Campers hit with line of 40,000+ people as Banff campsites open for the season

Mar 23 2023, 2:50 pm

Some people hoping to snag a camping spot in some of the most desirable camping locations in Canada, like Banff National Park, were met with a long wait on Thursday morning.

A number of changes to the way bookings were put in place for this season by Parks Canada, including a new login and queue.

Several of the most popular camping locations in Canada were made available Thursday morning, including Banff National Park.

On a location’s launch day, Parks Canada said 30 minutes prior to reservations opening, anyone navigating the reservation website, as well as new users joining the website, were directed to a waiting page.

At exactly 8 am local time, anyone on that waiting page is randomly assigned a place in a queue. The order is determined randomly and is not based on how long users have been on the website up to that point.

We were logged in and, right as the queue began, we were greeted with a wait of “more than an hour,” with more than 43,000 users ahead of us.

Parks Canada

Parks Canada added that users who arrive after 8 am will be placed at the back of the queue and when users reach their turn, they will be alerted via an on-screen message. At that point, they will have 30 minutes to proceed to the reservation website.

Others reported technical errors right when they made it to the front of the queue.

If you are new to camping, Parks Canada also has a handy rundown on what to know before staying the night.

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