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Posted: May 21, 2022

May long weekend in the mountain national parks

Paint Pots Trail Bridge in Kootenay National Park.

Kootenay, Banff and Yoho and national parks are pleased to welcome visitors for the 2022 summer visitor season.

Visitation in the mountain national parks is expected to be high this year.  Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead by visiting Yoho, Kootenay and Banff’s websites, and by booking accommodations, campsites, shuttles and guided hikes in advance.

What visitors need to know

  • Take transit and shuttles – Taking transit is the best opportunity to reach key locations in Banff National Park, like Lake Minnewanka, Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. Parking is in high demand at many locations. Plan ahead and ensure to have a back-up plan. In Banff National Park, transit and shuttle options are provided by:

o On-It Regional Transit (Calgary-Banff);
o Roam Regional Transit (Canmore-Banff-Lake Louise);

o Parks Canada Shuttles (Lake Louise area).

  • Facilities and operations – Many businesses and services in the mountain parks will operate with fewer staff than usual. Parks Canada is working diligently to provide the quality services that visitors expect. Delays and changes to hours of operation are possible. We thank visitors for their patience.
  • Keep parks clean and wildlife alive – At this time of year, wildlife is active in the valley bottoms. You can protect them and these special places by learning the #WildlifeRules before you visit.

o Slow down. Obey all speed limits.
o Keep all dogs on leash at all times.
o Never feed wildlife, big or small.
o Dispose of all garbage in wildlife-proof garbage bins or take it with you.

o Safely view wildlife. Give them space for your safety and their survival.

o Respect all trail/area restrictions, warnings and closures.

Banff National Park

What’s new in 2022?

  • Transit & Shuttles –

o Roam (Canmore-Banff-Lake Louise) – This summer, Roam Transit Super Pass holders will be able to see Moraine Lake by taking the Parks Canada Lake Connector shuttle from the Lake Louise Lakeshore. Moraine Lake Road is scheduled to open in June. Watch our channels for updates.

o Parks Canada Shuttles (Lake Louise) – Apart from the Lake Connector Shuttle, all Parks Canada shuttles require advanced reservations this year. There are no first-come, first-served shuttle seats and no on-site sales. Book in advance at See both lakes with one shuttle ticket. Catch your lake shuttle at the new Park & Ride located at the Lake Louise Ski Area.

o On-it Regional Transit (Calgary-Banff) – Now offering full Friday to Sunday service between Calgary and the town of Banff. See On-it Regional Transit for more details.

  • Hiking – Many trails, especially those in the Lake Louise area and on the Icefields Parkway, are still covered in deep snow. Dangerous avalanche hazards persist. For your safety, please choose hikes at lower elevations through May. Come prepared for winter, and check the trail report before departing.
  • Cycling – Cycle 17 km of the east section of the Bow Valley Parkway without vehicle traffic from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from May 1 to June 25, 2022. Visitors are encouraged to park at the Banff Train Station for the best experience. Additionally, e-bikes are now permitted on a limited number of trails in Banff National Park including within the Town of Banff and Village of Lake Louise.
  • Interpretation – Go behind the scenes on a guided conservation hike to Paget Lookout in Yoho National Park or Hidden Lake in Banff National Park this summer. Learn from a Parks Canada guide how species and their habitats are connected and how you can help conservation efforts. Reservations are required. Are you camping with us? Evening campground programs begin mid-June.
  • Driving – Highways remain open in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay. Seasonal closures and restrictions on secondary roads may still in place.

o Banff National Park – From May 1 to June 25 and September 1 to 30, vehicle access to Johnston Canyon day-use area and campground is available via Castle Junction and the Trans-Canada Highway. The same section of the Bow Valley Parkway is closed to all human-use from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. for a mandatory seasonal travel restriction.

o Kootenay National Park – In Kootenay, a new driving tour will be available after the long weekend on the Parks Canada Guided Tours App and will turn your phone into your personal tour guide. Download the app before you go, there is no cell coverage in Kootenay. In case of emergency, new SOS telephones are now available approximately every 15 minutes. An annual 15 km no-stopping zone is also in effect near Olive Lake on Highway 93 South for the protection of people and wildlife.

o Yoho National Park – West of Yoho, the Province of B.C. is making improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway. Yoho National Park is fully open. Visit the Kicking Horse Canyon Project and Drive BC for potential impacts for through travellers west of Yoho.

  • Camping – As always, a ban on alcohol and cannabis consumption is in effect for summer long weekends in campgrounds in Yoho, Kootenay and Banff national parks. The ban is in effect from 7 a.m. on the first day of each long weekend until 11 a.m. on the last day.

What isn’t open yet?

A few places in the national parks open later in the year due to seasonal winter conditions. Additional delays are possible this year due to above normal snowpack:

  • Moraine Lake Road in Banff National Park will open in June 2022. Date TBD.
  • Peyto Lake Viewpoint in Banff National Park opens late June 2022. Date TBD.
  • Yoho Valley Road (Takakkaw Falls) in Yoho National Park opens late June 2022. Date TBD.
  • Alpine trails in all parks remain snowbound and avalanche hazards persist until June.

Check the trail reports for Banff, Yoho or Kootenay before leaving home.

  • Campground opening dates vary in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks.
  • Additional delays are possible this spring due to lingering snowpack.

What do I need to know about COVID-19?

The health and safety of visitors and employees are of the utmost importance and Parks Canada continues to follow the advice, guidance, and requirements of public health authorities and experts to limit the spread of COVID-19. Most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in Alberta and B.C., however, masks are mandatory on all transit and shuttle services, including Roam public transit. Masks are optional but recommended in indoor facilities or where physical distancing is not feasible.

Lead image: There is ongoing work at the west entrance to Kootenay National Park. Also, be certain to check on the status of the Kicking Horse Canyon Phase Four project on the Trans-Canada Highway as periodic detours through Kootenay National Park add heavy volumes of traffic. to the park. Click here to see the highway status calendar for the project. e-KNOW file photos

Parks Canada

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