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Permit to enter Canada from the Pacific Crest Trail

To enter Canada via the Pacific Crest Trail (a long-distance hiking and equestrian trail on the U.S. Pacific Coast), you must obtain permission from the Canada Border Services Agency and carry a digital or paper copy of your entry permit with you at all times while in Canada.

On this page

What the program offers

Note: Without an approved Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Entry Permit in your possession (printed or digital), crossing into Canada via the PCT is illegal.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) PCT Entry Permit Program allows entry into Canada remotely via the Northern Terminus trailhead. If you plan on hiking this trail into Canada, you must submit the application (form below) to inform the CBSA of your intent to enter Canada. There is no cost to apply for this permit.

Once your application is approved by the CBSA, you can cross the Canadian border with your entry permit to complete the hiking trail up to Manning Park Lodge, British Columbia.

The permit allows you to enter Canada from the U.S. on the trail (not on alternate trails). It does not allow you to enter the U.S. from Canada on the trail. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires that travellers coming to the U.S. from Canada by land or sea present themselves with their travel document at a U.S. port of entry.

More information

Entering the U.S. from Canada: Pacific Crest Trail Association

How to apply for the entry permit

You must apply for this permit at least 8 to 10 weeks before you intend to enter Canada (and not earlier than 6 months in advance).

To submit the application form, you must:

  • provide your travel information
  • show proof of your citizenship

To apply:

  1. fill out the application form (important detailed instructions follow)
  2. print the application, sign it in ink, then scan it in PDF format
  3. send your application materials (including copies of your IDs) by email (preferred method) or by mail to the address listed on the form

How to fill out the application form

Follow the instructions below to properly fill your application form.

Failure to fill out the application properly may result in delays.

  • Only use UPPER CASE/CAPITAL LETTERS
  • Sign your application form in ink and print it
  • Scan your application form properly and ensure that:
    • the pages are in order
    • no portions are cut off, and nothing else is showing
    • the form is:
      • clear, straight, not dark or blurry
      • high resolution (400 to 500 dpi)
      • letter size (8.5 x 11 inches)
  • Attach all scanned files to your email request
  • Send your application as a PDF document, not a .jpg nor a .tiff (only a PDF format will be accepted)

How long it will take to process your application

Your approved permit will be returned to you by email within 8 weeks of receipt of the application by the CBSA.

Requirements while in Canada

Be familiar with Canadian customs rules.

Remember to carry a copy of your permit with you at all times while in Canada (digital or paper copy).

Identification documents

You must carry proper identification to enter Canada.

U.S. citizens do not require a passport to enter Canada. However, you must prove your citizenship. Examples of documents you may use to do so include:

  • passport card
  • birth certificate
  • Enhanced Driver's License
  • NEXUS card

To re-enter the U.S., even U.S. citizens require a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative document, such as a passport.

If you are a temporary resident of the U.S. or a visitor from any other country, you must have a passport for entry into both Canada and the U.S. You may also need a visa.

Contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to find out if you will require a visa.

Items in your possession

As a visitor, you can bring certain goods into Canada for your own use as personal baggage. Personal baggage includes clothing, camping and sports equipment, cameras and personal computers.

Additional regulations and restrictions are outlined here:

Contact us

Canadian Processing Centre

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm PT
Telephone: 1-866-496-3987
Email: pacificcresttrail@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

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