Rules and regulations
You can prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species!
Banff National Park is taking extra steps in 2021 to protect park waters from harmful aquatic invasive species, including invasive mussels and whirling disease.
Clean, Drain and Dry your watercraft before arriving:
Clean all mud, sand, plant, and animal materials from your boat/SUP/fishing gear.
Drain coolers, buckets, compartments, and other items that may hold water.
Dry all watercraft, stand up paddleboards and any aquatic recreational equipment completely and for 48 hours before entering any river, lake or stream.
or Dry for a minimum of 30 days after being used in the United States or provinces other than British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and/or the Northwest Territories before entering any river, lake or stream.
or Decontaminate your watercraft at a provincial inspection station.
Lake Minnewanka is the only waterbody in Banff National Park where boats with motors, both gas and electric are allowed. There is an unloading ramp and parking area for boats and trailers. There are no public boat docks in the park.
- For more information on the locations of provincial inspection stations:
Alberta: 1-855-336-2628 (BOAT)
British Columbia: 1-888-933-3722
Non-motorized watercraft and water recreational gear
Visitors and residents launching non-motorized watercraft such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, inflatables, and water related gear are required to clean, drain and dry their equipment and obtain a self-certification permit.
If you cannot meet the requirements of the permit, you can use your watercraft in park waters only if you obtain proof of inspection from a Parks Canada or provincial watercraft inspection station.
Clean, drain and dry the watercraft or equipment and complete a self-certification permit for non-motorized watercraft and water recreational gear before recreating in any body of water in Banff National Park.
- Make sure that non-motorized watercraft and water recreational gear meet the conditions listed on the self-certification form before using these items.
- This includes drying your watercraft and gear for a minimum of 48 hours after being used in British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and/or Northwest Territories; and a minimum of 30 days after being used in the United States or provinces other than British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and/or Northwest Territories.
- If all conditions are met, sign, date and write the waterbody name on the permit. Visitors must carry their permit with them while using their non-motorized watercraft and water recreational gear.
- Complete the survey at the bottom of the permit, tear it and place it in a drop box at a self-certification station.
If you do not meet the Clean Drain Dry requirements indicated on the self-certification permit, you are prohibited from launching a non-motorized watercraft in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks until the permit conditions are met, or your watercraft has been inspected at a Parks Canada or provincial watercraft inspection station.
The Parks Canada non-motorized watercraft inspection station is located at the Taylor Lake trailhead parking lot in Banff National Park, and is open between 9 am and 3:30 pm Thursday- Monday, from August to October 5.
You can also have your non-motorized watercraft inspected and decontaminated at a provincial watercraft inspection station and retain proof of the process. After visiting a provincial station, you are still required to fill out a self-certification permit to use your watercraft and gear in Banff, Yoho or Kootenay national parks. You should indicate on your self-certification permit that you have a proof of inspection from a provincial station.
Self-certification stations in Banff National Park
|Baker Creek Chalets|
|Banff National Park Visitor Centre|
|Boom Lake Trailhead|
|Bourgeau Lake Trailhead|
|Bow Lake - Day Use Area and near Num-Ti-Ja|
|Coleman Day Use Area|
|Fish Creek Trailhead|
|Glacier Lake Trailhead|
|Helen Lake Trailhead|
|Lake Louise Canoe Launch|
|Lake Louise Visitor Centre|
|Lake Minnewanka Boat Dock|
|Lake Minnewanka Loop Road|
|Mosquito Creek Trailhead|
|Park Gate (David Thompson and 93N at TCH)|
|Redearth Creek Trailhead|
|Smith/Copper Lake Trailhead|
|Taylor Lake Trailhead|
|The Bow River - Castle Junction, 5 Mile, Bow Falls, Golf Course Road and Station Restaurant access points|
|Two Jack Lake and reservoir|
|Two Jack Lakeside Campground|
|Vista Lake Trailhead|