Camping season is upon us, and Banff National Park boasts the best sites. Fresh mountain air, breathtaking Canadian Rockies scenes and star-filled night skies promise to create an unforgettable backdrop for your next camping adventure in Banff.
To help you plan where to pitch your tent, roll in your RV, or soundly sleep in oTENTik comfort, here are the top five campgrounds to discover in Banff National Park.
Tunnel Mountain Village
Enjoy an al fresco alpine escape, with easy access to Banff Ave., at Tunnel Mountain Village. This local favourite features two unique camping areas with sweeping mountain views, an outdoor theatre and a year-round bus service to downtown Banff.
For a traditional, back-to-basics experience, opt for Village I. There are 618 sites to suit various camping set-ups, all with a firepit for cooking. If you're bringing the RV and want to power up, reserve a spot in Tunnel Mountain's three-season Village II. Or, simplify your adventure and splurge on a Parks Canada oTENTik. Requiring zero set-up, these prospector tent/A-frame cabin hybrids offer maximum comfort with minimal effort.
Two Jack Campground
When you feel like unplugging and relaxing in a magical forested setting close to town, the Two Jack Main Campground is pristine perfection. The tranquil camping retreat, featuring 380 scenic no-service sites, is also just 15-minutes from Banff's iconic Lake Minnewanka Cruise. Out-of-town visitors and first-time campers will appreciate the 32 equipped campsites, each set with a six-person tent and sleeping pads, propane stove and lantern. At the neighbouring Two Jack Lakeside Campground, you'll find ten oTENTik spots as well as waterside campsites for easy non-motorized boat access.
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Lake Louise Campground
Venture an hour beyond Banff to the Lake Louise Campground, featuring a full-service hard-side RV camping section and separate soft-side area with forested sites for tents and tent trailers. The convenient location and idyllic Bow River setting allow for effortless exploration of the national park's legendary natural attractions, including Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and the Icefields Parkway. And, when you need to stock up on s'mores supplies, the quaint village of Lake Louise is mere moments away.
Mosquito Creek Campground
Quiet and secluded, Mosquito Creek Campground is a fabulous choice for small RV and tenting campers wanting a front-country, wilderness escape. The rustic campground includes 32 first-come, first-served wooded sites, potable water, a picnic shelter and bear-safe food lockers for walk-in tenting. Given its Icefields Parkway location, cell service is non-existent, gifting you more time to explore the surrounding Rocky Mountain landscape.
Oh, and don't fret about its unfortunate name; Mosquito Creek's bug population is on par with the rest of Banff National Park's great outdoors.
Waterfowl Lakes Campground
Plan on visiting the Columbia Icefield and other world-class sights along the Icefield's Parkway? Located about 60 kilometres north of Lake Louise, Waterfowl Lakes Campground is picturesque and perfectly positioned for exploring the area's many lakes, peaks, glaciers and trails.
Camp amenities include picnic tables and firepits for all 116 sites, sheltered camp kitchens with wood-burning stoves, an amphitheatre and food storage lockers. Like Mosquito Creek, Waterfowl Lakes doesn't accept reservations, making it an excellent option for last-minute, impromptu camping trips.
Parks Canada campgrounds book up quickly in Banff National Park, so it's best to reserve early or take your chances with a first-come, first-served site. Once you've picked where to stay, start planning out what to see and do—the adventures are endless in the Canadian Rockies.