Guidelines for Requesting a Refund
Before you submit a refund application, review BC Parks’ reservation policies for the type of reservation you made.
Types of payments made during the reservation process:
- Transaction service charges:
Transaction (reservation, change, cancellation and call centre) charges cover the cost of administrating the reservation service. Transaction charges are non-refundable.
- User fees
User fees for services in parks (camping fees, picnic shelter fees, second vehicle fees, etc.) may be refundable depending on when you change/cancel your reservation and/or if they meet the criteria below.
Once you have arrived in the park and checked in for your reservation, any refund request should be directed to the park operator. Park operator contact information is available on individual park webpages.
BC Parks will only consider refunding user fees if:
- You attempted to cancel your reservation or notified BC Parks of your circumstances (unless you were unable to) and,
- you have checked the park webpage for updates that may have affected your reservation and,
- you have grounds for a refund at outlined below.
Not Grounds for a Refund:
- The presence or interactions with any kind of wildlife (insects, bears, squirrel, raccoons, etc.), even if the wildlife damages or destroys personal property, are not grounds for a refund. The one exception is if the park is closed or park visitors are advised to stay away due to safety reasons (cougar, problem bear, wolf, etc.). This notice would be posted on the park webpage and in the park.
- Weather and ambient conditions:
- No refunds will be considered for inclement weather (cold, rain, hail, snow, heat, flooding, etc.), even if extreme weather warnings are issued. Ambient conditions (such as the presence of smoke, or adjacent wildfires) will not be grounds for a refund unless the conditions prevent access to the park or poor air quality meets requirements detailed below – see Grounds for a Refund: Poor air quality. Customers should check BC Parks’ website for updates in relation to this (if no updates are present, assume the park is open and accepting reservations).
- Park conditions:
- Requests for refunds related to in-park conditions (unsatisfactory conditions, poor customer service, etc.) must be directed to the park operator.
- Leaving early:
- Vacating your campsite early is not grounds for a refund.
- General illness or pre-existing conditions:
- It is not considered grounds for a refund if someone in your camping party falls ill but does not require medical assistance (see Medical below) or if there are common or expected conditions in the park that trigger an existing condition (i.e., allergic reaction to bee sting, campfire smoke triggers asthma attack, etc.).
- Errors making a reservation:
- Refunds will not be granted for errors that customers make on their reservations.
- Penalty window in effect:
- There is a penalty window for making last minute changes/cancellations (e.g., 7 days prior for frontcountry camping, 28 days prior for group camping), within which user fees are not refundable. Making and cancelling your reservation within the penalty window is not grounds for a refund.
- Vehicle breakdown/issues related to equipment:
- No refunds will be given for vehicle breakdowns, problems related to vehicles or equipment failure.
- Change in plans:
- A change of plans, including but not limited to getting called into work or if child care or pet care arrangements fall through, is not grounds for a refund.
Grounds for a Refund
- Incorrect charges:
- Occasionally, the reservation system experiences technical problems which may result in incorrect charges. Refunds will be considered for customers who are incorrectly charged. The refund will only be for the difference between what they were charged and the correct amount owing.
- Park conditions that prevent access or cause evacuations:
- Refunds will be considered if customers are unable to enter/approach a park because of emergencies such as road closures, natural disasters or if an evacuation is ordered. In such cases, it is your responsibility to check the park webpage for updates.
- Poor air quality:
Poor air quality will be considered acceptable grounds for camping fee refunds if all the following criteria are met:
- You have cancelled your reservation;
- Cancellations occur within 7 days of your arrival date;
- Air quality levels are a 7 or higher on the BC Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) at the station closest to the park on the date of cancellation; and
- You have completed an online refund request application within 3 months of your arrival date.
- BC Parks will consider issuing refunds for serious medical reasons that prevent customers from honouring their reservation. Applications for medical refunds require a doctor’s note or proof that a member of your camping party was seriously injured or admitted to hospital. Dates on the medical note or documents must coincide with the arrival date in order to support the request. The reservation owner must still try to cancel the reservation if at all possible. Medical notes for the Bowron Lake Canoe circuit or the Berg Lake trail will only apply to a maximum of two people (the person directly affected by the medical emergency and possibly one other person travelling with them).
- Death in the immediate family*:
BC Parks will consider refunding user fees if there is a death in the immediate family (see definition). BC Parks still requires that you do your best to cancel your reservation so that other customers can access the inventory. A death certificate and or obituary notice that clearly demonstrates the deceased’s relationship with the reservation holder must be submitted for BC Parks to review the request. For the Berg Lake Trail, Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit and Group Camping reservations, BC Parks reserves the right to determine the amount of people this refund can be applied to, and will generally not offer a full refund for group sites or group departures.
*Definition of immediate family: a parent, spouse, child, grandchild, grandparent, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and any other relative permanently residing in the same household. Unfortunately, friends, distant relatives, and pets are not cosidered immediate family members.
- Serious motor vehicle accident:
- If the reservation holder or a member of the camping party is involved in a serious motor vehicle accident that prevents them from honouring their reservation, a refund will be considered. An accident report, dated near the customer’s arrival date is required to support the request for a refund.