A decision by B.C. Parks eliminates the possibility of first-come, first-served camping at the popular Golden Ears Provincial Park, that will be made 100% online reservable for the 2019 camping season, with no more drive-up bookings. Over the past year there were 350 reservable campsites at Golden Ears out of 409 in total, but soon the entire campsite will be reservations only, reports Maple Ridge News.
“You can call us unhappy campers,” said Michael Babor. “We have a love for that park like no other. For me, it’s because I grew up going there. It’s a lifetime of great memories.”
The reservation system has already virtually taken over, and with so few drive-up spots last summer it was impossible to get a site. Booking in advance is also difficult, says Angela Massey, and she said family campers are competing with companies that are re-selling sites, and are booking them en mass. She points out that young people with no credit cards will not be able to book a site, nor will seniors who lack the tech savvy to navigate the online booking system.
Babor said he simply can’t book camping months in advance. He is a shift worker and doesn’t know his schedule more than three weeks ahead of time.
“First-come, first-serve is necessary for so many reasons,” said Darshan Andrews. “Not everyone has the ability to schedule their camping trips and take time off work, etc., months in advance. Reserve-only sites certainly make it nearly impossible for me to take my family camping.”
Environment Ministry spokesman David Karn said there is public demand for more campsite reservations.
“The number of reservable sites at any given campground or park is driven by consumer demand and in alignment with B.C. Parks’ mandate to manage the land sustainably,” he said. “The overwhelming public demand is for increased reservation opportunities. B.C. Parks adjusts reservable inventory on an annual basis in response to occupancy demand.”