Camping at Wapiti Campground Jasper

Camping at Wapiti Campground Jasper

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.

Bare campsite

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
Electrical: $34.50
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?

Camping at Wapiti Campground near Jasper Camping near Jasper at Wapiti Campground Camping and campfires at Wapiti Campground

32 thoughts on “Camping at Wapiti Campground Jasper

  1. When we visited Jasper a few years ago we stayed at Wapiti Campground. I find it’s always nice to stay in small campgrounds as they are typically quieter. That’s too bad about the pine beetle. I guess that explains why the trees looked a bit sad.

    1. Heh, to be honest I think this is still the biggest campground we’ve ever stayed at! It’s smaller than Whistlers, but still huuuuge compared to the provincial campgrounds we are used to.

      It must have been soo nice when the trees were taller and healthy. At least they’ll grow back and fill in the empty spaces slowly.

  2. It’s too bad that mature trees had to be removed because of the pine beetles, but I must say, the lack of trees mixed with the fog in your photos is quite beautiful. This campground definitely has a unique look! Thanks for this great guide.

    1. That fog didn’t last long (we only saw it when we woke up early for hikes) but you’re right it made the whole area beautiful.

  3. Sounds like the perfect place to camp being close to the trails. I’m surprised that they allow a fire in the fire pit during a fire ban.

    1. Yeah we were surprised about that too.

      We only ever have fires when we’re car camping, but I wasn’t sure if they would just ban fires completely when the rest of BC was on fire.

  4. The location alone, with all those hikes nearby, is amazing. And then you add hot showers to the campground? Sold, Josy! And yum to your campfire meals.

    1. Thanks Melinda!
      I guess I should write a post at some point about what we cook on the campfire. There are so many tasty ideas. 🙂

  5. Wapiti looks amazing! We didn’t get enough time to do a lot of exploration in Jasper on our last visit, but it’s so insanely gorgeous, we will be back! My Hubby also loves sitting by the fire to cook our camping meals!

  6. Used to camp with my family when our girls were younger. I got pretty good at dutch oven cooking. But I am so not a happy camper and would rather have the luxuries of a toilet close by. Your pics of the area look great.

    1. That is totally fair enough – it’s not for everyone. We tend to camp for a few days, then book a hotel so we can have a proper shower/wash clothes… that way we get the best of both.

  7. I can see why you would choose the Wapiti Campground for camping in Jasper. The pic you showed definitely made it look remote and less crowded than I would have imagined. How great that the lost list of amenities also includes a spot to cook inside if the weather is bad. I would have no problem with keeping a bare campsite to keep the bears away!

    1. Thanks Linda, Yeah, it still felt pretty central in terms of how close it was to Jasper (and the main road) but I liked that the site felt private-ish. 🙂

  8. I can see why you’d want to pack your food away from the bears at Wapiti Campground. My husband’s family once had a bear eat all their food one night while they slept – it was pretty depressing to wake up with no breakfast!

    1. Eep! Yeah that is why the rules are so strict in National Parks and Provincial Park campgrounds here.

      Bears that manage that, often come back and try again…it changes their behavior and may start to make them aggressive towards humans. Then they have to be killed. 🙁

      I’d be slightly annoyed by a lost breakfast. But I’d be absolutely devastated if I found out my actions led to the death of a bear!

  9. This looks so much fun. I’ve always wanted to visit Jasper but the cost terrified me – never realized there were options for camping. I’d be so excited if I saw a bear`! Or any wildlife really, not much of that where I live.

    1. Right!? The hotels near here were $200-$400 per night so less than $40 is a bargain.

      And yeees! We are so excited every time we see wildlife. That bear photo was actually right next to the highway near Jasper.

  10. What a lovely camping site! This looks like the perfect place with a kitchen to cook on rainy days and all facilities. The food that you cooked looks delicious. Your images are lovely! I would love to camp here the next time I am near Jasper. 🙂

    1. Thanks Jan!

      We tend to eat re-hydrated meals when we camp in the backcountry, so cooking on a campfire is always a bit of a treat!!

  11. Camping meals are THE BEST meals! This looks like a great camp site. I love the showers and flushing toilets! Thats such a luxury after hiking!

    1. Right!? Having showers is the main thing that makes me want to camp here again. It is so nice to get clean after a dusty or muddy day on the trails.

  12. Wow I hadn’t realized that so many trees had to be cut down! It looks so different from when we were last there in 2012. We had bull elk walk through the campground and of course quite a few people got waaay too close to get their photos. I can definitely vouch for using the showers after a multi-day hike! Bliss! 🙂

    1. I was wondering how it must have looked before all the trees were removed. If you look over the road to Whistlers, it is even more bare. I guess they’ll grow back slowly though…

      And yeeees! Camping with showers is fantastic isn’t it! 😀

      1. We won’t get to Jasper this year but hopefully next year so that gives the trees an extra year to grow back! Yes to showers – we were so disappointed when we were in Banff in 2020 only to find that the showers were closed due to COVID… No showers for over a week… 😬

  13. I have only recently started camping, but have been loving it so far. I have also never been to Jasper and this sounds such an interesting place to visit. Great camping spot that I will be adding to my list!

    1. Yay Polly! It is fun isn’t it. 🙂
      We’ve only been camping in Canada for a couple of years, but we’re slowing getting braver and doing longer camping trips.

  14. Omg, that photo of your campsite covered in fog is beautiful! Great tips in here – I didn’t know about the pine beetles – that’s so sad. I’m always looking for new campsites, and this one sounds like it’s got great amenities – I love that it has showers!

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