Following public complaints about overbooking and unscrupulous reselling, the BC government has announced changes to the camping reservation system for 2017, to ensure fairness for users. Of the approximate 10,700 campsites BC Parks manages, approximately 55% are reservable while 45% remain on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Some of the changes starting January 2, 2017 include:

Elimination of “opening day” for reservations and the extension of the three-month rolling reservation window

  • Reservations will only be able to be made four months in advance of a desired arrival date. In other words, on January 2nd, reservations (if available) can be made for any arrival date of May 2nd or sooner. Sites will then be available each day, 4 months in advance (i.e., On January 3rd, you can book up to a May 3rd arrival, January 4th up to May 4th arrival etc). Reservable dates vary by campground, but many come into effect starting mid-May. Customers should check the BC Parks website to determine what date their desired campground is open for reservations.

New measures to prevent the reselling and/or transferring of reservations

  • BC Parks is removing the ability of permit holders to change the name on their reservation. Customers will be required to provide one or two permit holder names that cannot be changed at a later date. At least one of the permit holders must be present during the stay and identification may be required to keep the reservation valid.

Restrictions around altering arrival dates to prevent the practice of ‘overbooking’

  • Reservation holders who book on or within 7 days of a “release date,” will not be permitted to change their arrival date. The release date is defined as the maximum time in advance of a trip that a customer can make a reservation on Discover Camping. Customers who book within this 7-day period and want to change their arrival date, will have to cancel the reservation and re-book. Cancelled inventory will be released the next day at 7am (PST) and will be available to all customers making a reservation at this time.

Mary Polak, Minister of Environment, “We want to make sure the campsite reservation service is doing its job as effectively and efficiently as possible. We know British Columbians
want a reservation system that is fair, and that they have just as good a chance of securing a campsite as the next person. The changes we’re bringing in for 2017 address policies that are prone to abuse by a small number of people and contribute to positive camping experiences in our beautiful BC Parks.”

For more information on these changes, visit the BC Parks Reservation Service website.