Always plan ahead! Be prepared!
Please observe travel restrictions and physical distancing guidelines that are in place. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable, avoid high-touch surfaces, pack out what you pack in and stay home if you are sick. For up-to-date information on Covid-19 in BC please click here.
Weather can change very quickly; vehicles can break down; people can become lost; first aid emergencies can happen at any time. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Make sure you know where you are going and what facilities and emergency services are available nearby. Make note of the emergency numbers in your area - 911 doesn't work everywhere - some areas do not have cell phone service or WiFi.
PLEASE RECREATE RESPONSIBLY
- CLEAN plants, animals & mud from boots, bikes, gear, pets & vehicle before entering & leaving the recreation site
- DRAIN and DRY your watercraft and equipment for 48 hours after exiting any river, lake or stream
- STAY on designated trails
- LEAVE all flowers, rocks, antlers and artefacts where you find them
FOREST SERVICE ROADS
Sometimes the road less travelled can take you to some pretty spectacular spots. Forest Service Roads provide access to remote places beyond our highways. For information and advice on travelling forest service roads visit: BC Forest Safety.
Remember, you are responsible for your own safety. If you are visiting places off the beaten path, follow these tips for the best experience possible.
- Get advice from a visitor centre
- Study trail descriptions and maps before starting
- Check the weather forecast and current trail conditions
- Choose a trail suitable for the least experienced member of your group
- Pack adequate food, water, clothing, maps and gear
- Carry a first aid kit
- Carry bear spray and know how to use it
- Tell somebody where you're going, when you'll be back and who to call if you don't return
- Travel with a friend or group
- Be prepared for emergencies and changes in weather
- To prevent trail damage, stay on the trail and avoid shortcuts
- Travel in groups and make noise to avoid surprise encounters with wildlife
- Do not feed, touch or approach wildlife. Stay at least 30 to 50 meters away from most animals and 100 meters away from bears
- Pets must be on a leash at all times in the national parks. Please check with each town about pet on leash regulations and clean up after your pet.
- Consider bringing a satellite phone or device such as “SPOT” or “inREACH” when traveling in the backcountry as cell phone coverage is generally not available
A backcountry camping permit is required for overnight trips in the national parks.. Reservations should be made in advance.
- Leave what you find and take what you bring.
- Store all food and toiletries in a bear-proof locker or food hanger.
- Pack out all garbage including diapers and food waste. Garbage and outhouses don’t mix.
- Bury human waste in a hole 15 cm deep and at least 100 m away from any water source.
- Pack out your toilet paper or use biodegradable toilet paper and bury it.
- Natural and cultural resources such as rocks, fossils, artifacts, horns, antlers, wildflowers and nests are protected by law and must be left undisturbed for others to discover and enjoy.
To book or learn more, visit https://reservation.pc.gc.ca/ or call 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783)
Non designated or random camping may be permitted (this includes but is not limited to random camping, bivouacing, Alpine Club huts, and nights outside the national park boundaries etc...).
Ask Visitor Centre staff for details.
Cyclists are more likely to experience sudden, dangerous bear encounters- slow down, stay alert and make noise.
- Mountain biking is allowed only on trails designated for cycling.
- Cyclists yield to hikers.
- Cyclists and hikers yield to horses. Stay on trails to avoid skidding.
A fishing permit is required in the national parks.
Visit: Yoho National Park fishing regulations or
Kootenay National Park fishing regulations for the most up to date information.
To prevent the spread of aquatic diseases, remember to Clean. Drain. Dry. and leave felt-soled waders at home.
- Be avalanche aware. You don’t need to walk far from your car to be in avalanche terrain. Not all signed summer destinations are safe for winter travel from November to June.
If you plan to travel into avalanche terrain:
- Get training: Every member of your party should have accredited avalanche safety training.
- Carry avalanche equipment: Every member of your part should carry a beacon, probe and shovel and know how to use them.
- Check the avalanche forecast: Every member of your party should know the avalanche forecast for the area in which you plan to travel and assess the risks.
- Leave an itinerary.
- Safety and essential tips: AdventureSmart.ca ParksMountainSafety.ca
- Yoho National Park
- Kootenay National Park
- Websites, use for trail conditions, and safety tips:
In case of emergency call 911 on your cell phone. Remember, cell phones are not always reliable in the backcountry.
For satellite phones, in Yoho, Kootenay and Banff call Parks Canada Emergency Dispatch at 403-762-4506.