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

The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance. Parks Canada will follow the advice and guidance of public health authorities in resuming visitor access and services

To help Canadians gain access to the health and wellness benefits that come with being outdoors, while continuing to ensure safety of visitors, residents and staff, Parks Canada is taking a phased approach in restoring access services to the park. In doing so, physical distancing for the public remains a critical requirement in all areas of the park. Some restrictions and closures implemented as a result of COVID-19 have been lifted, while others will remain in effect.

 Please check our site regularly for the current status of areas, activities and services offered in Banff National Park. This is an evolving situation. 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 April 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:


Bow Valley Parkway: Open (With restrictions)
  • The Bow Valley Parkway is open from the Lake Louise exit to Castle Junction. Temporary closures are in place on the east section of the parkway from the Fireside Day Use Area to east of the Rockbound Lake Trailhead, near Castle Junction.

Peyto Lake day use area parking: Open

  • The lower parking lot, access road and new restrooms will open. The no-stopping zone has been lifted on Highway 93 North.
  • The viewing platform and pedestrian trails to the viewpoint remain closed. Barriers are in place for your safety due to hidden gaps and steep drops next to the platform. A separate closure is in place for Jimmy Junior Bowl due to a female grizzly denning in the area.

Minnewanka Loop Road: Open
  • Parking restricted to parking lots only (roadside parking restrictions to be enforced).

Norquay road: Open

Tunnel Mountain Road: Open

Sunshine Road: Open

Sulphur Mountain parking lot: Open

Mountain Avenue parking areas: Open

Bourgeau, Redearth, Carrot Creek parking areas: Open

Transit

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.
Day use areas

Day use areas in the park, including those in the Banff Townsite, Lake Minnewanka and along the Icefields Parkway are open with some restrictions. Kitchen shelters (where applicable) will be closed.

Open day use areas

Banff Townsite: Open with restrictions
  • Cascade of Time Gardens: Open
  • Kitchen shelters are closed.
  • Parking of vehicles is restricted to parking lots only (roadside parking restriction to be enforced).

Lake Minnewanka day use area: Open with restrictions
  • Flush washrooms: Open
  • Kitchen shelters are closed.

Lake Minnewanka loop: Open with restrictions
  • Kitchen shelters at Cascade ponds are closed.
  • Parking restricted to parking lots only (roadside parking restrictions to be enforced).

Sunshine meadows: Open
  • Hiking trails in the Sunshine Meadows are accessible via the Healy Pass Trail and temporary washroom facilities are now available in the ski area parking lot. However, please be aware that Sunshine Village Ski Resort facilities are closed to the public for the summer season, including the gondola and standish chair lifts.

TCH and Hwy 93 South trailheads and day use areas: Open

Johnston Canyon trail and day use area: Open
  • Consider wearing a mask when hiking Johnston’s Canyon, as it may be difficult to maintain 2 meters of physical distance.
  • When hiking the Johnston’s Canyon trail be aware that icy conditions are common during the winter season. Cleats and hiking poles are strongly recommended.

Lake Louise day use area: Open
  • Parking of vehicles is restricted to parking lots only (roadside parking restrictions to be enforced).

Bow Lake day use area: Open
  • Number of vehicles in parking lot may be restricted to address capacity.
  • Parking of vehicles is restricted to parking lots only (roadside parking restrictions to be enforced).
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.

Fees

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

Seaonl 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

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 (pc.banff-vrc.pc@canada.ca).


Banff Visitor centre

The Banff Visitor Centre located at 224 Banff Ave. is closed

Lake Louise Visitor centre

The Lake Louise Visitor Centre located next to Samson Mall in the Village of Lake Louise is closed.

Village of Lake Louise
  • Parks Canada asks visitors to practice safe physical distancing when visiting the Village of Lake Louise.
  • Parking restrictions may be implemented based on traffic and visitor volume to help enable safe physical distancing.
  • 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.
Icefields Parkway
  • A limited number of restrooms and day use areas remain open for the winter months.
  • Winter tires are required.
  • There are no services available during the winter between Lake Louise and Jasper.
     
What's closed (updated April 2021)

The following services and activities remain closed in Banff National Park:

Motor vehicle access

Closed roads and parking areas

Bow Valley Parkway: Closed(with exceptions)
  • The Bow Valley Parkway, from the Fireside Day Use area to east of the Rockbound Lake Trailhead, near Castle Junction is closed. The west section of the parkway from Lake Louise to Castle Junction remains open.

Tunnel Mountain Drive: Closed
Fairmont Banff Golf Course Road: Closed
Moraine Lake Road: Closed
Day use areas
All picnic and kitchen shelters at day use areas: Closed
Hot Springs
Banff Upper Hot Springs: Closed
  • Remains closed until further notice.
National Historic Sites
Cave and Basin National Historic Site: Closed

Banff Park Museum National Historic Site: Closed
Lake Louise visitor centre
  • Please contact to our Visitor Centre staff by email at pc.lakelouiseinfo-infolakelouise.pc@canada.ca or by phone at (403) 522-3833
  • Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and use the Parks Canada website for current facility openings and trail conditions.
  • Parks passes can be purchased online through the Parks Canada website prior to your visit. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/admission
Lake Louise and Moraine Lake shuttle reservations

Reservations for Parks Canada shuttles to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, which were scheduled to launch on April 1, 2020 have been suspended until further notice.


Be aware of annual seasonal closures and restrictions

Camping during COVID-19

Reservations are required. For more information on camping during COVID-19, click here.

Front country camping

Reservations for front country camping in Banff National Park open April 12 at 8 MST.

At this time, kitchen shelters are closed and campground capacity may be restricted to assist with physical distancing.

Open campgrounds
Tunnel Mountain Village 2: Open (with restrictions)

Lake Louise trailer campground: Open (with restrictions)

Backcountry camping

Reservations for backcountry camping in Banff National Park open April 16 at 8 MST.

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


Stay informed

Parks Canada is working with our partners to keep visitors and residents informed and safe.

Your safety when visiting
  • Visitors are reminded that masks are now required when visiting Banff National Park, and that maintaining 2m physical distance from others is mandatory at all times and in all places.
  • Please be aware that the province has announced indoor and outdoor gatherings are now prohibited. For more information on how this may impact your visit, click here.
  • Come prepared with your own "COVID-kit" including hand sanitizer, masks for everyone in your group, water and snacks.
  • Be extra cautious when engaging in any activities to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.
  • Leave no trace when you visit outdoor spaces. Please take all your garbage with you and help keep these places clean.
  • Abide by all travel advisories and area closures.
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.
    • Exemptions:
      • 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:

For more information on all transit and shuttle options available within the park, visit explorethepark.ca.

 

For the most up to date information, visit: