Originally Posted by blue river
Banff is on our list, likely by June 4th or 5th. Do campsites fill up that early in the season? Trying to figure out what grocery list should look like, how likely bears are (I'm a city girl), that sort of thing. Then Jasper perhaps for two nights, before heading further north. Any hints appreciated. I'm also the appointed worrier.
This year, because of the exchange rate between the Loonie (Cdn $) and the U$ sites are filling up pretty fast with locals trying to save money. Here is the link to Parks Canada where you can make any reservations.
Full hook-ups are about $38 (Cdn) per night which comes out at about U$27. There is also a U$ 100 park pass to buy which this year is valid for 24 months and valid for any Canadian National Park.
Parks Canada - Parks Canada - List of Fees
There is a Safeway in Banff but a much bigger one in Canmore about ten minutes drive away so don't worry about grocery shopping. There is a bus service from the tunnel Mountain campground that takes you in to Banff town if you don't want to use the car.
Bears do exist but I've never seen any despite looking. At that time of year they're mainly up higher and in the back country. With that said, don't leave food out.
There are lots of beautiful and picturesque spots in the area. Lake Louise is only 45 minutes away. You can walk or take a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain, visit the hot spring and have a soak. On the way up to Jasper you'll pass the Athabasca glacier and can over-night in their Lot. Take a bus tour on to the glacier and then stop off at the glass walkway that recently opened.
For my money, Jasper is a much nicer town and less commercial than Banff.
Prior to arriving at Banff avoid Calgary if you can. There are certainly no decent campground there - I know I live nearby. I'd also fill up with gas or diesel because it is less expensive than in the Banff/Jasper areas.
Take a look at RVPark reviews for individual campgrounds.
RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks
Enjoy the trip.