The Winter Permit System is now in effect for winter 2018-19. If you are skiing or boarding in Glacier National Park often, an Annual Winter Permit is available.

Take the online Winter Permit Quiz to get your Annual Winter Permit

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. Parks Canada's Winter Permit System separates skiers from artillery fire and the resulting avalanches. All of the mountain slopes that face the Trans-Canada Highway and railway corridor are part of the Winter Permit System. 


What is the Winter Permit System?

The Winter Permit System divides Glacier National Park into three areas: Winter Unrestricted Areas, Winter Restricted Areas, and Winter Prohibited Areas.

Winter Unrestricted Areas

These areas are open to visitors all winter.

To enter these areas:

  • You must have a national park pass
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. They are not open for skiing at any time.

Essential Information

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.

    Before heading out for the day, you need:
  • A national park pass for every member of your group.
  • Knowledge of travel in avalanche terrain and self-rescue techniques.
  • Avalanche transceivers, shovels, and probes for every member of the group.
  • To check today's Avalanche Bulletin to determine the current conditions.
  • A carefully planned route.
  • Winter Permits to ski or board in open Winter Restricted Areas. You must:

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 Prohibited Areas, closed Restricted Areas or 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:

Rogers Pass Backcountry Access app

Where do I get a 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 Permits and online Winter Permit Quiz

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

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 Restricted Area must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
Yes
Overnight Parking Permit required
Bostock Bostock Parking Restricted Area must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
Yes
Overnight Parking Permit required
Hermit Winter Restricted Areas must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
No
Loop Brook Winter Restricted Areas must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
No
NRC Gully Winter Restricted Areas must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
No
Stone Arch Winter Restricted Areas 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.

  • Click on Tools Analysis Geospatial Location Tool.
  • 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 six Winter Restricted Areas (Shaughnessy, Tupper, Ross Peak, Flat Creek, Fortitude, Smart) 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.

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 RevGlacier.Reception@pc.gc.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 RevGlacier.Reception@pc.gc.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 the cell service is not always reliable through the park.

Frontcountry

Call 911 for Police, Fire or Ambulance.


Check daily openings and conditions

Rogers Pass Backcountry Access app

Parks Canada is pleased to launch a new app to support the Winter Permit System in Glacier National Park.

The Rogers Pass Backcountry Access app includes an interactive map that provides real time updates on what areas are open, geo-location on GPS-enabled devices, and access to live avalanche forecasts and webcams.

Try the new app and let us know how we can improve it. You can email comments to RevGlacier.Reception@pc.gc.ca.

Launch the app now

Avalanche Bulletin

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

Weather and webcams

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


Plan your touring route

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.

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.