Two Jack Main Campground: Natural Beauty in Banff National Park - Banff National Park (2023)

Located a mere 11 kilometres (6.84 miles) northeast of Banff town, Two Jack Main Campground is the perfect place to lay your head during your Banff National Park getaway. Two Jack Main Campground gets its name from nearby lake Two Jack Lake. Historic characters Jack Stanley, a boat concession operator and Jack Watters, a miner in Bankhead, gave their names to this beauty spot.

The campground itself is more secluded than other campgrounds in the area and offers a more authentic camping experience. Two Jack Main Campground is minutes away from the beautiful shores of Two Jack Lake. The waters of Lake Minnewanka feed Two Jack Lake and opens up a wealth of natural beauty to explore.

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The Perfect Spot for a Nature Getaway

As Two Jack Main Campground has limited facilities, it encourages campers to become more attuned with nature. There is no power at the campground. This allows Two Jack Main Campground to be the perfect location to switch off from technology. Instead, make the most of the natural beauty that surrounds you. The campground is close to the shores of Two Jack Lake which, at any time of day, is simply spectacular. Head to the shores of the lake on a clear evening to see the night sky full of stars. This is the ideal place for astrophotography. Take out your telescope and marvel at the skies, or recline in a camp chair and get lost in the shimmering dots above.

Two Jack Main Campground: Natural Beauty in Banff National Park - Banff National Park (1)

Wildlife is All Around You

Nature surrounds you when camping at Two Jack Main Campground. Nestled within the thick alpine forest is the campground.

(Video) Two Jack Main campground, Banff National Park, Canada - 班夫公园快乐的露营生活和它旁边美丽湖景

Like elsewhere in Banff National Park, the natural wildlife is spectacular. If you are fortunate, you may catch a glimpse of bull elk, deer, bears and bighorn sheep. Many of the animals within Banff National Park are most active just after sunrise or before sunset. Head out then for your best chance at seeing some of Canada’s most incredible wildlife. When camping at Two Jack Main Campground you are most likely to sight Bighorn sheep, which are in the rocky cliffs along Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake.

As with all of Canada’s National Parks, Banff National Park expects visitors to be respectful of their natural surroundings. Do not use food to attract the wildlife. If camping, lock food away in a secure box. Any litter should be disposed of with care to avoid attracting native animals to the campgrounds.

Camping at Two Jack Main Campground

Go back to camping’s authentic outdoor roots at Two Jack Main Campground. Two Jack Main Campground offers 313 sites practically on the shores of Two Jack Lake. Surrounding the campground is alpine forest.

Two Jack Main Campground is a no-service campground, but is only a 15-minute drive from Banff town should you need any additional supplies. The campground itself has scenic sites for tents to pitch and plenty of space for RVs. RV spaces can accommodate vehicles of up to 27ft (8.23m) in length. The campground also has room for group camping. Visitors are able to camp for up to 14 nights.

Two Jack Main Campground: Natural Beauty in Banff National Park - Banff National Park (2)

30 of the 313 sites are equipped. Equipped campsites include a 6-person tent, stove, propane, sleeping pads, lanterns, and broom kits. If you are not staying on one of the equipped campsites you will need to bring your own sleeping accommodation.

Amenities at Two Jack Main Campground

Two Jack Main Campground does have some amenities; flush toilets, fire pits, and cook shelters are all provided, and firewood is available. There is also a water tap, Sani station, plenty of picnic tables and a public phone. There is no power at the campsite, so be prepared to switch off from the grid for a few days.

Amenities are basic however showers are available at nearly Banff Upper Hot Springs. Do not try to take a shower at Two Jack Lakeside, as access is not permitted.

(Video) Two Jack Lake| Banff National Park | Alberta, Canada | Travel Alberta |StepHenz Vlogs

Pets are welcome at the campsite, making it the ideal place to bring your four legged friends on your adventure. Please ensure they are kept on a leash and are in your control. This will help keep the peace at the campground with your neighbours, and to protect the native wildlife.

The campsite gets particularly busy on weekends and during holidays. Bookings are recommended although during off-season are not always required. Two Jack Main Campground is open from mid-May till mid-September.

Two Jack Main Campground: Natural Beauty in Banff National Park - Banff National Park (3)

Check the Weather

As with any campground in Banff National Park, you should prepare for all weather. Pack plenty of warm clothing and layers for your daily adventures into your magnificent surroundings, and enough blankets to keep you warm at night should the temperature drop.

Camping Permits

Camping permits are required, and campers must check in at the campground kiosk before pitching their tent. Permits for fires are available when you book or from the campground kiosk. Purchase a National Park Entry Pass before your stay. These are available from the Banff East Gate, Parks Canada visitor centers, or your campground kiosk.

Two Jack Main Campground Factsheet

Number of sites380 (30 of which are equipped sites)
Services availableTap water (both hot and cold), flushable toilets, fire pits, Sani-Dump, cooking shelter, picnic shelter.
Maximum number of nights14
Tents, RV’s or oTENTiksTents and RV’s of no more than 24ft. There are 30 equipped sites that include a tent, groundsheet, camping beds and stoves.
Reservations?Yes, however during off-peak times it is possible to turn up and book on the day from the campground kiosk.

Hiking near Two Jack Main Campground

From Two Jack Main Campground there are many pleasant strolls, walks and hikes of varying levels of difficulty. All offer the staggering beauty of Banff National Park.

Two Jack Lake, which the campground is close to, is a perfect place to start your Banff adventure. Visiting the lake is a popular pastime for locals of Banff due to its close proximity to the town itself.Tourists tend to head for the larger lakes of Minnewanka and Louise. Two Jack Lake is the ideal spot for a quieter adventure.

Two Jack Lake is truly a breathtaking spot. Bordering the calm waters are thick alpine forests. Across the water are the snow-capped mountains of the Canadian Rockies. Some couples choose to marry on the shores of the lake as it is so beautiful.

(Video) Two Jack Lakeside Campground Walk | Banff Alberta | Canada

During the summer months the lake is a popular canoeing, kayaking and swimming spot. In winter its surface freezes over and becomes a great place for ice skating. The soft show surrounding the lake is ideal for snow-shoeing.

Two Jack Main Campground: Natural Beauty in Banff National Park - Banff National Park (4)

Despite its incredible beauty and close proximity to Two Jack Main Campground, many tourists opt to travel to Lake Louise or Lake Minnewanka, which feeds Two Jack Lake.

Shorter Hike Recommendation

If a short hike to Two Jack Lake is for you, pack a picnic and while away the afternoon surrounded by trees and peaks. Cascade Mountain is to the east, Mount Alymer and Spectral Peak are in the north and Mount Girouard is to the west. Walking around the lake is also possible, but be wary of straying too far as the lake opens out into Lake Minnewanka. There are several hiking trails available around the lake ranging from 1-3 kilometres (0.62 -1.86 miles). Trails from Two Jack Main Campground last from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

There are many vantage points along the trails that share different yet equally spectacular views across the blue waters of the lake and up to the magnificent mountains beyond. The best time to hike around Two Jack Lake is shortly before sunrise. Heading out early means a spectacular site as the sun rises above the lake.

Longer Hike Recommendation

For a more challenging hike, spend half a day on the C-Level Cirque trail. The trail starts at the bottom of Cascade Mountain surrounded by enchanting forests. On this trail hikers will pass an abandoned coal mine before opening out to Cascade Mountain Cirque, a semi-semi-cycle of mountainous cliffs surrounding you from above. It is possible to end your hike and simply head back the way you came from this point, however for a more adventurous trip continue through the forest to where the rocky alpine zone begins. From this height, there are incredible views across the Canadian Rockies. The incline here is steep. Attempt hikes here if you are a fit and experienced hiker.

As with any hike, be sure to pack enough provisions for your trip, including food, water and warm clothing to layer.

(Video) Two Jack Lake | Banff National Park | Travel Alberta - Canada

4.3 kilometres (1.86 miles) away from Two Jacks Main Campground is the Hoodoos Trail. The trail spans 10 kilometres (6.21 miles) and takes hikers up an elevation of 305m (1000ft). Expect this trail to take anywhere between 2.5 and 3.5 hours to complete. The trail itself is popular with families and dogs as the elevation is minimal and the views across Banff town and the National Park are unrivalled. This trail is a great opportunity to sport some of Banff National Park’s wildlife.

Exploring Banff National Park

Within a short drive or longer hike, there are many trails and other places of natural beauty for you to discover.

Two Jack Main Campground follows the Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive which is a must do in itself. Along the Scenic Drive there are plenty of trails, view-points and day-use areas where you can set up a picnic, BBQ or simply relax surrounded by nature. Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive covers 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) of scenic road looping around the lake. It begins at the Minnewanka Interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway.

A Must-See: Cascade Falls

At the start of the drive hikes to Cascade Falls, an impressive waterfall rushing down the eastern face of Cascade Mountain, should not be missed. It is of course possible to hike to this location but it is a fair distance from the campsite, so heading out in your car and parking up would be a better option for newer hikers, or those short on time.

Two Jack Main Campground: Natural Beauty in Banff National Park - Banff National Park (5)

Take in Some History: Bankhead

Along Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive, there are many beauty spots to explore. Lower and Upper Bankhead share secrets of a town from decades past. Bankhead is a ghost town nestled inside the awe-inspiring beauty of the national park. Bankhead thrived in the early 1900s as an anthracite coal mine was located nearby. The mine was closed and dismantled in 1922 which forced the majority of its residents to leave to follow work elsewhere. Afterwards, Bankhead soon became a ghost town. Taking a short and family friendly 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) hike to this location offers an unique opportunity within the National Park. The walk around Bankhead is educational and interpretive and shares the secrets of the coal mining operation within Banff.

The Ideal Picnic Spot: Johnson Lake

Drive for 3.1 kilometres (1.93 miles) to reach the gentle waters of Johnson Lake. The lake is a small alpine lake and is the ideal spot for a scenic picnic or a day on the water in summer. There is a free parking lot close to the lake, however this can fill up quickly during weekends and holidays. Local busses also make the journey to Johnson Lake, departing from Banff Town.


Two Jack Main Campground is an ideal spot to pitch your tent during a stay at Banff National Park. With maximum stays of 14 nights there is plenty to do within a short walk or drive of the campground. As Banff town is only a 15-minute drive away, explore its shops, museums, restaurants, and leisure facilities. The public transportation network from Banff has many local bus routes traveling to popular destinations within the National Park. Whilst Two Jack Main Campground offers fewer services and amenities than other campgrounds in Banff National Park, it is the perfect spot for a a more rustic and authentic stay surrounded by nature.

(Video) Banff National Park Camping @ Two Jack Lake 2019 (Lakeside Campground) Vlog#3


Does Two Jack campground have showers? ›

- 313 sites, including 30 Equipped campsites. - Picnic shelters are used by 2 loops each and are a 'shared' space. - There are no showers.

Is there cell service at Two Jack Lake campground? ›

Most sites are very small and not level so best for tents and small trailers. No cell coverage in our site but available at the entrance.

Which is better Tunnel Mountain Village 1 or 2? ›

While Tunnel Mountain 2 feels like a parking lot, Tunnel Mountain 1 is well laid out so that each campsite has trees for privacy. No electric and the tree allow limited access for solar so power can be a problem for long stays.

Are there showers at Two Jack Lakeside? ›

The smaller and more intimate of the two campgrounds, across the road is a small (77) site campground. Awake to the sound of water flowing and birds cooing. Showers are available.

Do you need a park pass for Two Jack Lake? ›

You need a Parks Canada pass to visit Two Jack Lake as it is located within Banff National Park. You can purchase a Parks Canada pass at any park gate right before Two Jack Lake.

Do you need a park pass to camp in Banff? ›

Campers must acquire the following permits to camp in Banff National Park: National Park Entry Pass - available at the Banff East Gate, a Parks Canada visitor centre, or at campground kiosks. Also available online. Camping permit - available online, over the phone (1-877-RESERVE) or at the campground kiosk.

Which campground in Banff is the best? ›

5 Best Campgrounds in Banff National Park
  • Tunnel Mountain Village.
  • Two Jack Campground.
  • Lake Louise Campground.
  • Mosquito Creek Campground.
  • Waterfowl Lakes Campground.

How many days do you need in Banff? ›

There are some experiences in Banff and Lake Louise that simply can't be missed. It's a subjective list, but five days is a good length of time to tick off the world-famous hot spots.

Do you have to pay to get into Banff National Park? ›

Entry and service fees are charged at most national parks and national historic sites, where revenues are kept to support visitor services and facilities.
*Commercial Group, per person$9.00
3 Aug 2022

Is it better to stay in Banff or Canmore? ›

Banff has a clear advantage over Canmore in terms of drive times and access to the main tourist attractions. Banff is straightforward to walk around and has incredible sights to see just outside of the town center.

Does Banff have mosquitoes? ›

The National Park is home to mosquitoes, horse flies, spiders, and other insects so packing a good bug spray and after-bite cream! There is a lot of standing water throughout the park especially during the early summer which can make for a mosquito breeding ground.

Can I sleep in my car in Banff? ›

Camping (including sleeping in a vehicle) is not allowed in roadside pullouts, parking lots, trailheads and day-use areas. The maximum length of stay in an individual frontcountry campground is 14 nights.

Where can I shower while camping in Banff? ›

Tunnel Mountain Village II is one of the Banff campgrounds located very close to Banff town, and it's the only one out of all the campgrounds in Banff that's open year round. It's fully stocked with amenities, from electrical hookups to hot showers, and there's even a shuttle to and from Banff town. What is this?

Where can I take a shower in Banff? ›

Public showers in Banff are located at the Fenland Recreation Centre, Banff Upper Hot Springs (for daily admission fee 8.48 CAD), or Banff Centre (only 5.50 CAD if you visit during public swim hours).

How much does it cost to camp at Lake Louise? ›

Fees: $27.70 per site per night with no fire and $36.50 per site per night with a fire. Wood is provided.

What happens if you don't buy a Banff park pass? ›

However, there is spot enforcement. For example, if your car is found parked in the Banff townsite or at a park viewpoint with an expired parks pass, you will be ticketed. And I've heard there are spot checks on the Icefields Parkway as well, since anyone on the Icefields Parkway must have a valid parks pass.

Is there free parking in Banff? ›

Free 9-hour parking is available at the Train Station Public Parking Lot, on Bow Avenue, and in the Bear Street parkade. (See blue zones on map below.) Park at the Train Station for free 9-hour parking and free shuttle downtown, or 8-minute walk downtown.

What do I need to know before going to Banff? ›

9 Things to Know Before Visiting Banff
  • Absolutely go on a scenic drive. ...
  • Book your hotel or campground far in advance. ...
  • Buy a national parks pass for longer visits. ...
  • Easy in-town hikes provide escape from the crowds. ...
  • Make dinner reservations in advance. ...
  • Seek out the unique shops downtown.
10 Jan 2022

How much money should I bring to Banff? ›

You should plan to spend around CA$93 ($67) per day on your vacation in Banff, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, CA$31 ($23) on meals for one day and CA$5.71 ($4.11) on local transportation.

Do seniors get a discount at Canadian national parks? ›

Your fees help Parks Canada maintain and protect the national historic sites, national marine conservation areas and national parks that you love. This Senior Pass is valid for adults aged 65 and up.

How much does it cost to camp at Banff National Park? ›

Lake Louise – Unserviced with washroom building having toilets and showers$29.25
Lake Louise – Electrical$34.50
Lake Louise – Overflow$11.50
Johnston Canyon – Unserviced with washroom building having toilets and showers$29.25
12 more rows

What is the best month to camp? ›

The optimal time to go camping is actually after Labor Day. From Maine to Minnesota, South Dakota to Arizona and beyond, the weeks following Labor Day (the unofficial end of summer) are a delightful time to pitch a tent or park your RV. Summer's searing temperatures are cooling. Humidity is drying.

Where can I see cougars in Banff? ›


For more wildlife sighting opportunities, head to Sulphur Mountain to maximize your chance of seeing bighorn sheep or cruise up Spray Lakes Road in Canmore to catch a glimpse of coyotes and cougars.

What month is best for Banff? ›

The best times to visit Banff are June to August and December to March. Nature lovers will want to get to the park when the weather is warm and welcoming (and while the hotel rates in town are at a reasonable level). The skiers, however, will want to vacation in the height of winter.

What months can you see the northern lights in Banff? ›

The aurora borealis can shine any time of year, but they are best from October to mid April when the night sky is at its darkest. Generally, the northern lights in Banff shine their brightest during the winter months of December to February. Your best chance to see them is on clear nights with a new moon.

Is a car needed in Banff? ›

If you plan on spending most of your time around the most popular sites within Banff National Park, such as the Town of Banff, Lake Louise, Lake Minnewanka, Johnston Canyon and Canmore, then you can easily visit Banff without a car.

Is 1 day enough in Banff? ›


If you've only got 24 hours in Banff, no problem. Start by soaking up that mountain air on a walk around town. Try the hiking trails up Tunnel Mountain or, if you're looking for something less strenuous, take a walk along the Bow River on the Fenlands Trail.

Do you need a reservation to enter Banff? ›

All backcountry visitors must make reservations for overnight backcountry trips. A backcountry permit is also required for random camping and can only be obtained in person at Parks Canada visitor centres in Banff and Lake Louise, or by calling 403-762-1556 in Banff or 403-522-1264 in Lake Louise.

Is it free to go to Lake Louise? ›

A valid parking permit is required between 7 am and 7 pm for all vehicles in the Lake Louise Lakeshore public parking lot. Look for pay stations when you arrive. The fee is $12.25/ vehicle/ day. You must also have a valid national park entry pass.

Is 2 days enough for Banff? ›

This magical town and national park are filled with literally hundreds of amazing places to visit and, of course, things to do. But with that said, 3 days or 72 hours in Banff is a good amount of time to visit the majority of the most amazing attractions in Banff.

Do you need bug spray in Banff? ›

There are mosquitos in Banff, but they often aren't too bothersome. The worst months for mosquitos are July and August. Having bug spray, especially for any hiking or camping is important.

What is the closest town to Banff National Park? ›

Cities near Banff National Park:
  • Lake Louise, Canada.
  • Field, Canada.
  • Banff, Canada.
  • Golden, Canada.
  • Canmore, Canada.
  • Radium Hot Springs, Canada.
  • Invermere, Canada.
  • Sundre, Canada.

Are there snakes in Banff? ›

In the Banff area there are only two types of snakes… and both of them harmless to humans (and not interested in us what-so-ever) including the lowly garter snake (grass snake).

What language do they speak in Banff? ›

With around 300 languages spoken in America and Canada, English and French have always been the main languages in Banff, and most signposts and tourist leaflets in the townsite display both. Canadian English is widely spoken in Banff and is based very much upon British English, with many unique expressions.

Are there bears in Banff? ›

All visitors, residents and businesses in the Banff townsite have a responsibility to be aware of human behaviours that create risks for people, and are dangerous to grizzly and black bears. Coexistence with the abundant wildlife in Banff National Park means we have to help keep bears out of the townsite.

Is there free camping in Banff? ›

There is no “free camping” in Banff, Yoho, & Jasper National Parks, like we have on BLM Land in the US. You are only allowed to stay in designated sites, and I wouldn't recommend trying to sneak around and sleep in a trailhead parking lot overnight. These lots are patrolled, and they do make people move.

Do you need an SUV to drive to Banff? ›

If you are visiting Banff or any mountains in Canada, a 4×4 vehicle should be considered. Four-wheel drive vehicles cost more, but they can be necessary for road trips in the mountains.

Is sleeping in your car legal in Canada? ›

Is it Illegal to Sleep in your Car in Canada? There is no federal law that prohibits sleeping in your car. Yet in some provinces, territories, and municipalities, getting some shut-eye in your car is illegal depending where you are parked.

Where can I shower while camping in Banff? ›

Tunnel Mountain Village II is one of the Banff campgrounds located very close to Banff town, and it's the only one out of all the campgrounds in Banff that's open year round. It's fully stocked with amenities, from electrical hookups to hot showers, and there's even a shuttle to and from Banff town. What is this?

Where can I take a shower in Banff? ›

Public showers in Banff are located at the Fenland Recreation Centre, Banff Upper Hot Springs (for daily admission fee 8.48 CAD), or Banff Centre (only 5.50 CAD if you visit during public swim hours).

Are there showers at Fishermans Island State Park? ›

We camped at Fisherman's Island State Park in a Travel Trailer.
2 Reviews.
Campground Details
Clean Showers
Space Between LotsSpacious
Sun & FoliageCovered/Forested
Tow Vehicle Parkingyes

Are there showers on Double Island? ›

Facilities include showers, toilets, fresh water (treat before use), & gas BBQ's.

Which campground in Banff is the best? ›

5 Best Campgrounds in Banff National Park
  • Tunnel Mountain Village.
  • Two Jack Campground.
  • Lake Louise Campground.
  • Mosquito Creek Campground.
  • Waterfowl Lakes Campground.

How long does a camp shower last? ›

You can expect a camping shower to last for about seven minutes, depending on the flow rate and the capacity. That's typically long enough for two showers, assuming the water is only turned on when you're ready to rinse.

How do you shower when camping for free? ›

A small bucket or large bowl can be filled with warm water and a face washer or cloth is all you need to get a thorough clean. For travelling families who need a little privacy a shower tent is a great idea.

Are Banff hot springs free? ›

Transit is the easiest way to enjoy Banff Upper Hot Springs.
Thermal Waters Pass.
Combined Entry to Banff Upper Hot Springs and Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Locker token included.
Adult (18 – 64 years)$16.60
Youth (3 – 17 years)$8.00
Child (under 3)Free
Senior (65+ years)$14.04
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10 Aug 2022

Can I sleep in my car in Banff? ›

Camping (including sleeping in a vehicle) is not allowed in roadside pullouts, parking lots, trailheads and day-use areas. The maximum length of stay in an individual frontcountry campground is 14 nights.

Where should I shower if I live in a car? ›

Many campgrounds provide shower access and other helpful amenities. Campgrounds can be particularly helpful if you're living out of your vehicle. Be aware that some campgrounds require a tent or RV for you to stay overnight. If you have a tent, this can be a great way to stay in one location for a few days or more.

Can you swim at Fishermans Beach? ›

Fishermans Beach runs off the Long Reef headland and is situated between Dee Why Beach to the south and Collaroy Beach to the north. It is the only sheltered beach for miles, making it ideal for a calm swim. It is also part of an aquatic reserve, so is a great place to go snorkelling and fishing.

How do you get on Fishermans Island? ›

To reach the park's main entrance, head one and one-half miles south on US-31 from Charlevoix and turn right, (westward) on Bell Bay Road. The posted Fisherman's Island State Park Entrance is two and one-half miles from US-31.

How long is Fisherman Island? ›

Discover this 1.2-mile loop trail near Charlevoix, Michigan. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 22 min to complete. This is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day.

Are there toilets on Double Island? ›


Portable toilet waste facilities are available at: Second cutting – Noosa North Shore. Freshwater day-use area (beach camper service bay) Clarkson Drive – Rainbow Beach.

How much does it cost to go to Double Island? ›

A permit for a week or less costs $34.10. A permit for a month or less costs $53.65.


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