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Bow Valley Camping?!?! Is it all this expensive?
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By Blake Cash
Apr 19, 2013

Looking to spend a little over a month in the Bow Valley this summer...but the $23/night camping fees are making this hard to do.

Anyone know of cheaper options? Free options?

Thanks!


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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Apr 19, 2013

Find a map that gives the boundaries of public Crown land. Be subtle: 'bivy' don't 'camp'.


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By Blake Cash
Apr 19, 2013

Ok. That's kind of what I've heard from a few people as well.


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By grega
Apr 19, 2013

Ask for a weekly or monthly rate.. Most campgrounds (non provincial) have these deals. Other than that find a logging road and bivy as suggested below. Just keep out of the way of the trucks. :-)


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By Blake Cash
Apr 19, 2013

So I can't seem to find the Non-Provincial campgrounds online. I guess all of this will make more sense once I get up there huh?


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By Ed Wright
Apr 20, 2013
Magic Ed

Coyote camping is the way to go.


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By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Apr 20, 2013

Dobson wrote:
'bivy' don't 'camp'.


Translation for Blake: I think that means you'll have to refrain from setting up the truck tent.

Does this mean you're skipping Rifle this year?


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By Blake Cash
Apr 20, 2013

JCM wrote:
Translation for Blake: I think that means you'll have to refrain from setting up the truck tent. Does this mean you're skipping Rifle this year?



ha! That thing died...mid-summer last year...

No Rifle this year...well maybe start of August. We will head that way for Jen/Andrews wedding at the end of July and I have until mid-end of August before school starts back up.

But Ten Sleep and Canmore this summer.


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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Apr 20, 2013

Watch out for bears if you are going to camp outside a campground in Bow Valley. People get attacked there occasionally. Do you know what they call mountain bikers in Banff? Fast food.


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By Greg Corn
Apr 20, 2013

Hey Blake,
Where are you looking to camp- near Canmore, KCountry, Banff, Lake Louise, all Bow Valley, maybe be a bit more descriptive.
$23 is pretty typical and any Provincial campsite is going to be near the same price. In Banff Park, for extra $8 night you can burn as much wood from a communal bin.
if u climb in the Ghost wilderness(lots of splendid rock routes) that is all free camping but follow few simple rules please.
U dont wanna camp for free in the Ghost and climb in Bow Valley at all, too far, gas will equal the $23 night.
U cant really free camp in the Bow Valley area that I know or any local will let on, and if you get caught you will pay the $23!


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By Blake Cash
Apr 21, 2013

I'm looking to spend my time in Canmore...climbing at Acephale and the surrounding areas there. I don't want to try and "steal" camping from the provincial campground either...that's not my plan at all! I had just been told that there were places along roads where you could sleep for the night and then move on the next morning. Are there campgrounds that aren't provincial?

thanks!


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By Greg Corn
Apr 21, 2013

Blake,
I don't know any areas anymore, years ago yes, where you could pitch for the night and move on, I guess semi-longhaul trucking pullouts may be your only bet if you have a van I guess, there is a big one near Acephaleon the edge of a lake called Lac des Arcs along the Trans-Canada. Acephale is parking in the ditch and has a trail but no official signage so local guidebook will be needed obviously.
There are provincial campsites closer to Aceephale than the National ones like Banff, but still a tent will run you likely $21. Some that may interest you are within half hour drive of Acephale are: Lac des Arcs, Bow Valley Provincial Park, Sundance Lodge, Canmore Municipal Campsite near McDonalds, there are lots just google them and you should find a provincial campsite website for them all giving price, directions etc.
Provincial sites more remote, can be as low as $13, but would be not near Acephale.


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By Greg Corn
Apr 22, 2013

www.wapiticamping.com/page2.html

WOW i had no idea it is that much, $25, unless you need to eat in a resturant each day this is not worth it as ones outta town are 'camping' as this is next to McDonalds.

this is a good site, but not the site where you reserve sites, but it has links....
www.albertawow.com/campgrounds/Lac_Des_Arcs/Lac_Des_Arcs_Cam>>>

Do not even think for a second of getting a campsite anywhere in Alberta period on our May long weekend, bad idea seriously, headache, full of drunken tools, people go out to reserve them in the mid-week. Seems to always rain or snow then too.


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By Kyle Christie
From Davis, CA
Apr 22, 2013
City of Rocks

I spent a week in Canmore last summer. Good free camping is hard to find. We did lots of "urban camping" in the main parking lot in town. Pretty quiet, bathrooms at the park, no issues, but not ideal. Also spent a few nights at the climbing area parking lots (usually arrived late with no problem, but got hassled once around dinner time by a ranger). The lower Grassi Lakes lot is pretty nice. I'm not sure if the Nordic Center offers camping, but that could be an option.

Basically if you've got a van or a truck with a camper, any place in town will do for stealth. If you're looking for forested campsites with firepits, etc, you'll probably need to pay.

Its amazing, once you cross from Alberta into BC the camping becomes plentiful! I had fun the Bow Valley - probably only recommended if you love limestone sport. If I had it to do over again I would ceck out Revelstoke for a chiller scene and better camping. Check out Cardiac Arete near Lake Louise for full-value exposure and some questionable rock, but amazing views and a unique experience.

Cheers.


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By Greg Corn
Apr 22, 2013

Bow Valley private campgrounds....
www.bowvalleycampgrounds.com/cgrounds.html


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By Greg Corn
Apr 22, 2013

Revelstoke has a new guidebook out with loads of routes, great town in middle of nowhere! Camping options are better but 3-4 hour drive from Canmore. Depends on what you really want and what you have for a set-up.


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By Blake Cash
Apr 22, 2013

First...I'm in a truck, and we sleep in the back. Set up and break down is minimal...though being able to be somewhat comfortable is preferable (would like to be able to sit around in the AM and cook/read/etc).

The Canmore area is our primary destination...the limestone is what we're excited about...Acephale and what not...so being close to these places is also preferable.

I guess we'll fork out the cash for the first few days and get our bearings and hopefully figure out some cheaper options. We are not set up for super stealth living in a van...


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