Canada PCT Entry Permit

If you are planning on entering Canada via the PCT, you must obtain permission from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)/Government of Canada and carry a paper or digital copy of your approved Canada PCT Entry Permit with you at all times while in Canada.

You are required to apply for this permit at least 8-10 weeks before you intend to enter Canada (and no further in advance than six months).

Entering Canada without this permit is illegal.

Without an approved Canada PCT Entry Permit printed and in your possession, crossing into Canada via the PCT is strictly prohibited and a serious violation of Canadian Federal Law. The consequences could result in imprisonment, deportation, and a lifetime ban from Canada.

How to Apply for the Canada PCT Entry Permit

Apply on the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Frequently Asked Questions about Entering Canada on the PCT

You will most likely be denied. Any single conviction (including misdemeanors) within the last 10 years (calculated from the disposition date) or 2 or more convictions (at any time), will result in a denied application, as you will be found criminally inadmissible into Canada.

For further information, please visit the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website page: Determine if you are inadmissible

There is no official check-point to present your permit when you enter Canada, as you will be entering the country in a remote, roadless wilderness in Manning Provincial Park. However, both the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) frequently conduct random spot checks of PCT hikers. They are looking for approved Canada PCT Entry Permits to ensure compliance and national security. Anyone who crosses into Canada without an approved permit will be swiftly dealt with in the strictest manner.

PLEASE NOTE: Without an approved Canada PCT Entry Permit in your possession, printed or digital, crossing into Canada via the PCT is strictly prohibited and a serious violation of Canadian Federal Law. The consequences could result in imprisonment, deportation, and a lifetime ban from Canada.

Make sure you follow the correct process, even if you think there’s a chance no one will look at your permit. Having the proper papers while in a foreign country is important.

U.S. citizens require a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative document such as a Passport to get back into the United States.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers likely won’t ask to see your Canada PCT Entry Permit as it is permission to enter into Canada given by the Canadian government – not exactly the purview of the United States government. Still, sometimes they ask to see it.

If you’re not from the United States, you’ll need a passport and quite possibly a visa.

Form I-94 is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) arrival/departure record electronically issued to travelers who are admitted to the U.S., who are adjusting status while in the U.S., or extending their status, among other uses. The traveler must exit the U.S. on or before the departure date on their I-94.  

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fact sheet for the I-94 Automation states “if the traveler is not a resident of Canada or Mexico and does not reenter the U.S. prior to the expiration date on their I-94, the traveler may want to travel with evidence of their departure into Canada or Mexico. Evidence of departure can include, but is not limited to, entry stamps in a passport, transportation tickets, pay stubs and other receipts.” Noting this, a traveler could use their airline tickets and any CBSA stamps in their passport to serve as evidence that they departed from Canada. 

Travelers are also able to reach out to CBP directly to submit documents that show they have departed the U.S. using the CBP’s Info Center website. Travelers can select “I-94/Traveler Compliance” and “I’ve departed the U.S. and I still have my I-94” from the pre-populated drop-down menu. By contacting CBP directly, the traveler will only need to enter their email address and describe the circumstances of their departure. Travelers can then upload a copy of their Canada PCT Entry Permit, airline tickets and whatever passport stamps they also want to include as evidence of their departure. The CBP has recommended that travelers carry the same proof of departure on their next visit to the U.S. in case questions arise upon their next entry. 

The Pacific Crest Trail is fundamentally a project of the United States and the official terminus is next to the Canadian border. As a National Scenic Trail that was designated by the Congress of the United States, you’ll have completed the PCT when you walk between Mexico and Canada. The 8.8 miles of trail inside of Canada, between the Northern Terminus at the Canadian border and Highway 3 near Manning Park Lodge, is a connector to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. You’ll have completed the trail without having done that 8.8-mile connector trail. Be proud.

Turn around and hike south to get to the nearest road crossings. Here are some options:

  • Harts Pass (accessed via a good quality dirt road) is about ~30 miles south on the PCT from the Northern Terminus. Someone could meet you there, you could walk a road to Mazama, or you hope that a friendly hiker is around to give you a ride down the dirt road.
  • Ross Lake is about 36.5 miles via the PCT and the Pacific Northwest Trail. Hike the PCT to Holman Pass, then take the Pacific Northwest Trail to Ross Lake. We don’t recommend attempting the Boundary Trail to the Lightning Creek Trail as it is in very bad shape.

No. This permit is strictly for the Pacific Crest Trail. Even if snow or wildfires send you on to alternate trails on your quest into Canada, no excuses are granted. The Canada PCT Entry Permit does not allow you to cross into Canada at Ross Lake or anywhere else, for any reason.

Please contact the Canada Border Services Agency’s Canadian Processing Centre:

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm PT
Telephone: 1-866-496-3987
Email: [email protected]

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