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camping during the Canmore Folk Fest

Winnipeg, Canada
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camping during the Canmore Folk Fest

We're planning a road trip to B.C this summer and want to take in the Canmore Folk Festival on our way. Where would be a good place to camp (tent) that's close to Canmore? We tried booking something in Bow Valley, but there were no spots available over that weekend. It looks like there's some nice spots around Tunnel Mountain and Two Jack Lake, but it's first come first serve - are these areas likely to fill up fast during the festival weekend?

It's our first Canmore Folk Fest experience and we're really looking forward to it!

Your suggestions would be appreciated.

Sandra (in Manitoba)

Edited: 7:56 am, May 26, 2011
Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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1. Re: camping during the Canmore Folk Fest

Your main problem isn't that it's the folk festival weekend, but that it is the August long weekend. Every campsite and hotel room in Banff (and probably Canmore) is full on summer long weekends. Campsites often fill up on the Thursday night, unless the weather is really bad.

You might look into camping at the Three Sisters campground at Dead Man's Flats, east of Canmore:


However, this is one of the "Bow Valley campgrounds" ( www.bowvalleycampgrounds.com/cgrounds.html ), so maybe you've already checked it out?

There is supposed to be a campground at the Stoney Nakoda Resort, but I couldn't find any reference to it on their website:

Sundance Lodges also has 30 campsites in addition to their tipis:


And Nakoda Lodge has some tipis available:


There used to be a Stoney Indian Park campground on Hwy 1A near Nakoda Lodge, but I can't find any info on the web about it.

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2. Re: camping during the Canmore Folk Fest

Suggest you avoid Stoney Indian Park (if you can find it) It's a pretty scary place to camp at, especially if you are tenting. Have heard of some terrifying experiences from people who have camped there.

There is a large lakeside but primitive campsite along the west shore of Spray Lakes that is very popular with locals, but it is smack in the middle of bear country, so you might want to take some precautions. Also, I'm not sure how safe it is to leave your stuff there all day, and driving back at night might be a bit hazardous.

Country Wife is correct about how busy it will be in the Canmore/Banff area on that weekend. I strongly suggest you forget the camping idea and get a hotel room for the weekend. Check out one of the older hotels like Bow Valley Motel, Rundle Mountain Lodge, Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge, the Drake Inn, the Ramada Inn or the Econo Lodge, and you'll probably get a good rate. Also check out the Hostel Bear.

Good luck and don't wait too long to book a room. Enjoy the Folkfest...it's a fantastic event.

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3. Re: camping during the Canmore Folk Fest

We ended up in Canmore/Banff last year over the aug long weekend. We were tenting and had no problem getting a site at Two Jack Campground. If you have a trailer, dont bother trying to camp at any of the campgrounds unless you get there early, or you're willing to sit in a loooooooong line up.

The year before we were also there during the long weekend, and stayed at a campground right in Canmore. There are only 2 campgrounds in Canmore. This one was springcreek i think. It was ok, but no privacy, and very cramped and crowded.

We just booked at the Falconcrest lodge, and it looks awesome! It has everything kitchen, bbq, washer & dryer, etc. It will be different not camping this year, but it will be nice that we don't have to pack the house with us!

Good luck, and hope you find accomodations you like!

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Lake Louise
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4. Re: camping during the Canmore Folk Fest

Certainly the campgrounds fill up on the long weekend - but they are first come first serve. Why not get there early and get a spot at Two Jack Lake? The Two Jack Main website is huge - with around 370 sights, it's always possible if you get there on Thursday.

5. Re: camping during the Canmore Folk Fest

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