Canadas National Parks will be free to all visitors in 2017

The Icefields parkway glacial mountain wilderness in Banff and Jasper National Park.

In 2017, Canada celebrates it’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.  Since Canada is famous for it’s wilderness and wild places, what better way to commemorate and introduce everyone to these beautiful national parks?

In 2017, Parks Canada will offer free entry for all visitors. Those who have always wanted to check out the parks but have not been motivated to do so, perhaps in part because of entry fees (an annual pass is $136.40, and includes all national parks) will hopefully be encouraged to discover these beautiful wild places.

This means annual park passes purchased in 2016 will be valid for a full two years, according to Parks Canada.

Inspired by Justin Trudeau

Canada is famous for it’s parks and wilderness.  In 1911, Canada created the worlds first national parks service.  These parks make many Canadians proud and are part of our national heritage.  The announcement to make parks free for all visitors, was inspired by new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his mandate letter to Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change:

Make admission for all visitors to National Parks free in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation.  Beginning in 2018, ensure that admission for children under 18 is free, and provide any adult who has become a Canadian citizen in the previous 12 months one year’s free admission.”  – Justin Trudeau

We’ve been lucky to visit many of these parks, and you can read about them in our trip reports.  Check out our hike on the Rockwall, in Waterton, the West Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park, Little Yoho, in Jasper and many more.

Hiking up Mount Temple, at Sentinel Pass in Lake Louise, Banff National Park.

Hiking up Mount Temple, at Sentinel Pass in Lake Louise, Banff National Park.


How it works

Any pass purchased in 2016 will be valid for a full 24 months, or you can get a pass anytime in 2017 for free which will be valid until the end of 2017.  Order your pass from Parks Canada or pick up your pass at the park gate at an entry to a national park.

How many national parks does Canada have?

There are nearly 100 of these parks to explore.  Not only mountain parks, which are perhaps the most famous, but there are also plenty of marine parks with whale sightings, beautiful remote wild islands, forests with monster sized trees, remote lakes, sand dunes and so much more.

See full list of Canada’s National parks on the Parks Canada website.

What is your favourite national park in Canada? Which park would you like to visit? Please comment below.



Alicja is an economist, enjoys climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, cycling and gets out into the backcountry as much as possible. See all of Alicja's Blog Posts

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  1. Finding wild spaces in busy summer tourist areas in the parks said on November 4, 2017 2:59 pm:

    […] summer is Canada’s 150th birthday. To celebrate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made National Park access free for 2017. Normally a park entry costs over $20, depending on the park, and an annual pass $140, so many […]