Tent and RV Campgrounds
Frequently Asked Questions
Camping in the Shadows of Railway History
Did you know that Glacier National Park is one of the few places in Canada where you can camp in a national historic site? Illecillewaet, Loop Brook and Mount Sir Donald campgrounds are located in Rogers Pass National Historic Site, only steps from the abandoned rails.
There are several easy hikes for families near the campgrounds© Parks Canada/Rick Reynolds
The Selkirk Mountains surrounding Rogers Pass were the last barrier to completing the trans-continental Canadian Pacific Railway. Major A.B. Rogers discovered the rugged pass that bears his name in 1881 and only four years later, trains were moving through the pass en-route from Montreal to Vancouver. Rogers Pass was soon home to one of the earliest mountain resorts in western Canada - Glacier House.
You can enjoy the century-old Selkirk Mountains hospitality tradition at our three campgrounds. Interpretive trails connect the campgrounds to the historic site where you can walk the 1885 rail line, through the remains of snowsheds and bridges. Staff bring the ghosts of Rogers Pass to life around the campfire and on walks through the stone ruins of Glacier House.
Many campsites in the park have glacier views© Parks Canada/Rick Reynolds
Illecillewaet Campground is located 3 km west of the summit of Rogers Pass. It is open from late June to late September and offers 60 campsites.
Loop Brook Campground (5 km west of the summit) offers 20 campsites and is open from Canada Day to Labour Day.
Mount Sir Donald Campground (one km west of Loop Brook) offers 15 primitive campsites during July and August.
An easy one-hour hike takes you around the famous "Loops" of the original CPR line, next to the Loop Brook Campground © Parks Canada
Illecillewaet and Loop Brook have flush toilet washroom buildings, log kitchen shelters, food lockers, firewood and drinking water supplies. Mount Sir Donald offers a lower cost alternative to the other two campgrounds and a “smoke-free” experience - campfires are not allowed. Illecillewaet Campground has a staffed Welcome Station at the centre of the campground. Staff visit Loop Brook and Mount Sir Donald in the early evening to register campers.
Our campgrounds offer a rustic, wilderness-oriented frontcountry camping experience. We do not have r.v. hookups, showers or laundry facilities. Fewer than a dozen campsites will accommodate the largest of motorhomes and fifth wheel trailers. Generator use is only allowed between 10:00 am and 8:00 pm. Camping at all three campgrounds is available on a first come, first served basis.
Families spending a few days at the campgrounds should plan to explore the railway models, theatre programs and children's exhibits at the nearby Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. The Last Spike Site at Craigellachie, the historic hot springs at Albert Canyon and the museums and attractions of Revelstoke are all easy day-trips from the campgrounds.
The ten backcountry trails that lead out of the campgrounds date from the early days of railway tourism and still follow the routes laid out by the original Swiss Guides of Glacier House. Families will also love the short Hemlock Grove and Rockgarden trails in Glacier, and Giant Cedars Boardwalk, Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk and the trails of the Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park. (Hemlock Grove and Rockgarden Trails are less than 10 minutes drive and Giant Cedars is only 20 minutes from the campgrounds.)
Campsites are very private in the lush cedar and hemlock forest© Parks Canada / Rick Reynolds
Q – Where can I make a reservation?
A – Reservations are not available at Glacier National Park campgrounds. Camping at all three campgrounds is offered on a first come, first served basis. The park has campsites available every day if you arrive early. If you arrive by mid-afternoon on all but long weekends, you are almost always able to stay at the campground of your choice. If you arrive in the evening and Illecillewaet and Loop Brook campgrounds are already full, Mount Sir Donald Campground has sites available almost every day of the summer.
Q – How do I check in and register at the campgrounds?
A – Illecillewaet Campground has a welcome station in the centre of the campground. Please select and occupy a campsite which fits your camping vehicle and check in at the welcome station within 30 minutes of arrival. Loop Brook and Mount Sir Donald campgrounds have self-registration stations. Please select and occupy your site and register within 30 minutes.
Q – When can I run my generator?
A – Illecillewaet and Loop Brook campgrounds are located in quiet wilderness settings. Generators can be used for short periods to recharge RV batteries, between the hours of 10:00 am and 8:00 pm
Q – How many people, vehicles and camping units are permitted on a campsite?
A – Up to 7 people travelling in the same vehicle are allowed to stay overnight at a campsite. One car, van or truck and one towable camping unit (trailer or tent trailer) are allowed per site. One RV is allowed per site, although only a very small number of campsites in the park accommodate Class A motorhomes. If the RV is towing a vehicle which does not fit on the campsite parking pad, the towed vehicle must be parked at the campground parking lot. One large tent, or two small tents are allowed per site, if they fit on the gravel tent pad.
Q – When’s check out time?
A – 12:00 pm at all campgrounds.
Q – Do I need to worry about bears at my campsite?
A – Yes and No. It depends on you and your actions when camping in bear country. Bears are naturally wary of people, but can become a serious hazard if they become used to human-created food sources. Keep a clean campsite and ensure that anything associated with food, cooking, personal hygiene or pets is stored in your vehicle or in the campground food lockers when you’re not using it. Do not take food or anything associated with it into your tent. Not only is it the safe thing to do, it’s also a requirement of camping in any national park. For tips and information on keeping your campsite safe in bear country, check out the Bare Campsite program for helpful information.
Q – How do I have a campfire? Do I need to bring my own wood?
A – First, purchase a campfire permit when you register for your campsite. Campfire permits can be purchased for all campsites that have a fire pit. (Campfires are not permitted at Mount Sir Donald Campground.) Next, pick up your wood from the central firewood shelters. Firewood is already split and available for your use within the campground. Firewood is free, but please don’t take more than an armload of firewood for each night of camping. There’s no need to bring your own firewood from home.
Q – When are the campgrounds open?
A – Illecillewaet Campground is open from late June to late September.
Loop Brook Campground is open from Canada Day to Labour Day.
Mount Sir Donald Campground is open in July and August.
Any short term closures will be posted on the Important Bulletins page