While our current weather may not have you thinking about roasting hot dogs around a fire, Alberta Parks will begin to offer its first of a few staggered reservation dates beginning on Monday (February 4).
Beginning at 9 am, campers will be able to log on to reserve.albertaparks.ca and make bookings for group camping sites while reservations for comfort camping, individual, and backcountry camping will follow on later dates.
The addition of being able to make Kananaskis backcountry camping reservations is just one area in which the online system (RAP) is expanding; between additional individual, group and comfort camping options, Alberta Parks is offering more than 650 new online booking options.
Tim Chamberlin, Spokesperson with Alberta Parks says since the introduction of the RAP system back in 2009 the popularity of booking ahead continues to grow exponentially year after year. "The beauty of the reservation system is it provides a couple of options for people that want to look ahead and book their camping experience early for the summer. We also have our first come, first serve campsites throughout the province as well so people can drive to different campgrounds and book a spot through the visitor centre or at one of the drop boxes so combined we are able to provide options for people looking for a camping experience. The popularity continues to grow year after year, and we see that in our reservation numbers which have climbed up to well over one million since the introduction of the system and it continues to be a very, very popular method for people to access and experience Alberta's provincial parks."
As far as cancellations go, Chamberlin shares people have been quite respectful at letting them know. "People are generally good at letting us know they won't be attending or coming camping and that way we can arrange for a refund and then put the campsites back into the system, so they are available. For people driving to some of the more popular campsites, if you show up and there are no-shows we can accommodate them."
If you have a date and location in mind make sure you book ahead and please take note of the following dates and times as to when reservations will be accepted:
- Comfort camping reservations open February 11th at 9 am
- Individual campsite reservations for the May long weekend begin February 19th, with reservations only accepted 90 days out from the booking date. Individual site reservations for May long will also see staggered times by region: South region at 9 am, Kananaskis Country 11 am, Central region at 1 pm, Northwest/East regions 3 pm
- Kananaskis backcountry camping reservations open February 25th at 9 am
There are no new camping-related fee increases in 2019, with monies generated from camping fees invested back into Alberta Parks. "We are looking forward to another outstanding season of people camping in our provincial parks and connecting with nature."