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Avalanche Season: Be Prepared Before You Go

Banff National Park boasts some of the world’s best outdoor adventures – from ice climbing to cross-country skiing, to snowshoeing and tobogganing. With nature’s unknown, there is a need to ensure visitor safety especially during avalanche season.

As an international leader in avalanche safety and communication, Parks Canada works hard to educate outdoor enthusiasts about avalanche danger and provide information to help visitors reduce their risk. Although the risk will never be completely eliminated, Parks Canada's goal is to reduce the number of avalanche incidents in the mountain national parks.

This year, visitors can expect to see an increase in avalanche information on the Parks Canada website, in brochures and at trailheads. New signs are being installed along the Lake Louise lakeshore in Banff National Park, Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park and in some key backcountry locations where visitors, with limited experience, recreate without recognizing they are close to avalanche terrain.

Visitor Safety Tips: Reduce the threat – know before you go!

  • Check Parks Canada's Winter Trails Guide for list of safe destinations
  • Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to come back
  • Check the weather and avalanche bulletin, change plans if weather deteriorates
  • If you plan to travel into avalanche terrain
    • Take an avalanche safety course
    • Carry avalanche gear (shovel, probe, beacon) and know how to use them

Important: You don’t need to go far to be in avalanche terrain and not all sign-posted trails are safe for winter travel.

Winter trails in the Banff areapc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/activ/skidefond-xcski/banff.aspx

Winter trails in the Lake Louise area: pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/activ/skidefond-xcski/lakelouise.aspx

Avalanche Forecast (Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks): avalanche.pc.gc.ca

Weather conditions: weather.gc.ca

Road reports: Alberta: 511.alberta.ca or BC: DriveBC.ca

Have safe and enjoyable winter adventures this season.

Parks Canada