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.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

RV Park Review – Tunnel Mountain Village II (Banff National Park, Alberta)


Overall, this park was a great place to camp when exploring the town of Banff in Banff National Park.  The park is within two miles of the town center of Banff and surrounded by hiking trails and beautiful views.  We would definitely stay here again because of the great proximity to town and activities within the park.

There are three campgrounds in Banff: Tunnel Mountain Village I, Tunnel Mountain Village II, and Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court.  We stayed in Village II since the Trailer Court (with full hook-up) was full.  The Village II campground is large with 188 sites (of which 60 sites are first-come, first-served).

All roads and sites in the campground are paved and all sites are "pull-thrus."  Actually, they are more like pull-over’s as you just pull to one side of the road to park in your site.  All sites have 30 amp electric only and the electric post is on the same side as your patio.  This is not necessarily a bad thing unless your electric cord is not long enough to reach across/underneath your camper.  



Patios are gravel with a concrete picnic table.  Some sites have fire pits so be sure and check that out when making reservations.  We were bummed that we did not have a fire pit but were not aware that not all sites had them.  If you want to have a fire in your pit, you are required to purchase a fire permit which costs $8.80 (Canadian) per night and comes with as much firewood as you want.
 
typical patio with picnic table - note the placement of the electric box (in green) in front of picnic table
There is a dump station and water fill-up as you enter the campground and some water spigots scattered throughout the campground.  The dump station has two slots so you can expect a few rv's in front of you during peak times. 

There are showers and bathrooms that tended to be quite busy and dirty (at times) since the park was full when we were there.

There are really no amenities to speak of except for an amphitheater (with evening ranger-led programs) and small community warming huts with a wood stove and picnic tables.

What we liked about this campground was the fact that it was within Banff NP and had easy access to hiking, sightseeing, and the town.  There is a trail that loops around the campgrounds which makes for a nice quiet walk in the woods and a great place for pup to stretch her legs.  There is a free shuttle system that takes visitors to town and other locations in the park which is a real plus since parking is at a premium in town.

Our television antenna was able to pick up two channels – one of which was CBS.  Cell service (through our Verizon phone) was good.  We did not try our 4G Hotspot for internet; instead, we opted to go to the library in town and use their free WiFi.

The not so good things about this park were the weird layout of the sites and the parking situation.  When there are three big rigs in a row, space is tight for tow vehicles and maneuvering in and out. Sites are not well defined so you better hope your neighbors give you enough room to pull in.  (I have never tried parallel parking our rig and don't want to try.)  There is a downside of the electric being located on the opposite side of where it is on your rig.  Thirty amp was a bit of a problem for us due to unseasonably warm temperatures and no shade in the park. 


Spirit’s reviews of this campground were mixed.  She liked the hiking trails, especially the ones near water.  But, the campground itself is a lot of concrete and not a lot of green space to walk dogs.  

More pictures...

typical sites but taken at a time when many campers had already left
what I call a "warming hut" used mostly in the winter 
inside the "warming hut" is a wood burning stove and picnic tables
view of Banff from the Tunnel Mountain loop trail

2 comments:

  1. Remember seeing this campground when we were in Banff back in 2007 ... didn't have a motorhome then. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great shots! especially the first one. Thanks for the review definitely looks like na interesting place to visit.

    Keith
    RV 123

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