Jasper Camping Tips + Best Jasper Campgrounds

We’re here to share our favorite Jasper camping tips. Pitching a tent in Jasper is a tremendous way to explore the park in the summer months. Visitors can access some of the best trails and endless natural beauty from lovely campsites throughout the park.

However, Jasper National Park attracts over two million visitors annually, and thousands plan to camp there. Due to the high demand, we recommend you note a few things before planning a Jasper camping trip.

We’ll guide you through the campsites in Jasper and share which ones you’ll need to make reservations for well in advance. We strongly recommend you make reservations for most of the campsites in the Canadian Rockies as demand is very high, and relying on the first-come-first-serve campsites is a gamble in the summer.

Parks Canada will launch reservations for the 2023 visitor season starting Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 8 am MT. Launch dates vary by location; find specific launch dates and times here.


Campsite Types in Jasper


Frontcountry Camping

camping in banff

Frontcountry Campsites are the most common campgrounds in Jasper and are where most people will spend their time. They are campsites that are accessible via car or a short walk. This includes campgrounds strictly for tents and those accommodating RVs and camper vans.

Many of the campsites have facilities that include toilets, kitchen areas, and showers. Whistlers Campground has oTENTiks, large A-frame tents on raised wood platforms with beds and electricity. Most of the serviced sites in Jasper require a reservation in advance.

However, several front-country campsites in the park operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. So, even those with last-minute plans can camp in the park. These sites generally have fewer facilities and are farther away from the major sites, but tend to be more intimate. Snaring, Wilcox, and Icefields are examples of first-come-first-serve campsites.


Backcountry Camping

Spirit Island in Maligne Lake Can Be Accessed By Canoe from a backcountry campground

Scattered throughout the park is an extensive network of backcountry campsites. Backcountry campsites are removed from roads and can only be accessed by hiking or canoe.

A backcountry trip through the park and staying in these campsites is an astounding way for visitors to immerse themselves in the natural wonders of the Canadian Rockies. Some of the best hikes in Jasper and the Canadian Rockies occur from these campgrounds, so reservations go fast.

Reservations at the most popular routes require booking well in advance. The Tonquin Valley and Skyline Trail are two popular backcountry camping trips in Jasper. A canoe camping trip around Maligne Lake is another popular trip that books fast. However, the Berg Lake Trail in neighboring Mount Robson Provincial Park is the most famous backcountry trip in the region.

The popular campsites require reservations and do not operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. However, if you’re open to taking the road less traveled, you can still find many backcountry campsites that remain relatively unused. Most backcountry campsites in Jasper National Park have kitchen shelters, drop toilets, potable water, fire pits, bear bins, and level tent pads.


Random Camping in Jasper National Park

This is the least common type of Jasper camping, and we’d generally advise it for people who have already spent time in Jasper and looking for new areas to explore. Random camping areas are far from Jasper’s most popular trails and sights. It is best reserved for experienced backcountry travelers.

They’re also deep in the backcountry, where you’re more likely to encounter wildlife and will be far away from a cell signal or help. Parks Canada does allow random camping in the most remote regions of the park. However, you can’t just pull off to the side of the road, walk just off a popular trail, or camp near the campground in Jasper.

You can also bivy in approved locations for several climbing and mountaineering objectives in the park. This is particularly important for mountaineers on objectives on the Columbia Icefield. Random camping in Jasper still requires you to have a backcountry permit and register with Parks Canada, the location of your planned campsite.

Guidelines for random camping in Jasper require you to camp at least 5.0 km. from a trailhead or campground, 50m from any trail, and 70m from a water source. Fires are not allowed. Random camping opportunities are available in remote areas of Jasper National Park. Campers wishing to camp randomly must purchase a backcountry camping permit by calling 780-852-6177 ext 2. Random camping permits cannot be booked online.


Jasper Campground Basics

If you wish to camp in any National Park, you need the following.

  • A National Park Pass: We buy ours annually as locals, but if you plan to visit for an extended period, buying the Parks Canada Discovery Pass over daily passes makes far more sense.
  • A Camping Permit: Some campgrounds require advanced reservations that can be made via phone or online. Other campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis, where you register and retrieve your permit at the site. (Make sure to carry enough cash if you opt for the latter.) Even if you have plans for random camping that still requires a permit.
  • A Fire Permit: Many campsites have individual pits and allow for campfires. They cost $9.25 per site per night, so bring enough cash to pay for the permit at the campsite.
  • To Reserve Campsites in Jasper, check the Parks Canada Reservation site when they open reservations. A note that the popular ones go fast, especially in July and August, and you’ll want to have a plan when booking. When we say fast, it is within the first hour of reservations opening.

Camping in Jasper National Park

Jasper In The Fall

Jasper does not have a large variety of options for hotels or camping, as in Banff. However, visitors do have some options for camping in camping, including a few private campgrounds just outside of the park. All campsites are equipped with at least potable water and a toilet (dry or flush).

What you’re looking for as far as campgrounds in Jasper depends heavily on your means of camping, whether RV, tent or campervan. Campers who will need facilities for an R/V will most likely need a reserved campsite.

Reservations do come with a fee for each separate reservation at $13.50 via phone and $11.50 when booked online. In addition, to the reservation fee, it should be noted that while fire-pits are at many campsites, campers are required to have a fire permit which costs $9.25.

The fire permit includes free firewood and can be purchased at the campground. Don’t try to skirt around the fire permit. Parks Canada makes the rounds regularly to see who has paid for a fire permit when enjoying a fire.


Front Country Jasper Campgrounds (Reservable)

Jasper CampgroundSitesFacilitiesPrice
Whistlers Campground781Water, sewage, electricity, playgrounds, full hookups, running water, flush toilets, fire pits, and shower facilities.$24 to $50
Wapiti Campground363 (75 Winter)Electrical Hookup, Fire Pit, Sani Dump, Playground, Kitchen Shelter, Showers, Flush Toilets$29.25-$43.75
Wabasso Campground231Electrical Hookup, Fire Pit, Sani Dump, Playground, Flush Toilets$23- $32.25
Pocahontas Campground140Fire Rings, Flush Toilets, Running Water$23-32.35
Overflow280Dry Toilets, Water$16.05
oTENTiks21Heating, picnic table, chairs + Whistler campground amenities$128

Whistlers Campground

Whistlers Campground

A massive update has just finished for Whistlers Campground, and it is now one of Canada’s largest campgrounds. It is the largest campground in Jasper, with close to 800 campsites.

Whistlers Campground is close to town and includes all of the facilities and services you could hope for from a campsite. Facilities on offer include water, sewage, electricity, playgrounds, full hookups, running water, flush toilets, fire pits, and shower facilities.

There is a combination of concrete pads for vehicles, drive-up campsites, and walk-in campsites. It’s an impressive new campsite with brand new facilities that are well set-up and ready to welcome guests.

Since the campground is brand new, some of the landscaping feels a little bare. However, Parks Canada plans to continue work on the campground into the winter, and as time goes by, the campground should age well. It was a needed update to welcome guests to Jasper National Park.

Whistlers Campground Details
  • Operating dates:  May 3 to October 9
  • Reservation: Required
  • Amenities: Water, sewage, electricity, playgrounds, full hookups, running water, flush toilets, fire pits, and shower facilities.
  • Fees:
    • Full hookup, with fire pit: $50.25
    • Full hookup: $40.75
    • Electrical, with fire pit: $44
    • Unserviced, with fire pit: $38.75
    • Unserviced: $29.25
    • Walk-in (no vehicles): $24
  • Number of sites: 781

Wapiti Campground (Summer/Winter)

Athabasca River

This is the closest campground to town. The campground operates year-round, but the rules, facilities, available campsites, and fees change between summer and winter. Most notable is that the campsite operates on a first-come, first-served basis in the winter months, and requires reservations for the summer months.

It has some great views and sits on the shore of the Athabasca River. Along the river, there is a trail that leads all the way into the town of Jasper. Currently, Jasper and, more specifically, the campground area is infested with pine beetles who have decimated the tree population, so expect to be surrounded by many dead trees in the area.

The campsite has a massive 363 sites in the summer and 75 winter campsites. Wapiti Campground has many facilities that include kitchen areas, hot showers, fire pits, picnic tables, food lockers, flush toilets, electrical hookups, a dumping station, and even a playground.

Wapiti Campground Details
  • Summer Operating Dates: May 17 to October 9
  • Winter Operating Dates: October 10 to TBA
  • Amenities: Electrical Hookup, Fire Pit, Sani Dump, Playground, Kitchen Shelter, Showers, Flush Toilets
  • Fees:
    • Electrical, with fire pit: $44
    • Electrical: $34.50
    • Unserviced with fire pit: $38.75
  • Number of sites: 363

Wabasso Campground

If you’re looking for a more quiet campsite, check out the Wabasso Campground. It’s a little further outside of Jasper town that’s around a 25-minute drive. However, the campground does have nice facilities such as electrical hookups, flush toilets, playground, fire pits, sanitation dump, and kitchen shelters. Campsites are best suited for tents, campervans, and RVs under 35 feet.

The campground has some fantastic views, and almost half the campsites sit along the Athabasca River. Similar to the Wapiti Campground, we love falling asleep to the sound of a rushing river. Several trails lead out from the campground, and there is a great sandy beach along the river for sunny days.

We like this campsite a little more than Wapiti as the sites have more space between them, but there are no showers. It should also be noted the pine beetle has also killed off much of the trees around this campsite.

Wabasso Campground Details
  • Operating dates: May 17 to September 18
  • Reservation: Required
  • Amenities: Electrical Hookup, Fire Pit, Sani Dump, Playground, Flush Toilets
  • Fees:
    • Unserviced with fire pit: $32.50
    • Electrical with fire pit: $38.75
  • Number of sites: 231

Miette Campground

This campground is close to Jasper’s eastern gate and around a 40-minute drive from town. Services are limited, but there are flush toilets which we always prefer over dry toilets. It’s typically a good bet if you’re having a hard time finding reservations as it’s quite far from Banff and a good drive out of the town of Jasper.

Its location does come with one distinct advantage it’s right next to a popular hiking trail. The Sulphur Skyline starts at the Miette Hot Springs and is one of the most popular hikes in Jasper, with incredible views. Most of the campsites here are small, so it’s best for tents, campervans, and motorhomes under 27 feet.

Miette Campgroud Details
  • Operating dates: June 14 – September 4
  • Reservation: Required
  • Amenities: Fire Rings, Flush Toilets, Running Water
  • Fees: $32.50
  • Number of sites: 140

Overflow Campground

I wouldn’t recommend making plans to choose the overflow campground. Its primary purpose is to help increase the number of campsites given the closure of the Whistlers Campground. It’s a primitive gravel lot wide open and has level campsites that can fit large RVs.

There are only dry facilities here with drop toilets, recycling, and trash only. There are no fire pits or fires allowed at the campsite. It’s a mix between first-come-first-serve and reservation, with half of the lots available for reservation.

Overflow Campground Details
  • Operating dates: Open as needed
  • Reservation: Mix of reservable and first-come, first-served sites
  • Amenities: Dry Toilets, Water
  • Fees: $16.75
  • Number of sites: 280

Whistler oTENTiks

If you are new to camping and don’t want to ruin your Jasper camping experience trying to prepare with the right tent and other camping goods, Parks Canada offers oTENTiks.

oTENTiks are canvas walled tents and have all the basic comforts of home, but you are still plenty in the wilderness. This includes wooden floors, bunk beds, sleeping pads, heat, and even lights.

They are spacious and can accommodate up to four adults and two children. The oTENTiks also come with two wooden chairs and a bench and table. So you just need to bring sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, and all your food. I would also suggest slippers!

Obviously, these types of units are desirable, so they book up fast. There aren’t a ton of them either, so reservations are required.

Whistler oTENTiks
  • Operating dates: June 7 to September 18
  • Reservation: Reservation Required
  • Amenities: Heater, sleeping pad, chairs, table
  • Fees: $128
  • Number of sites: 21

Front Country Jasper Campgrounds (Non-Reservable)

Mount-Athabasca-and-Andromeda-Icefields-Parkway-Banff

The non-reservable campsites are a mixed bag, with some of the campsites are our favorites in the Canadian Rockies, while others are nothing more than an overflow parking lot.

They all operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. This means you can not reserve these campsites in advance. The best advice for these campgrounds in the peak summer is to arrive in the morning and grab a campsite as others depart.

CampgroundSitesFacilitiesPrice
Snaring Campground62Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water$26.25
Kerkeslin Campground42Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water$26.25
Columbia Icefield Campground33 (Tents)Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water$26.25
Honeymoon Lake35Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water$26.25
Jonas Campground26Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water$26.25
Wilcox Campground46Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water, Sani Dump$26.25
Icefields RV Centre100None$16.75

Snaring Campground

Snaring has a nice mix of campsites, ranging from private and well-treed to wide open and sunny. If you’re tent camping, there are some charming walk-in campsites along the river that are quiet. We love the spots along the river with dramatic views of jagged peaks.

It’s right across from the Overflow campsite, so it’s the better option to try first before settling with the less desirable campground. It’s a dry camp similar to the Overflow, but they have fire pits and a kitchen shelter. Campsites are limited in size to vehicles under 27 feet, so RVs will need to head to the Overflow.

Snaring Campground Details
  • Operating dates: May 17 to September 25
  • Reservation: No
  • Amenities: Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water
  • Fees: Unserviced with fire pit: $26.25
  • Number of sites: 62

Kerkeslin Campground

Ahtabasca Falls Jasper

This basic campsite is a quiet but beautiful spot along the Icefields Parkway. The campground is often overlooked so if you need a campground, it may be a good bet in the summer months, with no guarantees. Either way, the campgrounds a limited number of campsites ensures it remains quiet and never too busy.

Amenities include dry toilets, potable water, a kitchen shelter, and fire pits. In our opinion, if you don’t mind the lack of showers or flush toilets, it’s a lovely little campsite and a hidden gem.

Kerkeslin Campground Details
  • Operating dates: May 31 to September 4
  • Reservation: No
  • Amenities: Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water
  • Fees: Unserviced with fire pit: $26.25
  • Number of sites: 42

Icefields Campground

Icefields-Campground-MSR-Tent-Mountaineering

The Columbia Icefields Campground is probably one of the most difficult campsites to score in the peak summer months. It operates on a first-come-first-serve basis, and it’s minimal. There is not much for facilities here, but the views, if you’re lucky enough to score one of the eight choice sites, are unreal. This site is limited to tents only, but a small van might be able to pull off a camp here, granted parking is not level.

From the site, you look out onto the Athabasca Glacier. We got super lucky with this spot by showing up at 8:00 in the morning and catching someone who was on their way out. We spent three nights at this campsite while we climbed the surrounding mountains, including Mt. Athabasca. Word of warning due to the elevation and proximity to glaciers, this campsite is pretty chilly.

Icefields Campground Details
  • Operating dates: June 14 to October 9
  • Reservation: No
  • Amenities: Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water
  • Fees: $Unserviced, with fire pit: $26.25
  • Number of sites: 33

Honeymoon Lake Campground

Honeymoon Lake

This little campsite sits along Honeymoon Lake on the Icefields Parkway. It’s a nice lake for kayaking or SUP, and the trails along the lake are a great way to enjoy the wilderness. Like many other first-come-first-serve campgrounds in Jasper, it has limited facilities. However, you will find dry toilets, potable water, and fire pits.

Honeymoon Lake Campground Details
  • Operating dates: May 17 to September 18
  • Reservation: No
  • Amenities: Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water
  • Fees: Unserviced, with fire pit: $26.25
  • Number of sites: 35

Jonas Campground

This is the smallest site for camping in Jasper. Its size gives you a taste of backcountry without any work as there are dozen great walk-in campsites for tent campers. The other sites are capable of holding small RVs, tents, or campervans. It’s tucked away in the forest along the Sunwapta Valley and not far from the Columbia Icefield Skywalk.

It’s another basic campsite, but we love it for the quiet and access to hikes. At the campsite, you will find dry toilets, potable water, and fire pits.

Jonas Campground Details
  • Operating dates: June 7 to September 18
  • Reservation: No
  • Amenities: Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water
  • Fees: Unserviced, with fire pit: $26.25
  • Number of sites: 25

Wilcox Creek Campground

This campground sits at the trailhead of one of the most popular hikes in all of Jasper. It’s just down the road from the Icefields campsite and the discovery center. While the views aren’t bad, they aren’t near as good as the Icefields campground.

However, it’s a pretty quiet campground and typically a pretty safe bet for a campsite. In addition, small RVs under 27 feet will be able to camp at Wilcox and they have a dump station. It’s another basic campsite, and at the campsite, you will find dry toilets, potable water, and fire pits.

Wilcox Creek Campground
  • Operating dates: June 14 to September 18
  • Reservation: No
  • Amenities: Dry Toilets, Fire Pits, Food Storage, Kitchen Shelter, Potable Water, Sani Dump
  • Fees: Unserviced with fire pit: $26.25
  • Number of sites: 46

Icefields RV Centre

This is a basic overflow campsite for RVs, trailers, and campervans. It’s in the Icefields Discovery Center parking lot and does not offer much of anything for facilities. The good news is the “campground” is cheap, has amazing views, and almost always open.

There are no facilities here other than what you can use at the Icefields Discovery Center when it is open to the public. We’ve used their flush toilets a few times when camping in the area but never stayed here.

Icefields RV Centre Details
  • Operating dates:  May 17 to October 9
  • Reservation: First-Come First-Serve
  • Amenities: None (Icefields Discovery Center)
  • Fees: Unserviced: $16.75
  • Number of sites: 100

Jasper National Park Backcountry Camping

Backcountry Camping Jasper

There are 14 backcountry campgrounds in Jasper National Park. Jasper National Park offers more than 1,000 km of hiking trails so there are some tremendous multi-day hikes possible in Jasper.

All campgrounds require a reservation, and many of the most popular are in high demand, so you’ll need to be active with your reservations. You are also required to have a reservation and backcountry camping permit.

Fires are not permitted in backcountry campsites. All backcountry campgrounds have tent pads, dry toilets, picnic tables, and food storage, so you won’t need to pack a bear bin.

  • 2023 Book your backcountry permit here or by calling 1-877-737-3783. Reservations for backcountry campsites for 2023 open on March 20th at 8:00 am MT.
Maligne Lake Spirit Island Landscape

The most popular trekking routes are:

  • Skyline Trail
  • Jacques Lake
  • Tonquin Valley
  • Maligne Pass
  • Fryatt Valley
  • Berg Lake (Mount Robson Provincial Park)

Other fantastic Jasper camping backcountry routes

See more details for all these backcountry trips here


Jasper Camping Tips


Secure Your Reservations

Save your money by booking online rather than over the phone. You can book your site on the Parks Canada website. As we’ve stated, securing your reservations in advance is best.


“Bare” Campsite

Bear In The Canadian Rockies

All visitors are advised to practice the bare campsite policy. This means no food is left unattended or out, and all campsites are clean to reduce conflicts with wildlife, specifically bears.


Be Aware Of Fire Conditions

Campers should take note of the current fire danger notice and be aware of any fire bans. Fire bans occur during periods of particularly high risk, so it is important to check the status before starting a fire.

Fire risk and fire ban information should be on display at most campgrounds. From a safety perspective, it is also a good idea to be aware of the fire risk and be vigilant during periods of high risk.

Come Prepared For Cool Temperatures

Canoes On Lake In Jasper

Summers in Jasper are lovely, with temperatures that range from 16° to 23° Celsius. While temperatures at night frequently drop below zero, especially in the shoulder months.

We like to camp in the park with a -7C/20F sleeping bag as it allows for the greatest comfort in the park. Remember, you can always unzip a sleeping bag but can’t add more insulation.


Free Camping/Random Camping

No free or random camping is allowed in Jasper National Park without a proper permit, as noted above. You must camp in a designated campsite and/or have a backcountry permit. Despite what social media and van life may lead you to believe, there are rules in the national park.


Things To Do In Jasper

Jasper National Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada. Like its southern sister, Banff, there are many things to do in Jasper all year round.

In the summertime, you can easily grab a canoe and paddle your way around one of the many mountain lakes, or in the winter, you can take a drive on the stunning Icefields parkway. If you’re wondering what to do in Jasper on your Canadian vacation, we have you covered.


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About Cameron

Cameron is a resident of Canmore, Alberta. After traveling the world for six years, he settled down in the beautiful Bow Valley with Natasha. He has been featured as a travel expert with numerous publications worldwide and has spoken on several occasions about the power of travel. He has a passion for all things in the Canadian Rockies and loves to spend his time snowboarding, scrambling, camping, biking, and trail running. Conservation is a deep fundamental in his life, and he aims to inspire others to care about our natural world. You can learn more on the about us page.

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