Camping the Rockies: Banff Camping Guide

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Written by Patrick J. Smith posted on Monday, May 24th, 2010

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Banff National Park has some of the best lodging in the world, even when that lodging is your own tent or RV. Very few places, even in the Rockies, offer such amazing sites, opportunities to see wildlife, waterfalls and wildflowers, and great hiking as Banff. What better way to enjoy these activities on your Banff vacation than by sleeping with park as your back yard?

Banff, Alberta offers some of the best camping in the Rockies.

Below you’ll find our helpful guide on where to camp in Banff.

Banff Area Campgrounds

Two Jack Main Campground

Camp in the wilderness, beautiful wooded area, secluded campsites (381), lots of wildlife. Situated on the scenic Minnewanka Lake loop drive. Explore the ruins of Bankhead, sheep in the area may be on the roadways, so drive with care. Flush toilets, no showers. Kitchen shelters available. Only 12 km from Banff.

Waterfowl Lake Campground

Near the Waterfowl Lake Campground’s 116 sites, the bubbling Mistaya River enters Waterfowl Lake. A trail leads to Cirque and Chephren lakes for great hiking. Flush toilets, no showers. A 73 km drive from Banff.

Rampart Creek

A small campground with 50 sites, on the way to the Columbia Icefield. Great area for viewing wildlife and scenic grandeur. Flush toilets, no showers. A 147 km drive from Banff.

Two Jack Lakeside Campground

Right across the road  from the main camp is a small (77) site campground. Awake to the sound of water flowing and birds cooing. Showers available.

Tunnel Mountain Campground

Situated 2.4 km from Banff on Tunnel Mountain, within walking distance (or trolley distance) of downtown Banff. Services, such as food, laundry and a waterslide are close by. There are 320 full service sites in the Trailer Court, 188 power only sites in Village II, plus 619 non-serviced sites in Village I. There is an unbelievable view of the valley, the Hoodoos, and the Banff Springs Golf course. Tunnel Mountain Village II is open year round.

Johnston Canyon Campground

Across from Johnston Canyon is a picturesque campground with 132 sites. A creek flows nearby and the scenery is awesome. Take a walk up Johnston Canyon and view the two waterfalls. There is also a lot of wildlife in the area. Take the scenic route from Banff for wildlife sightings. Showers available. This campground is 25 km from Banff.

Protection Mountain Campground

Protection Mountain Campground has 89 sites, in a great area for hiking, lots of wildlife. No showers. Flush toilets. This campground is 48 km from Banff.

Lake Louise Campground

Lake Louise Campground has 189 trailer sites and 216 tenting sites next to the jewel of the Rockies, Lake Louise. Take the scenic route from Banff, which includes a drive by Johnston Canyon. No showers. The campground is 58 km from Banff.

Mosquito Creek Campground

From the 32 sites of Mosquito Creek Campground, you can see the sandstone cliffs of Bow Peak. The rugged cliffs of Mount Hector dominate the southeast skyline. Flush toilets, no showers. Open all year. The campground is 83 km from Banff.

Additional information

Campground # Sites Full H-U Elec Only Flush Toilet Showers Sani Dump Dis Acc Fire Pits $8.80 Interp Prog Fee
1 Tunnel Mt Village IMay 2 – Oct 1 618 X X X X X X $27.40
2 Tunnel Mt Village IIOpen Year Round 188 all X X X X X $32.30
3 Tunnel Mt TrailerMay 2 – Oct 1
321 all X X X X X $38.20
4 Two Jack MainMay 16 – Sept 2 380 X X X $21.50
5 Two Jack LakesideMay 16 – Sept 16 74 X
X X $27.40
6 Johnton CanyonMay 30 – Sept 16
132 X X X X X $27.40
7 Castle MountainMay 16 – Sept 2 43 X X $21.50
8Protection MountainJune 27 – Sept 1 89 X X X $21.50
9 Lake Louise Trailer*Year Round 189 all X X X X X $32.30
10 Lake Louise TentMay 15 – Sept 28 206 X X X X X X $27.70
11 Mosquito CreekYear Round 32 Dry Toilet X X $15.70
12Waterfowl LakesJune 20 – Sept 8 116 X X X X $21.50
13 Rampart CreekJune 27 – Sept 1 50 Dry Toilet X X $15.70
9* Soft-sided camping in winter only (mid-November to mid-April)

Open dates are weather dependent. Arrive early – sites assigned on a
first-come, first-served basis.

Note: Campground opening and closing dates may vary as National Park Campgrounds operate depending on the weather. Fees may increase without notice.

* FULL H-U = full hook-up
* DIS ACC = disabled access
* INTERP PROG = Interpretive program
* FIRE PERMIT REQUIRED where fireboxes and firewood are provided.
* Boil water advisories may be posted.

For More Information
General camping information contact:
Banff National Park
Box 900
Banff, AB
Canada, T1L 1K2
Phone: (403) 762-1550

Other campgrounds in the National Parks are on a first come, first serve basis. Check out time is 11 a.m., which is a good time to stop by and get a site. Overnight camping of any type (tent, vehicle, or RV) outside designated campgrounds is not permitted.

Camp Banff

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