So, you’re booking your Karma Campervan rental and asking yourself… “where should I go camping?!” If you’ve never explored the Rockies by road, you need to start in Banff, head west to Lake Louise, then north on the Columbia Icefields Parkway to Jasper. It’s the ultimate Rocky Mountain road trip route; the Trifecta! And we promise you will love it!
Here are some of our favourite campsites to reserve along the way.
Banff National Park
There are so many hidden gems in Banff, Alberta. Which will you explore first? Hopefully one of the following recommended campgrounds fits into your travel plans.
Tunnel Mountain campgrounds are good for first-timers getting into the swing of things. You can park your campervan and easily hike back into town in an afternoon. The best of both worlds! Tunnel Mountain is the only campground in Banff open year round.
Cost: $27.40 – $38.20
Two Jack is a quiet a popular spot a few kilometres north of town. The lakeside campsites are the best, but harder to come by, of course. Two Jack Main sits just across the road and a quick walk through the forest from the cool mountain Two Jack Lake where people swim and kayak.
Cost: $21.50 – $27.40
Not open until 2020, Johnston Canyon is going to be a good one. The Johnston Canyon Trail is a sight to see on its own and soon you’ll be able to park your campervan just across from the trailhead. For now, a lovely hike to the “Ink Pots” will have to suffice.
Everyone needs to see the beauty of Lake Louise at least once in their life! Avoid the daily crowd on the Trans Canada by camping nearby at one of the Lake Louise campgrounds. Pro tip: Wake up long before dawn to beat the rush to Moraine Lake, just a quick drive from here. And if you’re in a pinch for a camping spot, head to the Lake Louise Overflow Parking lot.
Cost: $27.40 – $32.30
Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is like Banff, but a bit quieter because it’s farther from Calgary’s international airport and just off the Trans Canada HIghway. The town of Jasper is surrounded by mountains that look like paintings at the end of each narrow street. There are plenty of campgrounds to choose from, some close to the townsite and many nestled farther into the wild.
Close to town and located along the Athabasca River, Wapiti Campground is a Karma favourite year-round. Hot showers and electricity make this one an easy choice even in the off season.
Winter (No reservations, but still fun!)
Cost: $27.40 – $32.30
A bit farther from town, but still a doable trek, campers choose Wabasso to get away from the bustle. Beware: no showers here, but you can always jump in a mountain lake to rinse off!
Cost: $21.50 to $27.40
A little bit secluded, Pocahontas Campground is located on the east end of Jasper National Park. Walk over to Punch Bowl Falls or explore the old Pocahontas Mine. The night skies anywhere in Jasper promise starry views, but Pocahontas Campground rates especially high.
Alternative Camping in the Rockies
Boondocking and free camping is possible in the Canadian Rockies, but you need to respect the rules of our parks. We wrote a blog post with what you need to know.
Overnight parking in Banff
We’re often asked: where else can we park our campervan overnight in Banff? There’s no short answer to this question. Read this blog post for all the details.
So, where will you go?! Sometimes these campgrounds have day-of availability, but it’s not guaranteed and is usually busy all summer long. Reserve your site before your trip to snag the best overnight spots.
Let us know where you take your campervan! Snap some photos then share them on social media using #GoodCamping and tagging @KarmaCampervans.