Banff National Park Pass
Information You Need
When Entering Banff National Park Canada

Banff National Park Gate
Banff National Park Pass

Transportation to and from Beautiful Banff is easy.

Travel on Canada's national Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway.

When you travel by car to Banff the drive from Calgary International Airport takes a little less than 2 hours, a distance of 145 km (90 miles).

Because the Banff townsite is inside Banff National Park, you'll need to purchase a national park pass at the Park gate. Click here for current rates.

National Park Entry Fee: When you enter any one of the national parks, you'll be required to pay a national park entry fee. An entry pass that you buy for one of Canada's national parks is valid for all of Canada's national parks.

That's a good thing, because Banff National Park is contiguous with three other national parks : Kootenay, Yoho and Jasper National Parks. A visit to Banff National Park very frequently includes a visit to one or more of these other mountain national parks.

If you are on a guided coach tour, it is possible that your national park entry fee is included in the fare that you paid for the tour. Check on that.....

You can purchase your Banff National Park pass for the number of days you need (or get an annual pass) when you first arrive at a park gate. You will be given a receipt that you attach to your windshield for subsequent pass checks.

Whether it would be more cost effective to buy daily passes for the number of days you intend to spend in the national parks or buy an annual pass depends on the duration of your visit and your plans for the next year. A day is defined as the day of entry, regardless of time of entry, until 4.00 p.m. the following day.

An annual Park Pass is valid in 27 of Canada's national parks for 365 days from the date of purchase. It becomes more cost effective to buy an annual pass if you are going to spend seven (7) or more days in the national parks.

The annual pass can also make a nice souvenir, once your trip is over; they are made of heavy plastic, similar to a phone card, and the attractive image on the front of the pass (usually of Canadian wildlife) is changed each year.

You can buy your Banff National Park pass over the phone when you're planning your trip. at Call Parks Canada directly 1.403.760.1343.

You will not have to pay again, or even show your pass, when you cross the border from one national park to another, e.g., when you cross from Banff National Park to Yoho National Park, or Banff National Park to Jasper National Park.

You can use cash or a major credit card to pay the national park entry fee.

Here is a tip if you'll be visiting Banff National Park for only a day during the busy months of July and August. You can bypass the line ups at Banff National Park's east gate and purchase your Banff National Park pass from the Husky gasoline station at Dead Man Flats enroute to Banff.

If you are driving westwards from Calgary, you reach Dead Man's Flats just before Canmore. The limitation with the Husky gas station is that it only sells single day passes to the national parks. Keep that in mind!

You can order your national parks pass over the phone before you depart for your vacation. Parks Canada will mail it to your home address. Call (403) 760-1343 between 8.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. (North American Mountain Time Zone) from Monday to Friday.

If you happen to be in Calgary before heading for the mountains, you can purchase your Banff National Park pass from Parks Canada's office at 1300, 635 - 8th Avenue SW. Their telephone number is (403) 292-4401. They are open 8.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Annual passes for the national parks are available throughout Alberta: If you're a member of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) or the American Automobile Association (AAA), you qualify for the discount that applies to AAA members.

The entrances to the national parks have a drive-through lane for folks who already have national park passes or who do not intend to stop in the national parks.

This means that if you use the town of Canmore as your base for visiting the mountains, you will not need to stop at the east gate to Banff National Park every time you drive into the park.

Too Expensive?

Sometimes visitors are surprised by the entry fees to Canada's national parks. Remember, these fees go directly to Parks Canada, not into general government revenues.

The money raised from the entry fees pay for maintenance and upgrades of aging infrastructure (roads, picnic areas, outhouses, parking lots, signage, etc.) It also helps to pay for everything from picnic areas and trail maintenance to wildlife protection and search & rescue services.

Don't can be fined if you're in Banff without your Banff National Park pass!

If you've arrived on this page without reading my Travel By Car to Banff Page with lots of additional information on getting to Banff, click here and read on....

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