Summer 2020 BC Parks Reservations Open Soon

Group of people having a campfire

Photo credit: Mike Erskine on Unsplash

It’s still winter outside, but summer camping season will be here before you know it. In 2019 over 3 million people camped at a BC Park. If you want to camp this year, now’s the time to start planning and making reservations.

While most BC Parks have some first-come, first-served campsites, the most sought-after campgrounds accept reservations. Since camping in BC is so popular, reservations are essential during the summer season.

Reservations open 4 months before the first day of your trip starting at 7 am PT. For example, if you want to make a camping reservation for July 15-20, the earliest you can make a reservation is March 15. And if you want to make a reservation for the popular Victoria Day long weekend, which is May 16-18 this year, you can reserve on January 16. That’s next week!

If you can’t get the camping reservation you wanted, don’t worry: BC Parks has made some improvements to their reservation system recently. If the park you wanted to book is full, their software will show you available campsites in a nearby park. And, you can also sign up to get email notifications if someone cancels their reservation in a park you want and spots open up. 

Another new addition for 2020: BC Parks plans to add the option to pre-purchase camping essentials like firewood and ice online before you arrive. 


Where to Camp Near Vancouver

If you’re looking for camping ideas for 2020, here are my picks for the best BC Parks for camping near Vancouver. Since they are only an hour or two from the city, reservations are essential for these campgrounds.


Porteau Cove Provincial Park

This park is right on the ocean in Howe Sound, about halfway between Vancouver and Squamish. There are 60 campsites, including 16 walk-in sites. Many of the sites are right on the water and have incredible views.


Alice Lake Provincial Park

The campground at Alice Lake just north of Squamish makes a great basecamp for hiking, biking, paddling, and rock climbing adventures in the Sea to Sky area. All of 110 campsites are a short walk from the lakeshore.

Camping at Alice Lake near Squamish, BC

Camping at Alice Lake Provincial Park. Photo credit: Tourism Squamish


Golden Ears Provincial Park

This park is located east of Vancouver in Maple Ridge. There is an extensive trail system that includes easy nature walks, the challenging ascent of Golden Ears Peak and everything in between. There are three campgrounds spread out along the shores of Alouette Lake that have over 400 campsites combined.


Cultus Lake Provincial Park

The warm waters and mountain scenery of Cultus Lake in Chilliwack make it a popular destination for boaters and families. The park has over 300 campsites divided between four separate campgrounds.


E.C. Manning Provincial Park

Located a few hours east of Vancouver in the Cascade Mountains, Manning Provincial Park has hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails, and several lakes for canoeing and swimming. It’s one of BC’s most popular parks with four campgrounds containing a combined 350+ campsites.

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