The Basics: Where to Camp

Where to begin camping

Alberta

Banff National Park Banff National Park
© Parks Canada

Banff National Park:

Banff National Park is a world-class destination and Canada’s first national park. Relax in the hot springs after hiking in dense conifer forests or climbing the mountain peaks of the Great Divide. See the awesome glaciers and turquoise lakes, and enjoy the amenities that are available year round in the town of Banff.

A 1.5-hour drive from Calgary and a 4-hour drive from Edmonton.

Must do

Hike, bike or walk on the Banff Legacy Trail, a paved multi-use trail that takes you from Banff Town to Cascade Ponds or even all the way to Canmore. Check out the Tunnel Mountain Bench Trails, which offer mountain bikers breathtaking views and hours of fun!

When camping in Lake Louise bring your bike to ride the beautiful Bow River Loop. If you’re staying at Waterfowl Lake Campground, paddle the majestic upper or lower lakes or take a hike to Chephren and Cirque Lakes.

Wildlife you might see 

  1. Columbian Ground Squirrel 
  2. Grey Jay 
  3. Elk 
  4. Robin 
  5. Red Squirrel

Insider’s tip

Be sure to attend one of our evening presentations by “The Singing Wardens” at Tunnel Mountain Village 1 Campground Outdoor Theatre. You’ll enjoy songs, stories and poetry about the history of the park’s warden service.

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Banff National Park website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Elk Island National Park Elk Island National Park
© Parks Canada

Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park is home to herds of free roaming plains bison, wood bison, moose, deer, and elk, and over 250 species of birds. Whether you visit for wildlife viewing, hiking, cross-country skiing, picnicking, or overnight camping, this beautiful oasis a short one-hour drive from Edmonton will amaze you.

A 1-hour drive from Edmonton.

Don’t miss

Wake up to song birds singing you good morning after a cozy night’s sleep in Sandy Beach Campground. Take a stroll out onto the Living Waters boardwalk and watch the sunrise over the islands of Astotin Lake.

Wildlife you might see 

  1. Bison (Wood and Plains) 
  2. Moose 
  3. Elk 
  4. Coyote 
  5. Beaver

Insider’s tip

Lace up your hiking shoes and go geocaching! It's a fun high-tech adventure where you use a GPS (Global Positioning System) to hunt for containers called caches. They range from quick grabs to challenging half-day finds. Locate all 8, crack the code, and receive a collector's coin. Don't have your own GPS? Borrow one from the Astotin Theatre.

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Elk Island National Park website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Jasper National Park Jasper National Park
© Parks Canada

Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is the perfect place to experience nature while avoiding the crowds. Climb some of its spectacular mountains and gaze in awe at the icefields, glaciers, waterfalls and wildlife.

A 4-hour drive from either Edmonton or Calgary

Must do

The trip can sometimes be more important than the destination. Jasper’s Icefields Parkway is known as the most spectacular road in the world. Take a day trip down this glacier-lined road. Bring a picnic and stop at the roadside picnic areas.

Wildlife you might see

  1. Elk
  2. Bighorn Sheep
  3. Mule Deer
  4. Black Bear
  5. Grizzly Bear

Insider’s tip

Pick up a copy of the day-hiking map when you arrive. There are over 300 km of multi-use trails that are ideal for biking, hiking, horseback riding and Nordic skiing.

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Jasper National Park website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Waterton Lakes National Park Waterton Lakes National Park
© Parks Canada

Waterton Lakes National Park

Rugged, windswept mountains rise abruptly out of a gentle prairie grassland in spectacular Waterton Lakes National Park. Let the park fill you with wonder as you ski, horseback, canoe or hike in a landscape shaped by wind, fire, flooding, and abundant plants and wildlife.

A 3-hour drive from Calgary .

Must do

Explore the Akamina or Red Rock Canyon Parkways in the early morning or evening. Wild animals are more active at this time, and the sunlight on the mountains is stunning.

Wildlife you might see 

  1. Ground Squirrels 
  2. Deer 
  3. Magpies, crows and ravens 
  4. Bears – black and grizzly 
  5. Bighorn Sheep

Insider’s tip

Don’t miss the free evening theatre performances at Townsite and Crandell campgrounds!Ensure your belongings are secured at Townsite Campground, especially if it’s windy!

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Waterton Lakes National Park website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.

 

Wood Buffalo National Park Wood Buffalo National Park
© Parks Canada

Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada’s largest national park. Look for free-roaming wood bison herds, feel the salty clay of the landscape with your bare feet, or go boating and birdwatching in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the nesting site of the only naturally migrating Whooping Cranes.

Must do

Wood Buffalo National Park was created in 1922 to protect one of the last free-roaming herds of wood bison in the world. Bison, or buffalo, are common visitors to the Pine Lake campground. Enjoy camping at this lakeside haven. If you are lucky, you may see Canada’s largest mammal!

Wildlife you might see 

  1. Wood Bison 
  2. Black Bear 
  3. Wolf 
  4. Moose 
  5. Sandhill cranes

Insider’s tip

During weekdays in summer, Pine Lake campground is a great place to find some peace and quiet. Canoe on the serene lake, go for a midnight sun swim or hike along kart topography into Lane Lake. You may even have the place to yourself... with the Wood Bison!

For more information on camping and other experiences available, visit the Wood Buffalo National Park website or call our National Information Service toll-free at 1-888-773-8888.