NOTICE: Due to extreme flooding in the region, travelers in the Bighorn Backcountry Public Land Use Zones should exercise caution. See:
Alberta's Bighorn Backcountry is an area including more than 5000 square kilometres (1.2 million acres) of public lands east of the Banff and Jasper National Parks.
There are many recreational opportunities offered in the Bighorn Backcountry area, including:
For more information on motorized and non-motorized travel, please see:
Public Land Use Zones
To facilitate area management, the Bighorn Backcountry is subdivided into six Public Land Use Zones (PLUZ), land areas subject to legislative controls under the authority of Alberta’s Forests Act. Recreational activities allowed in each PLUZ can vary greatly depending on local conditions.
Bighorn Backcountry Brochure and Maps
For details about the Bighorn Backcountry and Public Land Use Zones, including maps, access and contact information, permitted recreational activities and types of services offered, see:
For information on individual Public Land Use Zones in the Bighorn Backcountry, see:
Area and Trail Brochures and Maps
NOTE: Wapiabi Cave in the Blackstone/Wapiabi Public Land Use Zone is closed as of July 19, 2010. For details, see:
Digital Mapping Options
For the Georeferenced maps denoted in the Bighorn Backcountry PLUZ brochure, see:
Disclaimer: The above georeferenced maps contain interactive information that can only be accessed through specific reader apps.
In order to access this information the following app can be used:
This app is only compatible with Apple iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as Windows Phones. It cannot be used on desktops and laptops.
Please note that these maps can still be viewed with a standard PDF viewer, but the additional enhancements will not be functional.
Protecting the Bighorn Backcountry through Responsible Recreation
Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) is responsible for managing the Bighorn Backcountry. Area management helps ensure environmental protection while allowing responsible and sustainable recreational use.
If you are planning a visit to the Bighorn Backcountry, remember that it is your responsibility to become familiar with recreational activities allowed in the area. Visitors who do not follow the rules could be fined or charged under provincial legislation.
To obtain a paper copy of the Bighorn Backcountry brochure, or for additional information about the area, please contact the nearest Clearwater Area Provincial Office:
Drayton Valley Office
Tel: 780 542-6616
Rocky Mountain House Office
Tel: 403 845-8250
Tel: 403 638-3805
You can access these and other Government of Alberta offices toll free by dialing 310-0000, followed by the area code and seven-digit number.
Updated: Mar 15, 2018