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Alberta Parks and Camping Passes

John Walton  | Published on 4/28/2021

The government of Alberta has proposed two new Parks passes that may affect you. More details will come once this has been given final approval. Here is what we know so far.

1) Kananaskis Conservation Pass Alberta Parks Kananaskis Pass 

  • Starting June 1st, a $15.00 daily or a $90.00 annual pass will be required for all vehicles stopping in Kananaskis Country and the Bow Valley corridor. 
  • Passes are not required if travelling through without stopping or for people arriving on foot, horseback, bicycle.
  • A daily pass registers one vehicle and an annual pass, valid for a year from the date of purchase, allows you to register two cars.
  • Passes can be purchased online beginning June 1st. Or in-person at Kananaskis Visitor Information Centres (Barrier, Elbow and Peter Lougheed) and the Canmore Nordic Centre Day Lodge.
  • No need for a physical pass; you simply pay and register your license plate.
  • This pass replaces the voluntary winter parking pass in place this past season.
  • Exemptions will apply to First Nations and recipients of Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)
  • Camping fees and user fees for facilities like the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park still apply.

Passes will not be required in the following areas;

  • Ghost area
  • McLean Creek Public Land Use Zone
  • McLean Creek Provincial Recreation Area
  • Fisher Creek Provincial Recreation Area
  • Canmore townsite or other municipal lands within the boundary

2) Public Lands Camping Pass  Alberta Parks Public Lands Pass


This pass will be required starting June 1st if you random camp on public land along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains from Grande Prairie to Waterton Lakes National Park. 

Campers 18 years and older will be required to purchase a pass:

  • $20 per person for a 3-day pass
  • $30 per person for an annual pass
  • $3.25 plus GST system processing fee per transaction
  • The passes will be available for purchase online and at locations that sell fishing and hunting licenses

Unlike the Kananaskis Conservation Pass, campers, if asked, would be required to show proof of payment (printed pass or mobile app) to enforcement officers. 

  • Exemptions are in place for official campgrounds, non-camping day-use activities and authorized work or volunteer duties.
  • It is also not required for private, municipal or federally-owned lands or lands outside the designated zone.
  • Some First Nations and Mtis will be exempt.

Use of funds

The funds from these two passes will be used;
  • Conservation - Protecting habitat and reducing wildlife conflicts
  • Public safety - enforcement, search and rescue
  • Services and facilities - trails, day-use areas, recreation facilities, visitor and information centres, grooming and track setting winter trails.
  • improve education
  • monitor and enforce rules
  • improve environmental and waste management