Canadian Rockies Information
Canadian Rockies information is available from many online sources, as well as local visitor centres, which you will find in most towns and parks.
Canadian Rockies Park Information
For Canadian Rockies park information, each of the five national parks has at least one visitor centre. These are the places to head for interpretive displays, all park-related information, trail reports, weather forecasts, and wilderness passes. Individual addresses and websites are listed in the relevant travel chapters. The national parks are managed by PARKS CANADA. On the Alberta side of the Canadian Rockies, all other parks are managed by ALBERTA PARKS. British Columbia’s provincial parks are managed by BC PARKS.
Canadian Rockies Tourism Information
Begin planning your trip by contacting the government tourist offices of Alberta and British Columbia: TRAVEL ALBERTA (780/427-4321 or 800/252-3782) and DESTINATION BC (250/387-1642 or 800/435-5622).
Each town in the Canadian Rockies has a visitor centre, and most have a local tourism authority. For information on these specific destinations through the Canadian Rockies, click through these links:
Banff National Park
Jasper National Park
Yoho National Park
Kootenay National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park
We also provide current Information pages to these specific destinations:
Canadian Rockies Park Passes
National Park Passes
Unless you’re passing directly through, passes are required for entry into all five national parks covered by this website. Monies collected from these passes go directly to Parks Canada for park maintenance and improvements.
Passes can be purchased online through the PARKS CANADA website, at park gates (at the entrance to Banff, Kootenay, Jasper, and Waterton Lakes National Parks), at the tollbooths at either end of the Icefields Parkway, at all park information centres, and at campground fee stations. They can also be purchased.
Kananaskis Conservation Pass
A Kananaskis Conservation Pass is required for entry into Kananaskis Country. A pass is $15 per vehicle per day, or $90 for an annual pass. The easiest way to purchase a pass is online, with Wi-fi hotspots throughout Kananaskis Country set up for purchases if you have already arrived. Passes are also sold at visitor centres throughout Kananaskis Country. Pass checks are done through license plate recognition, so there is no tag to display on your vehicle.
All prices quoted on this website are in Canadian dollars and cents unless otherwise noted.
CANADIAN CURRENCY is based on dollars and cents, with 100 cents equal to one dollar. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, and 25 cents, and one and two dollars. The 11-sided, gold-coloured, one-dollar coin is known as a “loonie” for the bird featured on it. The unique two-dollar coin is silver with a gold-coloured insert. The most common notes are $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.
Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards are also readily accepted in the Canadian Rockies; American Express charge cards are less widely accepted. By using these cards you eliminate the necessity of thinking about the exchange rate—the transaction and rate of exchange on the day of the transaction will automatically be reflected in the bill from your credit card company. On the downside, you’ll always get a better exchange rate when dealing directly with a bank.
Canada imposes a 5 percent goods and services tax (GST) on most consumer purchases. The British Columbia government imposes its own 7 percent tax (PST) on everything except groceries and books. Alberta has no provincial tax. So when you are looking at the price of anything, remember that the final cost you pay will include an additional 5 to 12 percent in taxes.
Passports and Visas for Canada
To enter Canada, a passport is required by citizens and permanent residents of the United States. For further information, see the website travel.state.gov/travel. For current entry requirements to Canada, check with CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CANADA.
All other foreign visitors must have a valid passport and may need a visa or visitor’s permit depending on their country of residence and the vagaries of international politics. At present, visas are not required for citizens of the United States, British Commonwealth, or Western Europe. The standard entry permit is for six months, and you may be asked to show onward tickets or proof of sufficient funds to last you through your intended stay.
Canadian Weights and Measures
Canada officially adopted the METRIC SYSTEM back in 1975, though you still hear grocers talking in ounces and pounds, golfers talking in yards, and sailors talking in nautical miles. Metric is the primary unit used in this book, but we’ve added imperial conversions for readers from the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar, the only three countries that have not adopted the metric system. You can also refer to the metric conversion chart at the back of this book.
Canadian Rockies Time Zones
Alberta is in the MOUNTAIN TIME ZONE, one hour later than Pacific standard time, and two hours earlier than the eastern standard time. The mountain time zone extends west into southern British Columbia, which includes Yoho and Kootenay National Parks as well as the towns of Golden and Radium Hot Springs. The rest of British Columbia, including Mount Robson Provincial Park, is in the PACIFIC TIME ZONE.
Daylight saving time is in effect from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday in November. This corresponds with the United States (except Arizona) and all other Canadian provinces (except Saskatchewan).