"I thought backpacking was supposed to be cheap" Banff National Park Local Custom Tip by richiecdisc

Banff National Park Local Customs: 40 reviews and 41 photos

  should be backpacker's paradise
by richiecdisc

With over 1000 miles of hiking trails in Banff National Park, you would imagine this to be a great place for backpacking but it turns out only if you are the kind of backpacker that likes to spend over C$20 per day per person to do it. We sorted out after our initial talk with rangers at the visitor center that it would cost us close to C$10 each to be in the park. We would have to spend over two weeks in the park to make buying the Banff National Park Annual Pass worth its C$136 price tag. If backpacking was free or nominal as it is in most US National Parks, it might have made this an endeavor we would have considered but we were shocked to find out that you had to pay an additional C$10 per person to camp in the backcountry, essentially the same price as you pay to pitch your tent in a car campground in the park if you are just two people. I actually asked if that included the park fee in utter disbelief but he answered pretty dead pan that no, that was in addition to the backcountry fees.

That pretty much had us not only leaving the park as soon as we could but also vowing to visit many a park in the US before coming back to this admittedly pretty place. A week later, we would backpack in Glacier National Park in Montana for a fraction of that cost, in just as beautiful scenery amongst the biggest population of grizzly bears in the lower 48.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 26, 2009
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