Camping enthusiasts can now try out the improved BC Parks reservation service before it opens for bookings on March 21.
The new online reservation service, camping.bcparks.ca, is part of a broader redesign 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 booking preferences to prepare for their upcoming camping excursions.
“As more people explore British Columbia’s spectacular outdoors, we are improving the online services they rely on to plan their visits to BC Parks,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“Providing a more reliable, responsive and easy-to-use reservation service will better meet the needs of people wanting 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. (Pacific time), 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 Circuit open in early April. A detailed list of campground operating dates and reservable 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 campgrounds by region, park listing or site availability;
- information on nearby facilities and large photos of campsites so people know what to expect when they arrive;
- an interactive calendar that shows when booked sites will become available; and
- saved booking preferences within customer accounts.
“We are all looking forward to another season of camping in our spectacular provincial parks, and we are listening to what people want to help plan their trips,” said Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment.
“The ongoing improvements 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 integrated into the new reservation service as extra features are added over the coming months.
“Canucks Autism Network believes strongly in promoting acceptance and inclusion across B.C., so it is really encouraging to see BC Parks take the lead on redesigning their services with accessibility in mind,” said Hallie Mitchell, director of children’s programs and community training initiatives for the Canucks Autism Network.
“BC Parks should be commended for the addition of resources on their website that support accessibility for a broader audience.”
Over the next three years, BC Parks is investing $21.5 million to expand and enhance opportunities for outdoor recreation, including adding new campsites and trails and upgrading facilities.
The investment is part of an $83-million budget increase to BC Parks’ operating and capital budgets to strengthen management of the parks 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 high-use trail and facility improvement projects.
- Of approximately 10,700 campsites BC Parks manages, 55% are reservable and 45% are available on a first-come, first-served basis (FCFS). 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 more than 10,000 reservable day-use and overnight accommodations ranging from day-use 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 most on record.
- Since 2017, more than 1,700 campsites have been added to BC Parks and recreation sites in high-demand regions. Of those, 500 are in Lower Mainland parks, including Cultus Lake, Golden Ears, Chilliwack Lake, Stawamus Chief and Garibaldi.