B.C. parks camping reservation system opens

British Columbians can start reserving summer campground spaces at almost 100 provincial parks starting this weekend, and some spaces are expected fill up quickly.

Online campsite reservation system Discover Camping opened at 9 a.m. PT Saturday

Spaces in B.C. campgrounds near water or cities are often snapped up first.

British Columbians can start reserving summer campground spaces at almost 100 provincial parks starting this weekend, and some spaces are expected fill up quickly.

Discover Camping started taking reservations online starting at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday — three months in advance of camping season. Last year alone, booking service took more than 100,000 reservations.

B.C. Parks spokesperson Nathalie Dechaine​ expects this year to be no different.

"It is a bit of a mad rush. The most popular weekend will be the May Long weekend," she said.

Dechaine said campsites are busiest during the height of summer, and those near waterfronts or big cities — sites such as Porteau Cover, Haynes Point, Cultus Lake, or Miracle Beach — are often snapped up quickly.

"Any weekend during the peak season, you can imagine that's when people camp with family or friends. That's when it gets busy," she said.

Dechaine says the best way to ensure a favourite camp will be available is to plan trips midweek or a little off season. She also stressed the importance of researching campsites before booking them online.

With files from the CBC's Bob Keating

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