Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, August 12, 2013

RV Park Review – Lake Louise Trailer Campground (Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada)


Overall, we liked this campground and it offered a restful place after mornings of hiking and afternoons of sightseeing.  The campground sits in the woods next to the Bow River and is about a 1.5 miles to the town center and approximately 5 miles from the famed Lake Louise.  If you plan on camping in or near Lake Louise, this is a great place to do it (especially since there really are no alternatives).   

Luckily, we always had small rigs next to us and our site (#118) did seem a little wider than others.
We pulled over as far as we could anticipating another big rig...or worse...a rental camper.  
The anti-bear fence is pretty serious.  Even the cattle
guard is electrified - we drove over to the tent area because
we were scared to cross the fence on foot. One wrong
move and ... ZAP!
The campground has 187 sites with 15 and 30 amp electric only (and the electrical posts are on the opposite side of where it is located on your RV).  There is a separate camping area for soft-sided tents that is surrounded by an electric fence to keep grizzly bears at bay (which made me really glad we have four strong walls).

RV sites cost $32.30/night (Canadian) and are reservable on-line.  Book early if you plan on coming in the summer.  There are some first-come, first-served sites which fill up quickly.  There is an overflow parking lot about 3km away which is a large parking lot.

Patios are large with a concrete picnic table and trees/shrubs offering a fair bit of privacy on your patio side.  Some sites have fire pits but ours did not so make sure you check before reserving. 

Typical patio with concrete table.  Note the electrical box way up front across from our door.  We were able to pull up enough so our electrical cord reached.
A dump station and water fill-up (with multiple lanes) is located on-site.

All roads (except for the main one) are hard-packed gravel as are the driveways and patios.  Roads are easy to navigate with a big rig.  Sites are pull-thrus and plenty long enough for tow vehicles.  The majority of sites are level but about 25% needed leveling blocks.   Most sites are doubles with two campers pulling into the same campsite with patios on opposite sides. 

There are bathrooms (with flush toilets only) scattered throughout the campground that were clean but fairly well used since the campground was full during the summer.  There is a shower house with 4 free showers that were moderately clean and starting to show their age.

No television from our antenna but we were able to get Verizon cell service and internet off our hotspot.  There is Wifi in town for purchase at the post office and Husky coffee shop or for free in the Lake Louise Village Bar and Grill (duh, that was my choice).

What we liked about this campground was the access to a hiking trail that followed the Bow River and had plenty of access for Spirit to swim.  We also liked the fact that the campground was heavily treed and was very quiet in the afternoon.  It is well situated for exploring the Lake Louise area of Banff National Park. 

What we did not like about this campground was the proximity to a very busy railroad track.  Trains flew through the area and blew horns constantly to warn the bears and people to get off the tracks (and to try and wake the dead).  Don’t think the number of trains dies down at night because there are just as many as during the day.

The other major downer was the way the sites were laid out with two rigs sharing the same driveway.  While you have some privacy on your patio, there is none on the other side.  If another unit with slides had come next to us we would have almost been touching.  There is a lot of closeness in these sites. 

As you can imagine, the campground is full in the summer months so book ahead if you want to come. We were bummed that we didn't have a fire pit but I did not realize that only some RV sites have them.  Next time, I will pay closer attention when I book online.

Spirit's two cents: she would highly recommend this campground to other dogs.  She especially liked hiking along and swimming in the Bow River.  The campground is very large and offers plenty of dog walking and there are multiple trails (and swimming holes) within a short distance to keep dogs satisfied.  Patios are big and there was no fear of her ending up in the neighbors "yard" on her 20-foot tie out.

Scary site ... two rental campers!
The campground is heavily treed and provided nice shade on the hot days.
Flush toilets and garbage cans are located within a short walk of all the campsites.
Showers can be quite busy at peak times.  Lucky we have our own shower.

4 comments:

  1. Great blog. I especially like Spirit's Reviews. We're planning to stop in Western Canada on the way to Alaska next summer, or, if there's not enough time to do both, will visit the following summer. Keep up the good work for the animals!
    Brenda

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  2. Thanks for the review. We walked by this campground when we hiked the trail that runs along the river; remember those electrified fences. We commented at the time that we'd only want to be there in a motorhome ... perhaps in a few years.

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  3. Can u stay overnight in the overflow parking lot?

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