Banff National Park RV Camping Guide
Plus, must-see places and top activities to add to your itinerary.

By: Dom Carson

Banff National Park is my backyard, and I can’t wait to share everything that I know about it with you to help you plan an incredible trip up to Banff with your RV!

About Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada

Nestled snugly in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, you'll find Banff National Park. It’s Canada’s oldest national park and is within the present-day territories of the Treaty 6, 7, and 8 First Nations as well as the Métis Homeland. It spans over 6,641 square kilometers (2,564 square miles) in Alberta, Canada.

To get to Banff National Park with your RV, you’ll need to cross the Canadian border and bring a valid passport. You can read more about the basics of traveling to Canada as an American citizen here. Bring your valid U.S. driver’s license and proof of insurance and you’re good to drive up here.

Best Time of the Year to Camp in Banff National Park

Banff is absolutely incredible year-round, but if you’re a fan of warmer weather and more access to activities and locations, summer is the prime time to hit the road. From June to August, you’ll enjoy mild temperatures, longer days, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. The lakes are thawing come June, and by July things are in full swing. June and September are my favorite months in the park. 

But don’t count out the winter months for camping! Banff transforms into a winter wonderland from December to March, offering world-class skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating opportunities. Plus, with fewer crowds and stunning snowy landscapes, it’s the perfect time to cozy up in your RV and embrace the magic of the season.

Check out my blog post about our December dry camping adventure in Banff. Of course, there are more considerations with winter RV travel, so choose your own adventure. 

Where to Camp with Your RV in Banff National Park

Now that you know that you can camp in Banff year-round, let’s explore all the different campground options! Banff offers a diverse range of campgrounds to suit every style and preference. While most of the campgrounds book up quite fast when they open reservations for the season at the beginning of the year, there are a few first-come, first-serve campgrounds and you can always watch for cancellations for the reservable campgrounds (which is how we get the majority of our reservations). 

Note: GoLife Perks members get 20% off a CampScanner subscription which can notify you of cancellations at popular parks. Learn more here.

10 RV Camping Options in Banff or Nearby

With such a wide variety of campgrounds to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect spot to park your RV and immerse yourself in the beauty of Banff National Park. Be sure to choose one that can accommodate your RV since some only fit smaller rigs. Fees vary depending on campground, you can find the most up to date camping costs here

Here are some important details of each …

1. Tunnel Mountain Campground

Located just minutes from downtown Banff, this large campground (with multiple sections) offers both full-service and unserviced sites with stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Amenities include hot showers, flush toilets, and fire pits. Tunnel Mountain II is one of the few campgrounds that remain open year-round. 

2. Two Jack Main Campground

Situated near Two Jack Lake, this picturesque campground boasts scenic views and easy access to hiking trails and water activities. This is a rustic, no-service campground that can accommodate small units up to 24 feet. 

Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park at sunrise.

3. Two Jack Lakeside

Situated along the shores of Two Jack Lake, this is one of the most sought-after campgrounds in the area. This is a rustic, no-service campground that can accommodate small units up to 27 feet. 

4. Lake Louise Campground

Nestled in a peaceful forest setting near the iconic Lake Louise, this campground offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. RV sites are available with electrical hookups and access to amenities including showers and flush toilets. The campsites here are shared double length sites that can accommodate units up to 50 feet. This is the other campground in Banff National Park that is open year-round. 

One thing to note: There are two sections of the Lake Louise campground, one for hard sided units and one for soft sided units. The soft sided section of the campground is surrounded by an electric fence for bear safety. 

5. Johnston Canyon Campground

Tucked away in the scenic Johnston Canyon, this campground is a popular choice for those looking to explore the area's stunning waterfalls and hiking trails. RV sites are available with electrical hookups and access to amenities such as showers and toilets. This campground is only suitable for RVs up to 27 feet. 

6. Silverhorn Creek Campground

Located near the town of Lake Louise, this small campground offers a quiet and scenic setting for RVers (with units up to 70 feet). RV sites are reservable and offer basic amenities including pit toilets and picnic tables. There is no cell phone reception here.

7. Rampart Creek Campground

Backing onto the North Saskatchewan River, this small campground offers a quiet and beautiful camping experience. Campsites are reservable and can accommodate units up to 35 feet, although some loops are not suitable for units over 25 feet. There is no cell phone service here. 

8. Mosquito Creek Campground

Situated along the Icefields Parkway, this rustic campground is a favorite of ours. RV sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and offer basic amenities including pit toilets and picnic tables. Only units less than 35 feet will fit here and it’s important to note that there is no cell phone reception. 

9. Waterfowl Lakes Campground

Surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, this secluded campground is perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat. RV sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and offer basic amenities including pit toilets and picnic tables. Only units less than 31 feet will fit here and it’s important to note that there is no cell phone reception. 

10. Protection Mountain Campground

Nestled in a peaceful forest setting, this campground offers a serene escape. RV sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and offer basic amenities including pit toilets and picnic tables. Only units less than 35 feet will fit here. 

Must-See Places & Top Activities in Banff

Now that you know exactly where you can stay in Banff, let’s explore my top 10 recommendations about what you should do while visiting this iconic park! 

Views of Peyto Lake in Banff National Park.

Banff Gondola: Take a ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain for panoramic views of the Rockies. There are restaurants up there also and it’s the perfect spot for a sunset dinner!

Lake Louise: Admire the stunning turquoise waters of this iconic glacial lake and hike the nearby trails. Hot tip: go early. The parking lot fills up before 7 a.m. most days but I definitely recommend getting there really early and watching a sunrise from the shoreline. 

After sunrise, you can hike up to Lake Agnes Teahouse or if you’re feeling more ambitious, here are my three favorite hikes out of Lake Louise: 

Moraine Lake: Marvel at the breathtaking beauty of Moraine Lake and snap a selfie with the Valley of the Ten Peaks as your backdrop. Private vehicle access is no longer permitted up to the lake, so you’ll have to book a bus, a commercial shuttle, or e-bike up to the lake. The road is only open June-October so plan accordingly. 

Make the most of your trip up to the lake and add on these hikes: Consolation Lakes and Larch Valley

Johnston Canyon: Explore the enchanting Johnston Canyon and its series of waterfalls accessible via an easy hike. Open all year round! 

Lake Minnewanka: Embark on a scenic boat cruise or kayak adventure on Banff’s largest lake. Stop at Two Jack Lake for a stand-up paddleboard or picnic after. 

Sunshine Village: Hit the slopes at this renowned ski resort boasting pristine powder and endless runs.

Icefields Parkway: Drive along one of the world’s most scenic highways, stopping at viewpoints and attractions along the way. My favorite places to stop are at Bow Lake, and Peyto Lake (15 minute walk from the parking lot). 

Banff Upper Hot Springs: Soak your cares away in the soothing mineral waters of these historic hot springs.

Banff Avenue: Stroll along Banff’s main thoroughfare, lined with charming shops, galleries, and restaurants.

Wildlife Spotting: Keep your eyes peeled for Banff’s resident wildlife, including elk, deer, bears, and more! Just keep in mind it’s illegal to feed, touch, or even approach wild animals. 

Where to Eat in Banff National Park

After a day of exploring, you’ll undoubtedly work up an appetite. Luckily, Banff is home to a wide range of delicious options! For a taste of authentic Canadian cuisine, head to The Bison Restaurant & Terrace. Nestled in the heart of Banff, this cozy eatery specializes in locally sourced ingredients and mouthwatering dishes that celebrate the region’s culinary heritage.

We love Tooloulou’s and the Wild Flour Bakery for breakfast.

Some other favorite options include the Trailhead Cafe in Lake Louise, Hello Sunshine for delicious sushi, and the Bear Street Tavern for the best pizza. 

There you have it, friends – your ultimate guide to RVing in Banff National Park. Whether you’re seeking rugged wilderness, delicious local food, or adrenaline-pumping activities, Banff has it all and then some. I hope you make it up to Banff one day and have the most incredible time! It truly is a slice of heaven on this earth. 

If you plan to continue your travels around Alberta, check out my list of favorite hidden gem campgrounds in this beautiful Canadian province.


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