Camping in Banff is a super affordable way to see the beauty that Banff National Park offers. Renting a hotel can be pretty spendy during peak season. So why not camp? Here's the in and outs of camping in Banff.
There are 13 camping locations in Banff National Park. woah that's a lot!
The camp sites vary in amenities, all have some form of a toilet, but some do not have showers, so book accordingly. Majority of campsites require reservations, but some are first come first serve.
It all depends on where you want to stay
If you want to stay within Banff's quaint town site, then these are your campgrounds;
- Tunnel Mountain Village I- This has flush toilets and showers. (5 miles from Bannf's town-site)
- Tunnel Mountain Village II- This has flush toilets and showers. (3 miles from Banffs town-site) *OPEN YEAR ROUND
- Tunnel Mountain Trailer- This has flush toilets and showers. (3 miles from Banff town-site)
- Two Jack Main- This has flush toilets, but not showers. (7 miles from Banff's town-site)
- Two Jack Main- equipped campsites, meaning they come with tents, sleeping mats, the bare bones of camping. Great option if you are flying. This has flush toilets, but no showers. (7 miles from Banff's town-site)
- Two Jack Lakeside- This has flush toilets and showers. (This is 7 minutes from Banff's town-site) It's also right next to a Lake.
If you want to venture out and be further from Banff's town-site then here are your options;
- Johnston Canyon Campground- This has flush toilets and showers. (13 miles from Banff's town-site)
- Castle Mountain- This has flush toilets, no showers. (21 miles from Banff's town-site) *FIRST COME FIRST SERVE, NO RESERVATIONS
- Protection Mountain- This has flush toilets, no showers. (26 miles from Banff's town-site and 10 miles from Lake Louise) *FIRST COME FIRST SERVE, NO RESERVATIONS
Campgrounds in Lake Louise;
- Lake Louise Trailer- This has flush toilets and showers. (0.5 mile from the Village of Lake Louise, 2 miles from the actual Lake and 37 miles from Banff's town-site)
- Lake Louise Tent- This has flushing toilets and showers. (0.5 mile from the Village of Lake Louise, 2 miles from the actual Lake and 37 miles from Banff's town-site)
Campgrounds for the Icefields Parkway;
Note- The Icefields Parkway is very remote, and has no cell phone reception.
- Mosquito Creek- This has dry toilets, no shower. *FIRST COME FIRST SERVE, NO RESERVATIONS
- Silverhorn Creek- This has dry toilets, no showers. *FIRST COME FIRST SERVE, NO RESERVATIONS
- Waterfowl Lakes- This has flush toilets, but no showers. *FIRST COME FIRST SERVE, NO RESERVATIONS
- Rampart Creek- This has dry toilets, no showers. *FIRST COME FIRST SERVE, NO RESERVATIONS
When camping in Banff National park you want to be prepared for whatever may come your way. The weather can change on a dime and you don't want to freeze. When we were camping in August it got down to 20 degrees one night. We were prepared, so it didn't bother us.
What to bring extra for camping?
- A warm sleeping bag, one that goes below freezing. I also brought a light blanket for when it was too warm to go into the sleeping bag.
- A sleeping mat of some kind. It really keeps you warmer and more comfortable if you have a layer between you, your sleeping bag and the ground.
- Long underwear
- If you plan to cook bring your cooking gear and stuff to clean it.
- Most sites have a picnic table, but if you want to lounge around the fire * only some camp grounds allow it, then bring camping chairs.
- Warm shoes, and I always bring flip flops for showering.
- Bear spray I slept with it next to me. You only have a tent layer between you and the outside world. *They always recommend having two cans for safety*
- Flash light/Lantern that can charge your cell phone- is a must!
Keeping a "bare" campsite;
It is extremely important for the safety of yourself and those around you camping that you adhere to this law. They will give your pamphlet that outlines the guidelines. But as a rule
- Anything that contains food, open or closed, trash, dirty dishes, etc, need to be put away either in the bear safe lockers they provide or in a car.
It's pretty easy to follow the rules so everyone stays safe.
Flying, but want to camp?
They have some newer services. Either OTENTik, which is basically like a mini cabin, which has beds. But this is bare bone camping and still require a sleeping bag and cooking equipment if you plan to do that. This will cost you $120.00 a night and book up very fast.
The other option is equipped campsites. This again gives you the bare bone essentials, but you still need a sleeping bag and cooking equipment. These rent for $70.00 a night and again have a limited quantity.
If you need to rent additional camping things because of flying. You can do so here; *Camping in Banff
If you want to book your campsite, this is the only place to do so *book here.
*these two are not affiliate links, just simply more information for you.
I would love to hear about your camping trip to Banff. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! <3