Bow Valley Parkway Seasonal Travel Restriction
Bow Valley Parkway
© Parks Canada
The Bow Valley Parkway, a 48-kilometer, scenic, secondary highway paralleling the Trans-Canada Highway between the town of Banff and the village of Lake Louise, is a naturally and historically rich area of Banff National Park, and a year-round scenic heritage experience. Its eastern portion travels through a small but vital part of the park, called the montane, that provides critical habitat for large carnivores, including wolves, cougars and bears.
The presence of people and vehicles makes habitat less desirable and usable for the animals that call the Bow Valley Parkway area home. Protecting wildlife ensures the area remains a productive environment for key species, and a world-class setting for visitors to learn about and experience the park.
To give the animals the space they need to thrive, Parks Canada has, for the past 15 years, asked visitors to voluntarily refrain from using the eastern section of the parkway from dusk to dawn during the spring, crucial times of day and year for the valley’s species.
Again this spring, Parks Canada is asking for your help. To ensure the area remains a high quality home for wildlife, visitors should avoid travelling the 17-kilometre eastern section of the Bow Valley Parkway, between the Trans-Canada Highway/Bow Valley Parkway interchange and Johnston Canyon Campground, from March 1 to June 25, during the dusk to dawn hours of 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. All businesses and commercial accommodations remain open during this voluntary travel restriction and are easily accessible by driving the Trans-Canada Highway and exiting at Castle Junction.
The seasonal travel restriction, in concert with other actions taken to restore wildlife movement and habitat security in the Cascade corridor, play an important part in the ensuring ecological integrity of Canada’s national parks.
This will be the final year for the voluntary travel restriction. In 2014, Parks Canada will move to a mandatory seasonal overnight travel restriction as part of a suite of enhanced environmental protection, visitor experience and educational actions along the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park.