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Old 02-20-2016, 06:55 AM   #1
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Family trip Glacier Park to Jasper

We're planning a family trip with two grandkids ages 7 and 9 from Bozeman, MT to Jasper, Alberta via Banff. We'd love to hear from fellow streamers about good campgrounds along the way and recommendations of what not to miss.

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Old 02-20-2016, 07:56 AM   #2
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Make your reservations ASAP for Whistlers National Park in Jasper. Depending on your timing you may want to schedule Glacier on the way home. The Highway to the Sun may open late.

Take a trip up to Maligne Lake from Jasper


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Old 02-20-2016, 08:50 AM   #3
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If you are healthy enough to hike up to 10 miles then Many Glacier in Glacier National Park is an area not to miss. There is a campground there, some sites are reservable and the rest first come first served. To get a site in the summer either reserve or prepare to be at the campground at 7:30AM to find a first come first served site. The 6 month window to reserve at any of the reservable campsites in Glacier puts you at August 20th right now.

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Old 02-20-2016, 09:16 AM   #4
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We did this trip last summer and you really do need to get reservations, if possible. I don't know when you are planning but it is quite cold up in this area in the early spring.

Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper all have provincial parks. We went without reservations and drove up the west side and entered at Jasper. No openings but they put us in the "overflow" area that proved to be pretty nice. It was a paved lot with water and electrical hookups and a very nice new shower/bathroom facility. Jasper was our favorite and amazingly beautiful. Yes, Maligne lake is worth it.

We had been to Lake Louise before but wanted to stop. Again, no openings but they sent us to the overflow. This was a large gravel lot a few miles down the roads with no facilities other than a pit toilet. If you haven't seen Lake Louise it is worth the trip but it has become a zoo with overcrowding. A spectacular scene regardless.

Banff has a very large campground right in town and we were able to get in. I would suggest reservations if possible.

This sounds like a fantastic trip for you and for your grandkids. We did it with our kids twice about 25 years ago.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:17 AM   #5
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Reserve ASAP for Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper National Parks if going from late June through August. They can be crazy busy during peak summer season. Banff will be crazier than normal as the Tunnel Mountain Village II campground will be closed this spring and summer for upgrades. There are a number of small unserviced campgrounds along the Icefields Parkway but I haven't any experience with them. You can also camp overnight at the Icefields Centre. it's an unserviced parking lot with unbeatable views.

Depending upon your length of stay in the parks, check out the Discovery Pass and see if it makes sense for you.

As stated above, the side trip to Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park is well worth it as is the Mount Edith Cavell area.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:24 AM   #6
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I do a lot of camping in jasper and Banff and in between.

If you don't have reservation already made, there are still a few options.

Jasper, Banff and lake louise all have overflow parking spot so you will always have a spot in the worst case scenario.

-if you arrive early before 9am. you will most likely get a spot as long as your not picky and don't ask for any service (water, electricity, sewer)

-if you look online the night before or 24-48h before your trip...there are always spot that are put back in the system and can be reserved. It happen every single time so if your good and able to be online often.... it s my preferred way to reserve spots in last minutes trip,

In the icefield parkway between Banff and jasper, there are a lot of campground and there is room at most of those but they don't have services at the central bathroom/showers. If your trailer is on the shorter side, you will have lots of options. if you have a 30 might be in trouble getting in many of the spots.

there is so much amazing activity to do...I don't know where to start with....but going up the mountain and hiking give you some amazing views and kids love this to!
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:30 PM   #7
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Last time we (from VT) headed west from Bozeman on I-90 - north on I-15 - exit at Shelby Rt. 2 west - Rt. 89 north to St. Mary. Campground in Glacier N.P. is "tight". We opted for KOA ($$). We checked out Johnson's Campground on the hill opposite KOA and will go there the next time. Good idea to reserve months ahead of time for both. Note there was an AS caravan staying at Johnson's when we were in St. Mary. After Glacier head north on 89 to Canada RT. 2 - then Trans Canada to Calgary and then Banff. We stayed at Tunnel Road Trail Court (reserve months EARLY at We visited Jasper several days (day trips) but stayed in Banff. It was a FANTASTIC trip. One of our favorite areas in the world.
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Old 02-20-2016, 07:30 PM   #8
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Family Trip Glacier Park To Jasper

Greetings to All,
I agree you need to book as soon as possible for the major parks. Watch out for the Canadian Long weekends. The reason to watch out is the parks fill-up very fast and yes we have them too, the idiots who will stop on the highway to look at the black bear or Elk at the side of the road without warning. Defensive driving throughout the park is a must at any time. I am not trying to make you nervous about coming up to CA but fore warned is fore armed (not talking about weapons and don't bring them up or ammo to CA). Check the web site for hours and hours of waisted, Opp's, I mean interesting items , or best yet
We Camp Hosts a couple of years ago at Rampart Creek, Mosquito Creek and Marble Canon. Here's a hint: When you pull in the self registered camp grounds, check the Kiosk at the entrance for tailer spots information (size) and then look to see if the Camp Host is on site. They will have a sandwich board by their trailer that says, "Camp Hoist". They will be able to tell you where the best hiking trails/sight seeing spots are in that area and some Camp Hoist have trail maps/brochures/books for the areas. Most have done all the trails and have experienced with wild life encounters and can advise you on encounter procedure. If there are any warnings for the area they will fill you in and the most import part. They all carry VHF radios to contact Banff Emergency Services, since the area north of Lake Louis town has very poor, if none existence Cell Phone service. Even our On-Star had dead zones. They can also put you in an overflow area in that camp ground if full. We would rather have you park there then drive tired.
Definitely stop at Lake Louis Parks HQ/Visitors Centre (Center) for maps/books and all sorts of park information. They also run a kids program at the centre that the kids will love. Lots of hands on stuff.
Make sure you get gasoline (top up)/food/propane in Lake Louis before heading North. There is gasoline/food at Sackasheawan crossing but if you think gas/food is expensive in Canada wait till you get there. Next gas station is in in Jasper. There are some trails that can be challenging and very cold in the summer. So take a bit of warm gear and rain gear.
You will love the sights.
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:33 PM   #9
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We'd suggest reservations for Glacier, Banff & Jasper-- and if you're going to Glacier NP, you might wish to stop over at Waterton Lakes NP, as well. The Waterton Township CG is right next to the town, but with the advantage of walking distance to shops and restaurants. There is a nice commercial boat trip from Waterton Township into Glacier on Upper Waterton Lake. We've also stayed at the Lake Louise campground several times.

I assume you and your grandchildren have passports. This is a good time for Americans to visit Canada, as the Canadian dollar has been fluctuating around 70c US.

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