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Old 02-24-2018, 01:16 PM   #1
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Name: Ron
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Camping In Canada

Hi all... I'm sure this has been addressed already, but I can't find it.

I am planning a 2-3 month trip beginning mid-July this summer where I will cross into Canada from Montana. I will be going to Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. My question is, is it real difficult is it to get a camping site without reservations? I want to be able to travel at my own pace stopping and going as I see fit. I'm mainly interested Provincial Parks, National Parks, or places such as National Forest if that kind of camping exists there. Electric hook-ups are good, but I have no problem boondocking either.

Any advice offered is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Hutch
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:22 PM   #2
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Hi! Like you, we also plan a trip west this summer and here's our take on things. National Parks and Provincial parks are hugely popular in the areas you intend on visiting. Weekends will definitely be busy and reservations then are almost mandatory, from what I've been told. Thru the week will be better, but you'd have to pretty well show up to claim a site very early, which may not work into your style of travel.
For us, we will plan day trips into those areas (luckily for us, we've been there before, even though it was a number of years ago) and find camping sites outside of the parks. Our hopes are that that will make our lives less stressed.
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:32 PM   #3
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We use to do primitive camping in Ontario Canada ( 20 years) but the Ontario Provincial Government put so many restrictions on non resident camping on Crown Land that we decided to spend our time and money in Manitoba.
The cost to stay at private campgrounds in Ontario is often less then a Provincial Parks and the private parks offer full service.
At least that has been our experience
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:34 PM   #4
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Thanks, Theresa... you mention camping outside of Provincial & National Parks, is this camping in commercial RV parks or off road boon docking?
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:36 PM   #5
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I went to the Canadian Rockies last July. I didnít have any problems finding campsites but I had to bypass a lot of places where I wanted to stop because the parking lots were jam packed and I was towing my Escape. I traded U S money for Canadian with no problems but changing back was an issue. No bank on either side of the border would trade unless I had an account with them which, of course, I didnít. When I got back home I exchanged the Canadian for U S with no problem. Never had that issue before.
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:35 PM   #6
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Well for starters weather gets effy after sept long so bring rain gear and a siwash.
Many campsites aren't open in oct. cause of the white stuff.
So 3 months starting mid july might be a bit late.
Mid july to sept long is great.
Prov. parks are usually a safe bet during the week but not so much on weekends, depends where you are and holiday weekends.
The national parks, beautiful that is for sure but we found the kootenays the place to be, so much so we moved here.
Pretty hard to beat the New Denver beach view across the lake, view form the top of Idaho Peak, the Kootenay Lake, 80 miles long and 4 boats on it!!
People watching in Nelson BC is almost worth the trip lol, and the beach in that town is beautiful. Kaslo Jazz festival and area,, wow.
The National parks are full of people all summer long, the Kootenays,, well the ferries are busy on Friday and Monday of the long weekends.
Fred
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:12 PM   #7
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Hi Ron,
As has been noted, you are looking at a short and very busy high season. Last summer was Canada's 150th celebration and all National Parks were free to residents which made them even busier than usual. That being said if you have some flexibilty then you can certainly stay in the national parks without reservations. We have crisscrossed Canada for 20+ years tenting and trailering and we never make reservations (well except in our home province of Ontario which is always booked solid, doesn't offer reasonable amounts of non reserve sites and is the most expensive camping in the country).
Look for the non reserve, first come first serve campgrounds in the Rockies, I have rolled into those as late as 1-2 pm and still gotten a site. But then again, that has also not worked out as planned occasionally and we had to look elsewhere. you might have to drive farther than you originally planned. As Theresa said, don't move areas on a friday or saturday if you can avoid it .
Goodluck and have fun
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:04 PM   #8
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My thanks to each of you who have responded with the good advice you have provided. I will keep each of your tips in mind while on this much anticipated trip.

Thank you,
Ron
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:10 PM   #9
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We camped in the Kananaskis area early last May. Beautiful area with some snow still around. We didn't think we would need to book as it was so early in the season. We discovered that some campgrounds were fully booked on the weekends! We were the only campers at one campground during the week but needed to change campgrounds on Friday morning and grab a site in a First Come/First served area. That campground filled during the day and evening until it too was full. It was fascinating watching it empty out by supper time Sunday!


Haven't been to Banff/Jasper for quite some time and when we did it was either early or late in the season.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:31 PM   #10
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canada camping

when we drove through Canada seems we tented in lots of roadside campgrounds with pit toilets. usually they were right by a stream!

are those still there?

bob
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by k0wtz View Post
when we drove through Canada seems we tented in lots of roadside campgrounds with pit toilets. usually they were right by a stream!

are those still there?

bob
Canada is a large country.
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:52 PM   #12
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The only time you could have problems would be long weekends, Aug. 4-5-6 Sept. 1-2-3 Oct. 6-7-8 and possibly the Friday before those dates.

Often the private campgrounds offer good value compared to government sites. As far as boondocking goes once you get out of the way there are a number of forest service area's known mostly to the locals where you can go for free you'd just have to ask around being Canadian its polite for people to work at being helpful.
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:28 AM   #13
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when we hit those places

Daniel when we hit those roadside places there was no one there I guess they weren't fancy enough but going to sleep at night listening to those streams was so great!

bob
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:19 AM   #14
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I an in Saskatchewan. We loved those small, locally run campgrounds. During the 70's and 80's we used them a lot. Over the years though most have been closed down. Government regulations became more expensive to follow (no basic hole in the ground toilets etc.) Some got trashed by drunk people who didn't appreciate the value of leaving an area as clean as it was when you arrived. Many of the campgrounds were maintained by volunteers - and the enthusiasm waned as they aged. One of our absolute favourites was very isolated - several miles down a very rough basic trail. A truly wonderful place beside a small river with a private swimming hole. Local snowmobilers and ATV lovers made it part of their trail system - and the area is now like a garbage dump, complete with broken glass strewed around. The same group of people ruined the cross country skiing area.
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:06 AM   #15
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Several years ago we were camping in Glacier NP and decided to head up to Jasper/Banff for an overnight. Of course, all the campgrounds were full, but they had a large overflow lot where we slept without any problems. Not sure if that lot is still there or if it fills, but it served us well.
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Old 02-25-2018, 11:11 AM   #16
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Hello Ron
We do have some beautiful camping up here.
Check out "Recreation sites and trails". These are the no fee campsites.
They have outdoor toilets, firepits and a picnic table. NO FEES.
Our provincial campsites are also well maintained and have full hookups.
Come and Enjoy. Don't forget your fishing rod.
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:16 PM   #17
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Avail yourself of the comprehensive North American RV Travel & Savings Guide put out by the Good Sam Club and Camping World.
the 2016 version lists 12,498 campgrounds by state and province. both public and private.
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:06 PM   #18
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murray those are exactly the ones I was thinking about a boondockers dream!! thanks bob
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:09 PM   #19
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Canada ?

In a couple of weeks in Canada in July we Scamped in both private and public campgrounds and had little trouble finding a campground. The big national Parks like Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper had overflow areas, sometimes just the paved staging areas for buses and trams. At the Jasper Ice Fields it was the big visitors center and tram tour area across from the ice field. It looked like some people camped there for many days, though it was not level . There were small restrooms but you also had access to the big visitors center, souvenir shops and cafeteria for the center. The people there were as nice as the scenery !
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron H. View Post
Hi all... I'm sure this has been addressed already, but I can't find it.

I am planning a 2-3 month trip beginning mid-July this summer where I will cross into Canada from Montana. I will be going to Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. My question is, is it real difficult is it to get a camping site without reservations? I want to be able to travel at my own pace stopping and going as I see fit. I'm mainly interested Provincial Parks, National Parks, or places such as National Forest if that kind of camping exists there. Electric hook-ups are good, but I have no problem boondocking either.

Any advice offered is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Hutch
e use Walmart s, church parking lots, Casinos, side of the road, gravel pits, car lots, where ever we can find a spot or malls that have gone belly up. Usually the police will come by and say nay and u move on, most of you little trailer guys can park anywhere anytime not like us in our big MH but I have gotten to look like a moose when you want one you cannot find one and hide behind trees in a forest. When your in someone's parking lot ask if it is okay at the Service Counter and they will either say yay or nay and tell you why. Most Walmart s are good for 24 hours but don't put out your slides or unload your car and leave the trailer or motor home behind as it might not be there at end of day it was meant for a place to stop, shop, eat, get a good nights sleep and hit the road, Casino's like you to come in for Breaky or dinner as they are pretty cheap and real good deals to park on their sites, Camp Grounds of over full pull ins for upwards of 20 vehicles and if you pay you can leave trailer behind and go see places in TV.
Stude
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