The Winter Permit System is now in effect for the 2019/20 season.

Changes to Winter Permit System areas

This year, some Winter Restricted Areas have been combined. Learn more about these changes.

Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park is a popular backcountry ski touring destination with an average of 10 m of snowfall a year. In Rogers Pass, explosive artillery fire is regularly used on mountain slopes to protect highway and railway traffic from natural avalanches. The Winter Permit System separates skiers from artillery fire and the resulting avalanches. 


What is the Winter Permit System?
Learn it. Get your permit.

Ski touring in Rogers Pass with the Winter Permit System - Glacier National Park

Transcript [This video has no spoken language]

The Winter Permit System.

To all backcountry users in Rogers Pass:

Where are you planning on skiing today?

You might need a Winter Permit.

Why a Winter Permit?

Highway avalanche control:

The world's largest mobile avalanche control program.

Avalanche control is conducted to keep the transportation corridor open.

It does not make the slopes safe for backcountry users.

The system protects you from artillery fire and resulting avalanches.

Over 100 avalanche paths face the highway and railway.

Areas are closed on different days for avalanche control.

Entering closed areas is dangerous and illegal.

If you are entering a Winter Restricted Area, you need a Winter Permit.

Where do you get a Winter Permit?

At the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.

Everyone in your group needs a Winter Permit.

In addition, you must clearly display your National Park Pass.

Be prepared for self-rescue:

• Avalanche probe

• Avalanche transceiver

• Avalanche shovel

You need knowledge, skills, training and awareness.

For more information visit the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre or parkscanada.gc.ca/skirogerspass

Parks Canada logo.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Parks Canada, 2010.

Canada wordmark.

All of the mountain slopes that face the Trans-Canada Highway and railway corridor are part of the Winter Permit System. Much of this popular ski touring terrain may be closed daily for explosive avalanche control. You need to know where you can ski and ride to be safe from artillery fire.

The Winter Permit System divides Glacier National Park into three areas:

Winter Restricted Areas

These areas are opened or closed daily depending on planned artillery fire.

To enter these areas:

Winter Prohibited Areas

These areas are closed to visitors all winter and illegal to enter. They are not open for skiing at any time.

Winter Unrestricted Areas

These areas are open to visitors all winter.

To enter these areas:

  • You must have a national park pass

Rogers Pass checklist

Before you ski Rogers Pass, you must:

  •  Get your Winter Permit at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. You must also:
    • Check which areas are open today on the Rogers Pass Backcountry Access interactive map.
    • Have a Daily or Annual Winter Permit for every member of your group.
    • Display your Winter Parking Permit in the vehicle(s) you will be using.
  •  Get a national park pass for every member of your group.
  •  Understand how to travel in avalanche terrain and self-rescue techniques.
  •  Have avalanche transceivers, shovels, and probes for every member of the group.
  •  Check today's Avalanche Bulletin to determine the current conditions.
  •  Carefully plan your route using online resources, maps, guidebooks and information from Parks Canada staff.

Avalanche control work is conducted to keep the transportation corridor open, not to make slopes safe for skiers or boarders. Anyone travelling into the backcountry must have avalanche training and appropriate safety equipment.

How do I get a Winter Permit?

Daily Winter Permit

Winter permits are available from the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. The Rogers Pass Discovery Centre is open from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm during the winter.

Google map directions to the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre

Annual Winter Permit

A Daily Winter Permit is only valid until midnight of the day issued and is not renewable. If you are skiing or boarding in Glacier National Park often, you can apply for an Annual Winter Permit. An Annual Winter Permit allows you to access open Winter Permit System areas without visiting the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre each morning.

To get an Annual Winter Permit, you will need to:

  •  Take the online 45 minute Winter Permit Quiz and score 100% correct.
  •  Visit the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre to pick up your Annual Winter Permit.
  •  Agree to and sign a Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement.
  •  Accept the terms and conditions.

Take the online Winter Permit Quiz now

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Winter Permit?

Most likely. Unless you’re skiing exclusively in a winter unrestricted area you will need a Winter Permit. Failure to carry a valid Winter Permit can result in a fine of up to $25,000. Entering a closed area may expose you to artillery fire, explosives, or the resulting avalanches.

Skiers or boarders entering Winter Prohibited Areas, closed Winter Restricted Areas or Winter Restricted Areas without a Winter Permit put the future of the Winter Permit System at risk. In order for backcountry users to continue to have access to restricted slopes, avalanche forecasters and the army need to be confident that there is complete compliance with the Winter Permit system.

Please note that camping or any other form of overnight use is not permitted at any location within a Winter Restricted Area.

See which areas are open to Winter Permit holders today:

Map Open the Rogers Pass Backcountry Access interactive map

Parking

Most parking lots in Rogers Pass require a Winter Parking Permit and open or close daily depending on avalanche control. The Winter Parking Permit comes with your Winter Permit.

Parking permits (and all other permits) are available at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. Overnight parking is only available at certain parking lots and requires an additional Overnight Parking Permit.

If an avalanche control action has started while you have been away from your vehicle, you may find a card on your windshield at the parking lot. Remain with your parked vehicle until you are notified by Parks Canada staff that the highway is open.

Winter parking areas in Rogers Pass
Parking area: Requirements: Overnight parking available:
Rogers Pass Discovery Centre * National park pass Yes. 15 parking spaces are available.
Tenting is not permitted.
Overnight Parking Permit required
Illecillewaet Valley * National park pass Yes, for visitors staying at ACC-operated huts and cabins only
Overnight Parking Permit required
Beaver Beaver Parking must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
Yes
Overnight Parking Permit required
Bostock West Rogers Winter Restricted Area must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
Yes
Overnight Parking Permit required
Hermit East Rogers Winter Restricted Area must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
No
Loop Brook West Rogers Winter Restricted Area must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
No
NRC Gully West Rogers Winter Restricted Area must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
No
Stone Arch East Rogers Winter Restricted Area must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
No
* Only a national park pass is required to park at the Illecillewaet Valley and Rogers Pass Discovery Centre parking lots. Keep in mind that these areas provide access to both Winter Unrestricted and Winter Restricted areas. It is your responsibility to know where you are going and if you need a Winter Permit.
Highway safety

The Trans-Canada Highway itself is not part of the Restricted or Prohibited Areas, but highway plowing and avalanche control activities place restrictions on some areas.

  • No stopping within signed avalanche areas along the highway.
  • You must obtain a Winter Parking Permit (provided with your Daily and Annual Winter Permits) for parking at designated parking areas. See the parking section above.
  • Skiers travelling alongside the highway are asked to travel on the side of the snowbank away from the highway rather than on the highway shoulder for safety reasons.
Winter Permit Area maps

Note: You can determine coordinates on maps by saving the PDF onto your desktop.

  1. Click on Tools Analysis Geospatial Location Tool.
  2. Choose Easting and Northing, or Latitude and Longitude by clicking on Edit Preferences Measuring (Geo) and choose from drop-down boxes in Geographic Location box.
Designated access routes to cross Canadian Pacific Railway property

Public safety is Parks Canada’s primary concern. Access to the following areas has been established via routes that avoid crossing Canadian Pacific property. Canadian Pacific Police patrol these sites and may tow and impound vehicles illegally parked on railway property. Individuals trespassing on Canadian Pacific Railway property will be prosecuted.

  • Shaughnessy Winter Restricted Area from Beaver Parking
  • East Rogers Winter Restricted Area - Mount Tupper from Stone Arch Parking
  • West Rogers Winter Restricted Area - Ross Peak from Loop Brook Parking
  • Flat Creek Winter Unrestricted Area and Fortitude and West Rogers Winter Restricted Areas - from Bostock Parking

View designated access route instructions and maps

Professional guides

A national park pass and a Daily or Annual Winter Permit is required for every member of a guided group. Guided Group Permit application packages are available by contacting the Parks Canada Revelstoke Office at pc.mrg.information.pc@canada.ca or 250-837-7500.

Youth groups and special events

Custodial (youth) groups

Parks Canada policies and regulations for custodial groups

Special events

If you are planning a workshop, camp, course, race, clinic, competition, festival or other special event in Glacier National Park, you must have a Special Event Permit. The permit is free and easy to obtain.

Please contact us at pc.mrg.information.pc@canada.ca or 250-837-7500 and provide us with the number of participants, number/names of guides and proof of liability insurance.

ACMG guides teaching AST or CAA courses do not require a Special Event Permit.

Emergency contact information

Backcountry

Call 1-877-852-3100. Tell dispatchers you have a backcountry emergency in Glacier National Park and require assistance. Please note that cell service is not always reliable through the park.

Frontcountry

Call 911 for Police, Fire or Ambulance.


Where can I ski today?

Rogers Pass interactive map

Get real-time updates on which Winter Restricted Areas are open with the Rogers Pass Backcountry Access interactive map. The map also provides geo-location on GPS-enabled devices and access to avalanche forecasts and webcams.

Map Open the Rogers Pass interactive map

Changes to Winter Permit System areas

This year, Winter Restricted Areas have been combined to more accurately reflect avalanche control operations and make the system easier to understand. Based on areas that are regularly closed at the same time for avalanche control, the existing Winter Restricted Areas have been combined into 4: Fortitude, West Rogers, East Rogers and Shaughnessy. If you are a previous user of the Winter Permit System, take time to familiarize yourself with these new areas.


Plan your touring route

Avalanche Bulletin

Check today's Avalanche Bulletin before heading into the backcountry.

Designated access routes

Access to certain areas has been established via routes that avoid crossing CP property.

Weather and webcams

See Glacier National Park's webcams and today's weather forecast for Revelstoke and Golden.

Winter Terrain Atlas

The Winter Terrain Atlas provides valuable visual terrain information to backcountry users of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks.

Avalanche terrain maps

These maps outline the major runout zones and terrain traps in 5 popular areas.

Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale

The Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale, developed by Parks Canada, offers an avalanche classification system based on the landscape, not the snow.