Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Snaring River Overflow, Jasper National Park

Location: 4 hrs from Edmonton or 15 minutes from Jasper
Website:  None
Map: Google
Camping Facilities: Car Camping
Grade: D+
Stargazing: Okay, but some interference from Jasper
Summary: Free-for-all car camping madness, with no campfires allowed - but in a nice mountain setting
Thoughts: Planning to go to the campgrounds immediately surrounding the Town of Jasper on a long weekend without a reservation?  Well, this is probably one of your few options.  Most of the other campgrounds will be full, friend.  That's what we discovered when opting to head up to the Jasper townsite instead of the tried-and-true Columbia Icefield Campground along the Icefields Parkway (which did have vacancies).  What we discovered was beyond comprehension for an Ontarian used to the calm and order found in the Ontario Park system. 

If you're early to arrive, find a decently-sheltered patch of dirt near(ish) to a latrine and set up.  If there's a picnic table, bonus.  If there is a flat surface to set your tent up on, double bonus.  Chances are high that if you're late to arrive, you'll find none of these.  We discovered people just setting up anywhere that looked reasonable.  There are no comfort stations, just latrines; neither are there any fires allowed (though many plumes of smoke were observed rising over the enforcement was evident).  The campground has little else to offer.  There are some scenic views of the surrounding mountains, but this isn't where you want to view them from.

We can at least appreciate Jasper Park's management and staff trying to accommodate anybody who is foolish, er, spontaneous enough to come up here without a reservation on a long weekend.  But there's no certainty that you'll get anything that approaches a decent site.  In fact, the night we were there, you'd have been lucky if you didn't end up sleeping on a uneven gravel-laden mound of dirt without a twig of privacy.  Plan ahead, stay out of the overflow.


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    1. Thanks Skyline Spirit! I really appreciate your feedback.