Let the count down begin! In less than 24 hours campers across BC will plant themselves in front of computers, anxiously ready to hit ENTER, and crossing their fingers hoping to reserve a campsite at one of BC’s coveted Provincial Campgrounds.
You can only book 3 months in advance so reservations for dates of June 15th and prior are only accepted. In June, if you are able to camp during the weekdays, you should be okay getting a reservation but weekends will book up within minutes. As the calendar moves into July and August any date is near impossible to secure. We have been able to get into most of the popular Provincial Parks at some point over the last 20 years but each year it gets harder and harder.
Looking to get away from it all and camp within an hour of the Lower Mainland, good luck, so are 1.2 million other people. The popular Provincial Parks that fit this bill are, Alice Lake and Cultus Lake, both of which are near impossible to reserve.
Chilliwack Lake is a great option, not as many nearby amenities but much easier to reserve and lots of first come first serve sites. Golden Ears is also a bit easier to reserve for the spring but we have never tried this park due to the higher chance of rain.
If you are heading to the Okanagan area the best shot at great weather is Osoyoos. Here you will find Haynes Point Provincial Park but to get into this park takes a fast computer and a set of horseshoes because it fills up within seconds. We were able to camp here once only because I logged on at the same time as someone cancelled a reservation. It’s a good park but small and very popular.
Every Provincial Park in the Okanagan/Shuswap area is popular but our favourites are Bear Creek, Shushwap Lake, and Okanagan North. Another popular option is Herald, we have not tried it out but have been told it is nice.
Vancouver Island has several great Provincial Parks. The cost of getting an RV over to the island is a bit excessive so these parks are much easier to reserve. We have made it to Rathtrevor, which is one of the highest rated parks in BC, and found it worth the trip. I have a cousin who lives in Victoria and I am always envious at how easily she can get a site at a Provincial Park with very little advance planning.
Whichever Provincial Park you camp at you will have a great trip. Most offer privacy and great amenities. So bring out your calendar and start spontaneously planning out your summer. If your lucky you will be able to secure a site that allows your plans to happen.