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Golden Ears park campsites booked solid for Victoria Day long weekend in May

May long weekend campsites full within one hour after reservation system opened Monday, March 21
Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Maple Ridge News file)

Camping aficionados were online in full force Monday morning, March 21, trying desperately to make reservations at campgrounds across the province.

Within an hour, campsites for the Victoria Day long weekend in May was officially booked solid at both Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks, said Stu Burgess, operations manager for Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks, who is expecting another busy season.

A new reservation system is in place this year that contains features to make search options more flexible to find and book a campsite – including as many as five large photos per campsite. The system will also have maps, calendars, and lists of available sites for faster navigation and it will save booking preferences and locations on customer accounts.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has been collecting feedback on the new site for the past month and is hoping the new system will provide a more user-friendly and inclusive online experience for customers booking through

Burgess said the system was so busy Monday morning when he tried logging on at 7 a.m., to see how many sites had been booked, he was around 9,000th in line.

Reservations at Golden Ears start on April 1 at Gold Creek Campground and the first big weekend of the season will be the Easter long weekend, noted Burgess, adding that his team are still working on cleaning the grounds after the winter season.

“We are working at getting all the water systems up and running, making sure all the sewer systems are functional, getting all the winter debris and dirt cleaned up, we are pressure washing the interior of the bathroom buildings, we are cleaning all of the winter debris off campsites and roads and trails, and all that sort of stuff. So we’re right at the thick of it right now,” he said.

And, added Burgess, now that the provincial COVID health mandates have been lifted, they are now back to the normal maximums allowed per campsite – up to eight campers on a single site and up to 16 campers on a double campsite. Plus, daytime visitors will also be permitted again.

READ MORE: Camping reservation system redesigned this year for Golden Ears Provincial Park

ALSO: Lots of empty campsites in Golden Ears Park, say critics of reservation system in 2021

Burgess wants to remind people that the booking window is two months in advance of an arrival date.

He expects camping to be just as popular as ever this year.

“We don’t expect any change from the last two years,” he said.

“Just make sure if you are planning a trip and you need to make reservations, get online two months in advance or you might be out of luck,” he said.

BC Parks has more than 10,000 reservable day-use and overnight accommodations available. These range from day-use passes, parking permits and campsites, to backcountry permits, a world-class canoe circuit, picnic shelters, backcountry cabins and a yurt.

The Ministry says demand for reservations have grown more than 200 per cent in the past decade.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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