The rumours began in early 2016 - plans were afoot to close Jasper’s largest campground “Whistlers Campground” (not to be confused with Whistler Resort in British Columbia!) for much needed upgrading. The timing would always be contentious - after all, Jasper has become a destination for thousands of RVers and campers every year and taking out nearly 800 campsites for the summer season is a big loss.
By mid 2018 the rumours around closing Whistlers for the 2019 camping season became fact. Whistlers is a popular campground but hasn’t had any significant improvements since it was built in the 1960s. Its aging infrastructure and amenities buildings fall short of the expectations of today’s traveller and closing the campground for a season is the most efficient and effective way to complete the campground upgrading in the shortest possible time.
The scenery along the Icefields Parkway en route to Jasper is spectacular!
Much of the appeal of the campground lies in its wooded areas but, like the infrastructure of this aging campground, the trees are old with a significant number of them dead and dying. As part of the upgrading project, these trees will be removed and extensive replanting will take place once the reconstruction has been completed.
When Whistlers reopens in 2020, visitors will be greeted with 17 new combined washroom and shower facilities, improved campsites, wider roads, upgraded water, sewer and electrical systems and a brand-new registration centre, bringing this campground into the 21st Century.
Glacier Skywalk near Jasper, Alberta
Will the closure of Whistlers in 2019 have an impact on CanaDream Guests? We believe any impact can be minimized through proper planning. Our number one tip – if you are planning to spend time in the Jasper area - is to book your spot well in advance for the other three reservable campgrounds in the area.
Reservations for Jasper National Park campgrounds open on 8 January 2019 and are sure to fill up fast. Log on to the Parks Canada campground reservations system to secure your Jasper campground reservation at Wapiti Campground, Wabasso Campground or Pocahontas Campground. Of these three campgrounds, Wapiti is closest to town with just under 400 sites.
Jasper Skytram and View from Whistlers Mountain, Jasper
Parks Canada also has a number of non-reservable campgrounds - with no running water and pit toilets - within an hour’s drive of Jasper. Check out Snaring River, Kerkeslin, Honeymoon Lake, Jonas Creek and the Columbia Icefield and Wilcox Campgrounds – they’re all first in-first served so arriving early could be a priority on your list.
Jasper Firehall - one of the many rustic buildings in Jasper Township - Photo: WinterforceMedia/WikiCommons
If you prefer your camping with full hookups and facilities, you can’t go wrong making a reservation at one of the many private campgrounds along Highway 16 - within a stone’s throw of the east and west entrances to Jasper National Park.
Then, roll on 2020! Whistlers will be back - bigger and better than ever – ready to host campers from around the world for another 50 years.