Popular stretch of Bow Park Valley Parkway in Banff to close for portions of the next three years

Apr 28 2022, 5:18 pm

If you plan to take a road trip on Alberta’s scenic Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A), you might want to reconsider your route.

A section of the popular highway will be closed for extended periods twice annually over the next three years to create a more enjoyable experience for cyclists and wildlife safety.

The Bow Valley Parkway Cycling Experience 3-Year Pilot will restrict vehicles on the road’s 17-kilometre eastern end in May, June, and September.


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Parks Canada is launching the three-year pilot program in 2022 following a decision informed by recent public engagement on cycling and consideration of operational requirements and park management priorities, according to its website.

Each spring and fall throughout the pilot, vehicle access will be restricted along the eastern 17 kilometres of the parkway to “allow for an enhanced cycling experience.”

From May 1 to June 25 and from September 1 to September 30, vehicle access will be restricted between the TransCanada-Highway junction to Johnston Canyon. Vehicles can still access the west section of the parkway between Johnson Canyon and the Whitehorn Road junction at Lake Louise.

If you’re hoping to hike or camp at Johnston Canyon during these periods, you’ll still be able to access the Banff National Park hotspot.

Access to both Johnston Canyon’s day-use area and campground will be maintained via Castle Junction (the intersection of Highway 93 and the Bow Valley Parkway) and the west end of the Bow Valley Parkway, says the Parks Canada website.

For cyclists interested in taking advantage of this pilot program, Parks Canada suggests that those travelling on the parkway start and end their journey in the Town of Banff by parking at the Train Station Public Parking Lot.

In addition to the Bow Valley Parkway Cycling Experience, all modes of human travel along the 17 km stretch of the parkway will be restricted overnight from 8 pm to 8 am between March 1 and June 25 to coincide with Parks Canada’s annual spring wildlife closure.

Regular vehicle access on the Bow Valley Parkway will resume when the cycling pilot program ends each spring and fall, and Parks Canada will monitor the results of this pilot to guide future planning and decisions.

Those interested in learning more about the feedback received during the engagement process and how Parks Canada came to its final decision can do so here.

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