The Winter Permit System goes into effect November 16 for the 2023-2024 season.

Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park is a popular backcountry ski touring destination with an average of 14 metres 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.

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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 in 1995 to allow Parks Canada to open some of these areas for skiers and snowboarders when avalanche control is not planned or anticipated.

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. A Winter Permit is required for most areas, and you must know where you can ski and ride to be safe from artillery fire.

The Winter Permit System divides Glacier National Park into three types of 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.

Reasons for prohibited access:

  • Skier-triggered avalanches in these areas could reach the highway
  • Snowpack must be preserved for avalanche forecasting and snow science research

  Winter Unrestricted Areas

These areas are open to visitors all winter.

To enter these areas:

  • You must have a national park pass
  • You should have avalanche training and appropriate safety equipment.
  • You must understand area boundaries to avoid entering winter restricted or prohibited areas
Rogers Pass checklist

Before you ski Rogers Pass:

  1. 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.
    • Every member of your group must carry their Winter Permit when entering Winter Restricted Areas. Digital permits are accepted if you are unable to print a copy.
    • You must display a legible printed Winter Parking Permit on the dashboard of the vehicle(s) you will be using. The license plate number on the displayed Winter Parking Permit must match the vehicle that is parked. A Winter Parking Permit is provided with your annual or daily winter permit.
  2. Get a national park pass for every member of your group.
    • Daily passes: Available at the Parks Canada administration office (301B 3 St. W in Revelstoke), or at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.
    • Annual passes: Available at the Parks Canada administration office, the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, by phone at 250-837-7500, or online.
  3. Check which areas are open today on the Rogers Pass Backcountry Access interactive map.
  4. Understand the risks of backcountry recreation, how to travel in avalanche terrain and how to practice self-rescue techniques.
  5. Have an avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe for every member of the group.
  6. Check today's Avalanche Bulletin to determine the current conditions.
  7. Carefully plan your route using online resources, maps, guidebooks and information from Parks Canada.
  8. Know before you go. Check DriveBC for highway conditions and updates.

Get your Winter Permit

A Winter Permit is mandatory to enter Winter Restricted Areas.

Annual Winter Permit Recommended for all users

Apply online in advance for your Annual Winter Permit! You will receive your Winter Permit and Winter Parking Permit by email. An Annual Winter Permit allows you to access open Winter Restricted Areas without visiting the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre each morning.

Apply for your Annual Winter Permit

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, your options for skiing at Rogers Pass are to:

  1. Ski an unrestricted area. You must be aware of area boundaries.
  2. Get a Daily Winter Permit from the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.

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.


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 snowboarders entering Winter Prohibited Areas, closed Winter Restricted Areas, or Winter Restricted Areas without a Winter Permit puts 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:

  • 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.
  • No parking longer than 30 minutes at the Rogers Pass washroom building.
  • No parking along the service road by the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. This space is essential for safe traffic management during avalanche control closures Violators may be ticketed or towed.

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 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 permit and an additional overnight parking permit (free) are required. 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.

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 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 Yes, only for visitors staying at ACC-operated huts and cabins or backcountry camping in Winter Unrestricted Areas
Overnight parking permit and backcountry permit or ACC hut reservation required
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 permit or ACC hut reservation 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 permit or ACC hut reservation 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 permit or ACC hut reservation 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 and parking on the highway shoulder is dangerous, illegal and may result in your vehicle being towed.

* 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

Designated access routes

Note: Maps are georeferenced and can be imported into some mapping applications. You can also 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.
Winter Permit System boundaries (geographic files)

Check back at the start of each winter season to ensure that you are using the most recent maps. Do not rely solely on these files for navigation as accuracy of mobile GPS devices and mapping applications may vary. It is your responsibility to know where you are and to respect the terms and conditions of the Winter Permit System.

WARNING: This map file contains information about seasonal Winter Unrestricted Area, Winter Restricted Area, and Winter Prohibited Area boundaries in Glacier National Park and Rogers Pass National Historic Site. This file was prepared by Parks Canada on January 16, 2024 in light of the information available to it and considered to be true at the time of preparation.

The physical boundaries in Glacier National Park and Rogers Pass National Historic Site are neither marked nor maintained in any manner by Parks Canada. It is your responsibility to confirm that you are using the most up-to-date version of the maps. Do not rely solely on these files for navigation as accuracy of mobile GPS devices and mapping applications may vary. In case of discrepancy, the superintendent’s order on avalanche control prohibitions and restrictions posted in the Revelstoke Parks Canada Administration Building, Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, and at trailheads prevails.

Any use you make of these maps and any reliance on or decisions made based on these maps are your own responsibility absolutely. Parks Canada, its employees and its agents accept no responsibility for damages, if any, suffered by you or any third party as a result of decisions made or actions based on these maps. For greater certainty, under no circumstances whatsoever will Parks Canada, its employees, or its agents be held liable for any loss or damage that may occur to you and any person or persons or property by reason of your or their reliance upon these maps.

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 and Park Wardens patrol these sites and may charge individuals trespassing on CP property or tow and impound vehicles illegally parked on railway property.

  • 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.
  • Hold a National Park Business Licence or be covered under the ACMG’s business licence 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 Parks Canada at permit-MRG-permis@pc.gc.ca or 250-837-7500.

Please note: After April 2023, there will no longer be an ACMG group licence. All guides or guiding businesses will require their own National Park Business Licence. To learn more visit: Guided business licences

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, photography and drones

  Drones

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.

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.

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.

  Other 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.


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.

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