We drive to Canada several times a year and we like to change up our route every time but there are still only so many ways to get from one point to another. We love Banff and Jasper due to the sheer beauty but we detest the crowds. It’s a love/hate relationship but still one we endure and enjoy every time we visit there. So off we went again this year.
Since it was summer we decided to reserve a site before arriving just to be sure. There are three campgrounds directly in the town of Banff called Tunnel Mountain Village 1, Tunnel Mountain Village 2, and Trailer Village. The campgrounds are adjacent to one another and provide somewhat of a similar experience. They sit on Tunnel Mountain above the town of Banff. Tunnel Mountain Village 2 was closed for the summer due to renovations and Trailer Village looked like a parking lot so we choose Tunnel Mountain Village 1. There were only a few sites left so we just grabbed one that could accommodate 40+. After experiencing a bit of a tight campsite at Tunnel Mountain Village 1 and riding our bikes around Trailer Village we decided that Trailer Village, even with it’s parking lot feel, would have been a better choice for site size and ease of access.
Campground: Tunnel Mountain Village 1
Location: The Town of Banff, Alberta
Cost: $27.40 ($CAD)
Services: dry camping
Comments: A lovely, wooded campground with lots of loops and sites. Our site was in a “no campfire” zone and directly perpendicular to the road with a tree smack dab in the center whereby making it difficult to enter/exit the site. Luckily, when we arrived no one was in the site across from us which made it real easy to back into the site. BUT, upon departing, the site had a large Class C parked in it and lots of bikes and kids things. We thought it would be a challenge but my husband got out in two turns. Bravo!
Our campsite was situated right next to the trail head for some trails around the campgrounds for either biking or hiking. You can use the trails to walk/bike into town in less than an hour (approximately 2-3 miles one way). We followed the trail to the road and then down a long staircase into town.
After our tour around town we continued over the bridge along the Bow River and walked over to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel where we have stayed a few times before. They have a lovely area out back for viewing the scenery and soaking up some sun along with a few nice restaurants and bars.
On one of our bike excursions from the campground we came across a very light colored grey wolf coming from the other direction. We stopped and returned to the campground by backing out while he stopped and kept a close eye on us from behind a tree. The campground did have signs up warning tourists about wolves in the area coming into the campground for food. A week later the Banff Park officials euthanized a grey wolf near the campground.
Besides the one sighting of a wolf we also saw some Bighorn Sheep along the road by Lake Minnewanka and a herd of Elk as seen from HooDoo View Point.
We were only in the area for a few days so we stayed a bit close to home and visited Lake Minnewanka, Johnson Lake, Two Jack Lakeside, HooDoo Viewpoint, and Surprise Corner.
Just a quick stopover on our way to family fun!