Permits

GDT Hikers must stay in designated campgrounds in most National and Provincial Parks so it is recommended that you arrange for all park permits in advance. For a list of campgrounds on the GDT check out our Campgrounds page.

National Park Backcountry Campground Reservations 

Parks Canada

Parks Canada Discovery Pass: Covers access to National Parks, campground fees are not included. Go to the Parks Canada website for more information.

Annual Adult Discovery Pass $72.25 or One Day Discovery Pass $10.50 (reduced rate for seniors and youth 17 and under are free)

National Park Backcountry Permit: Covers backcountry camping in National Parks – $12.75 per night 

National Park Backcountry Permits require a reservation for all National Park backcountry campgrounds to be used on your trip, and are subject to campground availability. National Park backcountry campground online reservations, modifications and cancellations cost $11.50 (in addition to Backcountry Permit fees). Reservations, modifications and cancellations by phone cost $13.50.

Parks Canada is moving their reservation system to a new platform in March 2023. The look and feel will be different, but the features and functions will be similar. Because of this change, Parks Canada will be launching reservations for the 2023 season starting in March. Click here for detailed instructions on how to use the Parks Canada Online Reservation Service.

All national parks along the GDT now accept online reservations (reservation.pc.gc.ca) with the exception of Waterton Lakes National Park. Thru-hikers planning a long-distance trek through multiple national parks are recommended to reserve campgrounds online where available and then if necessary, call each applicable national park office to complete other required campground reservations, including random camping locations, and get any duplicate reservation fees reimbursed. 

Random camping is allowed in the following sections of the GDT within National Parks but a Backcountry Permit (random camping permit) is still required: Amiskwi valley in Yoho; Howse Pass Trail and Owen Creek in Banff; Miette River Trail, Colonel Pass, and Calumet in Jasper. You must call a national park visitor centre directly in order to obtain a random camping permit as they are not available online.

Reservation changes during your trek can be made online, but it is recommended to contact or visit a national park visitor centre en route to revise your Backcountry Permit.

Banff

  • Online reservations for Banff National Park’s backcountry camping open on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 8:00am MT. 
  • Telephone: 403-762-1556
  • Email: banffinfo@pc.gc.ca
  • In person at a Banff National Park Visitor Centre

Jasper

  • Online reservations for Jasper National Park’s backcountry camping open on Monday, March 20, 2023 at 8:00am MT. 
  • Telephone: 780-852-6177; press 2 (not 1) to reach someone in Jasper
  • Email: jaspertrails@pc.gc.ca
  • In person at a Jasper National Park Visitor Centre

Kootenay

  • Online reservations for Kootenay National Park’s backcountry camping open on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 8:00am MT. 
  • Telephone: 250-347-9505 (seasonal May-October); or Lake Louise Visitor Centre at 403-522-1264 (year-round)
  • Email: kootenayinfo-infokootenay@pc.gc.ca; or ll.info@pc.gc.ca
  • In person at a Kootenay National Park Visitor Centre

Waterton Lakes: 

  • Reservations can be made up to 90 days in advance
  • Telephone: 403-859-5133
  • Email: waterton.info@pc.gc.ca
  • In person at a Waterton Lakes National Park Visitor Centre

Yoho

  • Online reservations for Yoho National Park’s backcountry camping open on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 8:00am MT. 
  • Telephone: 250-343-6783 (seasonal May-October); or Lake Louise Visitor Centre at 403-522-1264 (year-round)
  • Email: yoho.info@pc.gc.ca; or ll.info@pc.gc.ca
  • In person at a Yoho National Park Visitor Centre

Provincial Park Backcountry Campground Reservations 

Three Provincial Parks require backcountry campground reservations. Hikers planning a long-distance trek through multiple parks will have to make all required campground reservations separately. 

Peter Lougheed:

Mount Assiniboine:

  • Reservations are now required year round for all overnight stays at Magog Lake and Og Lake campgrounds. All other campgrounds in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park are first-come first-served.
  • Reservations can be made up to 4 months in advance of your arrival date via the BC Parks Camping Reservation Service – $10 per person/night + $6 reservation fee.

Mount Robson:

  • All backcountry campgrounds on the Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park are 100% reservable from June 1 to September 30, however most of the Berg Lake Trail will remain closed for repairs during the 2023 season, except for the first 7 kilometres from the parking lot to Kinney Lake. 14 sites at Kinney Lake Campground are available for reservations on a four-month rolling window. 
  • Online reservations only – $10 per person/night + $6 reservation fee.
  • Permits and reservations are not required for backcountry campgrounds on the Moose River Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park.

All other Provincial Park backcountry campgrounds do not take reservations and have first-come first-served self-registration ranging from free to $10 per person/night. BC Parks Backcountry Registration System allows you to purchase a backcountry camping permit in advance for Akamina Creek campground and Lower Elk Lake campground. Although the system does not reserve a campsite, the system provides visitors the convenience of prepaying for their trip and not having to carry cash. 

Other Required Permits 

The Alberta Public Lands Camping Pass is required to random camp on public land along the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta from north of Waterton Lakes National Park to Willmore Wilderness Park. The pass does not apply in Kananaskis area, national parks, provincial parks, wildland provincial parks, provincial recreation areas, wilderness areas and natural areas, which limits the pass’s applicability on the GDT to the southern half of Section B, Michele Lakes to Pinto Lake (Section E), and Willmore Wilderness Park (Section G).  

  • A Public Lands Camping Pass is required for all campers 18 years and older. Passes are $20 per person for a 3-day pass or $30 per person for an annual pass (plus $3.25 system-processing fee + GST per transaction) and can be purchased online at: https://www.albertarelm.com/licensing.page

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