Random backcountry camping refers to camping that involves hiking, biking, paddling or horseback riding to a camping destination that does not have established facilities. (This differs from the designated backcountry campgrounds which have basic facilities and require a permit.)
While random backcountry camping is permitted in some areas, there are rules and responsibilities associated with the activity. Please call the Kananaskis Information Line at 403-678-0760 for clarification.
Provincial Parks & Provincial Recreation Areas
Public Land Use Zones (PLUZ)
- Random camping is permitted in Public Land Use Zones (PLUZ) with some restrictions and recommendations.
- You MUST be at least 1 kilometre from any public land recreation area and outside provincial recreation areas.
- You MUST be at least 1 kilometre from a roadway, Provincial Park or Provincial Recreation Area boundary.
- Please review the PLUZ regulations.
- Review the Alberta Parks rules for permitted activities too as they also apply in a PLUZ.
Wildland Provincial Parks
- Random camping is permitted in Wildland Provincial Parks with some restrictions and recommendations.
- Random camping is not permitted within 1 kilometre of a designated camping facility.
- Random camping is not permitted within 1 kilometre of a road, Provincial Park or Provincial Recreation Area boundary.
- To protect the natural heritage and maintain the integrity of the environment, random camping is not permitted in select areas of some Wildland Provincial Parks. Examples:
- A backcountry camping permit is required to camp at Sparrowhawk Tarns and Memorial Lakes, both located in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park. However, due to flood damage, camping permits are not being issued for Memorial Lakes currently.
- Random Backcountry camping is not permitted in some areas of Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park. Check the map (from the Bow Valley Management Plan, page 23).
- Random Backcountry camping is not permitted in some areas of Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park such as Tombstone Lakes.
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