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Banff’s busiest season kicks into gear with visitors urged to plan ahead

As the leaves turn green and the weather warms up, crowds of tourists will soon start to head back to the mountains as Banff National Park’s becomes a visitor hotspot once again.

This year, officials with Parks Canada are asking visitors to plan ahead so they don’t leave disappointed.

“That’s really what we’re hoping to avoid,” visitor experience manager Daniella Rubeling said.

“We are seeing increasing visitation, especially over the spring and summer months, that seems to increase as well.”

In addition to the influx of tourists and traffic, people visiting the park in their own vehicles may face road closures as well as limited access to certain destinations.

Just like last year, there will be shuttles to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, with Moraine Lake Road closed off for personal vehicle access. Parking lots, Rubeling said, will also see an increase in usage so people should know where to leave their cars ahead of time.

Along with logistical preparations, visitors are also asked to be aware of and manage wildfire risks, including campfires. People are also urged to leave the park the same as when they arrived.

“When you are exploring the park, make sure you’re leaving it safe for wildlife,” Rubeling said. 

Rubeling also reminded people to not leave garbage, securely pack their food and not get too close to animals. 

She said the park saw around 4.3 million visitors last year. It’s expected they’ll either meet that number or surpass it this year.

“It will be busy,” she said. 

“There will be lots of people around, especially in those day-use areas and they fill up early and quickly.”

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