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Posted: June 19, 2020

Limited camping services returning to mountain parks

Starting June 22, Kootenay, Banff and Yoho national parks, and Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, will begin to offer limited camping services.

Tunnel Mountain area in Banff National Park.

Visitors will have access to the following front country campgrounds in a limited capacity on June 22: Kootenay National Park – Redstreak Campground; Banff National Park – Tunnel Mountain Village 1, Tunnel Mountain Village 2, Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court and Two Jack Lakeside Campground, Lake Louise Campground and Overflow; Yoho National Park – Kicking Horse Campground.

Visitors will have access to the following front country campgrounds in a limited capacity on June 25: Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site – RV and walk-in tenting. Note: day use areas, scenic walking trails along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, the canoe launch and washrooms are currently open at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site.

The experience at campgrounds will be different than previous years, Parks Canada reported June 17.

Cooking shelters and shower facilities in campgrounds will remain closed. Washrooms will operate at a limited capacity to support physical distancing measures. Backcountry campgrounds will open as conditions and snowpack allow. Cooking and group shelters in the backcountry will remain closed at this time.

The Lake O’Hara campground will remain closed until June 29. More information to come as details are confirmed. The east section of the Bow Valley Parkway remains closed. Backcountry campgrounds accessed by trailheads along the parkway must be booked by calling the Banff Visitor Information Centre.

Visitors will have access to some trails, day use areas, green spaces, and some access for recreational boating.

Initially camping at Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks will be limited to visitors with existing reservations. Visitors are required to have a reservation in order to camp in open campgrounds. Parks Canada will gradually begin to accept new online reservations for some campgrounds over the coming weeks. Visitors should check the Parks Canada website regularly for updates and information on services available and reservation windows.

Events, group and interpretation activities remain suspended until further notice.

Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the Parks Canada website before they travel to find out what is open, what they can expect, and how to prepare for their visit.

Visitors must follow local and provincial or territorial travel restrictions, including requirements for self-isolation. It is not possible to self-isolate at Parks Canada campgrounds. Visitors must complete any provincial or territorial requirements for self-isolation before arriving to camp at Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks and Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site.

The health and safety of visitors and employees is of utmost importance to the Government of Canada. Parks Canada is following the advice of public health experts and continues to make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Visitors should follow the advice of public health experts, including necessary hygiene practices and physical distancing of two metres from others.

Parks Canada is asking Canadians to be cautious and conservative when they visit Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks, and Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, and to respect any closures that are in place. Anyone participating in recreational activities should be extra cautious to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on search and rescue teams and on the health care system.

Detailed information on Parks Canada places and the measures the Agency is taking to limit the spread of COVID-19 can be found on the Parks Canada website: pc.gc.ca. Please check regularly for updates.

Lead image: Kootenay National Park’s Redstreak Campground at Radium Hot Springs. e-KNOW file photos

e-KNOW


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