2017 West trip- tips on campgrounds needed

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by kimlovescamping, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    I get over 3 1/2 hrs from yosemite village to grant grove on mapquest. Sounds about right to me.
    Northwest of yosemite valley are Hodgdon meadow and crane flat CG's. Southwest is Wawona CG. All are ok, but don't have the grandeur of yosemite valley or tuolumne.
    Wawona is right at the south gate of the park, and is about an hour from the valley. It's also right by the Mariposa grove, and would shorten your trip to Sequoia to about 5 hours round trip.
     
  2. molanginaeda

    molanginaeda Member

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    Here is a pic of B4 in Tunnel Mt 2. The background view is just beautiful. Either sunrise or sunset. The ground is on higher ground.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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    For Washington Salt Creek is one of our little known gems but reservation fill uber fast. It has the best tide pools around. The forest area has vault not flush the parking lot style rv spots have flush. as for propane tank on ferries they just have to be turn off. You will need a reservation a few days in advance for the ferry or wait for a spot to open up could be over 24 hrs.
     
  4. kimlovescamping

    kimlovescamping New Member

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    Heartman - thank you. I have been emailing the Wa Ferry people and they have been helpful, but I still was unsure about the propane. He told me 100# is allowed which = 2 5 gallon tanks. We have a 20# tank on the pup. Sounds like that won't be a problem. I have Salt Creek down... will make a note that we need to be in the RV area. I heard the views are great there too.

    molanginaeda - thank you for the picture. That site looks perfect! How far are the Columbia Icefields from Banff? Is that doable for a day trip? The kids want to see the glacier. I am hoping we will be as lucky as you with the northern lights.

    campfreak - those campgrounds aren't reserveable, are they? I guess we could list them as back ups if I don't get reservations in the valley. I would probably be crazy worrying about no reservations though. We will arrive late in Yosemite from the east, so probably be best to try for one of the campgrounds near Tioga pass? Arriving late worries me as most of what I have read says you need to get there early to get a site. Just not sure I am brave enough to drive 2600 miles with no reservations.

    ezakoske - I'll look those up. thank you!

    The information from this group is invaluable. Thank y'all so much!
     
  5. molanginaeda

    molanginaeda Member

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    Columbia Icefield is about 3+ hrs from Banff. 2+ hrs from Lake Louise. If your trip is in the summer, you get plenty of sunlight. 11pm is still as bright as 5pm. Once you're on the Icefield Parkway, the traffic will be slow due to one way traffic. The sight along the highway is breathtaking (view of mountain, glacier, blue lake, green river). Stop by Peyto Lake and Bow Lake. Remember to fill up the tank before driving on Icefield Parkway (gas available @ Lake Louise or saskatchewan river crossing). Limited (no) gas station on the parkway.

    Moraine Lake in Lake Louise area is a must visit.
     
  6. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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  7. kimlovescamping

    kimlovescamping New Member

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    Heartman - thank you for the photo...it looks great. Can't wait to explore the tide pools. Do people just look for animals in them? We have no experience with the pacific ocean, but it looks like tidal pools were an attraction in No. California too.

    molanginaeda - thank you again! I would have thought that Canadian gas was more expensive than here in the US? I saw your other post about your trip planning. Is the gas cheaper there? Or was the trip just shorter? I'm adding Peyto Lake and Bow Lake. Can you walk on the glacier?
     
  8. ChocoChock01

    ChocoChock01 On the road aagaain See Rallies below;

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    This is quite a road trip, you might want to break it up into 2 or 3 trips!!!
     
  9. molanginaeda

    molanginaeda Member

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    Gas is more costly in Canada. If you are in the Banff area, it will be at least $.20 per litre (4 litre per gallon) than the cost found at Calgary. Additional $.10 per litre at Lake Louise. Today, the gas price in Banff is $0.989 per litre. Since Canadian exchange rate plunge (C$1 to US$0.7x), it will be around $3 per gallon. I use an iPhone application, gas buddy, to search cheaper gas price while traveling.

    If you planning to cook food, please load up grocery in Calgary. Grocery is more expensive in Banff. I load up at the Costco in Calgary, thanks to a tip from chatting with a local.

    You can only walk on the glacier if you join the tour by Brewster. All tourist attraction is run by Brewster. They have tour packages for athabasca glacier experience, Banff gondola, boat tour & glass walk. You can check out the package here, www.brewster.ca
     
  10. Tin_man

    Tin_man New Member

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    We stayed in Sequoia this past summer. No electric hook ups. We were at about 6500 ft, so it got pretty chilly at nights. We also camped in the Redwoods, no electricity where we stayed there. Our trip was our madden voyage with our 2012 Jayco Sport 10. We started in Texas went up the west coast into Canada. Total of 21 days. 7000 miles. Other than two tire repairs all went well.
     
  11. Tin_man

    Tin_man New Member

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    Did you get to drive the Going to the Sun Road.
     
  12. kimlovescamping

    kimlovescamping New Member

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  13. kimlovescamping

    kimlovescamping New Member

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    That's my kind of trip. Thanks for the info! Ours will be about the same...19 days, 8,000 miles or so. I hope we can skip the tire repairs. Planning to replace tires right before the trip. We got 2 years out of our first set of tires... and about 15,000 miles out of them (not counting the small, close to home trips). Next spring our current tires will be 2...not nearly as many miles on these, but better to be safe than worry while on a long trip.
     
  14. kimlovescamping

    kimlovescamping New Member

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    Adding this info to my budget and tips. So happy to have your help!! :) This might be another silly question, but do we need to get some Canadian money? I know we can use the Visa... but will we have to exchange some money?
     
  15. Tin_man

    Tin_man New Member

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    I guess we just had bad luck with the tires. Put a new set on in Washington. Had another flat in Nebraska. Luckily no blow outs, just leaks, both discovered while we were breaking down camp. Those small tires are pricey. I hope y'all have an awesome time. We went to Banff last year, no camping though. Really nice. If you have time make sure you drive up to Jasper, awesome drive.
     
  16. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Most of the time the reason a camper tire blows is because it overheated from being underinflated.
     
  17. molanginaeda

    molanginaeda Member

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    Yes, exchange some Canadian $$ before the trip. Your local US bank can exchange currency. There are many currency exchange store in Banff, but have high transaction fee and low exchange rate. If you have US dollar, I'm sure any local bank at Banff will exchange C$ too. I use mostly credit card (visa), but for small fee like campground firewood, I paid cash. Choose a visa with low/no foreign transaction fee.

    Kimlovescamping, I'm not sure how many days you planning to stay in Canada. Banff National Park/Jasper National Park charge a daily entrance fee (per person). Instead of paying daily fee, I purchased a Family Discovery Annual Pass, which allow me to travel to all Canada National Park within a year.

    Lastly, remember to bring passport. :)
     
  18. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    From research, it appears that the east side of glacier is more remote. We are staying at st Mary KOA, 4 nights. I don't have a inverter generator and not sure my batteries will do over 3 nights.
    We are starting in southern Kentucky.
    I staggered dry camping and rv parks to recharge.
     
  19. kimlovescamping

    kimlovescamping New Member

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    We checked tires each morning on our last big trip. Will plan to do the same on this trip. My sister works for Michelin - and gives us tire advice all the time - whether we want it or not. lol. Made it about 6,000 miles last trip with no incidents. New tires planned right before trip to try to avoid problems. Thanks!
     

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