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Parks Canada considering visitor restrictions in Lake Louise area

Parks Canada considering visitor restrictions in Lake Louise area

Parks Canada considering visitor restrictions in Lake Louise area

Restrictions on visitors to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake could be implemented as Parks Canada tries to manage record numbers of tourists in Banff National Park.

Parks Canada announced Thursday that it is developing a visitor use management plan for the Lake Louise area, as increasing tourist numbers impact visitor experience, safety and ecological integrity.

Visitor numbers to Banff National Park have increased by 31 percent over the past decade, with the 2023-24 tourist season being the busiest on record.

The first part of Parks Canada’s plan is to get feedback from Canadians on what they want for the Lake Louise area.

Couple looking at Moraine Lake at sunrise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Matteo Colombo/Getty Images

“What are our capabilities? What are our pressures? What is a quality visitor experience there? So we want to hear from residents, from Canadians, so that they really participate in this survey so that we can listen to them and manage accordingly,” said Dwight Bourdin of Parks Canada.

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“We have not made any decisions. We are in an information gathering phase at this point … (to) determine what the desired conditions are that Canadians want for the Lake Louise and Moraine Lake area,” he said.


Click to play video: 'Vehicles are expected to be turned away this long weekend as Lake Louise sells out daily'


Vehicles are expected to be turned away this long weekend as Lake Louise sells out daily


Parks Canada already receives feedback from visitors to Banff National Park, which helped shape the survey.

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“Prior to this process, through visitor emails, meetings with stakeholders… just a general frustration about not being able to access their intended destinations is a very common concern and frustration we hear,” said Zoe Arnold of Parks Canada.

Last year’s tourist season was the busiest on record in Banff National Park.

Sarah Offin, Global News

Arnold added that Parks Canada uses several tools to help manage visitation levels at Lake Louise.

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“For example, traffic control, staff moving vehicles through a parking lot once it is full, or shuttle service operates on a reservation system, so there are only a certain number of seats available per day,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we continue to turn away many, many disappointed visitors every day.”

The survey was first opened to the public on June 17 and will run until July 28.

The second part of Parks Canada’s engagement plan is scheduled to begin later this year and will look at strategies and actions including visitor restrictions, transportation services and paid parking.


Click to play video: 'Big increase in parking rates in Lake Louise'


Big increase in parking rates in Lake Louise


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