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Old 11-02-2015, 05:49 PM   #1
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Visiting the Northwest

Have started looking into a fall trip to check out the Canadian Rockies as well as Glacier NP in the states. I know some National Parks require one to fight for reservations up to a year in advance, hence the early start. If time permits we'd like to see Washington and Oregon too.

Thinking of heading to Jasper NP arriving just after the Labour Day weekend 2016 then work out way south. Guessing at 3 weeks in the Rockies, maybe another 3 in the PNW.

Knowing we have a good number of folks for BC and Alberta I was wondering if you folks have favorite campgrounds or areas that you would share, or some to avoid. We're not into crowds or commercial campgrounds, if they can be avoided, no need for hookups. We prefer hiking to shopping, the quieter a campground the better.

Thanks for any help you care to give.
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:55 PM   #2
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We did a two week trip this past July, staying in Lake Louse, Banff, Radium and Waterton without booking more than about 3 days in advance at any location. Waterton over the long-weekend was the most difficult to get sites. Whenever possible, I try to book in advance as it eliminates much of the worry about getting a site. However, there are still first come - first serve campgrounds in the Mountain Parks that are not subject to being filled up long in advance by online bookers.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:05 PM   #3
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Start with Camping | British Columbia | Destination BC - Official Site

Look up Forest Service Campgrounds. Those have no water or power, outhouse and generally less pressure. Off the beaten path, but avoid them on long weekends.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:07 PM   #4
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Looking at a schedule for Canadian holidays they show
Labour Day 9/5 and then Thanksgiving 10/10.
Imagine I'd only need be concerned with Labour Day, as far as full campgrounds go.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:11 PM   #5
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Start with Camping | British Columbia | Destination BC - Official Site

Look up Forest Service Campgrounds. Those have no water or power, outhouse and generally less pressure. Off the beaten path, but avoid them on long weekends.
I take it I'd need to look at campground in both BC and Alberta? looks like the border kind of splits the mountains.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:13 PM   #6
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Yup. Look up Alberta Tourism on Google and you'll find tons of info for Alberta too.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:38 PM   #7
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We spend a bit of time in BC and Alberta rocky mountain parks. Peak summer months in full service sites particularly in more southern parts of Alberta and BC are busy and pre booking where it is available is best. It also depends on how remote and rustic do you want.

I would visit the most northerly campsites first early September/late August, e.g. Jasper, and work your way south. There are a number of campsites around Jasper which are all nice, I like Wapiti over Whistlers. I would then travel south along the Icefields Parkway and there are some no service campsites that are beautiful with many great hikes from the campsites or a very short drive, i.e. Wilcox, Mosquito creek. Search where you want to hike and pick your campsite.

I find the camping options around Lake Louise and Banff less exciting, i.e. large sites and busy but the hiking is fantastic and they seem to clear out by mid September.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:41 PM   #8
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Also, think you need to plan your route before members can help with specific campgrounds.
Would you travel through BC to the coast and down to Oregon, or would you head south from Alberta and across to the coast?
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:49 PM   #9
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Many Escape owners in Washington and Oregon will chime in with hints once you post a preliminary route.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Looking at a schedule for Canadian holidays they show
Labour Day 9/5 and then Thanksgiving 10/10.
Imagine I'd only need be concerned with Labour Day, as far as full campgrounds go.
Labour Day is usually pretty busy, as it is the last camping trip for many. For us, we don't even think about shutting it down until Thanksgiving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gharper View Post
I would visit the most northerly campsites first early September/late August, e.g. Jasper, and work your way south. There are a number of campsites around Jasper which are all nice, I like Wapiti over Whistlers. I would then travel south along the Icefields Parkway and there are some no service campsites that are beautiful with many great hikes from the campsites or a very short drive, i.e. Wilcox, Mosquito creek. Search where you want to hike and pick your campsite.

I find the camping options around Lake Louise and Banff less exciting, i.e. large sites and busy but the hiking is fantastic and they seem to clear out by mid September.
I more or less agree with this. Wilcox and Mosquito for me are much preferred over Wapiti or Whistlers. The last two are very much like the Banff area sites, but they are still great places to stay, as there is so much to do away from the campsites. Two Jack Lake near Banff is a favourite.
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