times in Jasper stayed at the Whistlers campground just south of town. It is big but has nice spots, great evening programs, hook ups, dump site, very close to town 1.5 miles(ish). There is another campground a little further south with sites on the river that I heard is very nice.

Have also stayed at a campgorund just south of the Athabasca glacier, Wilcox Creek. It is on a steep terraced hill side, no hook ups but great views, has a nice trailhead (Wilcox Pass) and hike near the beginning of the entrance road. Great panoramic views on the trail.

Jasper is one of my favorite places, Banff and Lake Louise are very nice, don't skip, but crowded in the summer and a little too commercial for my taste. Jasper is much more laid back, has great access to trails, rivers, mountains and lakes.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:05 PM   #3
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Mike, why not overnight at Lake Louise? Have you checked out Waterfowl campground, which is between LL and Jasper?

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Old 04-19-2007, 12:30 PM   #4
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No reason we did not overnight in Lake Louise, it was a day stop for us and didn't work into our schedule. I'm sure there is great camping in that area. Have not checked out the Waterfowl CG.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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Paul,

What route are you taking to the Icefields? Waterton (CAN) and Glacier National Park (US) are both very special as well. How much time are you planning to spend on the trip?
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:44 PM   #6
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I have roughly 5-6 weeks, including drive time from Virginia. Am planning on going to Banff/Jasper (3 weeks?) and returning through Glacier (1week and some days?). Will be traveling mid-August through September, so want to go further North first because of closings/weather, etc.
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:42 PM   #7
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Lake Louise Campground is a good one...

We did similar trip in 2004, arriving from western side of Canadian Rockies after border crossing in Idaho. The Canadian Provincial campgrounds are good, though most have less than full hookups. We spent 3 nights at Lake Louise park, and used it as base of operations for trips to Jasper and out onto Glacier... Prices very reasonable, and sites were fine.. RV area separate from tent area, and more warnings about bears in tent area... We did not overnight in Banff, but town is tough place to pull trailer through, and don't try taking it out to visit Fairmont Hotel there... No turnarounds...

Glacier Parkway is OK two lane road so long as no snow... Not much in way of repair services in Jasper (our tow vehicle had some issues..). Do stop for some of hikes or side trips, including glacier tours...

There is RR Track parallel to highway and alongside park at Lake Louise, so you may hear a train.

Also, they didn't take reservations, so we timed to arrive around 1PM, and had no problem in mid-July getting space. Arriving late in the day (after 5Pm) might make space difficult, but both Jasper and Lake Louise have large open lots as overflow sites without hookups for the night if you miss space.. Dinner at Chateua at Lake Louise should be on To Do list, even if in one of the smaller grill restaurants, overlooking the lake...

John McG
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:58 PM   #8
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3 weeks for Jasper to Banff would be plenty of time. A week around Glacier would be good as well. Of course this depends on your style of travel. If it were me...

I would go direct to Jasper and then work down slowly. When heading south from Banff to Glacier, I would head west through Kootenay National Park, south through Fernie and to Waterton. I would plan to spend a few days in Waterton and then on to Glacier. There is a campground right on the Lake, in town in Waterton. We really enjoyed that campground. In Glacier it is all good. I have stayed in 4 or 5 different campgrounds and they have all been great. From Glacier drive home with a smile on your face. Thinking about all the great places up there makes me want to go back.

If you need a city break in the middle of the trip Calgary can be a day trip from Banff.

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Athabasca Glacier


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Wateron, great place to relax and have some food & beverage


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Mountain Biking in Jasper
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Old 04-19-2007, 08:14 PM   #9
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Paul,

Page and I have been up there twice as well. I don't think there is a wrong answer. I preferred staying at Lake Louise to Banff because it is more central to the must-sees: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Athathabasca Glacier and more stuff than you can shake a stick at. We day-tripped to Banff one day and thought it was appropriate.

Jasper is fun as well.

We took kayaks and paddled wonderful lakes.

Pat
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:38 PM   #10
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The trip from Lake Louise through Radium Hot Springs and on to Fernie is beautiful. The pool at Radium is really great and I spent a lot of time as a youngster in the hot and cool pools. Fairmont Hot Springs is about 30 minutes further south and it has beautiful golf courses, trails, and there is lot's of camping all along the lakes there. There's also Fort Steele to spend a bit of time at which is a remake of the boom town of the late 1800's. That whole Columbia Valley is beautiful. It does get hot there in the July to September time frame.

Banff gets busy with tourists and for those of us who spent time there as kids in the 50's and 60's it's just too busy for us, as beautiful as it is. My brother still camps up in that area a lot and they go to Jasper to camp and drive back to Banff untethered so they can get around all the traffic.

The whole Banff, Jasper, LL area is beautiful and very busy. A trip to Calgary as mentioned is an easy drive with divided highway and Calgary is a nice City to visit.

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Old 04-19-2007, 10:46 PM   #11
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Two more suggestions: Early morning breakfast at Joe Blbsk's Diner in Banff, and a walk through the lobby of the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton. Bikermikey's photo is great. This is the hotel used as background in one of Lexus' commercials a couple years ago. Darol
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:52 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the advice and the great pictures! I am definately rethinking my itinerary. It is a right fur piece from my place, so y'alls advice will help me get the most out of my time there.

It seems it is safe not to reserve at the campgrounds? Is that right? The park system takes reservations, but I would really prefer to just show up.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckydc
Thanks for all the advice and the great pictures! I am definately rethinking my itinerary. It is a right fur piece from my place, so y'alls advice will help me get the most out of my time there.

It seems it is safe not to reserve at the campgrounds? Is that right? The park system takes reservations, but I would really prefer to just show up.

Thanks again!
Depending on when your'e coming up, the campgrounds on weekends here definitely fill up quickly. Mid-week is usually not a problem though.

b.
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:33 AM   #14
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Yes, I agree about reservations. But I would not make them until you are no further than a week out. The worst thing a traveller can do is make himself a slave to a schedule.

Happy trails!

Pat
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