Do you have to camp in campgrounds or is there free camping in Canada
There are some areas where you can "free camp" but these are generally quite remote areas not attractive to most visitors. Free camping is absolutely not allowed in national parks (except in certain very remote locations, not accessible by road), provincial parks, towns, cities, private property (e.g. farmers' fields), roadsides, roadside turnouts, parking lots, etc.
So, in brief: you will need to find a campground, even if you are just sleeping in your car.Edited: 09 June 2018, 17:30
And since you are going in Juli you'll have to book your campsite as soon as the booking windows open. The campgrounds fill up in minutes.
What fills up “in minutes” is the reservable full-service campsites. There are many “first come first serve” (FCFS) campsites in the campgrounds of the Canadian Rockies national parks, and there are also reservable sites that are not full service. This page https:/…camping shows you the campgrounds of Banff National Park, what services are offered, and which are reservable and which are FCFS. There is a similar page for each of the other national parks.
Canada is a big country, and we have discussed only the Canadian Rockies, since that is the subject of this forum. If you’re looking for info on other parts of Canada, you will want to post on those forums.
Sure, banff is right, there are a few fcfs-campgrounds. But for these ones you have to stand in line about 9.00 am to get a space.
And also yes, we only have discussed the Canadian Rockies. Since this was the question of that thread.
Us locals are always able to find a spot, you just need to know where to look, and make sure not to role in Friday after 4pm! Spots around the Kananaskis Lakes, or down in the Blue Rock area east of Turner Valley, or up in the Spray Lakes area south of Canmore, and many more....are always good spots to rely on in a pinch. The key point is, weekdays are much easier than the busy weekends which will surely fill up early Fridays, even Thursdays where many will squat their tent unoccupied, ensuring a spot for the entire weekend.
Yes, the sites that book up very quickly are the most desirable ones: pull-through sites,with full hookups (water/electricity/sewer), especially on summer weekends.