Ski touring in Rogers Pass with the Winter Permit System

Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park is a popular backcountry ski touring destination with an average of 10 m of snowfall a year. It is also home to the world’s largest mobile avalanche control program. This means that explosive artillery fire is regularly used on mountain slopes to protect highway and railway traffic from natural avalanches. The Winter Permit System separates skiers from these explosives and the resulting avalanches.

The Winter Permit keeps you out of the line of artillery fire and is in effect from November 16, 2021 to April 2022.

100% compliance with this system is the only way to stay safe and keep this terrain open. Learn the system and use it. Make sure you have the winter permit and know what’s open.

Avalanche Forecasts for Glacier National Park are now live. Get them at

Due to the avalanche control program, all slopes in Glacier National Park adjacent to the transportation corridor are officially closed in winter. The Winter Permit System was implemented to allow Parks Canada to open some of these areas for skiers and snowboarders with winter permits when avalanche control is not being conducted or anticipated. You need to know where you can ski and ride to be safe from artillery fire.

The Winter Permit System divides Glacier National Park into three areas:

1. Winter Restricted Areas
These areas may open or remain closed on any given day depending on planned artillery gunfire.
To enter these areas:
– The area must be open
– You must have a Winter Permit
– You must have a national park pass

2. Winter Prohibited Areas
These areas are closed to visitors all winter and illegal to enter. They are not open for skiing at any time.

3. Winter Unrestricted Areas
These areas are open to visitors all winter.
To enter these areas:
– You must have a national park pass

Rogers Pass checklist
Before you ski Rogers Pass, you must:
Get your Winter Permit. We encourage all users to plan ahead and obtain an Annual Winter Permit online. Daily Winter Permits are only available at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.
– Have a Winter Permit for every member of your group. Digital permits are accepted if you are unable to print a copy.
– Display a legible printed (on a printer – not hand-written) Winter Parking Permit on the dashboard of the vehicle(s) you will be using. The license plate number on the Winter Parking Permit displayed on the dashboard must match the license plate number of the vehicle that is parked.
– Check which areas are open today on the Rogers Pass Backcountry Access interactive map.
– Get a national park pass for every member of your group. Available by phone at 250-837-7500, online, or at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre (limited services for winter 2021-2022).
– Understand the risks of backcountry recreation, how to travel in avalanche terrain and how to practice self-rescue techniques.
– Have an avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe for every member of the group.
– Check today’s Avalanche Bulletin to determine the current conditions.
– Carefully plan your route using online resources, maps, guidebooks and information from Parks Canada.
– Know before you go. Check for highway conditions and updates.

Guide Books
Douglas Sproul, GeoBackcountry Rogers Pass Uptracks, Bootpacks & Bushwhacks, publishes the most comprehensive and current books and map series on Rogers Pass. He lives in Revelstoke, BC and has you can purchase his guidebooks & map to ski touring at Rogers Pass directly from him here.

Avalanche control work is conducted to keep the transportation corridor open, not to make slopes safe for skiers or boarders. Anyone travelling into the backcountry must have avalanche training and appropriate safety equipment.

How do I get a Winter Permit?
Annual Winter Permits are strongly encouraged. Please plan ahead! Turn-around times for Annual Winter Permits can be up to a week or more depending on the volume of applications received. If you don’t have enough time to acquire an annual Winter Permit, options for skiing at Rogers Pass are:

1. Ski an unrestricted area at Rogers Pass. You must be aware of area boundaries.
2. Visit the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre to acquire a daily winter permit. Please note:
– In accordance with public health authority orders, indoor visitor services may be limited or unavailable.
– You may need to wait in line outdoors.

Annual Winter Permit
Parks Canada encourages all users to plan ahead and obtain an Annual Winter Permit online.Daily Winter Permits are only available at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.

An Annual Winter Permit allows you to access open Winter Permit System areas without visiting the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre each morning.

You can apply online for your Annual Winter Permit and will receive the permit by email. You will need to have a digital or print copy of the permit with you while you are skiing or snowboarding in Rogers Pass. You will also need a print copy (on a printer – not hand-written) of the corresponding Winter Parking Permit to display on the dashboard of the vehicle(s) parked at the trailhead.


Daily Winter Permit
Daily Winter Permits must be obtained on the day you plan to ski or snowboard, and are only valid for that day. Daily winter permits are only available at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.

Where can I ski today?
Open the Rogers Pass interactive map here
Get real-time updates on which Winter Restricted Areas are open with the Rogers Pass Backcountry Access interactive map. The map also provides geo-location on GPS-enabled devices and access to avalanche forecasts and webcams.