Share this:

Canada Diary Part 7 – Camping Take 2: Wabasso in Jasper

Canada Diary Part 7 – Camping Take 2: Wabasso in Jasper

Breath-taking beauty overload. For 6 hours straight we gazed open-jawed out of our minivan windows. Never could I even have imagined anything so beautiful. From the little town of Salmon Arm, we drove through five national parks in a row – Revelstoke, Glacier, Yoho, Banff and finally Jasper. Each one was mind-blowingly scenic – Revelstoke’s moss-covered towering forests, Glacier National Park’s awe-inspiring glaciers on every mountain ridge, turning into waterfalls halfway down as they melted, forming vertical rivers into the lush forests below. Yoho’s stark, rocky majesty and finally into Banff and Jasper National Parks along the world famous Icefields Parkway – a moment I had been waiting for. We have seen photos, but it is not a patch on seeing the real thing. Mile after mile of pristine alpine forest, framed by snow-capped peaks and dotted with turquoise blue lakes and crystal clear aqua rivers. It felt like we had landed on another planet.

Drive 1

Glacier National Park

Picnic lunch at Yoho National Park

Picnic lunch at Yoho National Park

Drive 2

The Icefields Parkway

Drive 4

Out my side window

Drive 5

We saw a black bear on the way!

We arrived at Wabasso Campground in Jasper just after 8pm, but thankfully the sun was still shining. I had miscalculated our travel time a bit as I did not realise that there was an hour time difference from Vancouver to the Rocky Mountains (this is not something we are familiar with in South Africa, where the whole country is in the same time zone). One of the huge benefits of visiting Canada in the summer is that we have effectively doubled our time here as the days are so long. The sun rises before 5am and only sets after 10pm, which gives us plenty of daylight to explore to our hearts’ desire.


The camp site was much easier to set up this time, and we made quick work of it. It was Canada Day – a public holiday and festive Canadian long weekend and the campground was jam-packed with holiday makers. This time though, the air was pierced with the squeals and laughter of happy children and the sounds of families and friends relaxing and celebrating together. Not a truck or train in earshot!

Our camping spot

Our camping spot

Once the camp was set up, the kids explored the rushing Athabasca River below us, seeing who could skip their slate stones furthest across the pale blue water. Ralph cooked burgers for dinner and I bustled around, trying to tame the forest and keep everything neat and clean.

Skipping stones into the milky river

Skipping stones into the milky river

Although the location of the campground was a vast improvement on our beneath-the-highway initiation, I was horrified by the ablutions which had no showers at all and dimly lit, smelly toilets. Nowhere to wash your dishes either. Oh dear, I was not a happy camper.


I am however happy to report an exponential increase in the quality of sleep on night 2. We pumped our mattress a bit harder, which helped decrease the bouncing when one of us moved. The only new problem was that it was crazy, Rocky Mountain cold, like … freezing! What on earth? It is mid-summer for goodness sake! I had worn my new Woolies thermals, just in case, and I tell you – Woolies made a mistake. In no way are they heat-generating! As the night progressed, I added my discarded day clothes on top and although I must have looked a bit odd with long johns under shorts, at least I settled into a deep sleep, waking to the gentle pitter-patter of raindrops on our tent in the morning light.

The view from our tent

The view from our tent

After a wet-wipe bath, we wandered over to a field across the road, peppered with thousands and thousands of daisies – my favourite flower! The sun broke through the clouds and it felt just amazing to be there, in the Canadian Rockies, camping with my family.

Field of daisies in Jasper

I am a much happier gypsy today, but still not totally convinced on this camping thing.

Camping Meter 2

Happy Camper Meter


Yours in travel




Did you miss any previous diary entries? Click below to catch up:

Canada Diary Part 6 – Our First Night Camping

Canada Diary Part 5 – Falling in Love with Vancouver

Canada Diary Part 3 – Our Rough Itinerary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *