The provincial government has announced that it will be hiking camping fees at B.C. provincial parks beginning March 15, 2015.
Fees will grow by about $2.00 per night at most provincial campsites, while other locations will see a larger price increase of up to $5.00 per night. All B.C. Parks fees are tax inclusive.
This comes as park attendance has increased over the years, in addition to about $700-million worth of investment in infrastructure that requires maintenance. Hikes in the fees are expected to generate an additional $1.3-million this year, which will be directly spent on maintaining the park system.
The government says it spent $209.7-million since 2001 on the province’s protected areas system to improve park facilities and acquire new lands. From 2013 to 2014, recreation user fees generated approximately $17.1 million in visitor revenue and another $1.9 million was collected from fees for activities requiring park use permits.
At this time, there are no plans to increase fees for sani-stations, mooring buoys, backcountry camping, picnic shelters or group camping. Parking remains free at all provincial parks.
“British Columbia’s world-renowned parks provide superb recreational opportunities for visitors from throughout the province and around the world,” reads a statement by Minister of Environment Mary Polak. “From diverse terrain to temperate climate, our parks are truly a unique treasure. By increasing user fees in campgrounds, campers who use the parks system are helping to keep it sustainable for future generations to enjoy.”
Even with the increase, the provincial government maintains its fees are still highly competitive with private backgrounds. Examples:
- Cultus Lake Provincial Park:
- Public grounds: $35 per night for a campsite with up to four adults
- Private operator: $35 to $45 per night for a tenting site for two adults, with an additional $10 charge per adult
- Shuswap Lake:
- Public grounds: $32 overnight for a campsite with up to four adults
- Private operator: $30 to $60 per night
There are 1,029 provincial parks, recreation areas and ecological reserves in B.C., which represents about 14.4 per cent of the province’s land area.
For a complete list of campgrounds and updated fees, visit: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/fees/userfees.pdf
Feature Image: Camping via Shutterstock