What we heard July 2017 - April 2018
Significant investments are being made in the Rogers Pass area to upgrade infrastructure, address historic contamination issues, and improve visitor services.
Planning is also underway for the future, in order to support the needs of park visitors and through-travellers, and meet park operational priorities. We asked park visitors, through-travellers and other interested Canadians what their vision was for the future of Rogers Pass. Parks Canada is also consulting with our Indigenous partners. These discussions are on-going.
1955 total responses
What amenities did respondents request?
"...the visitor offering should include leading sustainable low energy use & consumption four-season accommodation that can house skiers as well as summer tourists."
"Glacier Park Lodge, this structure should be sealed, repaired and restored to its former glory as this structure is what is really needed to service the winter recreation opportunities that this area offers!"
"It would be nice to have somewhere to get a coffee or soup/sandwich when being stuck there for extended closures."
"Some sort of food amenities! A small restaurant or cafe with après ski food, packed sandwiches, cafe and baked goods would be fantastic."
"Please don’t turn the site into your typical roadside gas station / truck stop. Revelstoke and Golden are more suited to that. It’s only 160km from Revelstoke to Golden so there is no need for a gas station."
"Rogers Pass is a great place and I think the fewer amenities offered the better…keep Parks natural because the more remote and removed from human influence the more special our experiences are within the Parks."
Parks Canada is pleased to note that some amenities and improvements requested on the comment forms had already been identified as a priority for Rogers Pass,and are either complete or in progress, including a permanent 24 hour washroom facility, a picnic area, additional parking, trail improvements and highway upgrades.
Parks Canada is working with BC Hydro on a project to install a small electric vehicle charging station in the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre parking lot, which will be funded by the Accelerate Kootenays initiative and BC Hydro.
What were respondents’ thoughts on the visitor offer?
"The existing facility at Rogers Pass is great. Simple and a great resource for learning about the history of the area. Build on the simple theme and reach out to people who do not have an appreciation for the beauty and history of the area."
"Parks needs to do a better job of maintaining summer trails and back country camping sites. More trails in better condition would spread folks out and reduce crowding."
"It would be nice if there were a few mountain bike trails in the area, either utilizing abandoned rail bed or perhaps the beaver valley trail. It would be fantastic to access the glacier circle cabin via bike!"
Rogers Pass Discovery Centre
In their responses, many thought the current centre was good and appreciated the services offered. Some suggestions for improvement included extended hours, updated displays and improved wifi.
There were requests for additional interpretation programs and products such as guided walks, fireside talks, and having more information available on Indigenous peoples, railway history, Swiss guides and mountaineering, and wildlife.
Popular responses included requests for improved pull-offs, better turning lanes and exits, many of which have been completed. Additional suggestions for improvements included highway twinning, cycling friendly shoulders and additional scenic viewpoints.
Responses included suggestions for trails, including better maintenance and signs for existing trails, family-friendly options, mountain bike trails, backcountry or hut to hut routes, snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails.
For facilities, most people requested improved washrooms and suggestions included 24 hour access, heat and showers. Other common ideas included a cook shelter, warming hut, gear storage lockers, picnic area, and a playground.
A unicorn that loves candy
We heard from visitors of all ages. Briana, age 3, would like a unicorn that loves candy. Rogers Pass is pretty magical; we may find a unicorn there yet!
Alpine Club of Canada and Revive Rogers
Both groups had similar responses, primarily outlining the need for affordable accommodation including private and shared rooms, self-catering facilities, a café or restaurant, gear drying and storage rooms, and a multi-purpose space for groups, training courses or meetings.
"Our members are frequent visitors to the Rogers Pass area and we realize support for change and reinvestment is strong among all those who have ever explored (this) area. Proper accommodation and services has long been the missing link in the use and enjoyment of this stunning area."
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
CPAWS emphasized the opportunity to improve ecological integrity with the removal of the lodge and service station buildings. They also support updates in the area to facilitate visitors connecting to nature, culture and history as long as they do not result in further fragmentation or loss of habitat. Acceptable updates included additional parking within the current development footprint for visitor safety during avalanche season and enhanced opportunities to celebrate Indigenous culture and to connect with nature.
"Glacier National Park was established in 1886, at which time it was stated that the park included the ‘best scenery in the neighbourhood’. This is still the case – and the redevelopment should honour this. Updates to or redevelopments to Rogers Pass should be focused on enabling people to connect to the natural environment rather than increasing the built development footprint in the areas."