COVID-19 and your visit to Banff National Park
Openings and services differ across the country. Please check the Parks Canada national information portal dedicated to COVID-19 for regular updates.
Important information about your visit to Banff National Park
Parks Canada welcomes visitors to Banff National Park to enjoy safe and meaningful experiences that connect you with nature and develop new family traditions and memories. The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance.
Parks Canada is following the advice of Alberta Health Services and continues to implement measures to support the Government of Canada’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, and reduce risks for visitors, residents and staff living and working in Banff National Park. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Parks Canada has taken a phased approach in restoring access to some visitor attractions, facilities and services, in order to help protect visitors and employees at key Banff National Park attractions.
Please check our site regularly for the current status of areas, activities and services offered in Banff National Park. For more information visit the Public Health Agency of Canada Coronavirus disease page, the Alberta Health Services Coronavirus disease page and the Town of Banff Coronavirus disease page.
What's open (updated July 23, 2021)
The following services and activities are available in Banff National Park:
Motor vehicle access
Vehicle parking is limited to designated areas only. Signage and monitoring will be used throughout the park to inform the public of parking restrictions and encourage compliance. Roadside parking is prohibited.
Check BanffNow for up to date information.
Open roads and parking areas
Trans-Canada Highway: Open
The Trans-Canada Highway is open through Banff and Yoho national parks. Expect closures and delays west of Yoho National Park due to BC MOTI (link) highway twinning east of Golden, B.C. from 2021 until 2024. Full closures will be required and through travellers will be diverted via B.C. Highway 93 South (Kootenay National Park) and B.C. Highway 95. The first extended closure will take place in spring 2021. Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks remain open. For more information:
- Visit www.kickinghorsecanyon.ca
- Call the 24/7 Construction Information Phone Line: 1-844-815-6111
- Check www.DriveBC.ca and 511.alberta.ca for up to date road information
As of July 1, visitors now have more ways to enjoy the Bow Valley Parkway including:
- Accessing the Johnston Canyon Trailhead by private vehicle or transit.
- Cycling ~17km of the eastern portion of the Parkway with reduced vehicle traffic;
- Scenic driving on ~30km of the western portion of the Parkway from the Hilsdale Split to Lake Louise; and
- Reservable camping at the Johnston Canyon Campground (commencing mid-July).
The private vehicle restriction will continue on the 17 km section of the Bow Valley Parkway from Fireside Day Use area to Johnston Canyon for July and August, to enhance the road cycling experience by reducing motor vehicle traffic. Please review these restrictions before visiting the park.Parks Canada will be seeking input from all Canadians on a variety of options for the 17 km Bow Valley Parkway cycling offer. More details will be available on the website this July.
Minnewanka Loop Road: Open
- Parking restricted to parking lots only (roadside parking restrictions to be enforced).
Norquay road: Open
Tunnel Mountain Road: Open
Tunnel Mountain Drive: Open
Fairmont Banff Golf Course Road: Open
Sunshine Road: Open
Sulphur Mountain parking lot: Open
Mountain Avenue parking areas: Open
Bourgeau, Redearth, Carrot Creek parking areas: Open
Moraine Lake Road: Open
Transit services for the summer of 2021 : Available (with restrictions)
- Transit will be different than in years past. To help limit exposure to COVID-19, transit in Banff National Park is operating at a reduced capacity. For more information, click here.
- Kitchen shelters (where applicable) are open.
- All day-use areas and picnic shelters in the park will be open.
For more information on picnicking in Banff National Park, click here.
Banff National Park East Gate
The Banff East Gate: Open
Parks Canada staff will be available to provide information about services currently available to visitors as well sell national park passes. We encourage contactless payment when possible.
For more information on passes and fees, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.
David Thompson and Niblock Gate
The David Thompson and Niblock Gates are open for the sale of Parks Canada entry passes. Contactless payment is encouraged.
For more information on passes and fees, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Visitors to Banff National Park require a park pass for entry. Visitors can purchase their pass online, via a partner organizations or in person at the Banff East Gate. We encourage contactless payment when possible.
- The Parks Canada Discovery Pass provides unlimited admission for a full year to over 80 Parks Canada places across the country.
- Admission is free for youth 17 and under to all Parks Canada places. Parks Canada's places are a great way for youth to experience the outdoors and learn more about our environment and history.
Hiking and cycling trails
Seasonal hiking and cycling trails in Banff National Park are open. Please see the Trail Conditions report for more information.
While on the trails, please behave responsibly and practice physical distancing. Where possible, create two metres distance between you and other people by stepping to the side and not following directly behind the person or group in front of you. Safety is a shared responsibility. Let's work together to keep Banff National Park safe.
Public washroom facilities
Public washroom facilities are open throughout the park.
Visitor information centres
Banff Visitor centre open224 Banff Ave.
Visitors are encouraged to reach out to our Visitor Centre staff virtually for trip planning questions and to find out more information about the park over the phone (1-403-762-1550) or via email (email@example.com).
You can also contact to our Visitor Centre staff by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (1-403-522-3833).
National Historic Sites
Please note the cave area in the historic site remains closed at this time.
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site: Open (with restrictions)
Select programing remains closed at this time.
Village of Lake Louise
- Parks Canada asks visitors to practice safe physical distancing when visiting the Village of Lake Louise.
- Paid parking in effect from June to mid-October. A valid parking permit is required between 7 am and 7 pm for all vehicles in the Lake Louise Lakeshore public parking lot. Look for pay stations when you arrive. You must also have a valid national park entry pass.
- There are a number of tourism businesses and operations in the Lake Louise area. These operators are valued partners and provide important services to visitors. Visitors should contact them directly before visiting to ensure there has been no change to their services.
Lake Louise lakeshore
- Parks Canada asks visitors to practice safe physical distancing when enjoying the Lake Louise Lakeshore and day use area.
There are limited services available between Lake Louise and Jasper.
Hours are limited due to a staffing shortage. Please plan ahead before you visit.
What's closed (updated July 23, 2021)
The following services and activities remain closed in Banff National Park:
Motor vehicle access
Closed roads and parking areasPeyto Lake and Bow Summit: Closed
- The Peyto Lake day-use area is closed for improvements and cannot be viewed at this time. Although construction may not be visible from the road, heavy equipment is active in the area. Access is prohibited by law for your safety. A no stopping zone is also in effect on the Icefields Parkway within 250 m to the north and south of the access road.
National Historic Sites
Camping during COVID-19
Front country camping
Kitchen shelters and showers (where applicable) are now open. Banff National Park continues to seek advice from Alberta Health Services with respect to the services provided and cleaning protocols. As a result, some services could change if required.
- Tunnel Mtn. Village I
- Tunnel Mtn. Village II
- Tunnel Mtn. Village II oTENTik
- Tunnel Mtn. Trailer
- Two Jack Main
- Two Jack Lakeside
- Two Jack Lakeside oTENTik
- Protection Mountain
- Lake Louise Trailer
- Lake Louise Tent
- Mosquito Creek
- Rampart Creek
- Silverhorn Creek
- Waterfowl Lakes
- Castle Mountain - closed for construction.
- Johnston Canyon - will reopen in mid-July. More details to be announced.
Reservations are required. Where applicable, common cooking shelters are closed. Egypt Lake and Bryant Creek shelters will remain closed for the 2021 season. Check trail reports prior to visiting.
Backcountry campsites are not regularly cleaned. Visitors must come prepared with their own personal hygiene items.
As the east section Bow Valley Parkway remains closed, backcountry campgrounds accessed from the Parkway must be booked by through the Banff Visitor Information Centre at 1 (403) 762-1556. All other backcountry reservations can be made here
Parks Canada is working with our partners to keep visitors and residents informed and safe.
Your health and safety when visiting
Now more than ever, it is crucial to plan ahead. Learn ahead of your visit what you can and can’t do, and what to expect when you arrive in the park. Visiting national parks comes with the responsibility to treat these places with the respect they deserve. We all have a role to play
COVID-19 safety guidelines and how to make the most of your visit:
- Parking. Parking in most areas of Banff National Park is in high demand; plan ahead and ensure you have back-up areas to visit. If the parking areas for your intended location are full, check BanffNow for alternative places to visit and the current status of available parking.
- Transit. Plan your worry-free adventure this summer. Explore Banff National Park using one of the many transit and shuttle options to enjoy the scenery without parking stress. You can even make reservations for transit service to popular spots like Johnston Canyon and Lake Louise.
- Make safe choices. Choose activities that correspond with your level of experience in order to avoid injury and/or getting lost and help minimize the demands placed on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.
- Be self-sufficient. Pack a COVID kit that includes extra hygiene supplies such as hand sanitizer, soap, masks or face coverings, garbage bags and a tablecloth. You should be prepared to bring your own water and food.
- Leave no trace. Help us keep these special places clean by using appropriate garbage containers or by taking all your garbage with you.
Parks Canada continues to follow the advice and guidance of public health experts to limit the spread of COVID-19, and reduce the risks to residents, visitors, employees and other users of Banff National Park. Masks are required on all transit and shuttles and continue to be recommended in indoor facilities or where physical distancing is not feasible.
Your safety when riding transit and shuttles
To help limit exposure to COVID-19 and keep passengers safe, transit and shuttle providers within Banff National Park (Roam Public Transit, On-It Regional Transit and Parks Canada shuttles) have implemented precautions following the current public health guidance from Alberta Health Services:
- Physical distancing remains a critical requirement in all areas of Banff National Park.
- Loading and unloading areas for transit and shuttles will allow visitors to maintain physical distance.
- Capacity on transit and shuttles has been reduced to allow for physical distancing. Capacity limits differ according to the transit or shuttle provider.
- Masks are mandatory when riding all transit and shuttles and in loading and unloading areas.
- Children under the age of two.
- People with an underlying medical condition that inhibits the ability to wear a mask.
- People who are unable to place or remove a mask without assistance.
- Hand sanitizer is available on all transit and shuttles and at all pay stations.
- All transit and shuttles are sanitized at least once every 24 hours. In addition to this, On-It Regional Transit sanitizes after every trip and Roam Public Transit sanitizes throughout the day.
- Strict guidelines for drivers include the use of masks and plastic screens and guidance for when to leave and not leave the bus or shuttle.
- For transit, cashless and contactless fare purchases are available for all routes via Token Transit, Transit App or ticket vending machines for Roam Public Transit and On-It Regional Transit.
- For Parks Canada shuttles, reservations allow for the greater ability to physically distance and to stagger arrival and wait times. Reservations also eliminate the need for on-site payment. Lake Louise and Moraine Lake shuttle reservations can be made through Parks Canada’s online reservation service. For more information on what shuttle options are available and how to reserve, go here.
For more information about how to stay safe while riding transit, visit:
- Roam Public Transit safety
- On-It Regional Transit safety
- Parks Canada (Lake Louise and Moraine Lake) shuttle safety
For more information on all transit and shuttle options available within the park, visit explorethepark.ca.
For the most up to date information, visit: