[an error occurred while processing this directive] COVID-19 - BC Parks - Province of British Columbia [an error occurred while processing this directive]
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BC Parks Response to COVID-19

Repurposed group campsites available for ‘extended family’ or ‘single party’ camping opportunities

As our Province has slowly started to reopen, BC Parks has continued to keep the health and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and park operators as our top priority. We have continued to phase in the re-introduction of facilities and services as it has become safer to do so.

In conjunction with park operators, while maintaining safety and respecting continued PHO guidelines around physical distancing, we are very pleased to now introduce several new camping opportunities for the rest of 2020.

In the coming weeks, a select group of parks and campgrounds will be offering camping opportunities available in repurposed group campsites. Some group campsites have been repurposed to accommodate ‘extended family’ camping and will be available on Discover Camping for reservation.

To ensure that campers can continue to meet social distancing guidelines and overall numbers in the campground are manageable, the maximum number of individuals permitted on these campsites is 16. This includes people of all ages, at all times, including registered guests and daytime visitors as well. These dedicated and often large camping areas with their own facilities and amenities allow extended families to spread out and enjoy the added space while still camping together. As such, the standard fee for group camping applies. 

A few other group campsites have been repurposed as ‘single party’ campsites.  The maximum number permitted on these campsites is no more than 8 people each. These new opportunities – each with their own picnic table and fire ring – will be available in-park, on a first-come, first served basis and the standard per party frontcountry camping fee applies.

These new family camping opportunities will be available as of June 29, 2020. For details on where these opportunities have been added, please refer to the Family Camping (repurposed group campsites) Details.

We appreciate your ongoing cooperation as we work to keep our staff, park operators, and visitors safe. Together we can stay safe and keep our parks open.

Stay safe, have fun, and happy camping!

Group Campsites Frequently Asked Questions

Re-Opening Frequently Asked Questions

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Previous Updates

June 1, 2020 Re-Opening of Campgrounds

Our park operators and staff have been preparing for visitors and are ready to welcome you back for your next camping trip. As of June 1, many campgrounds across the province have re-opened for the 2020 camping season, with more campgrounds to open in the weeks to come.

We are kicking off this new camping season with new protocols and safety measures in place. Take a look at the BC Parks Guide to Camping During Covid-19 to get a better idea of what to expect when you arrive at the campground. The guide outlines how to prepare, set up, and stay safe, as we all learn to navigate this new camping experience.

Additional campsite availability is being added to the Discover Camping reservation system each day, with booking available for arrival dates two months in advance on a rolling window. As you plan out your summer, remember to stay local and camp close to home. To support staying local this summer, BC Parks has limited camping to BC residents only – this includes both reservable sites and first-come, first-served sites. Non-BC residents with existing reservations should call the call centre to cancel for a full refund by June 30. After June 30, regular cancellation penalties will apply.

Please note the ongoing closures of some BC Parks campgrounds and facilities. In the interest of safety, many of our higher use parks and park facilities that regularly experience high visitation, overcrowding, and make physical distancing challenging, will remain closed for now. But rest assured, we will continue to re-open parks, campgrounds, and facilities as safety permits, and as we navigate this unprecedented situation. Check Parks Affected by COVID-19 for more park-specific information.

We appreciate your ongoing cooperation as we work to keep our staff, park operators, and visitors safe. Together we can stay safe and keep our parks open.

Stay safe, have fun, and happy camping!

May 25, 2020 Re–Opening of Discover Camping Reservations

Discover Camping’s online reservation system and call centre opened this morning to unprecedented interest.

For this camping season, we’ve changed how we release available inventory and will be operating with a 2-month rolling booking window. This means that when the system opened today, visitors are able to book reservations for arrival dates for the next two months up to July 25. On May 26, July 26 arrivals will be available; this 2 month window will continue until the end of the reservable period for each park. Please note that closing dates for each park is different.

If you have an existing reservation but your plans have changed, you can cancel through our call centre for a full refund by June 30.

In support of staying local and avoiding unnecessary travel, BC residents will be given preferential access for the 2020 camping season. Non-BC residents with existing reservations should contact the call centre prior to June 30 to receive a full refund. Reservations made by non-residents after the system reopens on May 25th may be subject to immediate cancellation.

In order to support camping during COVID, a new BC Parks Camping During COVID guideline document has been developed that will provide helpful information for campers during this unprecedented time. This document will be released later this week.

Please continue to check this website for updates.

May 6, 2020 Re–Opening of BC Parks

On May 14, BC Parks will start to reopen the majority of provincial parks and protected areas and marine parks.
People across the province will have more access to safe outdoor recreation opportunities, while meeting the guidelines of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO).

Re-opening Dates

On May 14, BC Parks will reopen many front- and back-country trails, beaches, picnic areas, washroom facilities and boat launches for day-use.

  • Visitor centres, nature houses and concession buildings may be opened on a case-by case basis.
  • In some instances, facilities such as playgrounds, hot springs, halls, and picnic shelters will remain closed.

On June 1, BC Parks will re-open most provincial campgrounds and back-country camping.

  • To ensure physical distancing, you may notice some changes in campgrounds, including additional spacing between campsites and limitations on the number of guests in campgrounds.
  • Some communal facilities such as shower buildings will open with enhanced cleaning protocols, while campgrounds that require visitors to use shared cooking facilities and backcountry cabins will remain closed.

Parks that attract large crowds will remain closed until it is safe to reopen at a later date. Backcountry campgrounds in some parks with high day use will also remain closed.

Health and Safety Guidelines

  • Please visit parks close to home.
  • Visitors are expected to respect any facility or area closures and to follow the physical distancing requirements set out by the PHO.
  • Visitors should bring their own hand sanitizer are asked to practice appropriate hygiene.  If you are sick, please visit another time.

BC Parks is doing everything we can to ensure parks are safe. We are all in this together, and we are counting on everyone to do their part so parks can remain open.

Additional Information

April 8, 2020 Full BC Parks System Closure

BC Parks is immediately closing the entire BC Parks system, including all parks, protected areas, conservancies, recreation areas, and ecological reserves. All camping (front and backcountry) is now banned until May 31st, 2020. This action is being taken in response to the call for increased action to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the desire of the public to get outdoors, many parks have already experienced peak season levels of use that have resulted in overwhelmed parking lots, trails and trailheads, making physical distancing difficult, if not impossible in some locations. It has also resulted in damage to our facilities and the environment.

This closure is also necessary to ensure the continued health and safety of our visitors, employees, park operators and their staff, volunteers, and park contractors. By taking this action, we align with federal and provincial directives for people to stay home to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk.

This temporary measure means public and vehicle access is prohibited until further notice. All trails, roads, day-use areas, beaches, lakes, boat launches, and backcountry areas are closed to the public. Park closures will be enforced through regular monitoring and patrols and anyone found in a closed park will be evicted and could face a $115 fine.

In addition to the full system closure, the campground closure has been extended to May 31st, 2020. Full refunds will continue to be provided to those with existing reservations during this time. The Discover Camping reservation system has been suspended for all new reservations. A public notice will be issued once facilities are reopened and the system is able to accept new reservations.

BC Parks continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely and is following the recommendations set out by the Provincial Health Officer and the Minister of Health for decisions related to closure and reopening of parks and facilities.

March 26, 2020 BC Parks COVID-19 Response Update

Physical distancing is new for everyone and finding appropriate ways to maintain safe distances while getting outside is presenting challenges. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry advises remaining at least two metres away from others when outside your home is crucial for stopping the spread of COVID-19. As the weather changes and many of our provincial recreation sites, parks and trails become a destination for people trying to get outside, it is not possible to maintain safe physical distances from others while enjoying these spaces. Due to ongoing concerns about the increase of visitors in provincial parks, certain parks throughout the province will now be fully closed.

The new closures are in addition to the previous suspension of services and facilities in provincial parks, including visitor centres, nature houses, washrooms, and day-use areas. In alignment with Parks Canada, all campgrounds remain closed until April 30. The Discover Camping reservation system will be suspended for all new reservations during this time.

BC Parks will continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak closely and follow the direction and advice set out by the PHO and the Ministry of Health. Additional provincial park closures may be implemented on a case-by-case basis where required. Visitors that choose to access a provincial park that is open should be mindful they are responsible for their own garbage, and must practice physical distancing. Additionally, visitors are responsible for their own safety and should be aware that due to reduced supports for Search and Rescue teams at this time, should practice an abundance of caution, or simply, stay home.

March 24, 2020 BC Parks COVID-19 Response Update

As part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BC Parks continues to monitor the number of people visiting provincial parks and complying with the requirements of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) to stay two metres apart while in the outdoors.

Parks throughout B.C. are seeing an increase in visitors, but many people are not complying with the PHO requirements and putting themselves and others at risk. BC Parks has heard concerns from the public, RCMP, First Nations, regional and municipal governments about the increase in visitors and is implementing full closures of certain parks throughout the province.

For the health and safety of BC Parks visitors, employees, park contractors, volunteers and partners, effective immediately, BC Parks is suspending services and closing facilities in additional parks throughout the province. These park closures are in addition to those previously announced on March 20, 2020.

The new closures are in addition to previous suspension of services and facilities in provincial parks, including visitor centres, marine parks, nature houses, washrooms, and day-use areas. In alignment with Parks Canada, all campgrounds remain closed until April 30.

All campgrounds, camping opportunities and accommodations will be closed until at least April 30. Full refunds will automatically be provided to existing reservation holders. Given the volume of cancellations, please allow 7-10 days for your cancellation and refund to be processed. Please do not cancel your own reservation as this will delay our ability to process your refund.

The Discover Camping reservation system will be suspended for all new reservations during this period of closure. When the closure has been lifted and facilities reopened, public notification will be posted.

Provincial park visitors may continue to use trails and areas where accessible, however, they MUST stay at least two metres apart while in the outdoors. Visitors will also be expected to carry out their own garbage and will be responsible for their own safety. Visitors should be aware parking lots in some parks may be closed and gated where necessary.

Visitors should always check the BC Parks website for any updates. Please see specific park pages for details regarding related closures.

Please continue to check this website for updates.

March 20, 2020 BC Parks COVID-19 Response Update

For the health and safety of BC Parks visitors, employees, park contractors, volunteers and partners, effective immediately, we are temporarily suspending services and closing facilities in most provincial parks.

Day-use services and facilities will remain available at the following provincial parks:

The temporary measures include the suspension of services at marine parks, visitor centres, nature houses, playgrounds, washrooms and day-use facilities. Provincial park visitors may continue to use trails and areas where accessible, however, they will be expected to carry out their own garbage and will be responsible for their own safety. Visitors should be aware parking lots in some parks may be closed and gated where necessary.

All campgrounds, camping opportunities and accommodations will be closed until at least April 30; as we move through this pandemic this closure date will be reviewed. Full refunds will automatically be provided to existing reservation holders during this time and given the volume of cancellations, please allow 7-10 days for your cancellation and refund to be processed. Please do not cancel your own reservation as this will delay our ability to process your refund.

The Discover Camping reservation system will be suspended for all new reservations during this period of closure. When the closure has been lifted and facilities reopened, public notification will be posted.

Complete park closures may also be implemented on a case-by-case basis where required. Visitors should always check the BC Parks website for any updates beforehand.

BC Parks continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak closely and is following recommendations set out by the Provincial Health Officer and Minister of Health for decisions related to closure and reopening of parks and facilities. We ask that all park visitors adhere to the directives for social distancing and other measures recommended by the PHO and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Please continue to check this website for updates.

To view additional information, please review the COVID-19 questions and answers.

March 20, 2020 Temporary Notice

For the health and safety of our call centre agents, work practices at the Discover Camping call centre are being reviewed and will be changing throughout the coming days. As a result, there may be a temporary lapse in service or delay in response to phone calls.

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