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.
- 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.
- Obtain a self-certification permit for non-motorized watercraft and water recreational gear 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.
- 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.
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|