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Banff National Park

Information for Visitors 

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There will a number of roads and facilities under construction over the summer. For further information and to help you plan your trip, go to Construction Projects

Wolf Updates - August 11, 2016

August 2016

Dreams of the North

The Cave and Basin National Historic Site presents Dreams of the North on Friday, August 19-Sunday August 21, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Take a virtual trip to some of Canada’s most spectacular northern national parks. Meet Parks Canada interpreters from the Western Arctic and experience the Inuvialuit people’s deep connection to place.

Site entry fees apply:

Adult $3.90
Senior $3.40
Youth $1.90
Family/Group $9.80 

Visit our events calendar

Elk Mating Season Caution

Elk mating season (known as "the rut") will begin shortly. Typically occurring from September through to the end of October, bull elk gather harems and fight for their right to breed. Although impressive to watch and listen to, male elk become extremely aggressive during the rut and may charge without warning at anyone and anything that gets too close.

The key to safely viewing elk is to respect their need for space:

  • Stay back at least 30 metres (3 bus lengths)
  • Never get between a male elk and his harem
  • Keep your dog on a leash

Please report all sightings of elk in the Banff townsite and any aggressive elk incidents to Banff Dispatch (24hrs) at 403-762-1470.

Prescribed Fire Update – Fall 2016

Banff National Park plans to conduct prescribed fires this fall. Ignition may begin as early as September, and proceed as weather conditions allow.

The goal is to safely use fire to reduce wildfire risk, and help maintain forest health.

Baker Creek Prescribed Fire: Located two kilometres east of the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1-A) between Castle Junction and Lake Louise, this 800 hectare prescribed fire intends to provide increased wildfire protection for the people and property of the Bow Valley by reducing the amount of available forest fuels, restore and enhance grizzly habitat in upper Baker Creek, and reduce available habitat for mountain pine beetle populations. An additional five hectares of forest will be modified to FireSmart guidelines to further protect facilities in the Bow Valley from potential wildfire.

Moose Meadows: Located 26 km west of Banff townsite on the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1-A), this 100 hectare prescribed fire will assist in mitigating the spread of wildfires in the Bow Valley, and will assist in the maintenance and restoration of native grassland habitat important to wildlife such as bears, ungulates and wolves.

Smoke Information
Those with medical conditions (e.g. asthma, chronic bronchitis) or severe smoke sensitivities may wish to receive notification in advance of prescribed fire operations. To be added to the Banff National Park smoke sensitive list, please call 403-760-0934 or email

More information on upcoming prescribed fires in the mountain national parks

Visitor Centre Hours Change After Labour Day

Banff Information Centre (224 Banff Avenue)
September 6, 2016 - June 16, 2017 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Banff Information Kiosk (327 Railway Avenue)
September 6, 2016 – June 16, 2017 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Lake Louise Information Centre (Samson Mall)
September 6, 2016 - October 10, 2016 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
October 11, 2016 – April 30 (Thurs-Sun) 9 a.m. 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m

Lake Minnewanka Seasonal Trail Restriction

© A. Taylor 

From July 10 to September 15, access along the Lake Minnewanka Trail is by group access only. Group access legally requires people to travel in a tight group of four or more.

Group Access applies to: Lake Minnewanka Trail (from Stewart Canyon Bridge to the East Park Boundary), Aylmer Pass Trail, Aylmer Lookout Trail.

  • Hikers - Must hike in tight groups of 4 or more, and carry bear spray at all times.
  • Cyclists - Cycling is not permitted along the Lake Minnewanka Trail during the restriction.
  • Dogs - Dogs are not permitted beyond Stewart Canyon Bridge.

Note: There are other cycling and hiking opportunities within Banff National Park. Refer to the park’s cycling and hiking brochures for detailed trail information. Please check the Trail Conditions Report for current trail conditions and bear updates for wildlife activity.

What’s the importance of group access?

Lake Minnewanka is on the edge of one of three “core areas” for grizzly bears in Banff National Park. These core areas contain critical bear habitat, and a concentration of female grizzlies live and raise their cubs here. Female grizzly bears are dependent upon an important food source, buffaloberries, which grow in abundance here. Surprise bear encounters involving cyclists have occurred along the Minnewanka Trail.

Those who do not comply will be charged under the National Parks Regulations; maximum fine $25, 000.

Thank you for respecting this seasonal trail restriction and for contributing to the long-term health of Banff’s grizzly bear population.

Shuttle to Lake Louise
Downloadable version (PDF, 814 KB)

Free public shuttle at Lake Louise

Weekends from July 1 to September 5, 2016 - A free public shuttle runs to the iconic viewpoint at Lake Louise. Pick up and drop off is from Lake Louise Overflow Camping, 5.5 km east of Lake Louise. Enjoy your trip!

Weekends from September 10 to 25, 2016 - A free public shuttle runs to the Moraine Lake area just in time for larch season. Pick up and drop off is from Lake Louise Overflow Camping, 5.5 km east of Lake Louise. Ride and relax!

Parks Canada is pleased to be working toward comprehensive public transit in the Lake Louise area.

Do not feed any wildlife

Do not feed any wildlife

Parks Canada needs your help in sharing this information.

Do not feed wildlife in the national park. It’s for their safety and yours.

Maximum fine for anyone feeding wildlife is $25,000.

Please report all incidents of wildlife feeding in Banff National Park to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-1470.

Every little bit helps. Thank you.