A special effort is being made by park staff and campers to ensure that no wildlife attractants are ever left unattended at any sites in these campgrounds. The "Bare" Campsite program is in place for your safety, and to help keep the wildlife in our National Parks alive and wild.

"Bare" Campsite brochure - Jasper National Park
"Bare" Campsite brochure - Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks

How to keep a "bare" campsite

If you are camping here, you are agreeing to store all food and food-related items in a hard-sided vehicle / trailer / motor home or in the campground food storage lockers (i.e. not in a tent, tent-trailer or oTENTik) when not in use. This policy applies whenever these items are not in use, at night while you are sleeping, or when your site is unattended for any length of time. When away from your site, you may leave out your camping furniture (e.g. lawn chairs, lanterns, and tents).

Attention pet owners! Please keep pets on a leash at all times. Don't leave pets unattended outside - especially at night. They can attract carnivores such as bears, cougars, wolves, or coyotes, and may be attacked. We are the key to the long term survival of our wildlife.

A "bare" campsite

Food left unattended attracts bears to your campsite. Anything that has an odour or could be considered food may attract wildlife to your site. Never leave any of these items unattended:

  • Coolers, full or empty
  • Food, open or closed
  • Garbage and wrappings
  • Dishes and pots
  • Pet food and bowls
  • Bottles and cans
  • Any item associated with food preparation

When people leave their food out, bears and other species can lose their fear of humans. Once an animal gets used to human food, it becomes a risk to public safety, and may be destroyed. By keeping a "bare" campsite, you are playing an important part in preventing the creation of "problem" animals.

If your campsite is not "bare"

Park staff will be patrolling the campground regularly to ensure that campers have not left anything out at their site that could attract wildlife. If you come back to your site and items that you have left unattended are missing, look for a written warning left by campground staff. It contains further instructions. Campers who fail to comply with the requirements of the "Bare Campsite" program may have their camping permit cancelled, with no refund, and may be charged under the Canada National Parks Act and Regulations.

A wildlife at-risk (and cancelled permit) site

Sharing an ecosystem: You are camping within wildlife habitat

Animals rely on every part of this landscape for their survival. Their travel routes, natural food sources, mating grounds, and resting sites don't necessarily stop at the campground boundary! This means you may encounter wildlife at any time. Be aware of your surroundings, especially at dusk and dawn, or in densely vegetated areas. Surprising a bear that is busy feeding on natural food such as berries, for example, can be dangerous.

Wildlife viewing: A word about safety

Seeing wild animals in the park can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but remember:

  • All wild animals are potentially dangerous.
  • Never approach, feed, or entice wildlife of any kind, regardless of size.
  • Keep a safe viewing distance at all time (30-100 metres).

Please report all bear, cougar, wolf, and coyote sightings to park staff immediately.