Frontcountry camping

Frontcountry camping is a great way for the whole family to experience British Columbia’s extraordinary outdoor spaces. Frontcountry reservations are available at over 110 campgrounds in provincial parks across B.C. At some very popular campgrounds, reservations are required.  

‘Frontcountry’ means an area within 1 km of a park road or a highway. Frontcountry campgrounds are accessible by vehicle, and they offer a range of amenities not available in more remote locations. For information on camping outside the frontcountry, see the backcountry camping page.

Campsites that cannot be reserved are offered on a first come, first served basis. In many cases, reservable sites that have not been booked can also be used on a first come, first served basis. To see if a park accepts or even requires reservations for a particular frontcountry campground, find the park’s webpage.

This page provides detailed information that will help you make and use your frontcountry camping reservation. Any of the information that does not relate directly to reservations also applies to first come, first served camping. Look below to learn about:

For full details of our reservation policies, download the reservation services policies and terms [PDF].

Making a reservation

Look in this section for information on:

Make a reservation 
 

When to make a reservation

  • You can make a reservation for your entire stay up to four months before your desired arrival date
  • New frontcountry camping reservations become available at 7 am Pacific Time daily

Example: If you want to arrive on July 25 and stay four nights, you can reserve all four nights starting at 7 am PT on March 25.

  • Because most parks lack internet connectivity, most reservations can only be made up until 8 pm two days before your arrival date

Example: If you want to arrive on July 25, you must make your reservation before 8 pm on July 23.

  • Parks that have internet connectivity accept reservations right up until your arrival date

Restricted booking window

If your reservation is made on the first day of the four-month booking window, you cannot change your dates. For example, if your arrival date is July 1 and you booked on March 1, you cannot change the arrival or departure date. For more on changing a reservation, see how to change or cancel a reservation, below.

How to make a reservation

  • Anyone over 16 years of age can make a frontcountry camping reservation via camping.bcparks.ca
  • Reservations can also be made by calling 1-800-689-9025 toll free from Canada and the US or 1-519-858-6161 internationally
  • You must pay all camping fees and transaction fees in advance to secure your booking (see the fees section of this page, below)
  • When booking your reservation, you must specify the ‘named occupant’ who will be your official reservation holder
  • This named occupant cannot hold multiple camping reservations for the same dates
  • The named occupant can be yourself or another person, but they must be present when your party arrives and throughout your stay

If the named occupant cannot be present throughout your stay, your reservation must be rebooked with an occupant who can be present. The named occupant may be asked to show ID during your stay to keep your reservation valid.

How to change or cancel a reservation

  • You can change or cancel your reservation via camping.bcparks.ca or by calling 1-800-689-9025 (1-519-858-6161 internationally)
  • Reservation changes or cancellations must be made by the reservation service account holder who made the original booking
  • To change your reservation to a different campground or park, you must cancel your original reservation and re-book
  • Reservations cannot be transferred or sold to another party, and any attempt to do so will lead to cancellation, without refund
  • If you change or cancel your reservation, there will be additional charges (see fees, below)
  • For most BC Parks, you cannot change a reservation after 8 pm two days before your scheduled arrival date 
  • You cannot cancel a reservation for any BC Park after 8 pm on your scheduled arrival date
  • Parks that take same-day reservations can accept cancellations up to your scheduled arrival
  • Changes or cancellations made after arriving at the campground must be made directly with the park operator
  • You cannot change the date of your reservation if it was booked during the restricted booking window

For detailed information on when you can and cannot change or cancel a reservation, see the cancellations and refunds page. For full details of our cancellation and refund policies, download the reservation services policies and terms [PDF].

Check-in and check-out

Look in this section for information on:

Arrival and departure times

  • Check-in is after 1 pm on your scheduled arrival date, and check-out is before 11 am on your scheduled departure date
  • You must claim your reserved spot before 11 am the day after your scheduled arrival date
  • If you do not arrive by then, your reservation is cancelled without refund and your site is made available to others
  • The reservation holder (‘occupant’) you named when booking your reservation must be present upon arrival and throughout the stay

Maximum stays

Anyone visiting BC Parks can stay up to 14 nights per park per calendar year (see the sẁiẁs and Porteau Cove pages for exceptions). The following parks have long-stay programs that allow for stays of four weeks to six months:

For more details of the long-stay program, download the camping fees and information supplement [PDF].

Rules for statutory holidays

  • On statutory holiday weekends, you must reserve your campsite for a minimum of three nights
  • If the statutory holiday falls on a Monday, you must book Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights
  • If the statutory holiday falls on a Friday, you must book Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights
  • When a statutory holiday falls on any day other than a Friday or Monday, no minimum stay applies

For a list of this year’s statutory holidays, see the provincial government’s guide to statutory holidays in B.C.

Party size and vehicles

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Camping party sizes

Only one camping party is allowed on each campsite. A camping party must have:

  • A minimum of one adult (16 years or older)
  • No more than four adults
  • No more than eight people total (including under-16s)

For example, a camping party can consist of:

  • One adult in charge of up to seven under-16s
  • Two adults in charge of up to six under-16s
  • Three adults in charge of up to five under-16s
  • Four adults in charge of up to four under-16s

If you arrive with more people or vehicles than your reservation states, the park operator decides how to accommodate them. Usually, additional people cannot stay on your campsite and must book their own site.

If no sites are available, these additional people might be required to leave the campground. However, the park operator may let them to stay on your site for an additional fee. This is not guaranteed and is at the park operator’s discretion.

Many campgrounds in B.C. offer groupsites for larger camping parties. For more information, see the group camping page.

Double sites

  • Many campgrounds also offer double sites, which consist of two adjacent campsites, with one camping party allowed per site
  • Double sites provide the same facilities as two individual sites, but the sites share a driveway and are open to each other
  • Double sites must be reserved together, and only a single transaction fee is required to book a double site

Vehicle parking

Parking for one vehicle is automatically included in your reservation. You can usually add an extra vehicle to your reservation, for a fee, when booking. To see if vehicles can be added at the park you are visiting, see camping.bcparks.ca.

For more details on party sizes and vehicle allowances, download the camping fees and information supplement [PDF].

Fees

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Fees you will have to pay

Camping fees vary by park. To get fee information for a park, find the park webpage or download the camping fees and information supplement [PDF].

Two types of fees must be paid when booking a reservation: 

  • Camping fees pay for your campsite and parking place as well as other campground services and amenities
  • Transaction fees include reservation fees, change fees, and phone-booking surcharges, which help us maintain the reservation service

Paying your fees

  • You can pay all your camping fees and transaction fees using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Visa Debit, or Mastercard Debit
  • The reservation service lets you put three reservations in your shopping cart, but separate transaction fees are applied to each
  • The BC Seniors Camping Discount and Social Services Camping Fee Exemption may apply to camping fees, but do not apply to transaction fees

For more information on discounts, exemptions, and anything to do with fees, see the camping fees page.

Cancellations and refunds

  • If you cancel a reservation, you will get a full or partial refund of camping fees (subject to policies outlined on the cancellations and refunds page) 
  • All transaction fees, including change fees, cancellation fees, and phone-booking surcharges, are non-refundable 
  • If you cancel nights within seven days of arrival, you may receive only a partial refund of your camping fees

For detailed information on our cancellation and refund policies, see the cancellations and refunds page.

Rates for frontcountry camping

Camping feesVary by park (see the camping fees and information supplement [PDF])
Transaction fees for booking$6 per campsite per night, to a maximum of $18 per site (plus tax)
Transaction fees for changes and cancellations$6 per transaction (plus tax)
Phone-booking fee for reservations and changes made by phone$5 per transaction (plus tax)

Tax is included in camping fees, but it is added to all transaction fees. A transaction can include up to three reservations that were made at the same time.

 

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