Call 911 for police, fire or ambulance.

Remember, cell phones are not always reliable in the backcountry.

Emergency Dispatch:

Consider renting a satellite phone. Although not 100% reliable, sat phones will usually work from most locations in the mountain parks, but 911 operators may be confused when you call from a sat phone – hence the backcountry numbers listed below.

Make sure the batteries are fully charged before departure, and carry a spare. Also make sure you have written down the emergency numbers and keep them with the phone.

National Park Emergency # Backcountry Emergency #
Banff 911 403 762 4506
Yoho 911 403 762 4506
Kootenay 911 403 762 4506
Jasper 911 1 877 852 3100
Glacier 1 877 852 3100 1 877 852 3100
Mt. Revelstoke 1 877 852 3100 1 877 852 3100
Waterton Lakes 403 859 2636 403 859 2636

When you call a 911 operator, you should state that you are in the backcountry of - - - - - - - National Park, have an emergency and require the Warden Service. They will connect you.


Using a Garmin inReach to call Parks Canada Visitor Safety for HELP

To use a Garmin inReach in an emergency in the National Parks:

  1. Push the SOS button and then exchange texts with the inReach Emergency Call Center (ECC) to clarify the location and nature of your emergency.
  2. The ECC will notify Parks Canada and pass this information on to the Parks Canada dispatch centre.
  3. The Parks Canada dispatch centre may send you the phone number of the Parks Canada Visitor Safety leader through the inReach ECC.
  4. If you receive the number for Parks Canada Visitor Safety, send the Visitor Safety leader a text from your inReach device to initiate two way texting directly with Visitor Safety.

Important information:

  • Currently Parks Canada emergency dispatch centers are not set up to receive texts directly. Only voice calls from a cell phone, satellite phone or VHF radio will go directly to the Parks Canada dispatch centre.
  • Remember that all two way texting conversations using a Garmin inReach device must be initiated from the user’s device. Parks Canada Visitor Safety cannot initiate a text if they have not received a text from the InReach device first.
  • Parks Canada Visitor Safety may also send an email to the inReach user to open communication lines if texting is not working.
  • Keeping your emergency contacts up to date and informed about your activities helps speed up emergency responses, and helps emergency responders bring appropriate resources to the incident.
  • Including information on how to reach the Parks Canada dispatch centre with your emergency contact information can help speed up responses within the National Parks.  

Near-Miss Reporting

How to Share Your Near-Miss

Send us an email using the following guidelines. In the subject line of your e-mail, please write the heading: Near-Miss!

Please make sure your report includes the following information:

  • Type of activity (rock climbing, ice climbing, mixed climbing, scrambling, mountaineering, ski touring, etc.)
  • Type of incident (rock fall, leader fall, ice fall, avalanche, crevasse issue)
  • Your thoughts on what lead up to this event (thought process, experience level, etc.)
  • Please provide us with as many details as possible.