This post is courtesy of our contributor Carolyn…For the last couple years, I have gone camping for my mom’s birthday with my mom and our families. This year I was more than excited to go camping in Jasper at Jasper National Park’s Whistlers Campground and enjoy the oTENTik experience! I found information about Whistlers Campground, the oTENTik experience, and a checklist of what to bring on their website!
Whistlers Campground is perfectly located 5kms south of the Jasper. Amenities include flush toilets, showers, cooking houses, a playground, and a walking trail with an abundance of natural play areas. I’m not sure who was more excited about the log and stone play structures – the kids or me!
An oTENTik is a cross between a cabin and a tent. There was no fussing with tent poles so we were unloaded and sitting around the fire in no time! The oTENTik sleeps six comfortably but we were joking that we could squeeze a few more kids in there. My seven year old sister called “dibs” on the top bunk and frankly I should’ve arm wrestled her for it!
Our home away from home included one light, an electric heater, a table and four chairs, shades on the bunks and windows that we were able to open and close. It rained for about two hours on our first night. The table and chairs gave us somewhere to play cards, and the dim light and the shades on the bunks allowed us to play while the children slept.
The next morning we were excited to take in some Jasper sites. Our first stop was an hour drive to the Miette Hot Springs. This drive was one of my most treasured moments on our trip…as well as one of the most daunting. I treasured my sister’s reaction to the mountains and the waterfalls but the drive up was a new experienced for me. My knuckles were white on the steering wheel while going up a mountain and then down again into the Fiddle Valley.
My family’s first trip to Banff Hot Springs almost a year ago wasn’t very successful with my son so I was prepared for the same. Thankfully, he loved it this time around! He was in the “hot pool” before I could catch up and then he was in the “really cold pool” as the kids called it. Going from the hot pool to the cold one is indescribable, but it should definitely be attempted by everyone!
Our next stop was the Jasper Skytram. The Skytram is located on Whistlers Road only 4kms from the campground so we decided to head to our site for a picnic lunch before we headed up! The seven minute trip up the mountain in the 20+ passenger car included an educated guide who was willing to answer any of our questions and had to ensure my mom repeatedly about how safe it was. Once at the top we relaxed with an ice cream and took in the view of the mountain range that serves as the Alberta and British Columbia border. After our rest, we headed outside. My son and I decided to leave the Skytram limits and head up the mountain trail a little ways but he almost ran off the edge of the mountain! For the next few years we’ll be enjoying the view from the Jasper Skytram lookout!
We finished our day with a walk around the campground and looking for items from the Nature Scavenger Hunt.
My mom and step dad stayed back to cook supper and had a whole other experience. The details to that are in the Tips below…and you don’t want to miss it!
Tips for Camping in Jasper – Whistlers Campground:
- Bring a door mat because although “the first rule of keeping a clean tent is to remove outdoor footwear”, with the rain and small children, it was impossible not to get the floors muddy.
- Keep your food and garbage and anything that touches your food or drinks in your vehicle. There were plenty of elk, squirrels, and chipmunks who had no problem sharing the campsite and your food. A squirrel decided to jump up on the picnic table and take a bath in hot chocolate! Later in the day our coolers were out of the truck and on the tailgate to cook supper and a female elk walked right up to the truck and stole an entire bag of apples out of the cooler!
- If you’re camping in an oTENTik or cabin at Whistlers Campground, take the fast lane next to the camper/vehicle line up, into the campground and park your vehicle. There is a walk-up registration window and you’ll be at your campsite and around the fire faster!
Our experience in Jasper National Park was short but we’re already planning our trip for next year! My step dad wants to check out the new Jasper Skywalk and the rest of us want to see Athabasca Falls and go swimming at Annette Lake.
Be sure to read about Cheryl’s experience at Riding Mountain National Park and to see more pictures of the oTENTik’s interior.
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*Disclosure: Park Canada provided accommodations for this trip; however, all opinions expressed here are my own.