Campgrounds opening up for booking
Alberta: First day for online reservations at provincial parks Feb. 20
Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018 06:00 am
Online reservations opened for many Alberta campgrounds this week.
Alberta Parks launched its booking service for the 2018 camping season on Feb. 20 for provincial parks. Sites can be reserved up to 90 days in advance of expected arrival dates. Reservations for group bookings started on Feb. 5, and there is no 90-day window. Reservations can also be phoned in beginning May 1 using the provincial booking line at 1-877-537-2757.
Private and municipal campgrounds operate independent of the Alberta Parks booking system.
For Lions Campground in Okotoks, bookings can come in any time during the year.
“The Okotoks Lions Campground is shut down from Oct. 1 to May 1 and during that time anyone can send a request for a reservation to our email,” said campground manager Pauline Krause.
Bookings at Lions Campground can range from one-time requests to the entire season, she said. There are five sites set aside to book for the whole summer on a first-come, first-served basis, she said.
During the last week of April, prior to the May 1 opening day, Krause said campground staff are busy contacting everyone who has requested a site to get further information and make sure their units can be accommodated. It gets busier from there, she said.
“Once May 1 arrives the phone rings non-stop,” said Krause.
Starting in May and June, campers can request a month-long booking in the park, she said. By July, the maximum length of a reservation is two weeks, and at that point campers must leave the park for two weeks before they’re able to return.
“This process allows families that are on summer vacation the opportunity to come stay with us,” said Krause.
There aren’t sites specifically set aside for drop-in campers, she said. Over the years the Lions Club has found there are usually at least one or two sites not booked each weekend to accommodate last-minute arrivals.
If there isn’t space, she said they’ll contact other campgrounds in the area to see if they can accommodate the guests.
“In the past couple of years we’ve seen an increase in campers and the season is busy,” said Krause. “Each year can be different as it is determined on weather. The 2017 season was full most of the time.”