BOW VALLEY – Early season camping is cancelled.
Alberta Parks is suspending and refunding camping reservations up to and including May 19.
Provincial officials say the decision, announced on Friday (April 17), is in line with other jurisdictions, such as Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Parks Canada, which have also suspended or delayed camping reservations.
“The suspension is in place until the province’s chief medical officer of health is confident the health and public safety risk from COVID-19 is reduced,” said Jess Sinclair, a spokesperson for Alberta Parks in a news release.
The online reservation system is temporarily closed and no longer accessible for customers to cancel bookings on their own. Alberta Parks will begin notifying customers with existing reservations up to May 19 through a system-generated email. All fees paid will be refunded. Additional cancellations, including those after May 19, will be announced in the future as the government continues to react to the pandemic on the advice of the chief medical officer of health.
According to Sinclair, random camping on public land is currently permitted, but further restrictions may be necessary in the future as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold. Campers should be aware that a fire ban is in place in the forest protection area and provincial parks, as well as a ban on recreational off-highway vehicles (OHV) in place in the forest protection area.
“All random campers must follow the directions of the chief medical officer of health, including physical distancing and no mass gatherings,” said Sinclair.
Earlier this week, Parks Canada suspended camping until at least May 31, including in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks. Parks Canada won’t take new reservations until at least June 1. All existing reservations before May 31 will be cancelled and refunded in full.
The current closure of visitor services and ban on vehicle access by visitors to national parks will stay in place until further notice.
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