Campgrounds in Banff National Park: Icefields Parkway

The grassy bank of a turquoise lake with a dramatic mountainscape in the distance.

Lower Waterfowl Lake along the Icefields Parkway. Photo © Richard Taylor, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Beyond Lake Louise, the first available camping along the Icefields Parkway is at Mosquito Creek Campground (year-round, $21 per site), 24 kilometers (15 miles) from the TransCanada Highway. Don’t be perturbed by the name, though; the bugs here are no worse than anywhere else. The 32 sites are nestled in the forest, with a tumbling creek separating the campground from a hostel of the same name. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, while other amenities include pump water, pit toilets, and a kitchen shelter with an old-fashioned woodstove. If you’re camping at Mosquito Creek and want a break from the usual camp fare, consider traveling 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) up the highway to the convivial dining room at Num-ti-jah Lodge (403/522-2167) to feast on Canadian-inspired cuisine in a historic dining room.

Waterfowl Lake Campground (late June–mid-Sept., $27 per site) is 33 kilometers (20 miles) north along the Icefields Parkway from Mosquito Creek. It features 116 sites between Upper and Lower Waterfowl Lakes, with a few sites in view of the lower lake. Facilities include pump water, flush toilets, and kitchen shelters with wood-burning stoves. Rise early to watch the first rays of sun hit Mount Chephren from the shoreline of the lower lake, then plan on hiking the four-kilometer (2.5-mile) trail to Chephren Lake—you’ll be first on the trail and back in time for a late breakfast.

Continuing toward Jasper, the Icefields Parkway passes The Crossing, a good place to gas up and buy last-minute groceries before reaching Rampart Creek Campground (late June-early Sept., $23 per site), 31 kilometers (19 miles) beyond Waterfowl Lake and 88 kilometers (55 miles) from Lake Louise. With just 50 sites, this campground fills early. Facilities include kitchen shelters, pit toilets, and pump water.


Excerpted from the Seventh Edition of Moon Canadian Rockies.

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