The Winter Permit System goes into effect at the start of the avalanche control season, usually mid to late November.

Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park is a popular backcountry ski touring destination with an average of 10 m of snowfall a year. It is also home to the world’s largest mobile avalanche control program. This means that 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 these explosives 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.

Apply online for your free digital winter permit: pc.gc.ca/skirogerspass

Everyone in your group needs a Winter Permit.

You must also clearly display your Winter Parking Permit and 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.

Due to the avalanche control program, all slopes in Glacier National Park adjacent to the transportation corridor are officially closed in winter. The Winter Permit System was implemented to allow Parks Canada to open some of these areas for skiers and snowboarders with winter permits when avalanche control is not being conducted or anticipated. 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 may open or remain closed on any given day depending on planned artillery gunfire.

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. We encourage all users to plan ahead and obtain an Annual Winter Permit online. Daily Winter Permits are only available at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.
    • Have a Winter Permit for every member of your group. Digital permits are accepted if you are unable to print a copy.
    • Display a legible printed (on a printer - not hand-written) Winter Parking Permit on the dashboard of the vehicle(s) you will be using. The license plate number on the Winter Parking Permit displayed on the dashboard must match the license plate number of the vehicle that is parked. 
  •  Check which areas are open today on the Rogers Pass Backcountry Access interactive map.
  •  Get a national park pass for every member of your group. Available by phone at 250-837-7500, online, or at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre (limited services for winter 2021-2022).
  •  Understand the risks of backcountry recreation, how to travel in avalanche terrain and how to practice self-rescue techniques.
  •  Have an avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe 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.
  •  Know before you go. Check DriveBC.ca for highway conditions and updates.

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?

Annual Winter Permits are strongly encouraged. Please plan ahead! Turn-around times for Annual Winter Permits can be up to a week or more depending on the volume of applications received. If you don’t have enough time to acquire an annual Winter Permit, options for skiing at Rogers Pass are:

  1. Ski an unrestricted area at Rogers Pass. You must be aware of area boundaries.
  2. Visit the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre to acquire a daily winter permit. Please note:

Annual Winter Permit

Parks Canada encourages all users to plan ahead and obtain an Annual Winter Permit online.Daily Winter Permits are only available at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.

An Annual Winter Permit allows you to access open Winter Permit System areas without visiting the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre each morning.

You can apply online for your Annual Winter Permit and will receive the permit by email. You will need to have a digital or print copy of the permit with you while you are skiing or snowboarding in Rogers Pass. You will also need a print copy (on a printer - not hand-written) of the corresponding Winter Parking Permit to display on the dashboard of the vehicle(s) parked at the trailhead.

Apply online for your free Annual Winter Permit

Daily Winter Permit

Daily Winter Permits must be obtained on the day you plan to ski or snowboard, and are only valid for that day. Daily winter permits are only available at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.

If you have questions about the winter permit system, please contact us by email at permit-mrg-permis@pc.gc.ca or by phone at 250-837-7500.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Winter Permit?

Unless you’re skiing or snowboarding 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 can all 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 Canadian Armed Forces need to be confident that NO skiers or snowboarders are in closed areas.

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

Parking

Parking at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre is limited to day use, between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. There is no winter frontcountry camping in Glacier National Park and sleeping in vehicles in parking areas is prohibited. Snow clearing and winter maintenance of parking areas occurs overnight.

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. All restricted parking areas are closed at midnight. It is illegal to enter or park in these areas until they are open. Restricted area status is updated at approximately 7:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Vehicles may only be left overnight in Glacier National Park in the following designated winter parking areas and only by those overnighting in the backcountry. A backcountry camping permit (wilderness pass) and an additional Overnight Parking Permit (Free) is required.

Overnight parking permits can only be obtained at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre or by phone at 250-837-7500. You will need your license plate number and ACC hut reservation number or backcountry camping permit number. Specific exit routes will be explained to you at the time. We cannot guarantee same day service. Plan ahead to avoid disappointment.

If avalanche control 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:
Rogers Pass Discovery Centre * National park pass No
Illecillewaet Valley * National park pass Yes, only for visitors staying at ACC-operated huts and cabins or backcountry camping in Winter Unrestricted Areas
Overnight Parking Permit and backcountry camping permit (or wilderness pass) required
Beaver Beaver Parking must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
Yes, for visitors backcountry camping in Winter Unrestricted Areas
Overnight Parking Permit and backcountry camping permit (or wilderness pass) required
Bostock West Rogers Winter Restricted Area must be open
Winter Parking Permit
National park pass
Yes, for visitors backcountry camping in Winter Unrestricted Areas
Overnight Parking Permit and backcountry camping permit (or wilderness pass) 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

Due to avalanche hazards and winter road maintenance, parking is only allowed in designated areas. You must park in designated winter parking areas and obtain and display the appropriate permits for that area. If the parking area for your intended objective is full, you will need to change your plans. Overflow parking is not available.

* Only a national park pass is required to park during the day 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. If you are staying at an ACC hut accessible from Illecillewaet Valley Trailhead, you also require an Overnight Parking 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

All guides that are planning to operate in Glacier National Park during the winter must:

  • Hold valid Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) certification.
  • Be covered under the ACMG’s business license for the current year.
  • Display a valid Work Pass if it was issued to them by their employer, allowing them to enter the park without a national park pass while guiding clients.
  • We also recommend that guides apply for a Guided Group Permit to allow their clients to ski under their Annual Winter Permit.

Guides are responsible for ensuring that all clients have:

  • Their own valid daily or annual national park pass.
  • A valid daily or annual Winter Permit (if not covered under a Guided Group Permit) when accessing open Winter Restricted Areas.

If a guide does not have a Guided Group Permit, then each of their clients is required to have their own daily or annual Winter Permit. Guided Group Permit application packages are available on the ACMG website or by contacting the Parks Canada Revelstoke Office at mrg.information@pc.gc.ca or 250-837-7500.

Guides visiting the park in their personal time cannot use a Work Pass and must display a valid national park pass in their vehicle.

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.

Film and photography

Do you plan on filming or taking photos for professional purposes in Glacier National Park? Film and photography productions of any kind require a film permit unless approved through an alternative Parks Canada process.

The recreational use of drones is prohibited in all national parks. Leave your drone at home or in your vehicle. Find more information on flying drones at Parks Canada places.

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


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.