It’s going to be a busy camping weekend in Golden Ears Provincial Park, where the last available sites were booked on Wednesday morning.
“The summer weekends are just as busy, but this one seems busier,” Stu Burgess, of Alouette Park Management, said while preparing for the Victoria Day long weekend.
“The May long weekend is the first time a lot of people come camping.”
He noted there are first-come, first-served sites in Golden Ears, but all have been taken. There were about 15 still available at the end of day Tuesday, but campers came early Wednesday to book them.
Some campers will not show up until Friday night, however, and Burgess warned that rules state there must be sleeping accommodations on a site – a tent or trailer – to hold it.
“Don’t expect you can hold it with a lawn chair.”
There are 409 sites between three different campgrounds in Golden Ears, and 350 can be reserved online.
Online bookings for the reserve-able campsites for the coming weekend opened in mid-January and Burgess said the weekend dates were fully booked in Golden Ears within hours.
By this time, he said, all summer weekends are fully booked. There are still some sites available midweek, “but that is dwindling.”
There are 14 new sites at Gold Creek. In the coming weeks, there also will be another 20 new walk-in only sites at Gold Creek.
Burgess said there is one parking spot provided at a trailhead, then people can walk to the new sites. A maximum of four people per site, and one vehicle, come with those bookings.
“They are beautiful sites,” said Burgess. “A couple are fairly isolated, and you can see the lake through the trees.”
So far, new marine access camps on the eastern shore of the lake have not been created. But there are long-range plans for paddle-in campsites.
Burgess said the fire hazard is currently low, but noted people must confine campfires to the fire rings provided, and keep water nearby.
“We’re looking forward to a busy and fun weekend,” he added.