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Frontcountry Camping Policies and Fees
As of Friday, January 28, 2022:
BC Parks is launching a new reservation service on March 21st, 2022 for the 2022 camping season. For further information, and details on when visitors can start to book, visit the links below. Information will be updated throughout the season.
Information will be updated throughout the season.
- Important Launch Dates
Last day for reservations on discovercamping.ca (including web reservations and call centre support) for arrival dates up to March 31, 2022 (Porteau Cove and Garibaldi Backcountry reservations, only).
Blackout period to transition between systems – no web booking or call centre support available.
Limited informational support available via BC Parks website and ParkInfo@gov.bc.ca
Launch of new reservation service via bcparks.ca – view only.
Create account, save booking details and preferences, explore site.
March 21 Launch of frontcountry reservations via bcparks.ca – 2-month rolling window, arrival dates up to May 21, 2022. March 24 Launch of groupsite reservations – full season opening with availability to December 31, 2022. March 29 Launch of Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit reservations, full season opening to September 2022.
- Booking Windows
Frontcountry reservations will launch on March 21, 2022 on a 2-month rolling window, consistent with the last two seasons.
On March 21 launch day, frontcountry reservations will only be available for bookings with an arrival date up to May 21 – this includes bookings for the May long weekend. All subsequent dates will be available 2 months in advance of an arrival date, for example:
- To arrive on June 15, you can book starting April 15.
- To book for July 1 Canada Day, you can book starting May 1.
Groupsite reservations will launch on March 24, 2022. All groupsite bookings will be released for the remainder of the year, up to December 31, 2022. There is no rolling window for groupsite reservations.
Reservations for Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit will launch on March 29, 2022. All Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit Reservations will release for the season on this one day. There is no rolling window for Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit Reservations.
Special Note – Due to trail damage from severe flooding in 2021, an opening date for the Berg Lake Trail is not known at this time.
- Managing High Visitor Demand
BC Parks expects continued high demand for summer camping opportunities. We are taking proactive measures to assist with managing the demand, including:
- Distributing release over a longer period – two-month rolling window for frontcountry camping and separate launch dates for groupsites and Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit.
- Over-provisioning Call Centre support to assist with bookings.
- Scaling up web servers to manage high traffic volumes.
- Leveraging use of queueing software (Queue-It) to alleviate peak demand rushes.
- System Accounts
As this is a new booking system, accounts from Discover Camping will not transfer to the new system. All visitors will be able to visit the new site one week ahead of reservations opening, on March 14, to create their new account, set up account details and booking preferences, and learn to navigate the new system.
- Transfer of bookings from previous system
Due to the scheduled blackout period between systems from March 2-20, and existing campsites available for reservations only to March 31, only 10 days of reservations will be transferred from existing reservations between March 21-31.
These reservations will be honoured – although they will not be directly linked to new user accounts. For support on these bookings, visitors can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ongoing COVID-19 related changes
BC Parks changed many of our parks policies in response to COVID-19 during the 2020 and 2021 camping seasons. No changes are currently expected for 2022 and capacity limits/other impacted policies are standard practice.
- Single frontcountry sites – 8 persons max (4 adults)
- Double frountcountry sites – 16 persons max (8 adults)
- Groupsites – standard capacity (specific to each site)
Additional details on all standard reservations related policies can be found at the selected tiles below.
PHO guidelines or travel restrictions may be enacted at any point due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic. BC Parks will strive to provide guidance as quickly as possible if this arises.
- Access for non-BC residents
We recognize the special place British Columbians have for camping in provincial parks. We also recognize the importance of supporting the economic recovery in our province, and the role tourism plays in supporting many British Columbians’ way of life.
For the 2022 season, subject to any later travel restrictions that may arise, all visitors are welcome to reserve camping in BC Parks this season.
- Refund Policies
While BC Parks was especially lenient with refund policies during the 2020 and 2021 camping seasons due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding COVID-19, BC Parks will be returning to standard refund policies for the 2022 season.
Details on BC Parks refund policies can be found at the link here.
Should any travel restrictions or PHO guidelines change in the future, BC Parks will provide additional guidance of any changing policies at that time.
- First-Come, First-Served Camping (FCFS)
While reservations for camping in BC Parks are in high demand, we also recognize the ongoing need for flexible opportunities that cannot be booked in advance. Approximately 45% of all campsites in BC Parks remain available on a FCFS basis – including some sites at our more popular campgrounds.
A list of campsite operating dates can be found on the Park Operating Dates page. Parks with camping that can be booked in advance have reservable periods noted. All other parks are fully FCFS and do not require advanced booking. Additional details on each park and any amenities can be found on individual park pages at bcparks.ca/explore.
- BC Parks Response to COVID-19 ▼
As of :
As of July 1st, groupsites will be returning to normal occupancy levels and those with existing reservations are able to add more campers to a reservation upon arrival in-park.
With the shift into Step 3 of BC’s Restart plan, many group picnic shelters will begin to reopen. Reservable picnic shelters can be booked through the BC Parks reservations system starting July 9.
The opening of groupsite reservations for 2022 has been postponed until further notice due to the evolving nature of COVID-19. BC Parks will provide advance notice before reservations become available.
We want to see you back at your favourite park, but mostly we want you to have a safe and healthy summer, so plan ahead to make the most of it.
Camping Fees (Park User Fees)
Camping Fees for provincial parks are identified on the individual parks webpages and also in the fee schedule [PDF].
For an additional nightly charge a second vehicle (non-RV) may be allowed on site for ½ the campsite fee (to a maximum of $12/night). Note: A towed vehicle is not considered a second vehicle.
The nightly campsite fee is levied on a per party basis depending on the level of service provided at the campground. Additional fees must be paid in cash on arrival at the campground.
For sites that provide electrical hookups, there is an additional nightly charge that varies from park to park.
Camping Party Definition
Party size for one vehicle accessible campsite
- One to four persons 16 years of age or older.
- At least one member of the camping party MUST be 16 years or older.
- A maximum of eight persons including children (15 years of age and younger).
- Campsite maximum is one camping party per site, unless otherwise authorized.
Vehicles per Camping PartyA camping party may arrive at the campsite with one of the following:
- a motor vehicle not designed as an accommodation for camping, e.g., car, truck, SUV, non-camperized van, motorcycle1; or
- a motor vehicle towing a trailer designed as an accommodation for camping, e.g., 5th wheel, travel trailer, tent trailer; or
- a recreational vehicle (RV), e.g., motor home, camperized truck/van; or
- an RV with a legally towed motor vehicle; or
- a motor vehicle or RV towing a trailer not designed as an accommodation for camping, e.g., utility/cargo, or boat trailer.
1 to a maximum of one motorcycle per each adult in the party.
A camping party may also include a tent or tents, if suitably accommodated on the campsite pad.
A camping party may be allowed a second motor vehicle not designed as an accommodation for camping on the campsite for an additional ½ of the camping fee, to a maximum of $12/night.
Here is a party size definition table [PDF] that explains camping party, second vehicle on-site and campsite maximum calculations.
Due to wear and tear, maintenance and conservation factors within our parks, limits must be placed on the party size, i.e., the number of people and vehicles each campsite can accommodate.
Group Party Size
- A regular group camping or picnicking party must consist of a minimum of 15 people or more.
- A youth group camping or picnicking party must consist of a minimum of 12 people or more. A youth group means a k-12 school, recreation centre or not-for-profit youth organization located within BC, undertaking a camping trip.
Per Person Rate – the per person rates for:
- Maquinna Hotsprings
- Liard Hotsprings
- Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit
Tatshenskini River Rafting
- group camping
- backcountry camping
- backcountry cabins
applies to those 6 years of age or older; the fees do not apply to those 5 years of age or under.
Payment and Check-in/Check-out
Campsite Type Payment of Fees Check-in and Check-out Times
First-come, first-served campsites.
If arriving at the park on a first-come, first-serve basis, cash is accepted, and debit or credit card may be accepted depending on availability. Canadian currency is preferred.
In most parks, the park operator collects camping fees at campsites.
Some campgrounds require self-registration. Instructions are posted at the fee station and on the envelopes provided. The registration receipt must be displayed on the campsite number post.
First-come, first-served check-in time is between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Check-in procedures and hours vary between parks.
Check-out time is 11 a.m. (for all campers).
Campsites reserved through the BC Parks reservations system
If site has been reserved through the BC Parks reservations system, a confirmation number is issued for each reservation. Please have this available on arrival at the campground, or for reservation changes or cancellations.
Additional Park user charges may be applicable, and must be paid in cash.
See also Reservation Service Charges
For campers with reservations, check-in time is between 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Procedures for obtaining a reserved campsite are posted on information board at the entrance to the park/campground, or are available at the gatehouse.
Check-out time is 11 a.m. (for all campers).
Hours of Operation
During the operating season, park gates open at 7 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Dates of operation are posted on the park pages.
Maximum Length of Stay
Maximum length of stay policies apply to each person in your camping party. A few parks have long-stay programs available.
Park Maximum Stay Permitted sẁiẁs (Haynes Point) 7 nights per calendar year Porteau Cove Provincial Park 7 nights per calendar year All other provincial parks 14 days, per park, per calendar year
Camping and Picnicking at Designated Group Sites
Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (age 6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum. See Youth Group criteria.
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, listed in the fee schedule, plus $5/adult (age 16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (ages 6–15), (children 5 and under are free).
Designated group sites are reservable in some provincial park campgrounds. For more information, check individual park pages.
Volunteer Fee Exemptions
A volunteer is a person who freely undertakes to perform a specific service or function for a ministry that is not normally performed by employees and who does so without financial remuneration.
Volunteers, with prior approval of a volunteer project or service by a park officer and completion of a volunteer agreement, are exempt from frontcountry camping fees. If the volunteer is eligible to be reimbursed for camping costs by a volunteer organization, university, or other government program, there will be no exemption from these fees by BC Parks.
Social Services Camping Fee ExemptionThe purpose of this exemption is to provide support to individuals with disabilities who are facing significant financial challenges and receiving income assistance from the authorities identified.
Senior camping discounts
Senior camping discounts for British Columbia residents that are 65 years of age and older are available from the day after Labour Day to June 14th of the following year.
Long Stay Program
Park visitors can now enjoy long-stay camping options in BC Parks. Long-stay campsites must be occupied for a minimum of 4 consecutive weeks (maximum 6 months or until the campground is closed, whichever is first). Please refer to the specific park operator for the effective dates in each location. The senior’s discount and the Social Services Camping Fee Exemption do not apply to the long-stay campsites.
Long-stay Campsites Availability Fee Big Bar Lake Park Upper - Full Season $88.00/party/week Buckinghorse River Wayside Park Full Season $90.00/party/week Carp Lake Park Full Season $90.00/party/week Charlie Lake Park Full Season $90.00/party/week Crooked River Park Full Season $65.00/party/week Lac La Hache Park Full Season $88.00/party/week Meziadin Lake Park Full Season $90.00/party/week Moberly Lake Park Full Season $90.00/party/week Moyie Lake Park Shoulder Season only $140.00/party/week Norbury Lake Park Peak Season $84.00/party/week Shoulder Season $56.00/party/week One Island Lake Park Full Season $90.00/party/week Paarens Beach Park Full Season $90.00/party/week Ten Mile Lake Park Touring - Full Season $88.00/party/week Tunkwa Park Full Season $70.00/party/week
- A second vehicle (non-RV) is exempt from the second vehicle fee.
- One additional camping tent and one screened tent for meal purposes is allowed.
- Any combination of tarps may not exceed 400 sq. ft. Tarps cannot be used vertically.
- Removable ground level decks/landings to a maximum of 80 sq. ft. are allowed.
- If all camping units, structures and equipment are removed for a period of more than 2 days, the long-stay camper is required to notify the park operator in writing.
Backcountry Camping – Backcountry means an area in a park or recreation area that is not frontcountry. Backcountry campsites are primarily for wilderness hiking and backpacking. There are usually no facilities available.
Cabin Accommodation – Some backcountry provincial parks offer cabin accommodation, primarily during the winter months.
Frontcountry Camping – Frontcountry means an area in a park or recreation area within one kilometre of either side of the centre line of a park road or a highway. Frontcountry campsites are generally accessible by vehicle and offer designated campsites, facilities and recreational opportunities. Due to wear and tear, maintenance and conservation factors within our parks, limits must be placed on the party size, i.e., the number of people and vehicles each campsite can accommodate.
Per Person Rate – per person rates apply to those 6 years of age or older.
Vessel Camping – A vessel means a boat, canoe, kayak or other craft used, or capable of being used, for navigation on water. Some marine parks offer this type of camping.
Voyageur Canoe – A voyageur canoe is designed to carry six or more persons.
Walk/Cycle-in Camping – Walk/cycle-in designated camping areas do not allow vehicle parking in the campground area. Some frontcountry campgrounds offer walk/cycle-in designated camping areas.
Winter Camping – Frontcountry parks that are open year-round may offer winter camping. All campers must be self-sufficient as limited facilities are available.
Where applicable: taxes are included in all fees;
- the fee for the overnight use of dock or mooring buoy facilities also applies to vessels that tie or anchor to another vessel using the dock or mooring buoy facilities;
- the west side of the Bowron Lake Circuit means Bowron Lake, Spectacle Lakes, Skoi Lake, Babcock Lake and Unna Lake;
- the annual fee (January 1 to December 31 of each year) for access by vessel applies to Cinnemousun Narrows, Silver Beach and Shuswap Lake Marine (Multi-Site) Parks.