Want to go camping in Western Canada’s best National Parks like Banff, Jasper, Waterton, Yoho? Getting a camping reservation is the first step. But how does someone beat the system and score that coveted campsite? Knowing the way to book your Banff camping reservations is a pivotal aspect of camping in the Rocky Mountains.
That’s what we’re here to discuss today. You’ll need a login to the Parks Canada Reservation System and a plan of attack.
Camping in National Parks Requires Planning
As we mentioned, Banff camping reservations are exceptionally desirable. If you want to reserve a spot, you need to plan.
Every year (around the middle of January), Banff National Park announces the reservations launch dates, which is starting the following week. Why are these dates important? They're the dates summer reservations become available on their online booking system.
On the launch date, everybody sits in wait or hits refresh on their laptops to secure their camping spots.
Until these dates, you cannot reserve any further into the summer than April.
Not all campgrounds open at the same time, either. You'll see rolling starts based on the area. For example, Jasper National Park may open a few days before Banff's campground reservations.
How to Reserve Your Campsite
You can reserve your camping spot on Parks Canada’s online reservation system. Please note, the system requires a login so be sure to create an account in advance!
For reserving campsites for a camper van trip, your first step will be to pick front country camping.
Campsite Selection Tips
Which campground is best for you depends on your needs for the stay. Here are a few scenarios. Say you want to sleep a lot. Whether that means sleeping in or going to bed early, you'll want to pick a campsite away from noise generating spots. So, stay away from group sites or washrooms.
If you wanted to cook something complicated or clean a bunch of dishes, a campsite that is close to the grey water station is convenient.
We also strongly recommend selecting “Electrical Hook-up” (15 Amp for Campervans or 30 Amp for Truck Campers) for an extra few dollars. That allows you to get all systems working from our campers. For example, all electric heating devices only work when you are connected to an electric hook-up. This opens up options like a toaster, electric heater, induction stove, your own hair dryer, etc.
Each campground on the Parks Canada online reservation system shows spots like:
group cooking areas
and so on
But, in the end, availability trumps all. If only a couple of options are left, take the campsite you can book!
Here is the link to reserve your campsite with Parks Canada.
If You Miss Reserving Your Campsite
Miss the campground reservation date? It’s okay.
Like all online reservations, campers do have the option to cancel their reservation. Because of this, you can sometimes find and reserve campsites a week before your trip.
Plus, people sometimes don’t show up for their reservations, so Parks Canada will cancel their reservation and makes it available for others. So, some people risk showing up the same day, ideally early afternoon, and get a campsite.
Reserving Provincial Campgrounds
You have plenty of other camping options near Banff and Jasper National Parks. Many Alberta Parks campgrounds are worth visiting. Three Sisters, Lac Des Arcs, and Spray Lakes West are lovely campgrounds nestled in the mountains.
Alberta and BC Provincial Campgrounds operate under a 90 days rolling window. Basically, campsites become available 90 days before the date you want to camp.
So mark your calendars and plan your Western Canadian camper van holiday and experience the Canadian Rocky Mountains. See the links below:
We're here to help! If you have any other questions about our fine town or the neighbouring areas, do not hesitate to contact us. Also, look at New Age Travel and Services' unique campervan selection! Or book your camper van today.