Safety and guidelines
Visitor safety and facility policies
Banff Upper Hot Springs is located in Banff National Park; this place is unique and protected by the Canada National Parks Act and Alberta’s pool standards legislation
Violating these regulations can result in consequences including evictions, court appearances and/or fines up to $25 000. Hot springs patrons who do not comply with site rules will be directed to leave. Failure to do so will result in the RCMP being called and may lead to charges.
There are a number of activities within the national park that are prohibited or require permits. Check with the Banff National Park visitor center on Banff Ave or the information kiosk at the Banff Train Station for more information.
If you have any questions please contact Canadian Rockies Hot Springs.
Entry and capacity
Entry to Banff Upper Hot Springs is first come, first serve. Reservations and pre-booked tickets are not available.
Capacity is based on lifeguard to patron ratios. When the hot springs is at capacity, new patrons will only be permitted to enter as others leave.
Certified service dogs are permitted throughout Banff Upper Hot Springs, including in the lobby, change rooms, café, washrooms and on the pool decks while on-duty. Following the Alberta public swimming pool regulations, service dogs are not permitted in the pool.
All service dogs must be certified per the Alberta Service Dogs Act. Staff may request patrons show their Alberta Service Dog Identification Card.
Out-of-province and international visitors are encouraged to visit the Government of Alberta website for information on certifying your service dog prior to travelling.
Pets and emotional support animals
Pets and emotional support animals are not included under the Alberta Service Dogs Act and are not permitted in the Banff Upper Hot Springs facility.
Intoxication, alcohol and cannabis
Patrons must be sober while visiting Banff Upper Hot Springs.
Consuming alcohol, smoking or vaping tobacco or cannabis, or taking any other intoxicating substance is not permitted within any of the Canadian Rockies Hot Springs facilities. This includes on outdoor decks, walkways or associated day-use areas.
Patrons who are intoxicated will be directed to leave and will not be permitted reentry for the remainder of the day. The RCMP will be called if patrons are found to be consuming intoxicating substances within the facility.
Violence, verbal and/or physical abuse
Violence, verbal and physical abuse will not be tolerated. Please be polite, follow directions from Parks Canada staff and respect your fellow patrons.
Patrons who do not comply with site rules will be directed to leave. Failure to do so will result in the RCMP being called and may lead to charges.
For your safety, rules that you may be familiar with from your local public swimming pool also apply at Banff Upper Hot Springs. Patrons are expected to follow directions from lifeguards at all times.
Individuals who disobey instructions from lifeguards or repeatedly break pool rules will be directed to leave and may not return for the remainder of that day.
Non-swimmers must be kept within arm’s reach of an adult at all times.
Youth 14-17 are welcome to visit Banff Upper Hot Springs without an adult. Youth ages 13 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 18 years or older.
Spitting and polluting the water
Spitting and polluting the water is not permitted.
Protective, water-resistant swimwear
Protective, water-resistant swimwear (swim diapers) are required for children 35 months and under, and anyone who is or may be incontinent.
Illness or medical conditions
Patrons with the following circumstances should consult with a physician prior to visiting the hot springs. Individuals who:
- are pregnant
- have a chronic medical condition including, but not limited to, heart disease, hypertension, seizures, diabetes, or obesity
- have a medical condition requiring ongoing care of a physician
Patrons with diarrhea or a history of diarrhea over the previous two weeks, or individuals with open sores or wounds must not use the hot springs.
Patrons must shower using soap prior to entering the hot springs, and wash their hands with soap after using the washroom or changing diapers.
Glass is not permitted on the pool deck or within the Upper Hot Springs bathhouse. This includes baby bottles and water bottles made of glass.
Street shoes are not permitted beyond the reception desk, and should be carried to your locker.
Running is not permitted on deck or within the facility.
Pushing, play fighting or rough play
Pushing, play fighting or rough play is not permitted on deck or within the facility.
Inflatable and aquatic toys, portable speakers, fins and snorkels
Inflatable and aquatic toys, portable speakers, fins and snorkels are not permitted within the hot springs.
Strollers are not permitted on the pool deck or in the change rooms, but may be parked in designated areas in the dry hall.
Food and drink
Food and drink (except water in an unbreakable metal or plastic container) is not permitted on the pool deck, in the change rooms, hallways, washrooms, or pool.
- Food and drinks may only be consumed in the café, located on the second floor of the bathhouse, or at the Upper Terrace picnic area before or after your soak.
Patrons are expected to drink ample water from an unbreakable plastic or metal water bottle and cool off every 10 minutes while enjoying the hot springs.
Diving is not allowed in any part of the pool.
Parks Canada is committed to providing an aquatic environment where individuals from all backgrounds are welcome. You must wear appropriate swimwear while in the hot springs.
In addition to traditional North American swimwear, patrons may wear:
- long-sleeved shirts and pants
- t-shirts and shorts
- any other swimwear that allows them to feel comfortable whether for cultural, religious personal preference and/or medical and health reasons
All swimwear, must be:
- different from the clothing the patron arrived in
- freshly laundered
- not impair the patron’s ability to swim or the lifeguard’s ability to perform a rescue in the event of an emergency
Underwear on its own is not appropriate swimwear.
Weather and unexpected closures
Banff Upper Hot Springs is open daily, year-round. The Upper Hot Springs may unexpectedly close throughout the year as a result of thunder, lightning or cold water.
When closures occur, patrons will be directed to leave the pool immediately. Visitors who have been in the pool for 30 minutes or less will receive a rain check. Refunds will not be issued.
Rain checks are valid for one year and may be redeemed at Radium, Miette or Banff Upper Hot Springs.
A waterfall feature is located next to the Upper Hot Springs bathhouse on the approach from the parking lot and bus stop. Bathing in the waterfall feature or climbing the surrounding hillside is not permitted.
Camping is only allowed in designated campgrounds within Banff National Park. This includes sleeping in a vehicle. Camping is not permitted in the Banff Upper Hot Springs’ parking lot, or any other roadside pullout, trailhead or day-use area in Banff National Park.
A day-use area with picnic tables (summer only) is available on the Upper Hot Springs’ terrace overlooking the pool. Alcohol use, smoking, vaping, photographing pool patrons, and overnight stays or camping are not permitted.
Filming and photography
To ensure the privacy of visitors, filming and photography are not permitted in the change rooms or washrooms at Banff Upper Hot Springs.
Limited photography and filming of scenery and members of the group you are visiting with is permitted on the pool deck and from within the hot springs. Underwater filming and photography and capturing images / video of other patrons is not permitted. Individuals who do not follow directions from lifeguarding staff will be directed to leave.
Commercial filming activities in Banff National Park have special considerations. All commercial activity is subject to licensing and permits, and is only permitted at Banff Upper Hot Springs outside of regular business hours.
Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
Recreational use of drones at all Parks Canada places is prohibited and may result in a fine of up to $25,000. Leave your drone at home when visiting the Upper Hot Springs and Banff National Park.
Learn more about drones in Banff National Park.
Place all garbage and recycling in the containers provided. Do not leave any garbage at your picnic table or in the change rooms.
Parking is only permitted in the designated parking lot, a short uphill walk to Banff Upper Hot Springs. From May through October the parking lot is often full; transit (Roam Transit route 1) is the most reliable way to access the Upper Hot Springs.
Three accessible parking stalls are located adjacent to the Upper Hot Springs’ bathhouse.
You must display a provincial or federal permit to park in these stalls. Individuals who do not display a permit may have their car towed.
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