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.

It is mandatory to:

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.

Motorized watercraft

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.

It is mandatory to:

Obtain proof of a provincial or Parks Canada watercraft inspection for all motorized watercraft before launching. You can obtain proof of inspection at:
  • The Parks Canada motorized watercraft inspection station is on Lake Minnewanka Road, 6 kilometres from the town of Banff.
  • Or call to find out 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 require a self-certification permit.

It is mandatory to:

  1. Obtain a self-certification permit for non-motorized watercraft and water recreational gear in Banff National Park

  2. 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.

  3. 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.
    • If you are unable to meet the Clean Drain Dry standards and do not meet the gear self-certification process, you are prohibited from launching a non-motorized watercraft in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks until standards are met. You can have your non-motorized watercraft inspected at a provincial station and retain proof of the process. Once inspected, you are still required to fill out a self-certification permit in the national park.

  4. Complete the survey at the bottom of the permit, tear it and place it in a drop box at a self-certification 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
Cascade Ponds
Coleman Day Use Area
Fish Creek Trailhead
Glacier Lake Trailhead
Hector Lake
Helen Lake Trailhead
Herbert Lake
Howse Trailhead
Johnson Lake
Lake Louise Canoe Launch
Lake Louise Visitor Centre
Lake Minnewanka Boat Dock
Lake Minnewanka Loop Road
Moraine Lake
Mosquito Campground
Mosquito Creek Trailhead
Park Gate (David Thompson and 93N at TCH)
Rampart Campground
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
Vermillion Lakes
Vista Lake Trailhead
Waterfowl Campground

More questions? Consult the FAQ for more information.