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Old 08-25-2017, 05:22 PM   #1
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Camping in Banff

We are headed up to Banff next week. Would like to know if anyone has a recommendation for a first Campground. Also other recommendations in general for the area. Thanks for any thoughts.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:09 PM   #2
Name: abcde
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Banff area campgrounds

We much prefer the National Park camp ground at Lake Louise to Tunnel Mountain at Banff. It's a nicer campground - particularly if you pick a site close to the river and away from the railway line. Lake Louise is a tiny village but the scenery up the lake is magnificent and the restaurant in the old railway station is a neat stop for dinner.

Banff is busier and more touristy. More of a Yellowstone feel to it. Your choice.

We also enjoy Canmore. There are nice walks along the river or you can climb a real mountain - all from trails out of town. Less crowded than Banff too. There is a commercial RV park in town if you like that sort of thing or you can visit one of the Alberta provincial parks. I think Bow Valley has power and a dump station. Details on

Note you are in bear country (grizzlies and black bear) if you go for a walk out of town. Bear spray highly advised if you walk or cycle out of town. If you have a dog, keep it leashed on forested trails. I'd consider reservations in the first half of September as the camp grounds can fill up by mid afternoon. It's a popular time to travel.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:21 PM   #3
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Hey Walt we are headed to Banff next week as well!
If you see a Parkliner it will probably be us. The vistas may be a bit hazy due to a few wildfires but I'm still quite excited.

Anyone know if Banff currently has a campfire ban? I believe Glacier National Park does.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:37 PM   #4
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Here is a link for Alberta parks fire bans.
Alberta Parks Fire Bans & Restrictions

BC has had a ban in place now since early July which is where Glacier National Park is. All along the southern area of BC and into Alberta has been really dry.
Vancouver has not had rain since June 22 .
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Old 08-26-2017, 09:30 AM   #5
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If you can get into the Two Jack lakeside campground, you will like it. It is right on a beautiful small lake, and close to the townsite of Banff. The TwoJack main campground is not bad either...better than Tunnel Mountain...lots of trees.
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:32 AM   #6
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Camping at Banff & Two Jack Lake

We went to Banff last summer & stayed at the NP was beautiful & surrounded by mountains (see pic below). Would suggest you get reservations as soon as possible for wherever you plan to stay. While there, every morning at 6:45 or so we drove to Two Jack Lake for breathtaking views of the lake. One morning my husband went to the restroom...the next morning when we drove there a bear walked around the corner of the restroom building. Whew...
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:04 PM   #7
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I would also say that Two Jack is a good place to start. I would also recommend stopping in Waterton on your way up or when heading back home! Waterton is the Canadian side of Glacier National Park.
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:48 PM   #8
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Skip it and head to Kananaskis. I have my trailer down there right now. Much more quiet than Banff.

Interlakes campground is the nicest campground in Canada. Non-reservable but if you get in early on a weekday you can get a spot right on the lake. There are a couple more campgrounds right there in Peter Lougheed Park that are well worth it.
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:45 AM   #9
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I agree with 001 about the bears but also look out for the ELK, they think they own the town and country around it same in Canmore, I to think Canmore is a real nice place to go. If decide to go further North then head for Cochrane and Ghost Lake for a nice rest then leave there and drive down #22 which is called the Cowboy trail to Waterton National Park, we camped on 22 in Pincher Creek decent price as it Waterton was only 1 hour away so each day drove there and back was a lot easier drive than City driving. Remember if you got your free pass Waterton is Free, being as it is late August you might even be able to get into the Campground in Waterton so try phoning and see if any room, we were to big for them so that is why we parked in Pincher Creek.
Beautiful Country along the Rocky's.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:09 AM   #10
Name: Kathy
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When we were there last May & June, the elk were everywhere in the campgrounds at Banff and Jasper. They were laying on the ground throughout the campground at Jasper & having their babies. We were told that the Park Service shot paint balls at the mother's chest and rear so campers would know to stay away from them. We opened our trailer door early one morning & a bunch of people were standing there. There was a mother elk & baby just behind our trailer.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:07 AM   #11
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We are local and we camp up the hill in Canmore at Spray Lakes.
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:58 PM   #12
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We spent a few weeks at Kananaskis this spring. Had a great time and found some superb campsites. We prefer it to Banff which is too commercialised for our tastes. One afternoon we were treated to a visiting grizzly who totally ignored us and our vehicle with open doors. Our food was in the car. Unfortunately so were our three cameras and two cell phones. That will have to remain an image in my photo book of memories.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:49 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the responses folks. We're staying inn Tunnel Mtn and Whistler. That's what was available. And I hear you about the crowds at Banff, but as our first visit to the area we really wanted to see the well known places for now. Sure have peaked my interest for more though.

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