What’s this all about?

Parks Canada is committed to protecting natural and cultural resources while providing high-quality and meaningful experiences to visitors. The Bow Valley Parkway, a 48km scenic road connecting Banff to Lake Louise in Banff National Park currently offers a number of experiences such as road cycling, camping, hiking, and scenic driving.

Throughout the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, vehicle access on the eastern half of the Bow Valley Parkway was restricted. This interim measure was taken to help support physical distancing requirements at Johnston Canyon, while allowing space for outdoor recreation. The change resulted in an enhanced cycling opportunity on a scenic, well-maintained roadway with minimal vehicle traffic.

Based on public feedback during the 2020-2021 restrictions, Parks Canada is now seeking public review and input on options for a potential annual seasonal restriction on the eastern portion of the Bow Valley Parkway (see figure 1) to continue the current enhanced cycling offer. Details on how to submit feedback can be found at the end of this page.

Figure 1

Bow Valley Parkway Closure (1 MB)

How will the restriction work and who/what does it apply to?

Restricting vehicle traffic on the eastern 17 km section of the Bow Valley Parkway can be implemented with ease via existing electronic gates in place near the Fireside Day Use Area and at Hillsdale.

Vehicle access in the area would be limited to Parks Canada and essential Utility and Railway Operators. Public transit, commercial tours, and all other private or commercial vehicle traffic would not be granted access to the restricted area during the identified times.

The remaining 31 kilometres of the parkway will remain open to vehicles – ensuring that all businesses, campgrounds and the scenic Johnson Canyon trail will be accessible via Castle Junction (6km) to other visitors.

What options are under consideration?
Option 1: Spring and Fall (7 days a week) May to June and September to October, 7 days a week.
Total of 122 days
Option 2: Spring and Fall (Weekends) May to June and September to October, weekends.
Total of 36 days

The public review period is open until September 9, 2021. Feedback can be submitted by

    email: opinion@canada.ca

    or regular mail: to Banff Superintendent Box 900 Banff AB T1L 1K2.

Following the review period, Parks Canada will report back publicly on what was heard and any decisions. The implementation of any proposed change will become effective in 2022.

Frequently asked questions