A Park Pass is required to visit Banff as the town is within the Banff National Park, even if only stopping briefly for food, sightseeing or photo opportunities. The fees are collected by Parks Canada to help maintain the places and services used by visitors.
Park passes are charged by the day and must cover at least the duration of your stay in Banff, with a daily pass valid until 4 pm on the day after purchase. Children under 17 years of age are free, and discounted rate passes are available for seniors, families and groups. An Annual Discovery Pass provides entry to 100 National Parks and National Historic Sites across Canada for a full year. If you are visiting Banff as part of an organised tour, it is likely that your tour operator will have arranged to pay the park pass fees on your behalf.
Park passes may be purchased at the national park gates such as the Banff East Park Gate on Highway #1 (Trans Canada Highway) some 5 kilometers (or 3 miles) west of Canmore, when travelling from Calgary. Passes are also sold at the Banff Visitor Centre on Banff Avenue in downtown Banff.