Alberta Parks yet to open campsite reservations for 2020 camping season

Albertans may still be living in the thick of winter, but spring is right around the corner and with that comes camping season.

However, Alberta Parks has yet to open up reservations for the 2020 camping season and with the May long weekend quickly approaching, many campers are wondering what’s going on.

Individual campsites within Alberta Parks can be booked 90 days in advance. But the May long weekend — often celebrated as the first camping weekend of the season — is less than three months away.

For the past couple of years, reservations for front-country campsites within Alberta Parks have opened during the first week of February.

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson with Alberta Environment and Parks said the province has been “hard at work” gearing up for the upcoming camping season.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming campers to our parks this summer. 2020 reservation dates and times will be announced shortly, and we thank you for your patience while we finalize these,” Jess Sinclair said in an emailed statement.

Sinclair also said the province is working on a new “365-day booking capacity.”

Beginning this year, Alberta Parks will allow for online campsite bookings year-round, the province said Thursday. Previously, the system was shut down at the end of the camping season then re-opened in the spring.

The same booking restrictions apply; group sites and comfort camping can be booked 180 days in advance, and individual sites can be booked 90 days in advance. Bookings for backcountry camping have no advance booking restrictions and can be booked any time.

The province said it expects the new 365-day booking system to launch in early March, but an exact date was not specified.

Reservations for campsites in Alberta’s national parks opened in January.

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