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Alberta Camping at the Amazing Banff National Park
Established in 1885, Banff National Park was Canada’s very first national park. The park is located in the Rocky Mountains in the province of Alberta. When it was established, it consisted of little more than some natural hot springs, but over the years the park has expanded from 16 square miles to the vast 4,200 square miles it covers today. The mountainous terrain consists of snow capped mountains, glaciers, ice fields, dense coniferous forests, and alpine landscapes. This beautiful park has a diverse plant and animal life, four distinct seasons, plenty of activities, and gorgeous scenery. This is one of the most popular parks in the world drawing millions of people every year, making it an excellent Alberta camping destination!
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Banff National Park is located on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, making it a fairly dry park. It receives around 19 inches of rain a year, which is considerably less than area on the western side which can get up to 35 inches of rain. Around 92 inches of snow falls each winter. Winter months are fairly moderate compared to northern and central areas of Alberta. Winter temperatures range between 5 and 25 degrees. Summer temperatures are pleasant with July highs reaching up into the 70’s. Summer nights remain bright as late as 11 pm. The fall season brings shorter hours. The weather remains fairly warm, although by mid November, snow begins to fall. Spring begins in March, although snow remains until April when warming weather and rain melts it. Snow doesn’t leave the mountain passes until mid summer. May and June are the rainiest months of the year. A park pass is required to visit the park, although no fee is required if driving straight through. Over 5 million people pass through the park annually without stopping while traveling on the Trans-Canada Highway. Day passes cost $8 for adults, $4 for children, $7 for seniors and $16 for a family. An annual pass is $55 for adults, $27 for children, $47 for seniors, and $109 for families. Open year round, Banff National Park is always an excellent Alberta camping destination with something to offer everyone.
Millions of people travel to Banff National Park each year to see the beauty it has to offer. There are many hiking trails throughout the park and each one has its own beautiful attractions. Some trails take you past emerald Lake Louise, along rivers, through coniferous forests, up steep mountain trails, by beautiful waterfalls, or through flower-filled meadows. Sunshine Meadows Trail takes you through breath taking alpine meadows filled with flowers. The Cory Pass Loop is another popular trail that takes you up to Gargoyle Valley and along the east side of Mount Edith. Skiing is a very popular winter activity and there are plenty of places to go for it. The most commonly spotted animals in the park include bighorn sheep, deer, elk and caribou. Moose and mountain goats also reside within the park, although they are a bit more elusive. Black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, coyotes and mountain lions also call the park home.
Porcupine, squirrels, beaver, marmots and many birds can also be found, including bald eagles and the Canada goose. With so much to see and do, this truly is a terrific Alberta camping spot!
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