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View Full Version : Free National Park passes to celebrate 150th anniversary



Barry N
05-01-2016, 11:22 AM
The federal government is making entry into the national parks and historic sites free in 2017 as a way to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.


http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/national-park-passes-bought-this-year-valid-until-2018

KC
05-01-2016, 11:58 AM
Ugggh - they should be charging some nominal fee, like a buck or two, for anyone that goes to, or even drives through, the national parks.

noodle
05-01-2016, 12:19 PM
It's a one year free ride to celebrate Confederation. It'll go back to usual (mostly) in 2018.

As for the nominal fee for driving through, I'm not really feeling it, given that the most efficient routes to our closest major port travel through National Parks. That'd have far reaching ramifications on the cost of living in Alberta.

IanO
05-01-2016, 12:36 PM
Wonderful program, remind me to avoid the parks other than Mondays and Tuesday in 2017.

Replacement
05-01-2016, 12:41 PM
Bit of an odd plan and not clear how its rolled out as per usual Parks passes are issued not in calendar year but in 12month use intervals. For instance with a June 2015 pass good for 12 mths until July 2016.

So my question is does the free 2017 result in reduced fees for passes bought prior? For instance if one buys a pass this July they are actually only getting 6mths use because 2017 is going to be free.

Essentially what this likely means is that the Parks get less pass revenue from 2016 as well..As less people will be keen to buy the annual pass.

Chmilz
05-01-2016, 12:45 PM
That explains why the booths were closed on the 1st. Here we thought we got lucky when we didn't get a ticket when we stopped at the Radium hot springs.

noodle
05-01-2016, 12:54 PM
Bit of an odd plan and not clear how its rolled out as per usual Parks passes are issued not in calendar year but in 12month use intervals. For instance with a June 2015 pass good for 12 mths until July 2016.

So my question is does the free 2017 result in reduced fees for passes bought prior? For instance if one buys a pass this July they are actually only getting 6mths use because 2017 is going to be free.

Essentially what this likely means is that the Parks get less pass revenue from 2016 as well..As less people will be keen to buy the annual pass.

From what I've read your 12 month rolling window stops ticking for the entirety of 2017. So a pass bought June 2016 wouldn't expire until 24 months have passed, the 12 you paid for & the 12 we're all getting.

Replacement
05-01-2016, 01:00 PM
Bit of an odd plan and not clear how its rolled out as per usual Parks passes are issued not in calendar year but in 12month use intervals. For instance with a June 2015 pass good for 12 mths until July 2016.

So my question is does the free 2017 result in reduced fees for passes bought prior? For instance if one buys a pass this July they are actually only getting 6mths use because 2017 is going to be free.

Essentially what this likely means is that the Parks get less pass revenue from 2016 as well..As less people will be keen to buy the annual pass.

From what I've read your 12 month rolling window stops ticking for the entirety of 2017. So a pass bought June 2016 wouldn't expire until 24 months have passed, the 12 you paid for & the 12 we're all getting.

Thanks, that may well be the way it rolls out but from the link it isn't clear as they are using January as an example. Of course any pass bought would be good until January 2018 if all of 2017 were free.

It doesn't immediately follow however that a pass bought in June 2016 will be good until June 2018. It might only be good until January 2018 as well.

East McCauley
05-01-2016, 01:02 PM
Bit of an odd plan and not clear how its rolled out as per usual Parks passes are issued not in calendar year but in 12month use intervals. For instance with a June 2015 pass good for 12 mths until July 2016.

So my question is does the free 2017 result in reduced fees for passes bought prior? For instance if one buys a pass this July they are actually only getting 6mths use because 2017 is going to be free.

Essentially what this likely means is that the Parks get less pass revenue from 2016 as well..As less people will be keen to buy the annual pass.

A pass bought in July 2016 would be valid until the end of July 2018.

"Validity Period: 2016 Annual passes are valid for a minimum of TWO full years from the date of purchase, expiring on the last day of the month in which it was purchased. If a pass is purchased online within the last 7 days of the month, it will have an activation date of the first day of the following month to allow time for postage of the pass to the online purchaser."

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/ar-sr/lpac-ppri/ced-ndp.aspx#dp04

Replacement
05-01-2016, 01:19 PM
Bit of an odd plan and not clear how its rolled out as per usual Parks passes are issued not in calendar year but in 12month use intervals. For instance with a June 2015 pass good for 12 mths until July 2016.

So my question is does the free 2017 result in reduced fees for passes bought prior? For instance if one buys a pass this July they are actually only getting 6mths use because 2017 is going to be free.

Essentially what this likely means is that the Parks get less pass revenue from 2016 as well..As less people will be keen to buy the annual pass.

A pass bought in July 2016 would be valid until the end of July 2018.

"Validity Period: 2016 Annual passes are valid for a minimum of TWO full years from the date of purchase, expiring on the last day of the month in which it was purchased. If a pass is purchased online within the last 7 days of the month, it will have an activation date of the first day of the following month to allow time for postage of the pass to the online purchaser."

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/ar-sr/lpac-ppri/ced-ndp.aspx#dp04

Thanks, that wasn't made immediately clear from the OP link. Its the proper rollout for this then, kudos.

Alex.L
05-01-2016, 01:38 PM
Excellent. Will definitely be buying a family pass this year.

Titanium48
05-01-2016, 03:45 PM
How about getting rid of admission fees permanently. Raise other user fees instead (perhaps a 15% increase in camping fees and a 5% hotel tax), and download some costs by transferring responsibility for highways that traverse parks to the provinces.

SP59
05-01-2016, 03:50 PM
Disagree. Why let people invade the parks one day at a time for nothing? The last thing Banff needs is more Calgarians tromping over every nook and cranny of the environment because its free.

KC
05-01-2016, 04:53 PM
Disagree. Why let people invade the parks one day at a time for nothing? The last thing Banff needs is more Calgarians tromping over every nook and cranny of the environment because its free.

Agree. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a cost associated with every visitor. Things like pollution, waste management, enforcement, road maintenance, etc. Overnighters pay and day visitors get a free ride, thus shifting a greater cost burden onto the overnight rate-payers.

Free is nice, but it's essentially shifting the cost burden onto many people that will never visit a national park. (I wouldn't be surprised if that isn't disproportionately; the poor, immigrants, etc.)

East McCauley
05-01-2016, 05:59 PM
^Only if you drive through a national park without stopping do you not have to pay a fee, which is fair. Pretty sure day visitors need to display a park pass if they stop anywhere in a national park.

I buy a park pass every year, and consider it good value for money. The next one I buy will be for two years. Even better value for money.

The_Cat
05-01-2016, 11:24 PM
What about Elk Island?

SP59
06-01-2016, 12:02 AM
^Only if you drive through a national park without stopping do you not have to pay a fee, which is fair. Pretty sure day visitors need to display a park pass if they stop anywhere in a national park.

I buy a park pass every year, and consider it good value for money. The next one I buy will be for two years. Even better value for money.

I think KC like myself was referring to Titanium's proposal, not the current operating practice.

Titanium48
06-01-2016, 09:17 AM
Disagree. Why let people invade the parks one day at a time for nothing? The last thing Banff needs is more Calgarians tromping over every nook and cranny of the environment because its free.

Agree. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a cost associated with every visitor. Things like pollution, waste management, enforcement, road maintenance, etc. Overnighters pay and day visitors get a free ride, thus shifting a greater cost burden onto the overnight rate-payers.

Free is nice, but it's essentially shifting the cost burden onto many people that will never visit a national park. (I wouldn't be surprised if that isn't disproportionately; the poor, immigrants, etc.)
I would argue the reverse. The current user fee is a flat rate, where the family camping in a tent pays the same as the rich tourists staying at the Banff Springs, and it costs $20 just to go for a walk in the park. An accommodation tax would shift that burden to the higher income users, and give the poor a chance to enjoy their local parks for the cost of getting there.

All BC and Alberta provincial parks work the way I am proposing for national parks - free to enter for the day, but pay to stay. If the subsidy of day users by overnight users is a problem, there could also be fees directed at day users - BC parks used to charge $1/hour or $5/day for parking, and the hotel tax could be extended to things like lift tickets, or even all goods and services sold in the park.

Sonic Death Monkey
06-01-2016, 09:38 AM
There's likely already hotel taxes in the national parks.
Current pass system works fine, thanks. Just build an express lane at the Jasper park gate, same as the Banff park gate.

Replacement
06-01-2016, 09:42 AM
What about Elk Island?

You're not allowed to drive through Elk Island without a parks pass. Even if sole intent is not stopping and simply driving through to Lamont. If anybody is at the gate they stop you and check for passes. Elk Island is higher staffed seemingly than it used to be.

Myself I always like to have an annual pass and think its good value and something worth supporting but this fall ours had expired and I figured I'd wait before getting a new one. Turns out to be a good decision. :)

rorybagleys
20-01-2016, 02:55 PM
A one year break seems like a nice gesture. I wonder if the fees will go up once they reinstate them in 2018.

Alex.L
20-01-2016, 05:05 PM
What about Elk Island?

You're not allowed to drive through Elk Island without a parks pass. Even if sole intent is not stopping and simply driving through to Lamont. If anybody is at the gate they stop you and check for passes. Elk Island is higher staffed seemingly than it used to be.

Myself I always like to have an annual pass and think its good value and something worth supporting but this fall ours had expired and I figured I'd wait before getting a new one. Turns out to be a good decision. :)

I assume The Cat means driving through Elk Island on the Yellowhead, which does not have gates.

Replacement
22-01-2016, 12:29 PM
What about Elk Island?

You're not allowed to drive through Elk Island without a parks pass. Even if sole intent is not stopping and simply driving through to Lamont. If anybody is at the gate they stop you and check for passes. Elk Island is higher staffed seemingly than it used to be.

Myself I always like to have an annual pass and think its good value and something worth supporting but this fall ours had expired and I figured I'd wait before getting a new one. Turns out to be a good decision. :)

I assume The Cat means driving through Elk Island on the Yellowhead, which does not have gates.

I assumed he meant the Elk Island roadway, which goes north through the park from the Yellowhead.

How could the question be about the Yellowhead? Any Edmontonian would probably know you can drive through Jasper on the Yellowhead without a parks pass provided you are not stopping overnight. On that basis nobody could really believe that you would need a parks pass to cross Elk Island while en route on the same yellowhead highway.

Alex.L
22-01-2016, 12:39 PM
What about Elk Island?

You're not allowed to drive through Elk Island without a parks pass. Even if sole intent is not stopping and simply driving through to Lamont. If anybody is at the gate they stop you and check for passes. Elk Island is higher staffed seemingly than it used to be.

Myself I always like to have an annual pass and think its good value and something worth supporting but this fall ours had expired and I figured I'd wait before getting a new one. Turns out to be a good decision. :)

I assume The Cat means driving through Elk Island on the Yellowhead, which does not have gates.

I assumed he meant the Elk Island roadway, which goes north through the park from the Yellowhead.

How could the question be about the Yellowhead? Any Edmontonian would probably know you can drive through Jasper on the Yellowhead without a parks pass provided you are not stopping overnight. On that basis nobody could really believe that you would need a parks pass to cross Elk Island while en route on the same yellowhead highway.

Not everybody does. I'll stop speculating until we get clarification. Otherwise we'll just end up arguing about a hypothetical question.

Replacement
22-01-2016, 12:40 PM
Lets not do that, heh, I was just replying.

Kitlope
17-03-2016, 12:44 PM
Banff promised $39M more for roads, campgrounds, infrastructure

The federal government plans to spend an additional $39 million on infrastructure in Banff National Park, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced Thursday.

"This is additional money," McKenna said, noting the commitment is over and above the funding promises for Parks Canada the Liberals made during last fall's election campaign.

"In terms of the money that was announced before, we are still proceeding," she add
ed.

McKenna said the funding will include:


$14 million to "improve visitor experience," including upgrades to the Lake Louise campground as well as Peyto Lake and Bow Summit day-use areas.
$6 million for upgrades to animal underpasses along the Trans-Canada Highway
$1 million to "improve the natural processes" in the mountain parks through prescribed burns

The funding also includes $14.5 million to rehabilitate 47 kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway on the east end of the park, including repaving some sections.

Dave McDonough, the superintendent of Banff National Park, called the funding "a great shot in the arm" and said the upgrades to animal underpasses, in particular, will protect the area's ecological integrity.

"The improvements to the wildlife corridors are critical," he said. "As you know, they've been extremely effective over the years, and this is a great opportunity to continue to improve them and ensure that they're effective going forward."
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/banff-39m-infrastructure-funding-catherine-mckenna-1.3495644

KC
26-01-2017, 06:44 AM
Feds are asking for comments:



Nearly half of national park ecosystems rate as 'fair' or 'poor' in Parks Canada report
Rating an improvement from 2011, but impact of more visitors on parks a concern
By Susan Lunn, CBC News Posted: Jan 26, 2017


McKenna asking for public input

Canadians currently have an opportunity to tell the minister directly what they want done with federal parks.

McKenna has been holding in-person and online consultations with stakeholders and the general public. The consultations wrap up Friday.

More than 1,700 people have submitted comments, many of them urging the minister to put nature before development.

...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/parks-canada-report-condition-1.3952144

etownboarder
27-01-2017, 10:16 AM
How long did it take you guys to get your pass? I ordered mine maybe a month ago and haven't received it yet.

Replacement
27-01-2017, 10:30 AM
I'm a bit confused about how this has all been rolled out.

The parks are free this year but somehow, for some reason, a pass is required. Which requires money to make those passes, distribute them, etc. Which is an unnecessary amount of manufacturing that is bad for the environment. To make millions of passes.

Why not just not require a pass for the year?

Not once in this process, and I've asked Parks Canada about it have I got a valid answer why the passes are required in 2017.

Finally why order. Won't they just have these at the Parks gates or is Parks Canada expecting a shortage of passes and more ordering requiring required.

What a bureaucratic gongshow.

noodle
27-01-2017, 10:38 AM
How long did it take you guys to get your pass? I ordered mine maybe a month ago and haven't received it yet.

6 weeks is the timeline on the Parks Canada website.

nobleea
27-01-2017, 10:41 AM
I'm a bit confused about how this has all been rolled out.

The parks are free this year but somehow, for some reason, a pass is required. Which requires money to make those passes, distribute them, etc. Which is an unnecessary amount of manufacturing that is bad for the environment. To make millions of passes.

Why not just not require a pass for the year?

Not once in this process, and I've asked Parks Canada about it have I got a valid answer why the passes are required in 2017.

Finally why order. Won't they just have these at the Parks gates or is Parks Canada expecting a shortage of passes and more ordering requiring required.

What a bureaucratic gongshow.
I assume you have to be a canadian resident to receive the free one. Considering many visitors in the summer are not, maybe that's the reason? Will non residents still have to pay?

Replacement
27-01-2017, 10:53 AM
I'm a bit confused about how this has all been rolled out.

The parks are free this year but somehow, for some reason, a pass is required. Which requires money to make those passes, distribute them, etc. Which is an unnecessary amount of manufacturing that is bad for the environment. To make millions of passes.

Why not just not require a pass for the year?

Not once in this process, and I've asked Parks Canada about it have I got a valid answer why the passes are required in 2017.

Finally why order. Won't they just have these at the Parks gates or is Parks Canada expecting a shortage of passes and more ordering requiring required.

What a bureaucratic gongshow.
I assume you have to be a canadian resident to receive the free one. Considering many visitors in the summer are not, maybe that's the reason? Will non residents still have to pay?I'm assuming I have to be a bureaucrat to understand this convoluted need for a pass process. Just pick the pass up at any of the parks gates right? Another question Parks Canada for some reason can't answer. Why does anybody need to mail out for these? If anything encouraging people to do that results in more passes than required being distributed.

etownboarder
27-01-2017, 10:55 AM
^gotta support Canada Post somehow.

Sonic Death Monkey
27-01-2017, 10:59 AM
How long did it take you guys to get your pass? I ordered mine maybe a month ago and haven't received it yet.

About a month for me

Extreme
27-01-2017, 11:15 AM
I called in last week and they were saying that it can take up to 8 weeks.

Alex.L
27-01-2017, 01:05 PM
I ordered mine on Dec 1 (3 of them, hoping to put them in some Christmas stockings), and I just received them on Tuesday.

SP59
27-01-2017, 01:08 PM
Federal Bureaucrats screwing up the most simple of tasks.

Spudly
27-01-2017, 01:10 PM
Other than getting them for stocking-stuffers or as a memento, is there any reason to order them in advance? I thought they were being given away in all the parks anyway.

Alex.L
27-01-2017, 02:09 PM
Other than getting them for stocking-stuffers or as a memento, is there any reason to order them in advance? I thought they were being given away in all the parks anyway.

You'd have to stop at the booth when heading into the park, which is a waste of time. Sometimes they're not busy and it's no hassle, but if you're planning to travel on a long weekend ordering it in advance could easily save you a half hour. Much nicer to just zip past in the through lane and continue on your way.

gwill211
27-01-2017, 02:37 PM
we got our pass before new years and didnt order until the second week of dec. I thought i read you dont need to order a pass to get in for free.

Alex.L
27-01-2017, 02:51 PM
we got our pass before new years and didnt order until the second week of dec. I thought i read you dont need to order a pass to get in for free.

You don't need to order one to get in free, but you do need to have one. Meaning you'd have to stop and get one as you enter the park. Considering the publicity around this, the parks are going to be a zoo and I'd only assume that the lines at the park gate will be longer than usual.

Replacement
27-01-2017, 02:52 PM
Other than getting them for stocking-stuffers or as a memento, is there any reason to order them in advance? I thought they were being given away in all the parks anyway.

You'd have to stop at the booth when heading into the park, which is a waste of time. Sometimes they're not busy and it's no hassle, but if you're planning to travel on a long weekend ordering it in advance could easily save you a half hour. Much nicer to just zip past in the through lane and continue on your way.

Jasper East GAtes, yes, at worst times theres an appreciable lineup there.

At Banff gates or Elk Island much more convenient. Elk Island because theres never a lineup, Banff East because they have several lanes open.

Also passes can usually be picked up at Parks Canada office in either downtown Banff or Jasper. Takes a few minutes that way. People always go into townsite anyway.


Not sure why Parks Canada has pushed this mail in the order thing so much. Maybe they are helping Canada Post..

Gord Lacey
27-01-2017, 03:43 PM
I ordered mine on Dec 1 (3 of them, hoping to put them in some Christmas stockings), and I just received them on Tuesday.

That's crazy. I ordered mine the same day (just checked), and I had it before Christmas.

Spudly
27-01-2017, 04:15 PM
You don't need to order one to get in free, but you do need to have one. Meaning you'd have to stop and get one as you enter the park. Considering the publicity around this, the parks are going to be a zoo and I'd only assume that the lines at the park gate will be longer than usual.

Given that they're being handed out free, wouldn't there be 4-H kids or something like that handing them out en masse at the gates?

Do they track how many each household gets?

KC
27-01-2017, 04:17 PM
You don't need to order one to get in free, but you do need to have one. Meaning you'd have to stop and get one as you enter the park. Considering the publicity around this, the parks are going to be a zoo and I'd only assume that the lines at the park gate will be longer than usual.

Given that they're being handed out free, wouldn't there be 4-H kids or something like that handing them out en masse at the gates?

Do they track how many each household gets?

If park entry is free, why even have all this bureaucratic handing out of passes at all?

Titanium48
01-02-2017, 04:17 PM
If park entry is free, why even have all this bureaucratic handing out of passes at all?

Agreed. The people staffing the gates should be reassigned to do something useful instead of handing out free passes and waving at people. They even still have staff at the one on hwy 93 south of Jasper (the one you can't get to without going through another gate first). Such a waste.

Moodib
01-02-2017, 04:23 PM
Hopefully this is where they put the summer students in a few months' time.

etownboarder
01-02-2017, 04:24 PM
Finally arrived yesterday.

Extreme
01-02-2017, 04:24 PM
The one thing that you are forgetting is that the park admission is only free for Canadians. Out of country will still require a pass to visit the parks.

If it was free for all it totally agree.

Perspective
01-02-2017, 04:33 PM
The one thing that you are forgetting is that the park admission is only free for Canadians. Out of country will still require a pass to visit the parks.

If it was free for all it totally agree.

Are you sure? I never heard anything like that. How do they know if you are a Canadian or from out of country? All you would need is for the driver of the car to have a issued in Canada driver's license to fool the entry gate. Plus regular entry into the parks is on a per car basis, not per person, so I highly doubt that it has any type of limitation on whether or not the guests are Canadian.

No mention that you need to be a Canadian here either (http://www.commandesparcs-parksorders.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/ProductDisplay?storeId=22953&categoryId=216870&catalogId=53407&productId=524527&errorViewName=ProductDisplayErrorView&top_category=216870&parent_category_rn=216870&langId=-1). You require a Canadian address at most I assume, but besides that, like many mentioned, if they are handing them out at the gate, you won't even need that.

Extreme
01-02-2017, 04:52 PM
If I'm wrong then i stand corrected, and i am totally on board with it being ridiculous. Could probably save some extra coin by not having the park rangers police it either. Although their union might have something to say about that.

Spudly
01-02-2017, 05:41 PM
I just ordered 3, and there's a combo "Country/Region" full of countries. So I ordered a couple for friends in California and there was no charge nor mention of charge.

Kitlope
01-02-2017, 07:39 PM
Seems there are some hanging questions in this thread. Oh, and I just received my pass in the mail on Monday :)

The reason why you can order passes this time around instead of simply just getting them at the gate is purely a question about numbers. Millions have been mailed off and is giving insight into the amount of people that may be visiting which is valuable information to Parks Canada. However, conservationists are quite concerned as am I. You think stupid is thick along the highway salt licks in Jasper in a regular year? Just wait folks. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/conservation-concern-parks-canada-free-entry-2017-1.3918535

Advertising. Getting people talking about Canada's National Parks. Guess what? It's worked, probably even internationally. Keep in mind overall visitors from all parks has been decreasing over the decades (other than Banff & Jasper) although the last few years may have had an uptick. I remember reading this some 10 years ago... maybe it's not the case anymore. I'll try to find some more info.

Freeing up the gate booths as traffic is expected to be much greater. You know, traffic jams in the middle of a forest? Something I'm sure we would be bitching about here at C2E if they didn't at least attempt to alleviate the situation, which they're doing by mailing out park passes. Will it be perfect? No. However, think of the millions of vehicles that won't be stopping at the gate booth because of the pass they already have dangling from the rearview mirror.


The people staffing the gates should be reassigned to do something useful instead of handing out free passes and waving at people. They even still have staff at the one on hwy 93 south of Jasper (the one you can't get to without going through another gate first). Such a waste.

This is because driving the Icefields Parkway (hwy 93) a pass is absolutely required, something to do with being one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Unlike most gates, the Jasper south gate you're not just being waved on through the park if you're not spending the day or overnight and the like... having a park pass is needed and hence why this gate is manned. It's not a waste and actually makes a lot of sense, as long as there's a charge to drive that stretch.

So much misinformation in this thread!

KC
01-02-2017, 08:48 PM
We paid for ours but it was good for two years - seemed like a bonus but now with half of Canada getting passes, I doubt we'll go near a park next summer. Should have just paid the minimum. I think we were taken. :-)

Sonic Death Monkey
01-02-2017, 09:58 PM
^^ I've always assumed a pass is required on the Icefields Parkway as a means to curtail commercial traffic and thus retain it as a tourist highway. A pity that the Americans forced BC to build the Mica Dam, otherwise they could have extended Hwy 95 from Golden to Valemount. But I digress...

Anyway I plan on making use of my pass this year. I want to hit up Miette Hot Springs and Glacier Skywalk. Maybe head down to Radium, which I haven't done in a while.

That reminds me - I wonder how many people are aware that even though park passes are free they'll still have to pay for entry into all the attractions and such? I know I'm severely underestimating people's intelligence here, but you know...people.

Gord Lacey
01-02-2017, 10:42 PM
SDM, we went to Cave & Basin in Banfield and it was free for a parks pass, or do you mean the non-government attractions like the skywalk?

Sonic Death Monkey
01-02-2017, 11:05 PM
Non-government attractions are a given. As for government-run park services:

http://www.commandesparcs-parksorders.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/parksb2c/FAQs


Is everything in Parks Canada locations free in 2017?
Only admission and lockage will be free in 2017. Fees for services and goods such as camping and firewood, special interpretation programs, reservation fees, soak fees at hot springs or overnight backcountry use will remain. Likewise, mooring fees for boats will still be in effect. Visit your favourite place’s website for all the details.

Titanium48
01-02-2017, 11:25 PM
The people staffing the gates should be reassigned to do something useful instead of handing out free passes and waving at people. They even still have staff at the one on hwy 93 south of Jasper (the one you can't get to without going through another gate first). Such a waste.

This is because driving the Icefields Parkway (hwy 93) a pass is absolutely required, something to do with being one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Unlike most gates, the Jasper south gate you're not just being waved on through the park if you're not spending the day or overnight and the like... having a park pass is needed and hence why this gate is manned. It's not a waste and actually makes a lot of sense, as long as there's a charge to drive that stretch.

So much misinformation in this thread!
Except that there isn't a charge to drive highway 93 until next January, so why staff the gate?

Kitlope
02-02-2017, 01:33 AM
Not sure Titanium, I'm thinking weight restrictions and commercial vehicles. Best to man it I guess and keep an eye on things.

Alex.L
02-02-2017, 12:31 PM
If park entry is free, why even have all this bureaucratic handing out of passes at all?

Agreed. The people staffing the gates should be reassigned to do something useful instead of handing out free passes and waving at people. They even still have staff at the one on hwy 93 south of Jasper (the one you can't get to without going through another gate first). Such a waste.

...Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is a gate when you're heading West into Jasper on the Yellowhead.

Sonic Death Monkey
02-02-2017, 12:34 PM
^ You are wrong ;)

noodle
02-02-2017, 12:36 PM
...Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is a gate when you're heading West into Jasper on the Yellowhead.

https://goo.gl/maps/DnUmJ9mARyJ2

Alex.L
02-02-2017, 12:37 PM
Not sure Titanium, I'm thinking weight restrictions and commercial vehicles. Best to man it I guess and keep an eye on things.

+ for quick closures if they get word that there is extreme weather, a rockslide, collision, etc.

Alex.L
02-02-2017, 12:40 PM
...Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is a gate when you're heading West into Jasper on the Yellowhead.

https://goo.gl/maps/DnUmJ9mARyJ2

I stand corrected. I honestly don't remember ever stopping there, oddly enough. Maybe I just always had a pass so I just zipped right past.

Sonic Death Monkey
02-02-2017, 12:46 PM
You might be thinking of Banff National Park. The Hwy 1 park gate has a non-gated lane that you can use if you're just passing through to BC - you only have to stop at a booth if you're stopping in any of the national parks (Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, etc). The Yellowhead needs a pass-thru lane into Jasper as well.

Marcel Petrin
02-02-2017, 01:08 PM
...Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is a gate when you're heading West into Jasper on the Yellowhead.

https://goo.gl/maps/DnUmJ9mARyJ2

I stand corrected. I honestly don't remember ever stopping there, oddly enough. Maybe I just always had a pass so I just zipped right past.

As mentioned, there is no pass holder lane at the East Jasper Gate. The lineups can be absolutely horrendous in the summer, whether you have a pass or not.

Alex.L
05-02-2017, 06:25 PM
...Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is a gate when you're heading West into Jasper on the Yellowhead.

https://goo.gl/maps/DnUmJ9mARyJ2

I stand corrected. I honestly don't remember ever stopping there, oddly enough. Maybe I just always had a pass so I just zipped right past.

As mentioned, there is no pass holder lane at the East Jasper Gate. The lineups can be absolutely horrendous in the summer, whether you have a pass or not.

I guess I've just been lucky then. Or I've repressed the memory of lining up.

sundance
07-07-2017, 03:03 PM
If you go to a park now, they will give you the free pass at the gate, but you do need to fill out a sign up form when you're there. We went to Elk Island on July 1st, fortunately we were able to bypass to cars waiting to signup for the free pass as we already have one.

seamusmcduffs
07-07-2017, 03:54 PM
I've told by multiple people that work at parks that if you don't have a pass you won't get fined or anything. The most they will do is give you a talking to and tell you to go get one as soon as possible, or give you one themselves. The parks are packed, punishing people for not having a pass is the least of their worries right now. At least that's the case in the Rockies right now.

Kitlope
08-07-2017, 07:24 AM
Free passes for the dummies!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/banff-grizzly-bear-tourists-fence-1.4195494

howie
08-07-2017, 07:45 AM
If you go to a park now, they will give you the free pass at the gate, but you do need to fill out a sign up form when you're there. We went to Elk Island on July 1st, fortunately we were able to bypass to cars waiting to signup for the free pass as we already have one.
Visited Fundy National Park last week. Free pass at the gate, but no form filling required.

SP59
08-07-2017, 10:10 AM
Same when we went to Jasper two weeks ago. Free pass at gate, no form to fill.

sundance
08-07-2017, 06:00 PM
As I didn't stop because I already have a pass my I'm only speculating. It might have been a waiver that states you assume personal responsibility if you rollerskate through a buffalo herd.

etownboarder
09-07-2017, 01:53 AM
Do the passes have any kind of radio chip technology or something to give parks Canada stats of visitors entering parks, stopping at attractions, etc?

Replacement
09-07-2017, 05:08 AM
^Sounds like a good idea but this years free passes are more paper in feel, and simply have print and a barcode. They do however have road counters installed in pavement at several sites like Athabasca Falls.

Anyway the free passes seem to be working. The parks are being used more this year and its never been harder to get, or reserve a campsite. Whistlers, Wapiti, Tunnel mountain in Banff virtually full (reserved quota) almost the whole summer. There is a lot of sites available at Pocahontas but more and more theres a reluctance to camp there and commute through the park as that portion of highway between The Miette turnoff and Jasper townsite has been the scene of so many serious head on accidents on a 2 lane section of highway that is speed limited but wherein you tend to get the absolute worst jackass drivers. Its possibly one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the province. Its sad as you used to be able to just enjoy the scenery and animal spotting through that area. Now the wildlife is people flooring it on the wrong side of the road trying to pass in no pass zones and in speed controlled areas.

Kitlope
02-09-2017, 07:58 PM
Illegal campfire sparks blaze north of Lake Louise as crews still battle Verdant Creek wildfire

Illegal campfires are believed to have sparked a newly discovered wildfire burning in Banff National Park.

Spotted Friday burning near the west end of Bow Lake, north of Lake Louise just west of the Icefields Parkway, the 0.5 hectare fire is being worked on by wildfire crews, said Lesley Matheson of Parks Canada.

The Bow Glacier Falls trail, the Bow Hut access route and parts of the Bow Lake trail are closed due to firefighting efforts.

The fire, which she said currently poses no threat to people or facilities, is currently under investigation by Parks Canada and the RCMP.

Matheson reminds park visitors disobeying the fire ban can be costly, with violators facing fines of as much as $25,000.

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/illegal-campfire-sparks-blaze-north-of-lake-louise-as-crews-still-battle-verdant-creek-wildfire


I hope the dumb fuch that started this is caught, fined to the maximum, thrown into jail and made to pay every nickel of firefighting costs. One of the perks of free national park passes I guess...

envaneo
02-09-2017, 10:52 PM
I smell a terrorist attack in this somehow. Is anyone else thinking this?.

KC
03-09-2017, 07:32 AM
I smell a terrorist attack in this somehow. Is anyone else thinking this?.

Reveals your mindset.

Illegal campfires - probably, if that's what they say. (stupid tourists, hikers, etc)

Tossed cigarettes - also a possibility (next time you're in the mountains look at all the butts stupidly tossed about by tourists

Atv-ers also a possibility (when the fires are more into the back country )

Arsonists seeking income (when it's a low fire year and people are looking for work)

Terrorism /arson (when it's around a city or chemical plant and
multiple, likely coordinated fires start at once)


I don't wonder about this one.

I do wonder what happened in Ft McMurray because everyone knew how dry it was. Still, a lot of the people (personality types) that go into the back country are the type that you hear protesting about their rights (rarely their obligations) and that no government is going to tell them what to do (as in obeying fire bans).

envaneo
03-09-2017, 12:47 PM
^ And up until just a few years ago, who would have thought a truck could be used to kill people? Or massive Cyber attacks, ransomware etc. All a form of terrorism, even massive forest fires in BC. Hint: Mountains and trees make up the beauty of BC and its tourism industry.

Yes, my mindset but I don't see terrorists hiding in every nook and cranny at the same time. Yet there are many faces of terrorism, there's environmental terrorism, corporate terrorism, and social terrorism (opioid crisis). It may be my mindset but my head isn't buried in the sand either. Nor do I go to sleep with aluminium foil wrapped around my head.

Replacement
03-09-2017, 01:58 PM
Terrorism of trees and forests? C'mon. There be more chance of Saudi billionaires setting fire to Fort McMurray than terrorists being involved and I'm joking with the Saudi's.

As far as pharmaceutical tragedy that's not terrorism, as such, but I tend to look at big Pharma as one of the worst scourges and that is out of control in several jurisdictions and with product testing never really what it should be. For instance longitudinal study on effects.

More harm and deaths occur due to Big Pharma than most causes that we spend our whole lives trying to be concerned about. The biggest single benefit to mankind, if not Canadians specifically, is getting big Pharma under control. In terms of pricing, delivery, testing, screening what should never be on the market, etc. In this case big business is in effect doing the terrorism. No other invocation of other culprit is required.

But terrorists sell papers and print and media coverage.

envaneo
03-09-2017, 03:21 PM
The fire in BC is far more substantial then the ft Mac fire. Some of the fires in BC apparently were caused by arson or in other words environmental terrorism.

My last post had nothing to say about big pharma.

Absolutely.

Replacement
03-09-2017, 04:03 PM
The fire in BC is far more substantial then the ft Mac fire. Some of the fires in BC apparently were caused by arson or in other words environmental terrorism.

My last post had nothing to say about big pharma.

Absolutely.
"Opioid crisis".

That's what you stated that I expanded on. That crisis is due primarily to big pharma first making and mass marketing such harmful products as OxyContin and Fentanyl. Therefore my reply on that.

envaneo
03-09-2017, 04:20 PM
Ahh, I see.

The dealers are terrorist. Not necessarily motivated by politics but they lace pot with Phentenal to get users hooked so they'll come back for more. Over 2400 deaths have been as a result of the recent opioid crisis alone. If that's not terrorism...

Big pharma is making a killing on Oxy so if anything they are terrorists in themselves when you put it that way.

The forest fires in our national parks appears to be caused by arson. Maybe motivated by politics/BC tourism industry/etc.

Gord Lacey
03-09-2017, 06:20 PM
Just got back from spending the day at Elk Island. Had a good 3.5 hour hike, except for the two idiots that had their dogs offleash ("Dude, there wasn't a sign! It's allowed!!") I almost unleashed on them, until I realized they probably weren't smart enough to understand the rules, and certainly weren't going to back down because they thought they were right (they weren't, at all).

The lake area was packed when we got there after the hike at 4, and there were some telescopes set up for the event later tonight (stargazing). There seemed to be lots of other stuff going on as well, but we were just there to eat a late lunch at the lake and head home.

Marcel Petrin
04-09-2017, 06:40 PM
Jasper didn't seem too crazy busy this weekend, although I didn't spend more than 20 minutes in the town site itself. Hiking up to the top of Whistler's we only passed a handful of people, and on the way back down the tram parking lot was less than half full (that might have had something to do with the shut down on Saturday night). Whistler's campground only seemed to be about 2/3's or 3/4 full, but that probably says more about their reservation system than anything (I'd be willing to bet their utilization rate on sites has fallen off a cliff since they brought in online reservations). Highways didn't seem overly busy driving there on Friday afternoon or back on Monday morning.