Banff/Lake Louise during U.S. Labor Day

Old Mar 6th, 2005, 04:38 PM
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Banff/Lake Louise during U.S. Labor Day

We are planning a long road trip through the western U.S. and Canada starting in August and ending in late Sept. Our tentative itinerary has us around the Banff - Lake Louise area during the American Labor Day weekend (3-5 Sept). Should we expect crowds there like in all the Natl. parks in the U.S. at that time? We are trying to figure out a place to "hunker down" for the weekend to avoid crowds as much as possible.
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Old Mar 6th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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I forgot to mention in my above post that we will be in an RV and have to find a RV park or campground to stay at. Hence our concern about the crowds, as campgrounds in the U.S. during Labor Day are packed.
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Old Mar 6th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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Hello CozAnnie,

We celebrate Labo(u)r Day in Canada too, and it's a public holiday weekend. As in the States, it's many families' last fling before the start of school. So basically you would face the same issues here as you would face in the U.S.

The Open Roads Forum is an excellent website for connecting with people who use RVs. They are experts on specific campgrounds, etc.

http://www.rv.net/

Hope that helps.
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Old Mar 6th, 2005, 06:47 PM
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Even if you were a week earlier, or later, the prime sites in the Canadian Rockies will be full on a pretty weekend.

Even backcountry trails can get full of people on a beautiful Saturday or Sunday I hiked out from an overnight stay in the backcountry on the Iceline Trail one gorgeous Sunday afternoon in mid September and, even though it is a stiff climb up there, people were sitting on all the good rocks taking a breather.

Let me give you another example of how popular the area near Banff along the Trans Canada highway can be. Johnson Canyon is a tremendously popular place. I have tried to hike there twice in the last 4 years and could not unless I wanted to wait a long time for a parking place. The parking lot was full and people were circling it hoping someone would leave. This by the way was mid week.

I gave up and drove over to Kootney Park and walked up to the Stanley Basin for a look at where the glacier was a few years ago.

As another example, Peyto Lake. It is a magnet I think. We walked in lockstep along the paved trail, stood in line for a peek from the observation platform, and then headed uphill to the meadows above the lake. Even up there, many people were enjoying the scenic views.

Unless it is pouring rain, the scenic places will be full of people and vehicles.

Conclusion: Don't go there expecting solitude unless you want to walk 8 miles along a trail. Even then, you will not be totally alone unless you are bushwhacking.
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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if you want to get a site in banff, i'd try to be there on the morning of september 1. for rv'ers who want full service, it's not uncommon for them to be lined up by 8:00 a.m. waiting for the people to check out. tunnel mountain campground is a good place to try.
or, if you wanted to consider staying in jasper over that weekend, there is one campground pocahontas that you can make reservations at. but do it asap.
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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The Jasper National Park website says that, for the 2005 summer season, they will be expanding their campground reservation system to include Whistlers, Wapiti and Wabasso campgrounds. Whistlers is closer to Jasper townsite than Pocahontas is, so I'm guessing it would be more convenient. However, I am not saying that from personal experience.

I have stayed at Boulton Creek in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, which is part of Kananaskis Country on the eastern slopes of the Rockies. That is another campground that accepts reservations.

http://www.kananaskiscamping.com/

Still another campground about which I have heard good reviews is Mt. Kidd in Kananaskis. I understand you can make reservations there. It's a private campground, and it's more expensive than the ones in the provincial and national parks, but I did see a good review of it on the Open Roads Forum.
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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I intended to provide a website for Jasper National Park's campground reservation service:

http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/jasper/..._e.asp#Camping
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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Thanks for all the great info. I figure everyplace we go will be a challenge to get away from the crowds but it will be a great trip anyway. Thanks again and happy travels!
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