Where to Stay

Click the links to read a detailed review of the campground, hostel, or motel/hotel.

To have your campground/hostel/motel/hotel reviewed and added to the list, please contact me at playoutsidegal @ gmail dot com. 

Walk-In & Backcountry Campgrounds Near Calgary

Walk-In Campgrounds Near Calgary: Lake O'Hara, Yoho National Park; Mount Sarrail Walk-In Campground, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park; Takakkaw Falls Walk-In Campground, Yoho National Park

Family-Friendly Backcountry Campgrounds (<5 km hike):
  • The Point, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (3.4 km); 
  • Elbow Lake (1.3 km), Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (1.3 km); 
  • Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Provincial Park (4.7 km); 
  • Jewell Bay, Bow Valley Provincial Park (3.9 km); 
  • Laughing Falls, Yoho National Park (4.4 km).

Alberta Campgrounds and Hotels

Banff National Park, AB

  • Banff Aspen Lodge - Stylish, updated and spacious rooms on Banff Avenue with complimentary breakfast, two outdoor hot tubs, steam room and sauna. 
  • Banff Park Lodge - We have stayed here for as little as $89/nt in the off season. The location, gym, and pool area (pool, hot tub, warm tub, and eucalyptus steam room) are amazing! 4-star value for 3-star prices!
  • Buffalo Mountain Lodge - Just off the beaten path, cozy rooms with wood burning fire places, a lovely outdoor hot tub, and incredible menu and wine list. Perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • Deer Lodge - We got got engaged here and love the rustic elegance with an amazing location and gourmet dining. 
  • Douglas Fir Resort is a popular choice for families. I have yet to stay here. 
  • Egypt Lake Backcountry Campground - Beautiful location with good access to beautiful dayhikes. Go in September for stunning displays of larches but be prepared for chilly nights (-8C) due to the elevation.
  • Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise - The location is unparalleled and the Fairmont level of service is always impressive. The regular rooms are a little small, but you will likely not spend much time in your room in such a gorgeous place. We enjoyed the to-die-for Mother's Day brunch at the Chateau a few years ago, have had delicious fondue at the Walliser Stube a couple times, and have dined at the cafe several times.
  • Lake Louise Hostel - Private family rooms are available! Highly recommended as an affordable option in Lake Louise. There is a decent restaurant (Bill Peyto Cafe) with great service on site if you don't feel like cooking all of your own meals.
  • Lake Louise Inn - Good value motel and quiet if you're in the back building (#5). I am a light sleeper and didn't notice the train at all! We enjoyed the pool and hot tub and onsite dining. The pub has casual fare, lots of board games, darts and a pool table. Our favorite, however, is the Timberwolf Pizza and Pasta place upstairs. Tasty food at affordable prices and great service. Check the Student Union Ticket Pack (SUTP) for a $50 off coupon for your stay and 2-for-1 entree coupons (for the pub and Timberwolf).
  • Mountaineer Lodge - A great value if you can get it for under $120 (check Expedia for sales). Fantastic free breakfast including waffles, boiled eggs, yogurt, muffins and cereal. Free wifi, ski lockers and hot tub. Best deal in Lake Louise (besides the hostel).
  • Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel - Snowshoe or ski from your door! 
  • Rimrock Resort Hotel - Amazing service and lovely views of Mount Rundle. A bit out of downtown, but near the Banff Gondola and Hot Springs. I've stayed there twice - the pub restaurant is so-so, but the brunch is amazing. The kids enjoyed the Easter egg hunt and activities a couple years ago.
  • Samesun Backpackers Hostel - Can't beat the prices and location! If you have a group and book ahead, you can have a whole room to yourselves. They have a TV downstairs to watch the game and a BBQ on the patio you can borrow if you want to grill a steak.
  • Tunnel Mountain Campground Village I - Fantastic location with options to hike or bike from the campground. It was quieter and pleasanter than I expected!
  • Tunnel Mountain Resort - Affordable rooms biking distance to downtown Banff and the Legacy Trail. Our "suite" did not have a door, so we had to go to bed when the kids did, so I would check before booking again how the room is configured.
  • Two Jack Lake Main Campground - Convenient location for exploring the Lake Minnewanka area and only a short drive in to the town of Banff. Two Jack Lakeside is much more picturesque if you can get a site there, but we had everything we needed at Two Jack Main.
Deer Lodge, Lake Louise

Canmore, AB

  • Best Western Pocaterra Inn - With beautiful, newly renovated rooms; pool & 3-storey waterslide; and free breakfast that includes hot items (eggs, sausage, pancakes/waffles), this is one of our new favorite places to stay in Canmore!
  • Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn - A great value as it includes free wine and cheese in the evenings (weekends only) and a great free breakfast which includes DIY waffles! Rooms are spacious and clean. The only thing that's missing is a pool.
  • Grande Rockies Resort - Choose from hotel rooms or condo suites (but we recommend the suites!). This resort is perfect for families with a pool, 3-storey waterslide, indoor/outdoor hot tub, and kids' wading pool with mini slide and mushroom "shower". Luxury, comfort, and fun!
  • Mystic Springs Chalets and Hot Pools - Beautiful, spacious condos a short walk from downtown Canmore. 
  • Ramada - We loved the 3-storey waterslide and hot tub. There is also a workout room with new equipment. Some rooms have been renovated in the last few years and some have not. If you are a light sleeper, be sure to book a room on the (Bow) Trail side or you will be woken by the train throughout the night!
  • Quality Resort Chateau Canmore - The rooms are clean and spacious but looks like almost time to renovate. Nevertheless, we had a great stay in a large suite. It was the best value when we went (Dec 2015) and I prefer a suite over a regular room when it's affordable. There is a pool and outdoor hot tub too!
  • Solara Resort & Spa - Beautiful, modern condos with nice hot pools. Short walk to downtown!
Grande Rockies Resort, Canmore

Cypress Hills, AB

David Thompson Country

See Camping in the David Thompson Corridor for information on camping at:

Dinosaur Provincial Park Campground

Jasper National Park, AB

  • Chateau Jasper - This is really a hidden gem. The rooms are spacious and very nice! The hotel has a lovely pool and hot tub which we visited every night. The restaurant had a wonderful ambience, but the food could have been better for the price. 

Kananaskis, AB

  • Aster Lake Backcountry Campground - Beautiful, pristine backcountry campground. Book well in advance as there are only 5 sites!
  • Bow Valley Campground - Well maintained campground close to Calgary with lots of hiking and biking nearby.
  • Delta Kananaskis Lodge - Amazing amenities and service in a wonderful setting. They really do a lot to make it fun for the kids!
  • Elbow Lake Backcountry Campground - A great 1st time backpacking destination and fantastic fishing lake!
  • Lower Elk Lakes Backcountry Campground - Beautiful BC campground accessible via Elk Pass in Kananaskis. 9 km hike in. Day hike to Petain Falls.
  • Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Campgrounds: includes descriptions of Boulton Creek, Canyon, Elkwood, Interlakes, Lower Lakes, and Mount Sarrail campgrounds.
  • The Point Backcountry Campground
  • Sibbald Lake Provincial Recreation Area Campground - Good first-come, first served campground with large, shaded sites.
  • Willow Rock Campground - There are some cute, small sites in the trees and large, unshaded RV sites near the showers.

Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site - tent/trailer camping, tipis, trapper's tents, cabins

Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park - Alberta's only park of islands


  • Best Western Plus - Mountainview Inn & Suites
  • Sunset Guiding Cabins

BC Campgrounds

Glacier National Park, BC

  • Bradsdadsland Campground, Hornby Island
  • Dionisio Point Provincial Park (backcountry campground), Galiano Island
  • Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, Galiano Island
  • Page's Resort & Marina, Gabriola Island
Lake Magog Backcountry Campground, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, BC - the most beautiful backcountry campground and only $10/night. 

Mount Robson Provincial Park, BC

  • Berg Lake Backcountry Campground
  • Kinney Lake Backcountry Campground
  • Whitehorn Backcountry Campground

Okanagan, BC 

Vancouver Island, BC

Yoho National Park, BC

  • Laughing Falls Backcountry Campground
  • Lake O'Hara Backcountry Campground
  • Takakkaw Falls Walk-In Campground