Public Lands Camping Pass required

A Public Lands Camping Pass is required to random camp on public land along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

Non-Motorized users

Collectively, non-motorized users are recreationalists who:

  • canoe and kayak
  • climb
  • hike
  • ride horses
  • ride mountain bikes
  • ski or snowboard

For more information on the rules and what you need to know before you head out to recreate on public land, download a copy of the new Alberta’s Guide to Outdoor Recreation on Provincial Crown Land and Non-Motorized Recreation Fact Sheet.

Overview

Together with thousands of other users, your actions impact and disturb the landscape, vegetation, wildlife, waterways and other users. Irresponsible or unmanaged use, or both, can contribute to:

  • impact on others experiences
  • loss of vegetation
  • soil compaction, contamination and erosion
  • transfer of weeds
  • water contamination
  • wildfire
  • wildlife disruption

By acting responsibly, we collectively maintain our access privileges and preserve our public lands for future generations.

Trip and trail 101: Basics for everyone

It is your responsibility to know the regulations that apply to the land you are travelling on.

  • Plan ahead and be prepared. Know the following:
    • applicable regulations
    • ground and weather conditions
    • terrain
    • your route
  • Travel only on trails open for your activity, and use legal watercourse crossings (bridges, fords) that appear on provincial maps. Use established and well-defined trails.
  • Travel on trails and park in areas with the hardest, most durable surface.
  • Avoid wet, sensitive and alpine areas whenever possible.
  • Contact the leaseholder and follow conditions for access prior to travelling on private or leased land.
    • Call 310-LAND (5263) for assistance.
    • Follow posted signs and notices.
  • Travel in small groups to minimize soil compaction and vegetation damage.
  • Share the trail and be respectful of other users.
    • Remember, all users must yield to equestrian users.
    • Indicate how many are in your group when passing other users.
  • If marking your route, do not mark or blaze your trail with axes or paint. If using flagging, remove it when you leave.
  • Leave nothing behind. Take all garbage and waste with you, and properly dispose of it.
  • Don't disturb artifacts, fossils, livestock, property or wildlife.
  • Don't harm or remove live native vegetation.
  • Leave all gates and fences as you find them.
  • Report illegal activity – contact 310-LAND (5263) to report concerns.

Activity specific tips

Hikers

  • Don't mark the bark. Step over, rather than on, exposed roots to prevent damage to bark.
  • Spread out in alpine areas that don’t have an established trail.
  • Avoid travelling single file to minimize trampling of fragile vegetation.

Mountain bikers

  • Ride only on open trails.
  • Building of ramps and permanent structures is prohibited except where written permission has been granted.

Equestrian users

  • Use weed free supplemental feed to prevent overgrazing and non-native plant infestation.
  • Avoid soft or marshy banks when riding or watering horses.
  • Locate holding areas at least 100 metres (328 feet) from water.
  • Avoid tethering horses to live vegetation to prevent damage.

Canoe and kayak users

  • Respect the shorelands – avoid launching or landing, or both, in soft or marshy areas.
  • Don't disturb wildlife – nesting waterfowl are particularly vulnerable to disruption.
  • Manage your waste – avoid urinating or defecating, or both, directly into water.

Climbers and cavers

  • Don't drill – use existing or removable protection whenever possible.
  • Approach with caution – be sensitive to trail erosion on steep approaches and fragile alpine areas.
  • Don't mark the bark. Avoid anchoring to – and stepping on – exposed roots and vegetation to minimize bark damage.
  • Watch for wildlife – avoid disturbing nesting birds, bats and other creatures.
  • Behave in the caves – cave formations and life are vulnerable to outside contamination. Avoid touching anything you don't have to.

Skiers and snowboarders

  • Ensure adequate snow cover—avoid travelling on top of trees and other vegetation that may be broken or damaged by direct contact with skis.
  • Avoid disrupting alpine wildlife.

Resources

For overnight, campfire and waste disposal information, see Camping on public land.

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