Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Canadian Rockies Part 1: Jasper National Park

     Heading Southeast from Dawson Creek, B.C. into Alberta, we boondocked our first night just north of Grande Cache, Alberta.  This area is one of two sites located either side of the town for ‘user maintained’ camping.  It took us a bit to find a spot that was easily maneuvered into as well as level.  There was plenty of firewood and our stay was uneventful.  I would choose the site SE of town if I were to do it again.  It is much more suitable to bigger rigs. 

     Continuing our journey we arrived in Jasper National Park.  The entrance and highway here are the main thoroughfare throughout the North-South Jasper/Banff area so they were sure to collect their fees.  We were fortunate enough to time our arrival to the park to coincide with the end of the Canadian National 4-Day Weekend so were found a very nice camping spot in Snaring River Campground within the park.  Jasper National Park has several campgrounds with approximately 1200 campsites, but many of the more modern ones are reservable and therefore full, especially during the peak of summer.  Because of this Jasper created the Snaring River Overflow Camp.  In the event that nearly every campsite is reserved or already filled this are area opens.  The overflow consists of several dozen primitive campsites along the Snaring and Athabasca Rivers with picnic tables only.  There is no water, vault toilets, or firewood (no fires allowed).  Vagabonding campers often use this area till a site opens somewhere.    Campground status boards are regularly maintained throughout most areas of the park.  Again, you can’t beat Canadian Campgrounds, be they Provincial or National.  Snaring River is considered semi-primitive, but comes with a level site, fire pit, free potable water, and unlimited FREE FIREWOOD for $15.70 a night.   We, of course, operated off our boondocking equipment.

      Jasper is Canada’s largest and oldest park.  It is just north of Banff in the Canadian Rockies and truly just as magnificent.   We spent 5 days here enjoying the village, Maligne Lake, the Sky Tram (yes, Rich went up in the Sky Tram), Mount Robson, the Glacier Skywalk (no, Rich wanted no part of this), Athabasca and Sumwapta Falls.  Suffice it so say the Canadian Rockies are incredibly beautiful, but no further alliteration is necessary.  Enjoy the photographs.  For more information:                       


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