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Discovery Pass

PA
posts: 170
reviews: 8
Discovery Pass

I have been reading about the Canadian Discovery Pass. It appears to be valid in all of the National Parks.

We will be travelling in September to Jasper, Banff, Yoho and Kootenay. We will also be in some of the provincial parks. Is there a fee for the provincial parks?

Also, it looks like the Discovery Pass cost is fixed until April of 2013 and that you can purchase it online.

Are my assumptions valid? Thanks.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 21,325
reviews: 64
1. Re: Discovery Pass

You're correct, the Discovery Pass is valid in all Canadian national parks, from Pacific Rim NP on Vancouver Island to Gros Morne NP in Newfoundland and Labrador. There is no admission fee for provincial parks in BC or Alberta.

You can buy the Discovery Pass online and they will mail it to your home. Some TA members have done this and reported that the service was good. Of course, you need to buy it at least two weeks before your departure to ensure that the pass has plenty of time to get to your home before you leave.

The Discovery Pass is also good for admission to the national historic sites operated by Parks Canada, such as the Gulf of Georgia Cannery NHS in Vancouver, the Banff Museum, the Cave & Basin NHS in Banff, and Rocky Mountain House NHS in the town of Rocky Mountain House.

Edited: 11:35 am, December 28, 2012
PA
posts: 170
reviews: 8
2. Re: Discovery Pass

Thanks for the information and confirmation! I will probably order online 4-6 weeks before travel.

It's nice that the Provincial parks do not charge. In the US, almost all state parks charge now.

PA
posts: 170
reviews: 8
3. Re: Discovery Pass

I see that the pass is valid at Rocky Mountain House NHS. We are going to be passing through there. Is it worth a stop?

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 21,325
reviews: 64
4. Re: Discovery Pass

I think so, but I'm biased, as that is an era of history I am particularly interested in. I haven't been there, though, since they improved the interpretive centre, a few years ago now. Since you've already got free admission with the pass, why not pop in and have a look?

When visiting historic sites of any kind, it's always best to do some pre-reading to familiarize yourself more with the context. This website, also from Parks Canada, will give you a capsule history:

www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/qc/lachine/natcul.aspx

Toronto
posts: 1,687
5. Re: Discovery Pass

That link is to the Fur Trade at Lachine NHS in Quebec... did you mean this page? pc.gc.ca/eng/…natcul.aspx

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 21,325
reviews: 64
6. Re: Discovery Pass

Sorry, I should have said it was from Lachine (another great Parks Canada-operated national historic site). I chose that one because it did a good job of giving the broad strokes of a brief introduction to the Canadian fur trade.

The Rocky Mountain House site that you linked, Tweedwolf, is also good but it would be best to read the Lachine site first.

I also like this article, "A Year in the Life of a Fur Brigade": http://www.northwestjournal.ca/XVII2.htm

Long Island
posts: 59
reviews: 60
7. Re: Discovery Pass

I see that the Discovery Parks Pass fee has been frozen for a number of years and is currently valid until April, 2013. I am visiting 3 Canadian Rockies National Parks in September and there will be 4 adults in the car. As we will be in the Parks for most of 8 days I purchased the Family Pass (good for up to 7 persons entry for a year) at this time not only for the best value but also because of my concern of a possible fee increase. See you all in September.

Colchester, United...
posts: 15
reviews: 1
8. Re: Discovery Pass

We RV'd the Rockies in September and realised too late that a pass would be more economical than daily passes. However we had two days booked in Calgary prior to collecting the RV and found that the Canadian AA were able to issue a pass at a cost of about $120, less than the on line price so long as you can show you are a member of a similar organisation in your own country, in my case the RAC. The strange thing is that in September we went through a number of unmanned park gates where I assume nothing would be paid if no pass was displayed.I am not sure what happens if you turn up at a Parcs campground. I never heard them ask for one. Anyway best to have it and get beforehand at the slightly extra cost

Colchester, United...
posts: 15
reviews: 1
9. Re: Discovery Pass

Forgot to comment upon Rocky Mountain House, we went there and found it interesting but not worth travelling across Canada for. If it is on your route have a look and walked fully will take about 3 hours

PA
posts: 170
reviews: 8
10. Re: Discovery Pass

saab...good idea about purchasing before April and before the possible price increases. Since the pass is good for one year, it would be okay to purchase in Feb or March. Thanks for the idea.