A park pass is a permit that allows you to visit a National Park and the monies collected are then used within the park they are collected from. Park Passes that are purchased in one national park can be used in other national parks during the period for which they are valid. Proceeds help maintain scenic parkways, day use areas, trails, public safety, information and interpretation services. Park passes that are purchased in one national park can be used in other national parks during the the period for which they are valid. Whether you plan on being married by a scenic lake, high on a mountain peak, or within the towns of Banff or Jasper, or the villages of Lake Louise or Field (the popular Emerald Lake Lodge is in Field, B.C.), you and your guests all will require passes. A Park Pass is also required for anyone travelling the Icefields Parkway (#93) between Lake Louise and Jasper (an incredibly scenic drive by the way). So where can you get these park passes and how much do they cost? If you are driving west on the Trans Canada Highway (#1) from the Calgary International Airport, you can obtain a pass from the Banff East Gate (about 7km west of Canmore). If you are traveling west from Edmonton (along the Yellowhead #16) into Jasper you can purchase from the Jasper East Park Gate. Here are the other Park Gates you can purchase passes from:
- David Thompson Gate (open in summer) – for visitors traveling west from Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer along the David Thompson Highway (#11)
- Niblock Gate (open in summer) – for visitors traveling north from Lake Louise up the Icefields Parkway (#93 North)
- West Park Gate – for visitors traveling east from Kamloops along the Yellowhead Highway (#16)
- Icefields Parkway Gate – for visitors traveling south along the Icefields Parkway (#93) towards Lake Louise
- Kootenay West Gate – for visitors traveling north from Radium Hot Springs along the Banff-Windermere Highway (#93)
- Yoho West Gate (open in summer) – for visitors traveling from the direction of Kamloops along the Trans-Canada Highway (#1)
You can also get a park pass from National Park Information Centres: NATIONAL PARK INFORMATION CENTRES: Banff National Park
Jasper National Park
Yoho National Park
Kootenay National Park
- Kootenay National Park Visitor Centre (May to September)
What can you expect to pay? Here are the current prices as listed on the National Parks of Canada site (please note prices are subject to change and it is suggested that you check in April every year for current pricing): Entry – Day Adult Individual Day – $9.80 Senior Individual Day – $8.30 Youth Individual Day – $4.90 Family/Group Day – $19.60 Annual – Discovery Pass* Adult – $67.70 Senior – $57.90 Youth – $33.30 Family/Group – $136.40 It’s a good idea to let your guests know about park passes in advance, that way if they are planning on staying longer in the area (or visiting other National Parks) they may want to consider getting an annual pass rather than a day pass. Note: Canmore, Alberta is just outside the Banff National Park boundary and therefore a park pass is not required if you are planning on marrying in Canmore. You can read about Tip# 5 for Planning A Rocky Mountain Destination Wedding in Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and Jasper here.
Photo Courtesy of Emerald Lake Lodge.
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