BC Parks updates its camping reservation system
Camping enthusiasts can now try BC Parks’ enhanced reservation service before it opens for reservations on March 21.
The new online reservation service, camping.bcparks.ca, is part of a broader overhaul of BC Parks digital services to improve the park experience from computer to campground. People can now visit the site to create user accounts and save their booking preferences to plan their next camping trips.
“As more people explore BC’s spectacular outdoor spaces, we’re enhancing the online services they rely on to plan their visits to BC Parks,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and of the Climate Change Strategy. “Offering a more reliable, responsive and easy-to-use reservation service will better meet the needs of people who want to access and connect with nature by easily identifying available camping opportunities in provincial parks.
When the new reservation service opens on March 21, 2022 at 7 a.m. PT, people will be able to reserve a campsite up to two months before their desired arrival date at most campgrounds. Reservations for group campsites open March 24, 2022 and reservations for the popular Bowron Lake Canoe Tour in early April. A detailed list of campground opening dates and reservation dates can be found at https://bcparks.ca/operating-dates/.
Designed with input from campers, park operators and other service organizations, the new reservation service includes:
- more flexible search options such as a map to search for campgrounds by region, a list of parks or site availability;
- information about nearby facilities and large photos of campsites so people know what to expect when they arrive;
- an interactive calendar that indicates when the reserved sites will be available; and
- booking preferences stored in customer accounts.
“We’re all looking forward to another camping season in our spectacular provincial parks, and we’re listening to what people want to plan their trips,” said Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment. “Ongoing enhancements to BC Parks’ digital services will help people of all abilities plan their trips to provincial parks so everyone can be better prepared to get out and enjoy nature.”
More accessible information will be incorporated into the new booking service as additional features are added over the coming months.
“The Canucks Autism Network strongly believes in promoting acceptance and inclusion throughout British Columbia. So it’s really encouraging to see BC Parks taking the initiative to redesign its services with accessibility in mind,” said Hallie Mitchell, Director of Children’s Programs and Community Training Initiatives for the Canadian Autism Network. . “BC Parks should be commended for adding resources to its website that promote accessibility for a wider audience.”
Over the next three years, BC Parks will invest $21.5 million to expand and improve outdoor recreation opportunities, including adding new campgrounds and trails and improving facilities. The investment is part of an $83 million increase in BC Parks’ operating and capital budgets to strengthen the management of the park system and provide a more enjoyable visitor experience. In addition, $2 million in infrastructure maintenance funding is being invested in all regions of the province for projects to improve heavily used trails and facilities.
- Of approximately 10,700 campsites managed by BC Parks, 55% are reservable and 45% are available on a first-come, first-served (FCFS) basis. Most campgrounds with reservable sites also offer FCFS sites.
- Eleven campgrounds are 100% reservable during peak season: Rathtrevor Beach, Gordon Bay, Cultus Lake, Sasquatch, Alice Lake, Porteau Cove, Golden Ears, Swiws, Bear Creek, Wells Gray and Okanagan Lake.
- BC Parks has over 10,000 bookable accommodations for the day and overnight, ranging from day passes, parking permits and campsites to backcountry permits, picnic shelters, backcountry cabins and a yurt.
- In 2021, more than 350,000 reservations were made for BC Parks campgrounds, which is the highest on record.
- Since 2017, more than 1,700 campsites have been added to BC parks and recreation sites in high demand areas. Of these, 500 are found in Lower Mainland parks, including Cultus Lake, Golden Ears, Chilliwack Lake, Stawamus Chief, and Garibaldi.
For more information on camping reservations, visit: http://bcparks.ca/reserve
To see the new camping reservation service, visit: http://camping.bcparks.ca