Visiting Banff, Jasper and Glacier still presents quite a challenge for people with auditory, visual or physical disabilities and for people with restricted mobility.
Your best bet is to contact parks visitor centers directly with questions on specific activities or refer to the Disabled Traveler's Companion website (www.tdtcompanion.com). Glacier also publishes an informational brochure available on the park's website.
- Most hotels have at least some wheelchair-accessible rooms.
- The larger campgrounds at Tunnel Mountain, Johnston Canyon and Lake Louise (plus Waterfowl Lakes) in Banff, as well as Whistlers, Wabasso and Wapiti in Jasper, have limited facilities for disabled users, including wheelchair-friendly campsites and washrooms.
Most of the main sights in Banff, including Lake Louise, Banff’s museums, Upper Hot Springs Pool and Peyto Lake along the Icefields Pkwy are all wheelchair-accessible, as is the main visitor center. Most restaurants in Banff are on the ground floor, so should be accessible to wheelchair users.
- Paved trails ideal for wheelchair users include the lower section of Johnston Canyon, the paved section of the Lake Minnewanka Shoreline Trail, the Lake Louise Shoreline Trail and the mixed-use Sundance Trail in Banff.
- In Kananaskis Country, William Watson Lodge has been designed specifically to give people with disabilities access to the area, with 22 fully accessible cottages and over 18km (11.2 miles) of accessible trails.
Glacier & Waterton Lakes
- In Glacier, two short, scenic trails are paved for wheelchair use: Trail of the Cedars, off Going-to-the-Sun Rd; and the Running Eagle Falls Trail in Two Medicine. The cycling path between Apgar Village and the visitor's center is also accessible.
- Hearing-impaired visitors can get information at 406-888-7806.
- Park visitor centers have audio guides for visually impaired visitors.
- At least one or two ground-floor, wheelchair-friendly rooms are available at all in-park lodges.
- All shuttles in Glacier are ADA accessible, as is a new specially designed 'Jammer' bus.
- The Waterton Townsite campground has wheelchair-accessible bathroom facilities, as do a few of the lodges in the townsite.
- Waterton's Linnet Lake Trail, Waterton Townsite Trail and Cameron Lake Day area are wheelchair accessible.
Jasper’s museum, Miette Hot Springs, Maligne Lake, Medicine Lake, Jasper Tramway and the visitor center are all wheelchair accessible, as is Athabasca Falls and the Icefield Centre along the Icefields Pkwy.
- Several trails are good for wheelchair users, including the initial paved section of the Mary Schäffer Loop, Maligne Lake, the Clifford E Lee Trail at Lake Annette and Pyramid Isle in Pyramid Lake.
- Few accommodations in Jasper have dedicated rooms for wheelchair users, although most have elevators, and there are usually ground-floor rooms that can accommodate disabled visitors.
- Many of Jasper’s restaurants are on ground floors and have accessible toilets.