Kananaskis Conservation Pass

Overview

Purchase a daily or yearly pass now to experience Kananaskis Country and the Bow Valley Corridor while supporting conservation efforts in the area.

Buy your conservation pass

Easy to buy, easy to use

Vehicles parked at provincial park and public land sites in Kananaskis Country and the Bow Valley need a Conservation Pass.

Buy your pass online and register your licence plate. Passes can also be purchased in-person or by using Wi-Fi at Kananaskis Visitor Information Centres (Barrier, Elbow and Peter Lougheed) and the Canmore Nordic Centre Day Lodge.

By purchasing a pass you're helping keep this special part of Alberta beautiful and protected for generations to come.

Cost

Only one pass per personal or commercial passenger vehicle is required. There is no extra cost for trailers or additional passengers. Pass purchases are non-transferable to another vehicle.

Personal vehicles

  • Day pass - $15 (registers one vehicle)
  • Yearly pass - $90 (registers up to 2 vehicles)

Commercial – 15 people or less

  • Day pass - $22.50
  • Yearly pass - $135

Example: shuttles, taxis, small group transport

Commercial – more than 15 people

  • Day pass - $30
  • Yearly pass - $180

Example: large group transport, coach buses

Pass details

  • Where the pass applies

    Pass applies

    Pass does not apply

    • Vehicles traveling through the area without stopping
    • Vehicles that are only loading or unloading passengers do not need a pass
    • People arriving without a vehicle (on foot, horseback, bicycle)

    Pass is not required*

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

    *Applicable camping and/or facility user fees still apply.

  • Where to buy a pass

    Visitors are encouraged to buy their pass before arriving in the area. You can purchase your pass up until 11:59 pm on the first day of your visit. Retroactive pass purchases are not available.

    Online

    In-person

    By phone

    • Passes can be purchased over the phone by calling the Alberta Parks Contact Centre at 1-877-537-2757.

    Cell service areas

    Some areas in Kananaskis have reliable cell service to buy the pass on your mobile device.

    • Available service: Kananaskis Village area, Canmore Nordic Centre area, select day use areas accessed off of Trans Canada Highway 1, Highway 1A and 1X.
    • Not typically available: Along the eastern reaches of Hwy 1A, Hwy 68 (Sibbald Corridor), Smith Dorian/Spray Trail - Hwy 742, Hwy 66 (Elbow Valley), Hwy 546 (Sheep Valley), Hwy 541 and 532 (Highwood), Hwy 40 South including Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and is generally intermittent along Hwy 40 into Kananaskis Country.
  • Pass conditions

    • Only one pass per personal or commercial vehicle is required.
      • The pass qualifies the vehicle, not the passengers.
      • Vehicles registered to different addresses cannot be used with the same annual pass.
      • If you purchased an annual pass online and only entered licence plate information for one vehicle, you can call the contact centre to have your second vehicle added under your pass (1-877-537-2757).
      • Commercial passenger vehicle is a vehicle operated for the purpose of providing non-personal transportation, such as tour bus, group transport and shuttle vans.
    • Day passes expire at 11:59 pm on the day for which the pass is valid.
    • Annual passes are valid for a full calendar year (365 days) from date of purchase.
    • Camping fees in parks, and user fees for specialized facilities like the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, still apply.
    • The public land camping pass will not be needed in the Kananaskis Conservation Pass area.

    Learn more:

  • Free days

    Free days occur on Wilderness Wednesdays, the first Wednesday of every month.

    Other 2023 free days:

    • January 1: New Year’s Day
    • February 20: Family Day
    • April 22: Earth Day
    • June 21: Indigenous People’s Day
    • July 15:  Parks Day
    • September 22: Kananaskis Country’s Birthday
    • November 11: Remembrance Day
    • December 21: First day of winter
    • December 25: Christmas Day
  • Gift a pass

    Online purchases are available for customers wishing to gift an annual pass.

    How to gift an annual pass

    • Select the pass type and choose annual.
    • Select vehicle type and choose personal.
    • When selecting the start date, choose the date on which you would like the pass to become active. Please note the start date needs to be within 90 days of the purchase date.
    • When entering the license plate, write “GIFT”. If you know the license plate of the recipient, enter their license plate information.
    • Select Alberta for the province.
    • When entering the contact information, enter the recipient’s name, mobile number and postal code. Please enter your email, as you will receive a confirmation of purchase.

    Activating a gifted pass

    • Passes are not valid until the applicable license plate information has been entered. Recipients must provide their license plate information in order to validate the pass.
    • Recipients of the gifted pass can call the Alberta Parks Contact Centre at 1-877-537-2757, or a visitor information centre, to validate their pass.

    Holiday information

    Refunds

    For online purchases only: Passes can be cancelled by the purchasing customer up to 11:59 pm the day before it is set to start.

Pass exemptions

  • Eligibility

    An exemption means an individual or group is not required to purchase the Kananaskis Conservation Pass for their vehicle(s).

    Eligible groups

    • First Nations person with Status
    • Albertan with low-income participating in an eligible provincial support program
    • Resident of Kananaskis Improvement District
    • Facility operator agreement holder
    • Business or organization conducting approved activities under a government-issued authorization (for example, contract, disposition, permit)
    • Provincial or municipal employee commuting to the work site or utilizing a fleet vehicle
  • First Nations People with Status

    • First Nations individuals with status as defined under the Federal Indian Act qualify for an exemption and do not need to purchase a pass.
    • Exemptions can be requested online or in-person. Exemptions can be applied to up to 5 vehicles and 2 trailers per individual.
    • Applicants must register for a MyAlberta Digital (MADI) basic account to apply for an exemption. Once MADI registration is complete, applicants can click on 'Apply/Manage Exemptions' in the top navigation bar on the Kananaskis Conservation Pass purchasing page.
    • To apply for an exemption online, individuals must upload a copy of their Status Card to demonstrate eligibility. The information provided will only be used temporarily to validate eligibility. It will not be stored.
    • Exemptions will not expire; however, exemption holders will need to verify and update their account information every 5 years or as their vehicle information changes. Email reminders will be provided.
    • First Nations individuals can continue to obtain exemptions in-person at the following information centres by presenting their Status Cards. No physical pass or hangtag will be provided.
      • Canmore Nordic Centre Day Lodge
      • Elbow Valley Visitor Information Centre
      • Kananaskis Visitor Information Centre at Barrier Lake
      • Peter Lougheed Park Discovery and Information Centre
      • William Watson Lodge
    • Due to the location of Kananaskis Country in the province, this exemption will only apply to First Nations individuals with status.
    • As Kananaskis is south of the Red Deer River, and is therefore not within any of the 4 Metis harvesting areas in Alberta under the Metis Harvesting in Alberta Policy (2018), no Indigenous-specific exemption will apply there to recognized Métis harvesters or Métis Settlement members.
  • Low-income Albertans

    • Recipients of Assured Income for Severely Handicapped (AISH), Income Support (IS), and the Alberta Adult Health Benefits and Alberta Child Health Benefits programs qualify for an exemption and do not need to purchase a pass. The Alberta Seniors Benefit is not an eligible program.
    • Exemptions can be requested online or in-person. Exemptions are for 30 days and can be applied to one vehicle and one trailer per individual.
    • Applicants must register for a MyAlberta Digital (MADI) basic account to apply for an exemption. Once MADI registration is complete, applicants can click on 'Apply/Manage Exemptions' in the top navigation bar on the Kananaskis Conservation Pass purchasing page.
    • Online exemptions will require individuals to upload a copy of their applicable benefit card to demonstrate eligibility. The information provided will only be used temporarily to validate eligibility. It will not be stored.
    • Eligible individuals can request a free 30-day pass for your vehicle or the vehicle you are travelling in at the following information centres (download the map) (PDF, 3.9 MB):
      • Canmore Nordic Centre Day Lodge
      • Elbow Valley Visitor Information Centre (not yet wheelchair accessible; accessibility upgrades are underway)
      • Kananaskis Visitor Information Centre at Barrier Lake
      • Peter Lougheed Park Discovery and Information Centre
      • William Watson Lodge
    • You will be asked to show your Government-issued identification that you received to participate in the support program (benefit card) as proof of eligibility.
    • Annual passes are not available for the low-income exemption.
    • Free days for all visitors are being offered periodically to support access for all Albertans.
  • Residents of Kananaskis Improvement District

    • Vehicles of authorization holders, employees and subcontractors who are employed and living in Kananaskis Improvement District and/or Kananaskis Country may be eligible to receive an exemption:
      • if required to park in a public parking area in the boundary area for work purposes and there is no designated staff parking available; or
      • they are full-time employees working more than 30 hours and residing in the region (qualifying under the Need to Reside policy (PDF, 2.6 MB)), including in staff accommodation.
    • One vehicle per resident is eligible for an exemption.
    • Vehicles of cottage owners and private landowners are not exempt, as there will be no licence plate scanning for compliance done on private lands.

    How to apply

    • Discuss your eligibility and application with your employer. Your employer may have already submitted an exemption on your behalf. If you meet the eligibility criteria and your employer is not applying on your behalf, please submit an application. Processing time may take up to 7 business days.
    • Applicants must register for a MyAlberta Digital (MADI) basic account to apply for an exemption. Once MADI registration is complete, applicants can click on 'Apply/Manage Exemptions' in the top navigation bar on the Kananaskis Conservation Pass purchasing page.
  • Business and organizations with government authorizations

    Work or fleet vehicles used for the primary purpose of conducting approved business with the Government of Alberta or Kananaskis Improvement District qualify for an exemption provided that access to public parking areas is required to conduct the work. Public parking areas include:

    • campgrounds
    • day-use areas
    • roadside

    Licence plate scanning for compliance will only occur in public parking areas.

    Non-public area parking

    An exemption is not required to carry out activities at non-publicly accessible sites or where employees park within a designated staff parking area where licence plate scanning will not occur. This includes areas that are not available or open to the general public, including:

    • any areas that have designated staff/contractor parking
    • construction sites
    • grazing corrals
    • industrial disposition sites with no public access (for example, well sites)
    • maintenance and utility servicing areas
    • non-public recreation leases (for example, children’s camps, research stations and the Homestead Shooting Facility at Sibbald Flats)
    • timber harvesting staging areas

    Eligible personnel

    Vehicles of authorization holders, employees and subcontractors may be eligible to receive an exemption if their licence plate is collected and provided by the authorization holder:

    • if required to park in a public parking area in the boundary area for work purposes and there is no designated staff parking available; or
    • if they are full-time employees working more than 30 hours and residing in KID/KC (qualifying under the Need to Reside policy), including staff accommodation.

    Applicants will be asked to provide their:

    • authorization type and authorization number
    • business information
    • Government of Alberta contact
    • licence plates of fleet vehicles, sub-contractors and any eligible employee vehicles, up to a specified number of vehicles

    Eligible vehicles

    Vehicles used to conduct authorized business activities are eligible for exemption. This includes:

    • Facility Operator Agreement holders
    • commercial contract holders, including supply, utility, water, construction, and road maintenance contractors
    • industrial disposition holders
    • recreation and tourism disposition holders, including commercial and not-for-profit
    • research and collection permit holders
    • grazing allotment permit holders
    • professional outfitters
    • guiding and instructing permit holders
    • trapline holder (RFMA)

    How to apply

    Applicants must register for a MyAlberta Digital ID for Business (MADI-B) account to apply for a business exemption. Once MADI-B registration is complete, applicants can click on Apply/Manage Exemptions in the top navigation bar on the Kananaskis Conservation Pass purchasing page.

    If you are having trouble with MADI account setup, connect with the MADI support team.

    For inquiries on applying/managing your exemptions email [email protected].

  • Federal, provincial or municipal vehicles

    Work/fleet vehicles and personal employee vehicles for commuting to the worksite used for the primary purpose of conducting federal, provincial or municipal work qualify for an exemption, provided that accessing and parking in public areas is required. Public parking areas include:

    • campgrounds
    • day use areas
    • roadside

    Licence plate scanning for compliance will only occur in public parking areas.

    Non-public area parking

    There is no need for an exemption for regular duties carried out at non-publicly accessible sites or where employees park within a designated staff parking area where licence plate scanning will not occur. This includes areas that are not available or open to the general public, including:

    • administration and maintenance areas
    • designated staff parking areas
    • fire bases and field visits to industrials sites or other non-public areas
    • Kananaskis Emergency Services Centre
    • private residences

    Eligible vehicles

    • Government of Canada fleet vehicles operating in the Kananaskis Conservation Pass area
    • Government of Alberta fleet vehicles operating in the Kananaskis Conservation Pass area
    • personal vehicles of Government of Alberta employees whose place of work requires commuting to and parking in a public parking area with no designated staff parking
    • personal vehicles of KID councillors and commuting employees
    • municipal fleet/work vehicles used for emergency services including fire, AHS, EMS and RCMP

    How to apply

    Applicants must register for a MyAlberta Digital ID for Business (MADI-B) account to apply for a business exemption. Once MADI-B registration is complete, applicants can click on Apply/Manage Exemptions in the top navigation bar on the Kananaskis Conservation Pass purchasing page.

    If you require assistance with MADI account setup, connect with the MADI support team.

    For inquiries on applying/managing your exemptions, email [email protected].

  • Volunteer Recognition Program

    This program recognizes the substantial volunteer contributions made by Albertans towards conservation in Kananaskis Country.

    • Department volunteers or those who volunteer under a formal partnership agreement may be eligible for a complimentary annual pass.
      • To be eligible, volunteers must provide 40 or more hours of service per year (between December 1, 2021 and November 30, 2022), or in exceptional volunteer circumstances, as authorized by the department.
      • Supervisors will submit a list of all eligible volunteers in their program. Complimentary annual passes will be issued in the fall of each year, and passes will be active from December 1 to November 30 of the following year.

    Learn more about how to volunteer in Kananaskis Country.

  • Not exempt

    The following individuals and groups are not eligible for exemptions, discounts, special rates, or rebates to the Kananaskis Conservation Pass and will need to purchase a pass when parking within the pass area.

    • Visitors, guests, recreationists, clients, and program participants to any business when vehicles are parked in a publicly accessible location; including ski hills, golf courses, lodges, spas, hotels, hostels, guiding, and outfitting
    • Filming and photography, weddings, and special events authorization holders (permits, Temporary Field Authorizations, or Kananaskis Improvement District business licences)
    • Student excursions, environmental education programs, school buses, educational institutions
    • Not-for-profit organizations and clubs, including youth, sports, outdoor recreation clubs/associations
    • New Canadian and settlement service programs, including ‘Canoo’ Pass holders
    • Seniors and veterans
    • Dedicated bench program participants
    • All drivers of rental vehicles unless the vehicle plate has been registered under an exemption
    • Cottage leaseholders when parking anywhere other than on their leased property
    • Private land owners when parking anywhere other than on their private property
    • Visitors, guests, program participants, and recreationists to specialized recreation facilities (for example, William Watson Lodge, Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, including when ski grooming fees are in effect)
    • Hunting and fishing licence holders
    • Media
    • Elected officials (except Kananaskis Improvement District councillors)
    • Commercial buses and coaches, taxis, ride services
    • Commercial shuttling services authorization holders (permit, Temporary Field Authorizations, or Kananaskis Improvement District business licence)

How fees will be used

Each Kananaskis Conservation Pass helps pay for:

  • 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

How it’s enforced

Licence plates of vehicles parked in the area will be scanned. Owners of non-compliant vehicles may receive a warning or be sent a fine in the mail.

Visitors can purchase their passes online before 11:59 pm on the date of their visit, even if their plate has already been scanned that day. Pass receipts should be printed or saved to a mobile device in case proof of purchase is required.

Fines for not purchasing a pass:

  • $150 for personal vehicles (unless exempt)
  • $350 for commercial vehicles

All fines issued by the Government of Alberta are subject to a mandatory 20% surcharge directed to the Victims of Crime Fund.

Contact us

If you have questions about the Kananaskis Conservation Pass, contact:

Alberta Parks Contact Centre
Toll-free: 1-877-537-2757