Know the Winter Permit Area boundaries – UPDATED

With new snow covering the tracks, a decision has been made to reopen Macdonald West Winter Prohibited Area.

Winter Prohibited Areas (WPA) are essential to the avalanche control program to protect the national transportation corridor. Each WPA provides avalanche forecasting information specific to that area. In addition to this, a skier triggered avalanche within the Mcdonald West WPA has the potential to hit the highway.

Remember that it is a requirement of your permit to always know where you are and where the Winter Permit Area boundaries are. If you aren’t sure, you can check your location relative to area boundaries using the georeferencing function on our web based map.

The Winter Permit System in Glacier National Park requires 100% compliance to ensure the integrity of the avalanche control program and the safety of both backcountry users and highway travelers.

Unfortunately, skiers entered the Macdonald West Winter Prohibited Area today. To ensure that no one else inadvertently follows these ski tracks, a portion of the West Rogers Winter Restricted Area will be closed as of tomorrow, December 2, 2022, until further notice.

Always know where you are and where the Winter Permit Area boundaries are.

Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park is a popular backcountry ski touring destination with an average of 14 metres 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.

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.

If you have questions about the Winter Permit System, please contact Parks by email at or by phone at 250-837-7500.