National Parks are home to some great and some not so great places to pop up a tent and light a fire. Since my boyfriend and I moved into 8 different campsites this summer, I decided to rate them in order for myself to remember for next time/year and for your viewing pleasure.
#8 The Townsite in Waterton, Alberta. The view is stunning, looking out into the lake, but it is crowded and has ZERO privacy. No trees exist around the individual sites, and you just have the pleasure of listening to 50 other people snore. Another small plus though is the deer and the Columbian ground squirrels that greeted you every morning and saluted you as you came home from a long day of animal photography (Hot water, showers, $27.50/night).
#7 Bridge Bay in Yellowstone. Again, great view, but you have to walk to the lake for it. Again, great animals on the site to greet you, including a bison that thought that our tent was sitting on top of some of the tastiest grass. It grunted and chewed and pooped every night right beside my head. Ahhhh, nature… But the downside was also the lack of privacy here. It was a little more spread out and had a few trees scattered throughout the plots to make it a bit more private and nature-y but again, I heard too much snoring from people 2 feet away from me (Hot water, no showers, $18/night).
#6 Mammoth in Yellowstone. Still a little lacking on the whole privacy thing, but the site’s gorgeousness (I am making up a lot of words in this post!) made up for it. You can walk to the town of Mammoth right from the campsite. They created a neat trail that goes over the side of the hill and directs you right toward the elk that are standing guard in the town. Nice hike! If you decided you wanted to sleep in one day, good luck. This was the hottest camp site we stayed at! (No hot water, no showers, $14/night)
#5 Crandell in Waterton, Alberta. My boyfriend did not like this place at all. Might have been the crazy wind that threatened to lift us off while attempting to sleep the three nights we were at this site. Or could have been our crazy neighbours that threatened our fingers to call child services. Can’t choose the neighbours though! Crazy and threatening things at this campsite. View was gorgeous yet again, waking up to the mountains and the deer grazing. Pretty much had our privacy too. (Hot water, no showers, $24/night).
#4 Whistlers in Jasper, Alberta. This is sleeping in the woods! Plenty of large trees, mostly private, bear traps at the entrance. I felt like I was really camping here! (Hot water, plenty of showers, $27.50/night).
#3 Tower in Yellowstone. Great location, it too had the woodsy feel to it. Grizzly sightings nearby drew us to this site. It was quite funny that we actually asked the park rangers which campsites had bear warnings in order to be in the sites where we could literally just roll out of bed, grab our cameras and start shooting. It was also the cheapest site we stayed in. Downside – outhouses were the only facilities here. (no hot water, no showers, $12/night).
#2 Coulter Bay in Grand Teton National Park. This was my first experience of camping since I was much younger. The site was so private, so many trees to shade you in the day (including plenty of mosquitos), and close to Leek’s pizza. Loved the people working there too! (Hot water, pay showers for $3.75, $15/night).
#1 Interlakes in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. WOW. Best site EVER! Imagine the picture below as your backyard. Something you wake up to in the morning and see a moose taking a morning sip with the calm waters lapping upon the rocks. Such a private and quiet site to sleep in. Only downfall was the lack of amenities, which included the stinkiest outhouses for your pleasure.
Shout out to my awesome Coleman tent that got us through a month and a half of rain, shine, snow, frost and wind.