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Old 09-15-2019, 08:24 PM   #1
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Seattle to Banff to Jasper

Hi y'all

My family (4yo, 2yo, wife) and I are planning a month long trip from Seattle up to Banff and Jasper with our 2018 23ft FC bunk.

It's a little early for planning but I want to get the best places booked. Any recommendations for scenic routes there and places to stay both along the way and in Banff and Jasper?

Thanks so much

Alan
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Alreddawg19 View Post
Hi y'all

My family (4yo, 2yo, wife) and I are planning a month long trip from Seattle up to Banff and Jasper with our 2018 23ft FC bunk.

It's a little early for planning but I want to get the best places booked. Any recommendations for scenic routes there and places to stay both along the way and in Banff and Jasper?

Thanks so much

Alan
We're in Calgary... we did a trip through Washington to Oregon a couple of years ago. Stops along the way that might be interesting are:
1. Farragut State Park in Idaho (just at the southern tip of Lake Pen d'Oreille). It's just east of Spokane.
2. Going up the 95 in Idaho, then onto Hwy 93/95 in Canada. There are lots of campgrounds along the way. At Radium the 93 and 95 split, and you go toward Banff/Lake Louise.
3. Banff is a national park and there are several large campgrounds near the Banff townsite that have a variety of levels of services. Tunnel Mountain Campground is a good place to use a base of operations if you're planning to spend several days exploring the Banff area. There is also Two Jack, Two Jack Lake, and Johnston Canyon campgrounds. These are all operated by the national park service.
4. Lake Louise is busy in the summer. If you want to do anything there, get up early...
5. To go up to Jasper you would likely take the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93, again). There are several campgrounds along the way between Banff and Jasper. The Jasper townsite is less touristy than Banff.

Once you get to Jasper you can either double back or you can go east or west to make a big loop of things. West would take you through the Rockies in BC, while east would take you to Edmonton first and then Calgary if you went south.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:48 PM   #3
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Hi

Study up a bit on just when the season opens (and closes). You are up in the mountains so March may not be quite as nice as it is in Seattle . In some areas, things don't open up until the end of May. In other areas it might be a bit sooner or a bit later .....

Bob
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:35 PM   #4
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Hi

Study up a bit on just when the season opens (and closes). You are up in the mountains so March may not be quite as nice as it is in Seattle . In some areas, things don't open up until the end of May. In other areas it might be a bit sooner or a bit later .....

Bob
Yeah we are thinking mid August to mid September.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:39 PM   #5
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Hi, I’m from Cranbrook BC & I thought I would pass on this website, it lists all the camping parks in BC & you might be able to connect to Alberta parks, I didn’t really look that far into it but there are some beautiful camping spots here in BC, Moyie Lake in particular, very beautiful and on the lake. https://www.ekparks.com/moyie-lake Hope that helps!��
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:26 AM   #6
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In Banff, I recommend the Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court campground. The sites are large pull through with full services. It's also an easy walk downhill to downtown Banff with bus service back to the campground (for your young children). We've stayed there three times including mid-September when it was easy to find a campsite.

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/ban...g/trailercourt

Depending upon how many days you expect to spend in the Canadian national parks, you should take a look at the Discovery Pass (Parks Canada charges a daily admission fee that is not included in camping fees). The pass will pay for itself if you are present for more than a week. You can buy the pass either ahead or at the park entrance gate.

https://www.commandesparcs-parksorde...discovery-pass
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:20 AM   #7
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Don't miss Moraine Lake, up the road from the more popular Lake Louise. It is a gem.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:33 AM   #8
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reserve early

Parks Canada opens their reservation system months in advance for camping. If you plan on using any of the campgrounds that have hook ups, you need to plan on an early morning sit down with the computer reservation system on the day they release sites. We were there this summer, all the comments you are getting are great. We did 10 days in the parks, using Tunnel Mountain, recommend the 800 level sites and FF loop in Wapiti in Jasper.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:38 AM   #9
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If you want to take a more leisurely, scenic route go US 2 through Stevens Pass to Hwy 97, then north along 97 through Omak and Oroville and cross up through Penticton and Kelowna along BC97 to BC97A, then take Trans Canada 1 eastbound to Lake Louise/Banff.
This route passes along Mount Revelstoke NP, through Glacier, Yoho, and Banff National Parks, Lake Louise, and Banff. Much more interesting than taking any interstates. US 95 from Coeur d'Alene north is a hot mess, especially in the summer.
Worth a short side trip to Takakkaw Falls in Yoho.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:50 AM   #10
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The first thing I would recommend is to cross the border on highway 9. Last two times we waited less than 10 minutes. We stayed at tunnel mountain in Banff NP and liked it very much. The Icefields drive was one of the more spectacular drives that I can remember.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:53 AM   #11
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If you want to take a more leisurely, scenic route go US 2 through Stevens Pass to Hwy 97, then north along 97 through Omak and Oroville and cross up through Penticton and Kelowna along BC97 to BC97A, then take Trans Canada 1 eastbound to Lake Louise/Banff.
This route passes along Mount Revelstoke NP, through Glacier, Yoho, and Banff National Parks, Lake Louise, and Banff. Much more interesting than taking any interstates. US 95 from Coeur d'Alene north is a hot mess, especially in the summer.
Worth a short side trip to Takakkaw Falls in Yoho.
I second this recommendation.

Note that the town of Banff itself is wildly touristy and very crowded in season. Make plans to get away from the town (and your car) to enjoy other areas of the park. Spectacular hikes abound!
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:18 AM   #12
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We were there 2 years ago and Banff/Lake Louise will be super busy then ..... but everywhere will be much better after Labour day as the kids are back in school.

I would head north...cross the Border at Peace Arch and then head for Manning provincial Park .... then on to Osoyoos (probably hottest place in Canada in the summer)Haynes point provincial campground is great in Osoyoos but is one of the most popular in BC ...book a waterfront south side spot ASAP.... then head to Christina Lake (gladstone provincial park)....then on to Nelson....really great little town worth a night or 2 ...check out the downtown campground run by the city.
From Nelson take the ferry across Kootney Lake and then south to Creston from there Id head toward Radium Hot Springs and stay in Kootney National Park just out side the town of Radium ....now you're doing the Banff etc area...from Banff head towards Revelstoke and Kamloops after Kamloops PU the Duffy Lake Road thru the mountains to Whistler Mtn. area out of Whistler to Squamish ...Vancouver and home.
This is a general route and there are lots pf great spots to stay. I would recommend Manning Park, Haynes Point In Osoyoos, Nelson, Cristina Lake, Red Streak Campground in Kootney Nat Park, any of Banff and Lake Louise parks. Maybe spend a night coming thru Duffy lake rd there are several small pull off sites on this route along the river etc. Very windy road but amazing country.
The other option which is a favourite of mine is to head south on #5 at the start to Sedro Wooley and pu Hiway 20 East to the Ross dam area some great little towns along this route then PU hi way 97 up to Orrivile Wash. and cross the border to Osoyoos then follow the route.
Have fun.
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:25 PM   #13
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Banff has been on my list for a few years, and we made it there this August!

We started planning in November, when we learned that we had friends who were doing the Skaha Lake Ultraswim, near Penticton, BC. (I ended up providing kayak support for one of our friends doing the race, who finished fourth overall, and took a course record from his age group!)

We traveled from our home in Poulsbo to our first night at the Entiat City Park, north of Wenatchee, WA. This is a great little park, on the water. We had reserved what turned out to be a good spot, site #41, a pull-through set aside from the area where most of the trailers (and families) were.

No problems getting across the border at Osoyoos, Hwy 97. Short wait, and just a few questions.

Then, north to Oliver BC, the Lake Gallagher RV park. This is an old KOA, I understand, and it was like one might expect for an RV park - a little tight, no privacy. But, it was clean and friendly. We got to watch the "Lake Gallagher Air Show" - while we were there, the area was under evacuation alert for a wildfire, and we had helicopters carrying buckets of water right over the campground during daylight hours.

Then, on toward Banff. We headed north to the Hwy 1, then east to our next night at Blanket Creek Provincial Park. It is just a beautiful drive! Our campsite was a boondocking site, like most of the provincial parks, I think. (Don't tell anyone, but our site, #73, was THE MOST BEAUTIFUL campsite we have ever stayed at, a back-in site overlooking a lake!)

Then on to Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court, site #846. MAKE RESERVATIONS EARLY. We heard that reservations opened on a particular day in January, and I was on the site as it opened. By the time the dust settled an hour later, it looked like 90% of the sites were reserved, for our days in AUGUST. We had enjoyed the YouTube video by RV Adventures, so we had a better understanding of how the campground is arranged, and which sites we would want to pick; take a look at .

The campsite is a great location - near the town of Banff, with full hook ups. Good local hiking, into town. It was a great home base for seeing other spots in the park.

I had heard of a couple of great tips from another user here, Opn Rd, that really helped us out. We, like everyone else, wanted to see Lake Louise. GET THERE EARLY. We arrived by 06:30 and found only 3 or 4 open parking spaces left. We took the hike up to the Plain of the Six Glaciers tea house, and we were ahead of most of the crowd. It's a moderate hike, and beautiful.

The other tip we got from Opn Rd was about an app called GyPSy, which gave us an audio tour as we drove the Icefields Parkway. Great to hear about the history, and the natural history of the area. It was well worth the minimal cost.

The town of Banff was busy, but it was a fun place to walk around.

We left Banff after four nights, toward our next night at Moyie Lake Provincial Park, near Cranbrook BC. Again, an amazing drive. The campground was okay, with a little more noise than I would have liked. Great place for families; lake access and lots of kids on bikes.

Both the provincial parks had clean bath houses, with free, hot showers.

Then, through the border crossing at Kingsgate BC/Eastport ID. We had to wait only for a couple of cars, and had a quick stop with the agent. We heard, though, on a Facebook post about a family that got inspected, and ended up getting fined because they had failed to declare two ears of corn, at the same crossing a few days later!

On to Riverside Bowl & Pitcher, in Spokane. Nice trails to walk along the river.

Then to Wanapum State Park in Vantage WA. This was a nice break before heading the rest of the way west on I-90. The park is a green oasis on the waterfront but be ready for a windy evening! We were in site #17, pull-through FHU's, but would take #16, a back in across the road, as it had better shade.

You're going to have a great time! Look forward to hearing more about it! I did a few reviews for Campendium, for Lake Gallagher, Blanket Creek, and Moyie Lake, if you are interested.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:05 PM   #14
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Thanks so much for all the great recommendations!
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:01 AM   #15
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Yoho Nat. Park is worth the visit. We were there last week. It can be a day trip from



In Jasper Nat. Park, the Wabasso Campground is in a great location with easy access to Jasper and other northern parts of the park.


Check for road closures and campground closures!
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:08 PM   #16
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Avoid the "Victoria's Secret Holiday"

My son and I were unlucky enough in our trip from CO to AK to hit Banff and Lake Louise on 3rd weekend of May, which is a BIG holiday, like our Memorial Day and we were lucky to get the last spot at a huge public camprground.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Alreddawg19 View Post
Hi y'all



My family (4yo, 2yo, wife) and I are planning a month long trip from Seattle up to Banff and Jasper with our 2018 23ft FC bunk.



It's a little early for planning but I want to get the best places booked. Any recommendations for scenic routes there and places to stay both along the way and in Banff and Jasper?



Thanks so much



Alan


We just returned from Banff/Jasper/Glacier.

Jasper: Whistlers campground is closed for 2019/2020 for renovations. Whittier is next best choice and Wabasso 3rd - it’s 20 mins from town and only 1 loop electric so book ASAP.- Very quiet though.

Banff: Tunnel Mountain trailer park (not campground I or II) an excellent choice. Lake Louise campground is a great location but the trains are often and LOUD so be prepared

We traveled in Glacier last week of Aug and Banff/Jasper after Sep 1. We were told the crowds had just left but it was still pretty busy. Everything shuts down by Sep 30 so it’s a short shoulder season - there was snow the last couple of days at the high altitudes.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:52 AM   #18
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If you’re travelling north on 93/95 from Kingsgate or Osoyoos, and you’re ready for a break from the provincial campgrounds, I’d recommend a stop at Fairmont Hot Springs resort. More family friendly than Radium, and the kids will love the large natural hot spring pools. Extremely well maintained, manicured grounds, and quiet.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:38 PM   #19
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If you’re travelling north on 93/95 from Kingsgate or Osoyoos, and you’re ready for a break from the provincial campgrounds, I’d recommend a stop at Fairmont Hot Springs resort. More family friendly than Radium, and the kids will love the large natural hot spring pools. Extremely well maintained, manicured grounds, and quiet.
You are so right! I live an hour & a half from there & if you’re coming from Kingsgate, in season, Moyie Campground is beautiful. It has large campsites, knestled into the woods just yards away from an amazing lake. Great facilities & very close to my home town, Cranbrook BC where you will find everything you need to stock up on groceries and supplies for your extended trip.��❤️❤️❤️
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