Prohibited activities

Parks Canada Wardens help protect Waterton Lakes National Park and its visitors

While Waterton Lakes National Park offers a huge range of recreational opportunities, we can't be everything to everybody.

Some activities are not compatible with the purpose of national parks or may intrude on the experiences most people seek in national parks. Others have been prohibited because they are too hazardous.

The following are examples of some activities that have been prohibited in Waterton Lakes National Park:

  • Collection or removal of any natural (eg. wildflowers, driftwood, berries) or cultural (eg. arrowheads) objects
  • Hunting (while firearms may be transported in a national park, they must be unloaded and encased, and may not be removed from the vehicle)
  • Motorized off-road travelling
  • Snowmobiling
  • Paragliding, parachuting, hanggliding or any heavier-than-air aircraft
  • Use of personal watercraft (sea-doos, wave-runners, jet-skis, super-jet, etc)
  • Use of power boats and trailer-launched watercraft in the park. For more information see: Invasive mussel prevention measures in Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Feeding wildlife - it is illegal to feed, entice or disturb any animal in a national park
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) are increasing in popularity for hobbyists, photographers and businesses. However, flying a UAV is illegal in a National Park without an aircraft access permit, consistent with other protected areas in North America.
  • Canada National Parks Act

Pets

Pets are permitted on hiking trails but must be on a leash at all times. Dogs and other pets may jeopardize your safety and theirs by provoking and attracting wildlife.

Use of Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) / Drone

In Canada’s national parks, the landing and take-off of an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) - also known as a drone - is prohibited.

In Canada, a UAV is considered aircraft. Their use is governed by Transport Canada and regulated under the National Parks Aircraft Access Regulations which prohibit a person to take off or land an aircraft in a national park.

Anyone wishing to use a UAV in Waterton Lakes National Park must submit a written proposal to Field Unit Superintendent, Waterton Lakes National Park clearly indicating how the intended use of the UAV supports the management of the park. If approved, a Restricted Activity Permit will be issued.

As per Section 3 (1) of the National Parks Aircraft Access Regulations, the Superintendent can issue a Restricted Activity Permit for a UAV for the purpose of (a) natural or cultural resource management and protection directly related to the administration of the park; (b) any other management or control function directly related to the administration of the park; (c) public safety; or (d) law enforcement.

A Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) may also be required from Transport Canada for the UAV depending on its weight.

If you witness the use of a UAV in Waterton Lakes National Park, please report the incident to Park Wardens at 1-888-WARDENS (1-888-927-3367).

More information: