No stopping zone in effect in KNP
Human and wildlife safety is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. Parks Canada takes action to promote coexistence between people and wildlife, to ensure the safety of both.
To protect wildlife and people, annual temporary area closures and a 15 km no stopping zone are now in effect on Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park (KNP).
Safety measures will remain in place until bears move away from the highway as food becomes more plentiful at higher elevations.
Affected areas include:
- No Stopping Zone: A 15 km portion of Highway 93 between McKay Creek Operations Centre above the Radium Hot Pools and Settler’s Road. Vehicles legally required to conduct brake checks may continue to do so. Bear warnings are in effect and the restrooms are closed.
- Area Closures: Visitor services remain suspended to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Kimpton Creek trailhead is closed due to highway construction. Additionally, Olive Lake day use area and Cobb Lake Trail are both closed due to bear activity.
Parks Canada and the RCMP will be regularly patrolling the no stopping zone and have the ability to lay charges. Penalties for violations range from a $115 ticket to a mandatory court appearance and maximum fine of $25,000.
Parks Canada is committed to protecting bears and people. Many bears feed heavily on spring vegetation and dandelions along this 15 km stretch of Highway 93 South. Narrow shoulders and blind corners, combined with multiple grizzly and black bears focussed on finding food, make stopping here unsafe. The no stopping zone and temporary closures allow bears to feed undisturbed and prevents traffic congestion that is dangerous for both bears and people.
Feeding wildlife is strictly prohibited in national parks. It is also unlawful to stop in the no stopping zone to view wildlife.
Parks Canada thanks you for respecting wildlife, the temporary no stopping zone and the associated closures.
To protect the health and safety of Canadians, visitors, and its employees, Parks Canada is continuing to call on Canadians to stay home and help limit the spread of COVID-19. Visitor services in Kootenay National Park remain suspended until at least May 31, 2020. Highway 93 South remains open to facilitate the transportation of goods. Parks Canada continues to deliver a number of critical functions, including human-wildlife coexistence services. Please report wildlife sightings to Banff Dispatch – 403-762-1470.
Outside of the no stopping zone, consider not stopping for wildlife. If you choose to do so:
o stay inside your vehicle;
o pull over only if it is safe to do so;
o pull all four wheels onto the shoulder;
o give bears more space than you think they need;
o be aware of the traffic around you; and
o move along quickly.
For more information about how to observe wildlife safely, please visit our website.