The official start of the 2021 camping season is still a few months away, but people living in B.C. can soon begin reserving campsites in provincial parks.
The Discover Camping reservation service will open on March 8, giving B.C. residents an opportunity to book a campsite two months in advance of their arrival date. People who live in the province will have priority access to campsite reservations throughout the summer.
"Our provincial parks have never been as important as they are right now. They provide a special place to safely connect with nature and improve our health and well-being during these difficult times," Environment Minister George Heyman said.
"We are all looking forward to another summer of camping and outdoor recreation in B.C. and, while public health concerns and advice remain, we are asking people to pick a campground as close to home as possible to avoid long road trips and non-essential travel."
Reservations can be made no further than two months out from arrival. Since COVID-19 is still impacting the province and travel opportunities are limited, this year's camping season is expected to be busy.
On July 8, people living in other provinces can reserve campsites for the remainder of the season. Reservations can be made at discovercamping.ca.
Opening provincial campgrounds while adhering to public health guidelines means it will not be business as usual in many campgrounds. There will be restrictions on the number of people allowed at a campsite, along with restrictions on group sites.
Reservations for day-use facilities, including picnic shelters and halls, remain closed for the 2021 season.
More information on reservations and facilities, including up-to-date information on the status of favourite provincial parks, is available at bcparks.ca.
Prior to the general opening on March 8, backcountry camping reservations will open on March 1 for the full season for two popular backcountry trips: the Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park and the canoe circuit in Bowron Lake Provincial Park. The Berg Lake Trail can be reserved from June 12 to Sept. 30 and the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit can be reserved from May 15 to Sept. 23.
Did you know?
• B.C.’s provincial parks receive more than 23-million visits each year.
• During the last three years, more than 1,200 campsites have been added to provincial parks and recreation sites. More sites are being added this season, including a new, fully serviced 90-site campground in Manning Park set to open this spring.
• Of the 10,700 campsites BC Parks manages, approximately 55 per cent are reservable and 45 per cent remain available on a first-come, first-served basis.
• One of the largest park systems in North America, B.C. has more than 1,000 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas covering approximately 14.4 per cent of the provincial land base.