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BC Parks Outlines Operational Changes to 2020 Camping Season

According to BC Parks, local British Columbians will be given “preferential access” for the 2020 camping season, among several other operational changes given the COVID-19 pandemic.

BC Parks began re-opening many provincial parks as of Thursday, May 14th for day-use with the intention of camping beginning on June 1st with the launch of the Discover Camping system for reservations.

Seeing as the reservation system will be launching at 7:00 am PT (8:00 am MT) next week, BC Parks has made a few operational changes.

The largest change is B.C. residents getting privileged access for the 2020 season, while non-B.C. residents with existing reservations can receive a full refund if they call BC Parks before June 15th. BC Parks said any new reservations by non-B.C. residents will be subject to “immediate cancellation without refund” after May 25th.

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Reservations for front county and backcountry camping will be available on May 25th on a two-month rolling window. As a result, when the reservation system launches on the 25th, arrivals will be available as far forward as July 25th. For example, on May 26th, reservations will then be available for July 26th and so on. BC Parks said the daily release will continue until the end of the camping season.

Most reservations will be for a maximum of 14 days, depending on availability and any reservations made in the first two weeks of the system launch can’t be changed.

“This is to prevent people from overbooking and subsequently changing arrival dates to shorten their stay in order to obtain a favourable site or time ahead of other customers,” said BC Parks. “These reservations can only be cancelled, and normal cancellation fees will apply. Customers should not attempt to book a reservation until exactly two months ahead of their chosen arrival date.”

All reservation cancellations rules and penalties will apply to all new reservations made on or after May 25th.

Any reservable picnic shelter or group site is remaining closed, with BC Parks cancelling all existing reservations through to the end of 2020.

Double sites will only be made available for double site bookings.

“In order to manage numbers and keep our campers and facilities safe, double sites will also only permit a maximum of one camping party for both halves (4 adults (over the age of 16) up to a max of 8 persons including children under 16),” clarified BC Parks. “Existing bookings for double sites must abide by the new maximum occupancy rules and may cancel free of charge by June 15, 2020 if their camping party does not fit the criteria.”

Any existing reservations that were not cancelled for June 1st onward will still be honoured.

Previous: Most B.C. Parks Now Open to the Public (May 14, 2020)

BC Parks said some parks and campsites may open after June 1st, which is when most of the provincial campgrounds will open to the public.

“The health and safety of our BC Parks staff, park operators, and visitors continues to be our top priority,” noted BC Parks. “We are all in this together, and we thank you for your patience and understanding as our staff and park operators work to safely re-open parks and campgrounds across the province. We look forward to seeing many of you out camping soon.”

More: BC Parks (B.C. Government)

More: Discover Camping (BC Parks)

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