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National Park Fees

Lancashire, United...
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National Park Fees

I'll be driving from Vancouver through Whistler, Kamloops, Jasper and Lake Louise to Banff in May. I'll be driving through several National Parks and staying about 10 nights within those parks. Will I have to buy a parks pass each day? Seems quite a costly and hidden expense although I realise it's for the upkeep of the parks. Thanks for any advice.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: National Park Fees

I believe you only pay if you are staying within the parks and not charged if just driving through. Someone with better info will pipe in soon.

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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2. Re: National Park Fees

If you drive through without stopping, you need not pay. But as Calgarians know well, you must have a pass if you are using the park, whether you're staying overnight within the park or not. "Using the park" means anything from stopping at viewpoints to using paid attractions like the Banff Gondola; in short, anything that you would stop the car to do.

Since you'll be spending 7 days or more in the parks, your best deal is to buy an annual pass, which covers 2-7 people in the same vehicle, for $136.40

For more about park fees, see this TripAdvisor Traveller Article. Note the list of prices for comparable local attractions at the end.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-c13975/Banff-…

Edited: 12 March 2012, 20:46
Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: National Park Fees

My memory isn't always great, but when we drove from Calgary towards Banff the person in the pass booth only asked us where we were headed which was Vancouver. He never indicated that we should pay if we stopped at viewpoints , which we did. Did we cheat? How would they know who stops at viewpoints? I believe when we heading east and staying in Banff we paid and our hotel, I think , checked that we had a pass. Anyone?

Lancashire, United...
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4. Re: National Park Fees

Thanks to all for the advice. Better adjust my spending allowance!

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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5. Re: National Park Fees

<<how would they know who stops at viewpoints>>

The wardens do occasional random checks of vehicles in park viewpoints, picnic sites, parking lots, etc. We had inadvertently let our annual pass run out, and were recently given a warning ticket at Lake Minnewanka as a result. We drove right back to town and bought our new pass.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: National Park Fees

Thanks Banff, good to know. We were lucky then. However the guy at the pass booth didn't make that clear to us at all.

Newtown, PA
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7. Re: National Park Fees

Here's another recent thread about the fees. We'll be buying the annual pass.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154911-i221-k5186…

seattle
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for Seattle
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8. Re: National Park Fees

they routinely check park passes at the parking lot for Lk Louise, the Icefield Pkwy, and other popular veiwing spots. I see them there all the time.

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: National Park Fees

Yup, I just overnighted in Banff over the weekend and we purchased a pass.

It's not worth the risking the fine if you get caught, so you should budget for it.

10. Re: National Park Fees

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