Like many others in the region, the campground at Syringa Creek Provincial Park is usually full. Photo: Betsy Kline

West Kootenay campgrounds at capacity most nights

Campers line up each morning hoping to secure an available site.

Campgrounds at provincial parks across the West Kootenay are full most nights, in spite of hopes that a ban on out-of-province reservations would make it easier for locals to get a site close to home.

BC Parks announced in May that B.C. residents would be the only people allowed to reserve sites this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But a look at the agency’s online reservation system shows that reservable sites at West Kootenay campgrounds are completely booked for July and August, other than random single sites for single days here and there.

If you are really lucky you may be able to snag a spot if you happen to be online when someone else cancels their reservation. But don’t get your hopes up.

That leaves walk-in or first-come-first-served sites. But even most of those are spoken for before exiting campers even pack up to leave the park. This often results in would-be campers circling the campground, watching for someone who looks like they may be packing up. But BC Parks is now allowing an alternate method in the interest of safety.

In a statement to Black Press, BC Parks said that when the demand for accessing first-come-first-served sites is particularly high, park operators may need to establish a process to manage traffic flow and line-ups for these sites.

“This demand creates traffic problems in the parks with cars circling the campground looking for spots. This not only disrupts campers but poses a safety risk for children and families, and it can lead to tensions and disputes amongst the public,” said BC Parks.

“The safety of park visitors is paramount – and park operators do their best to ensure unnecessary traffic through campgrounds is minimized, and there is some process to manage line-ups and new campers looking for sites.”

At Syringa Creek Provincial Park, and several others throughout the West Kootenay, this means campers can get their names placed on a waiting list. This list is started fresh each day, and only people showing up in person can be placed on the list. People have been showing up as early as 7 a.m. to get placed on that list.

A notice posted at Syringa explains that sites will be issued on a roll-call basis after 10:45 a.m. each morning.

If you strike out at a provincial park, there are still a number of privately owned and municipal campgrounds peppered around the area that may be able to turn frustrated campers into happy campers. But overall, it looks to be a very busy summer at the region’s campgrounds.



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fire damages Harrop nursery

The cause of the blaze is under investigation

LETTER: Time to re-purpose airstrip

From reader John Bowden

Nelson Innovation Centre to host pitch competition

Deadline to apply for the first of three events is Sept. 24

School bus registration now open in SD8

Registration deadline is Sept. 4

BUSINESS BUZZ: COVID and cash, ATCO’s Weatherford heads Selkirk board, and more

Darren Davidson brings us the latest goings-on in the local business world

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Most Read