It’s Time to Book Your Campsite for the Summer
Booking for prime summer spots at national and provincial parks starts this week.
The yurt at Pigeon Lake.
Sure, you could wait to see the weather reports and try your luck at finding a campsite a week before you want to go, but if there are any good spots left, they will all be taken. And, trying that tactic for one of the long weekends will almost always result in pitching a tent in your own backyard. In camping, the early bird gets the best campsite (or yurt or lakefront cabin) and booking for most of the best sites starts this week.
Reservations at provincial campgrounds began February 17 and can be made online up to 90 days in advance of your arrival. That means the May long weekend is already in play, and if you want to get a coveted spot for July 1, be ready to book starting April 2.
There are 69 provincial campsites that take reservations, including Beaver Lake, Chain Lakes, McLean Creek and Wabamun Lake.
You can see the vacancy calendar and book your spot online at reserve.albertaparks.ca.
Comfort Camping in Provincial Parks
There’s camping and then there is comfort camping. Comfort camping is the kind of experience that gets you outdoors and into the wilderness, but you don’t have to set up your own tent. Instead, you bring your sleeping bags and marshmallows and move into an existing structure filled with all of the amenities you need to have a camping-esque experience.
There are canvas wall tents with a heater, electrical outlets and other amenities like pots and pans in Dinosaur, Miquelon Lake, Writing-in-Stone and Wyndham-Carseland Provincial Parks. Pigeon Lake has yurts with vented skylights, heaters, a gas barbecue, bunk beds and more. Lesser Slave Lake has a lodge known as The Nest and Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park has lakefront cabins with private decks.
Depending on what you choose, these fancy camping options sleep between four and 10 campers and cost between $105 and $250 per night.
Reservations for comfort camping opened on February 23. You can book sites through the entire season without worrying about the 90-day limit, which means you better get on it before they are all gone. Book your spot through reserve.albertaparks.ca
Some start dates for booking a national park camp site have already begun and others roll out starting April 1. All of the sites are booked through reservation.pc.gc.ca. Close to home that includes Jasper, Banff, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes and Yoho, but this is also the site you would go to to book camping across Canada, including the West Coast Trail, Georgia Bay Islands and Terra Nova. You can book through the end of the season.
Booking for sites in Jasper, including at Pocohontas, Wabasso, Wapiti and Whistlers (including oTENTiks and Cottage Tents) start April 1 at 8 a.m.
Book Lake Louise, Tunnel Mountain, Johnston Canyon and Two Jack Lakeside starting April 2 at 8 a.m.
Book Redstreak starting April 7 at 8 a.m.
Book into the Townsite starting April 7 at 8 a.m.
Book the Lake O’Hara day use bus ride starting April 20 at 5 a.m.