Banff National Park

Attention: All motorized watercrafts MUST obtain an AIS Inspection Permit at the Lake Minnewanka boat inspection station.

Boats with motors, both gas and electric, are allowed on Lake Minnewanka only.

  • There is an unloading ramp and parking area for boats and trailers here.
  • There are no public boat docks in the park.

Boat rentals

  • Small open motorboats can be rented at Lake Minnewanka.

Important information:

Rules and regulations
  • An AIS Prevention Self-certification Permit or Parks Canada AIS Prevention Inspection permit is required for all non-motorized watercraft and water-related gear (e.g., canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, fishing gear).
    • The Self-certification Permit requires mandatory clean, drain, dry of all non-motorized watercraft and water-related gear, and attestation to these actions. Permits will be available online and at visitor centres and self-serve kiosks at waterbodies in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks, or at Parks Canada watercraft inspection stations in Banff National Park.
    • Non-motorized watercraft and water-related gear users that do not meet Self-certification Permit requirements, but still wish to use their equipment within a park should visit a Parks Canada watercraft inspection station. Inspections and issue of a Parks Canada Inspection Permit will occur on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of inspectors.
  • Parks Canada Inspection Permit is mandatory for motorized watercraft on Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park.
    • Parks Canada will no longer accept provincial inspection permits for motorized watercraft launching on Lake Minnewanka.
  • Dry time requirements - Parks Canada Self-certification and Inspection Permits will require watercraft that has travelled outside of BC, AB, Yukon and Northwest Territories to dry for 30 days and those travelling within BC, AB, Yukon and Northwest Territories to dry for 48 hours.
  • Inspection of non-motorized watercraft and water gear will be available at inspection stations in Banff at Lake Minnewanka (motorized and non-motorized watercraft and water-related gear) and Lake Louise overflow parking lot (non-motorized watercraft and water-related gear only).
More on aquatic invasive species rules and regulations
  • Wind Warning: Beware of the very sudden strong winds and waves on Lake Minnewanka; especially in the afternoon.
  • Banff's lakes are seldom above 10°C (50° F). A capsize into these waters could result in hypothermia. Read up on hypothermia before you set out.
  • For your safety, leave word of your plans and when you plan to return.
What to bring

It may be a warm day when you start out, but mountain weather can change quickly. Take along wet weather gear to keep you dry, warm and protect you from the wind. Also carry a complete change of clothing in case you fall in.

Date modified :