B.C. Parks opens reservations early at Bowron Lake and Berg Lake

Two of B.C.'s most pristine backcountry wilderness destinations will begin accepting bookings Jan. 2 at 9 a.m.

The Berg Lake trail saw a record of 2,295 reservations in 2015, up 45 per cent from 2014

The 116-kilometre wilderness canoe circuit at Bowron Lake takes between 6 to 10 days to complete, depending on conditions and skill level, according to B.C.'s Ministry of Environment. (Flickr/ktpayn)

Hikers and backcountry enthusiasts can get a jump start Saturday on reserving pristine camping spots at two of B.C.'s most internationally renowned wilderness destinations.

B.C. Parks will begin accepting bookings for the 2016 season at 9 a.m. on Jan. 2 for the scenic sites at Bowron Lake and Berg Lake.

Customers will appreciate the ability to make reservations months in advance because of the long-term planning and preparation required to enjoy these sites, which offer an adventurous backcountry experience but with limited facilities, said spokeswoman Natalie Dechaine.

"Both of these places are well known in other parts of the world and maybe not as well known by some of the British Columbians that can come and enjoy these experiences," Dechaine said.

Record high demand in 2014

According to B.C. Parks, the Berg Lake trail saw a record of 2,295 reservations in 2015, up 45 per cent from the year before. The Bowron Lakes canoe circuit saw 1,030 bookings, a six per cent increase from 2014 levels. 

"Who knew that the lakes could kind of go in a square donut shape? Just that natural setup, it makes for a beautiful canoe circuit," said Dechaine of Bowron Lake.  

The Berg Lake trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park is 23 kilometres long and offers some of the best views of the Canadian Rockies, said Dechaine.

"You have the beautiful, triangular-shaped, snow-capped peaks that I think a lot of people identify with Canadian wilderness.

"We have a really big backyard in British Columbia, but there's some really amazing spots to go visit."

Reservations can be made online at www.discovercamping.ca or by phone for a $5 surcharge at 1-800-689-9025.

To hear the full interview with Natalie Dechaine, listen to the audio labelled: B.C. Parks opens Bowron Lake and Berg Lake Trail reservations on Jan. 2.


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