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Old 09-20-2015, 07:51 PM   #1
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Banff national

Went to glacier and Waterton lakes last summer. Looking to go a tad farther next summer. I have a 37' 5er. Does anyone have experience on Banff? Looking for ideal places to stay, things to do, wildlife spotting and photography. Any information you have on the park is greatly appreciated. Probably looking to go in early to mid July.

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Old 02-11-2016, 05:35 PM   #2
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No responses?
I have similar questions. We are considering a trip that would include Banff this year, but in September. Would love to have suggestions on best places to camp. What we shouldn't miss and general suggestions and recommendations.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:32 PM   #3
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We went to Banff area last year for 9 days in August. We camped in the Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court campground (Parks Canada - Banff National Park - Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court) using it as our base to explore the area. There are so many things to see and do in the area that it's hard to cover them all but the Icefields Parkway was one of the most spectacular drives we've been on.

I wish we had towed on up to the Jasper area for a few days too, but we instead stayed in an O'Tentik there in Jasper National Park. Whistler's campground (Parks Canada - Jasper National Park - Camping Information) was beautiful.

The boat ride at Maligne Valley was simply awesome and it's the one thing we would say not to miss.

If you'd like, you can send a PM with any questions and we'll do our best to answer.

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Old 02-11-2016, 07:55 PM   #4
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I'd be glad to help with anything I can, I'm in Calgary about an hour away from Banff and I lived in Jasper for 6 years previously.
It sounds like your coming during the Calgary Stampede July 8-17 so that is probably not going to help with campground vacancies.
Tunnel Mountain is the big campground in Banff but there are two sites, Village l and 2. Village l is the upper one and is far nicer IMO.
Banff can get pretty busy in the summer but there are provincial sites like Mt. Kidd and other Bow Valley campgrounds in Kananaskis. (Between Calgary and Banff)
Alberta parks (not National parks) has a newish reservation system that will be taking reservations Feb.22.
http://www.albertaparks.ca/albertapa...-reservations/
Campgrounds in the area do fill up quickly.
For some deluxe camping check out the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in B.C. I'd say it's about an hour away from Banff.
https://www.fairmonthotsprings.com

For photography I would definitely say the Ice Fields Parkway up to Jasper is second to none. If you do make it to Jasper and like to fly fish, Maligne and Medicine Lakes are my all time favourite spots.
There's a few off the top of my head but glad to help.



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Old 02-11-2016, 08:20 PM   #5
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I suggest the horse back ride through the golf course and around Lake Louise if you go that way. The wildlife just did not seem to notice you on a horse. You get so close to the elk, you could touch them.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:11 PM   #6
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Thank you

Thank you to each of you who made suggestions and gave background.
That was very helpful.
I welcome more input.

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Old 02-12-2016, 12:04 PM   #7
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Have not been to Banff for years. We always go to Jasper and stay at Whistler campground (National). We go to Maligne Lake, up the sky tram, Athabasca falls, Pyramid lake, Meite hot springs. Mount Edith Cavel. Lots of sites to see. We usually bring a picnic kit with us just in case. The old back road to Athabasca falls from Jasper is a nice little drive. Lots of wildlife most of the time. September is the rutting season for the elk and they can be very pesty in the parks. We got charges by a bull while parking our truck at our camp site.
Either way book now. Happy camping
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:55 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by blue river View Post
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.
Never camped in either spot but have gone horse back riding through both Banff and Lake Loiise). You are going to love the areas. Just beautiful. The Northern Rockies are a site to behold, winter, spring, or summer. I have been during them all and I still do not have a favorite time. Its all good.

Maybe I will camp there the next time. Just a long haul from Houston.

Have fun and let us know what you discover and feedback on your stay.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:52 PM   #10
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I think camping really gets underway here around our May long weekend ( 21-23). It's usually when tenters and people without a furnace venture out. I would try to get online and book, the provincial campsites started taking reservations this month, l'm not sure about the National parks but the big ones, Tunnel mountain in Banff and Whistler in Jasper should be available to book.


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Old 03-15-2016, 07:42 PM   #11
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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.
https://reservation.pc.gc.ca/Home.aspx

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.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:15 PM   #12
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You will likely be fine in early June...the 4th is a Saturday so may be busier but I suspect you would be fine from the 5th on as school is still in session then. For the first time this year Parks Canada started taking reservations in January as opposed to Apr, so bookings have been busy, with not much left right now in july and August, add to this the fact that one of the c/g will be closed all summer for construction of new buildings, sites will be a rare thing in there this summer. I would book now if you can...we booked about 3 weeks ago for mid August and there were not alot of sites left.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:22 AM   #13
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With a 37' rig, the designated RV spaces may be needed and reservations are essential. The park is very well set up with easy access pull through spaces in the main RV camps.

If you make it to Jasper, the trip out onto the ice fields is a life experience. Banff is full of beautiful places to hike and explore. On arrival, stop at the park HQ for great advice based on your level of fitness and experience, and your interests. Trails range from easy to torturous. If you get even a bit away from the parking lots, you will lose most of the crowd right away. So many photographic areas such as Lake Louise for starters! Don't overlook the music festival and other events going on in town too.


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