Calgary

Parks Canada Lake O'Hara bus spots filled in a day

A Calgary man is voicing his frustration with changes to the way people can book a trip to Lake O'Hara.

New online booking system frustrates would-be visitor to popular spot in Yoho National Park

The only way to get to Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park is to ride a Parks Canada bus or hike the eleven kilometres. (Rosemary Clapham)

A Calgary man is voicing his frustration with changes to the way people can book a trip to Lake O'Hara.

The only way to get to the scenic spot in Yoho National Park in the Rockies is to take a Parks Canada bus or hike 11 kilometres.

This year there's a new online booking system for the daily bus. Rather than booking only three months ahead of time, people were able to book right through to October starting on April 20.

David Lowen says he a tried a week after the bookings opened, and found it was already full for the season.

"It seems only a privileged few will be able to access the spot," he said. "This is a national park and I think this gets to the philosophy of how the parks should be run. Should a park be run so that it is preserved, but then no one can actually get there?"

Tania Peters of Parks Canada said the 42 daily spots on the bus were reserved on the first day. People were only allowed to book a maximum of six seats and Parks Canada is making sure no one person tries to reserve more than that, she said.

Visitors can check back with the booking website to see whether there are any cancellations that open a bus seat, Peters added.

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