If you want to go hiking near Jasper, one of the most fun (and cost effective) ways to stay in the area is to go camping. There are several possible places to camp close to Jasper town, but the one we chose was Wapiti Campground. We liked it because each campsite has plenty of space, but the campsite itself is not quite as huge as Whistlers (located on the opposite side of the highway) so it is quiet and relaxing.
Camping at Wapiti was great for easy access to resupplies (and restaurants if you don’t fancy cooking on campfires) plus it is close to sooooo many incredible hikes! Lastly, the facilities are great, so if you like little luxuries like hot showers, this campground will make you happy.
Wapiti Campground Location
Wapiti campground is located right on the Icefields Parkway 6km south of Jasper, Alberta. It’s on the opposite side of the road to the huge Whistlers Campground.
Wapiti Campground Map
This map will give you an idea about how the campground is organized. Most of the sites are arranged around loops of five campsites. Then the loos, kitchens, water stations etc. are spread around so you never have too far to walk to reach what you need.
Wapiti Campground Facilities
- Hot showers and flushing loos (this made me so happy after our epic, sweaty hikes)
- Fire pits and picnic benches at all sites
- Some sites have hook ups for RVs (the one we stayed at didn’t as we camp in our tent.)
- Drinking water (and sani dumps for the RV-folks)
- Hot water taps for washing up
- Firewood. You shouldn’t bring wood from outside the park in case you bring parasites like the pine beetles) Pick up your wood from the giant wood pile.
- Covered cooking/dining areas in case you need to cook in the rain.
- Food lockers
- Recycling station
This is one of the kitchen areas where you can cook if the weather turns nasty. It even has a wood stove if you don’t have a pocket-rocket or gas stove.
Wapiti Campground – What’s with the trees?
This area has been affected by the blight of pine beetles, so many of the mature trees have had to be removed. This has left the campground quite open with the remaining baby trees and occasional tall spindly trees that survived. This means you’ll be treated to plenty of sunshine, and the area is covered in wildflowers. We saw deer wandering through the area munching the flowers.
When you first arrive at Wapiti Campground, you’ll receive a brochure about the bare campsite program. This is the most important rule about camping near Jasper. Basically you need to pack away all food, food-related items (cups, plates, pans, grills etc.), and anything that has a scent that might attract bears. Store things in your vehicle or in the bear-proof storage lockers dotted around the campground. Never leave any of food or these items unattended for even a minute, and do not keep them inside your tent.
Booking a campsite at Wapiti
You can reserve spots to camp at Wapiti in advance. Use the Frontcountry campground website to book. There are 363 campsites available.
Open Dates: May 4 to October 10
Wapiti Campground fees: (you also need to pay a $11.50 non refundable reservation fee on top of this.)
Electrical, with fire pit: $43.75
Unserviced, with fire pit: $38.50
Other Wapiti Campground rules
– Quiet hours are from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
– For the safety of both pets and wildlife, pets must be leashed and never left unattended.
– Use of generators is restricted to certain time slots: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
– Max people per site: 6 people
– Max 2 vehicles & 2 tents OR Max 1 RV/trailer/camper van per site
Campfires at Wapiti Campground
You have to purchase a fire permit (for every night of your stay) when you reserve your campsite. We LOVE cooking on campfires, so we made the most of this while we camped here. There was a fire ban when we visited, but you are still permitted campfires within the firepits. However, you must use the firewood provided at Wapiti. Invasive insects and pests can live in firewood so you should always use local firewood to protect the forests. You do not have to pay extra for the firewood, just wander over to the log pile and pick up what you need.
A couple of meals on our campfire
We tend to make dehydrated meals for when we camp in the back country. But when we have access to a campfire, we like to bring our cast iron skillet and make as tasty grub as we can.
Our first night in Wapiti we cooked up a giant pile of veggies and potatoes, and paired them with some steak.
The other night we cooked onions in the skillet, then paired them with sausages on sticks.
There are sooo many things you can cook on a fire. I love that it gives your meal a fabulous smokey flavour and Marc always get extra excited about time sitting next to a fire.
Hikes Near Jasper
The best part about camping near Jasper is all the hikes! Here are just a few ideas of the walks we did near here in 2021, but there are sooo many more. To get you started (clockwise from left to right in the images below)
Map of Hikes near Jasper
This map shows all of our adventures in BC and Alberta. You can zoom in to the area around Jasper to see all the hikes mentioned above as well as even more waterfalls. I have another post with a long list of hikes and highlights along the Icefields Parkway near here too.
Have you camped near Jasper? Did you stay at Wapiti Campground, or one of the other nearby camping areas? Do would you prefer to stay in the town with a comfy bed while you explore the incredible scenery of Jasper National Park?