Winter camping in the Canadian Rockies is something that everyone should experience once in your lifetime. Waking up and looking outside to find a fresh snowfall covering the trees, your campervan or tent is an incredible sight. When driving up the Icefields Parkway in the winter there are no available campgrounds. Your options for winter camping are the Lake Louise Campground or Wapiti Campground just outside of Jasper. Luckily driving the Icefields Parkway takes no more than three hours unless you encounter extremely bad weather so you should be able to decide where you would like to stay that night. During our visit to Jasper National Park we stayed in Wapiti Campground for 2 nights and loved it! Here is our experience and tips on winter camping in Wapiti Campground!
Things To Know about Winter Camping in Wapiti Campground
-You do not need to make a reservation! There are no reservations in the winter it works on a first come first serve basis. It is a self check-in registration at a small stand across from the bathroom.
-There is power available for those who need it. If you are looking for an electric spot you will actually be camping in the bathroom parking lot. The lot is huge and has 40 spots. There was maybe 5-6 people in these spots each night.
-If you want a more private spot and don’t need or want power (our van ran on battery so we could keep the heat without being plugged in) you can camp in the forest in one of the open loops. Loop K and L were open while we were there. It was pretty easy to see which ones were closed as they had gates on the road so you could not go down any further.
-Firewood is available for an additional cost. The firewood while we were there was all snow covered and wet so we opted to not have a fire, but there are fire pits on all the sites. Even the ones in the parking lot area.
-There is no set check in / arrive by time. There is no gate so you can arrive as late as you would like or leave as early as you need to.
-Bathrooms and showers are open year round. The showers were nice and hot and are free to use with your payment of a campsite.
We really enjoyed winter camping in Wapiti Campground and would have definitely stayed longer if our itinerary allowed it. If you happen to have a clear night like we did make sure you take a few minutes and look up at the night sky. There is zero light pollution around so the opportunity to see thousands of stars is an unbelievable sight! Have you winter camped in the Canadian Rockies? Where is your favourite place to stay?