Please note: All backcountry shelter bookings are cancelled for the season.

Banff National Park maintains two public trail shelters available for booking year round. The Bryant Creek Shelter is a convenient overnight stop for those hiking or skiing into the Mount Assiniboine area, or for a weekend on its own. Here's what you need to know before you go.

Inside the shelter

The Key Word is Shelter!

Be prepared to bring everything except your tent (you may want to bring a small tarp or bivouac bag in case of emergency).

This is what you'll find:

  • 2 sleeping rooms with wooden platforms
  • common cooking area
  • wood stove for heating
  • axe and wood supply
  • outhouses
  • grey water disposal system
  • nearby creek for water supply
What to bring

What, No Toilet Paper?

Exactly - don't forget the essentials. Here are a few suggested items to make your trip more comfortable:

  • toilet paper
  • warm sleeping bag
  • pots and cooking utensils
  • foamy or sleeping pad
  • candle and/or flashlight
  • stove, fuel and matches
Where is the shelter located

The shelter is at the edge of a small meadow on the south side of the Bryant Creek Trail, approximately 0.5 km SE of the Bryant Creek Warden Cabin. It's also colour-coded, just in case you're not sure. The Bryant Creek Shelter is painted green and the Bryant Creek Warden Cabin is brown.  The shelter is located at an elevation of 1,850 metres (6,070 feet) and the grid reference is PG 042394 .

How to Get There - Access Routes

There are three approaches to the Bryant Creek area. Most people hike or ski in from the Mt. Shark parking lot in Kananaskis Country.

  1. From Mt. Shark Parking Lot (off the Smith-Dorrien Road, 43 km south of the town of Canmore). Take the Watridge Lake Trail to the Banff National Park Boundary (approx. 5.5 km) then continue on the Bryant Creek Trail to the shelter for another 8.3 km. Total hike/ski to shelter: 13.8 km.
    This is the recommended winter route .
  2. Sunshine Village to Bryant Creek via Citadel Pass, Mount Assinboine Provincial Park, and Bryant Creek Trail: 32 km.
  3. Banff townsite to shelter via Sundance and Brewster Creek Trails, Allenby Pass and Bryant Creek Trail: 43.5 km. This is mainly a horse route.

There are several guidebooks that describe these routes in detail. Please consult one before heading out and pick up a topographical map (Mt. Assiniboine, 8 J/14 1:50,000).

How to book the shelter

First of all, everyone entering the park requires a National Park Pass. In addition, a backcountry permit is required for any overnight backcountry visit. There is also a specific fee for the use of the shelter.

You can purchase your backcountry permit online or by calling 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783).

We strongly recommend that you contact a Parks Canada visitor centre prior to departure for updates on trail conditions, closures and other pertinent information.

The shelter holds 12 people.

Safety and regulations

Leave your dog at home

Dogs are not permitted at the shelter as a courtesy to other shelter users. That also means that dogs are not allowed to overnight outside the shelter either.

You are in bear country

Bears are of special concern to backcountry travellers. Ask a visitor centre attendant how you can reduce the risk of bear encounters. Check out the park's website for information on bears.

In case of emergency

For all emergencies, call 911. Please note that cell phones do not work everywhere in the park. When seeking help, make sure you can report the location of the emergency as accurately as possible. If you are in the backcountry, let the 911 dispatcher know that you require Banff National Park warden assistance. If you are using a satellite phone call 911, and if that doesn't work, call 403-762-4506 for the Banff Emergency Dispatch Centre.

Special Information: Winter Travel to the Bryant Creek Shelter

Be prepared. Start early – it's a good hour drive from Banff to the trailhead. Waxing difficulties, heavy trail-breaking and shortened daylight hours can have serious consequences. Make sure your party is well equipped to spend the night out if necessary. It happens.

Be Avalanche Aware

Some routes into the area traverse avalanche terrain. Check avalanche conditions and recognize that these can change overnight. Carry an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel if you plan on skiing into these areas and know how to use them.