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Old 02-02-2019, 07:01 PM   #1
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RVing in Canada

We are looking into traveling to Jasper, Banff in mid July Is there RV parks in that area and if so when to start making reservations? Is there places to boondock in those area? Any ideas. Thanks
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:13 PM   #2
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We are looking into traveling to Jasper, Banff in mid July Is there RV parks in that area and if so when to start making reservations? Is there places to boondock in those area? Any ideas. Thanks
State park near Baniff...also around The Glaciers ..also can park in over flow parking lot
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:22 PM   #3
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We camped in Jasper last fall after our Alaska Caravan. The campgrounds book early and this year the largest campground in the park will be closed for construction.
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:39 PM   #4
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Just my luck to pick a year that a park would be closed.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:31 PM   #5
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Just my luck to pick a year that a park would be closed.
The park isnít closed. Just one of the larger RV-friendly campgrounds. Same is true for Yellowstone and Glacier, BTW.

Do a little bit of research and I think itíll set your mind at ease. Alberta and BC national park campground reservations opened at the beginning of January, and many of the sites went very quickly (as they do for US parks). But the good news is that there are many campgrounds (and entire parks like Yoho) nearby that are first come-first serve, and more than that there are many provincial parks in that area as well. Iím not bothering with Banff this year (Iíve been twice) but I am very much looking forward to seeing Kootenay and Yoho and some of the other ones in the vicinity.

I am staying at Jasper for a week, though...
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:17 PM   #6
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When you head from Banff to Jasper there are a number of dry campgrounds along the way.

We hit the area in early June to get there late enough to be warmer and before school let out for the summer. Traveled with no reservations and did OK. We were not able to get a site in Jasper and should have found a way to stay a day or two to get one. We just got tired of the rain. Bad attitude. We'll do better next time.

It is a beautiful area and worth the trip. Enjoy! Pat
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:46 PM   #7
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In Banff, we stayed at a place called Tunnel Mountain which is inside the park. Full hookups and we were pretty happy there.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:53 PM   #8
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Both Banff and Jasper are in the National Park system. Reservations for "Front Country" camping can be made here: https://reservation.pc.gc.ca/Home.aspx?gccf=true

Adjacent to the national parks are many provincial parks in British Columbia and Alberta. Here are the links to those reservation system:

British Columbia: https://discovercamping.ca
Alberta: https://reserve.albertaparks.ca

All prices are in Canadian Dollars so a good deal from those coming up from the US.

PS leave your guns at home.
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:04 PM   #9
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PS leave your guns at home.

And your bear/pepper spray, though it's my understanding that you are free to buy it once in Canada but not for use against people, ie. don't carry it in big cities.
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:23 PM   #10
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And your bear/pepper spray, though it's my understanding that you are free to buy it once in Canada but not for use against people, ie. don't carry it in big cities.
Not a large bear population in Toronto...
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:26 PM   #11
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That time of year is the busiest time. Banff and Jasper will be a traffic nightmare. You will need reservations that time of year for sure, but sometimes you can get lucky. There are overflow areas in Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper, but they fill up pretty quick too. There are a few spots along the Banff/Jasper Hwy. that have camp spots that are on the honour system and not very expensive. I saw a few possible boondocking spots on Hwy 742 south from Canmore, however there's a tricky switchback that could be sketchy near Canmore....better to access from the south. There be bears along 742 as well!
If you want to visit Lake Louise, or Moraine Lake, go early....like 7AM early, if you want to get a parking spot.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:02 PM   #12
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There are lots of campgrounds along there way and nearby. Banff is near Calgary and there are campgrounds on the west side of Calgary. We stayed at a CG near Lake Louise around the beginning if June (it snowed a few inches on the way to Calgary) and had no problem finding a space, but it was earlier in the season. There are many CG's in the two parks (Banff and Jasper). There are also CG's outside the parks, but you'd have to check which highways have the closest ones. We try to travel before the busiest seasons because it is much easier to find what you want and crowds are lighter. In 2010 there was an RV parking lot in downtown Jasper, though I don't know if it is still there. You'll probably want to travel the Icefield Pkwy from Banff and Lake Louise to Jasper and the CG's are off that highway.

Buy gas in Calgary instead of waiting to buy in Banff or afterward. We didn't think ahead and had to maneuver the trailer into a small gas station on a very busy town street near Banff with many, many cars everywhere—didn't hit anything, but it sure was scary backing into the street after we got fuel. Calgary is a large city with mind numbing traffic at rush hour or during the Calgary Stampede (July 5-14 this year). One time we faced rush hour and the Stampede at the same time—every Canadian in the country was there it seemed, all 33 million. Road signs are not the best and we got lost on one trip through the city. Exits off the main north/south highway give you little warning for your turn off. Calgary is a nice city and worth a visit. We didn't stay long (one night), but I do recall a good dinner somewhere. We took a long walk downtown (that time we stayed at a hotel) and it was well kept like most Canadian cities.

On the trip west from Calgary the highway has a number of large bridges for wildlife to cross—they have trees, bushes and grass. These type of bridges are being built in other places now, but this may have been the first and certainly the most. In early June, Lake Louise was almost completely ice covered, but by July you should see the mountains reflect in the water. There are many other parks in the area to see, especially in BC. East of Calgary (80 Miles?) is the Drumheller Royal Museum with some of the finest displays of dinosaurs in the world. We are not into dinosaurs that much, but this is one of best museums anywhere for that, so it is worth the side trip. It is a bit south of Calgary, so stopping before Calgary, leaving the trailer and going there for a day trip is a good idea. If you've been to Colorado's front range and eastern prairies, Alberta looks the same with mountains to the west and pretty dry prairie to the east. Calgary, like Denver, is just east of the Rockies.

Pepper spray is not ok to bring to Canada, but we had bear spray every time frothe early"oughts" to three years ago on our last trip of many to Canada, told them, and it was ok. Pretty much the same stuff, but the purpose is different. I think wasp spray with the 20-30' stream works about the same. Of course, things change, so always check. Absolutely no guns except "long" guns (rifles to us) and that only on a hunting trip and you may have to prove you are going hunting.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:38 PM   #13
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We have reservations in Golden west of Banff and in Tete Juane west of Jasper thanks for the information.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:37 AM   #14
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There is ALWAYS a spot. Many safe but fairly primitive sites do not advertise but unfailingly pop up along the road. Normally if you call or check before noon a nicer spot can be found everywhere
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