In Jasper National Park, there are two first-come-first-serve campgrounds within the immediate vicinity of the Columbia Icefield. The Columbia Icefield Campground is tent only and offers a strong wilderness appeal with just 33 sites that are fairly secluded. The Wilcox Creek Campground can accommodate trailers up to 27 feet and has 46 sites for both tents or trailers. Both campgrounds are great for families with lots of trails to explore and beautiful views of the glacier-capped peaks.
Like many of the campgrounds in Banff and Jasper, sites can fill up quickly, so plan to arrive early in the day to nab a vacant site. You can be pretty sure to catch a free site before noon on any given day in the summer- although the July and August long weekends can be particularly busy. If the campgrounds are full, there is overflow camping at the Icefield Discovery Centre for trailers and camping vans.
Rampart Creek and Waterfowl Lakes are beautiful campgrounds that lie within Banff National Park. These campgrounds are also available on a first-come-first-serve basis, so it is best to arrive before noon to claim a site. Rampart Creek is a 30-minute drive from the Columbia Icefield, while Waterfowl Lakes is approximately an hour away.
For a complete guide to frontcountry camping, visit the Banff or Jasper camping guides for prices, amenities, and operating season. And be sure to bring warm sleeping bags since it gets cold at night, even in July and August!
There are various options for accommodation within a 30-minute drive of the Columbia Icefield. If you plan to stay at one of the nearby hotels or resorts, make sure to book well in advance, especially if you are coming in July and August. We recommend booking your accommodation in Banff or Jasper two months in advance of your trip. If you are planning on booking accommodation last minute, you would have better luck in the townsites of Jasper, Banff, Canmore, and Lake Louise.
The following accommodations also offer options for dining in a restaurant/ diner, a cafeteria setting, or both. For the value-conscious traveller, it is best to purchase groceries in a nearby community since the food options on the Icefields Parkway are limited, and the prices reflect that.