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CEB 12-23-2019 08:15 PM

Discover Camping Reservation website
Is there hope that Iíll grow to love the new Discover Camping website?

It seems like a backwards step from the old one, but maybe I need to try it out more? I was trying to look up some Berg Lake space, as it is reservable now, but I get the message that itís not available now so either Iím doing something wrong or theyíre having issues.

While I was looking at the Berg stuff to get familiar to the new site, Iím actually hoping to book an Assiniboine trip this year (not yet available) but it doesnít seem as easy to look at space as the old site was.


ColdBrook 12-24-2019 12:22 AM

Hi -
I last checked (before your post) the very day they rolled out the new website. Hoped it would improve over time.
I just now checked some dates for the reservable period (summer-September end, IIRC) and ran into abundant frustrations.

During the earlier check, I noticed that reservations for some sites within the system would not open until a couple of months into 2020. I do not find the relevant message now. It is possible that message applied to Berg Lake trail (I checked only 3-4 trails/locations). The new Discover Canada res system feels as though it is still in beta testing. I hope the Berg Lake calendar is restored.
In the meantime, would calling the number provided help?

BTW, res system for Lake O'Hara has completely changed. Jan 24, 2020, online reservations for campground open 8 a.m. MST for entire season. Bus res is a random draw from people who enter online lottery during month of Feb.

I really hope Discover Canada overhaul gets completed, or fixed, soon.

Good luck!

CEB 12-24-2019 12:13 PM

Berg opened On Oct 1/19 so this is the only backcountry reservation system that should be fully functioning:

Assiniboine can be made 4 months prior

Kootenay opens Jan 23

For Lake O’Hara, I’m usually fortunate looking for 1 person cancellations At the ACC Elizabeth Parker Hut so have done it that way a few times.

Because every reservation system has it’s own way of working I thought I’d try to do some reservations (Add to cart but not complete) to make sure I knew how they worked. I quite liked the old Discover Camping interface. The only bonus I’ve read is that you can get notified if a spot opens up.

I’ll call to ask what’s going on.

ColdBrook 12-24-2019 12:59 PM

Yes, Berg Lake opened for reservations October 1, and I made a set of res before the new system went into effect.
Then everything changed.
Currently I face the same problems as you: the system doesn't seem to be taking reservations or showing accurately what is available when.
Thank you for making the call, and good luck!

dpdp 12-25-2019 07:17 AM

Same - I booked before the change and I'm going to have to cancel so I went back on the site and it's terrible!

BTW I'm going to be cancelling a spot at Berg Lake - three nights at Robson Pass starting Sept 7. It's totally booked up already so if anyone wants to somehow coordinate that I cancel right before you book, you may be able to pick up the spot.

Lord Bob 12-30-2019 01:25 PM

For what it's worth, I was looking at Berg a few weeks ago but before the change and it was booked pretty solid already...

But the website currently says "The Berg Lake Trail is currently unavailable for bookings. We are working to resolve this as soon as possible. Please check back soon for more information.", so courage!

flipside 01-19-2020 02:27 PM

There is still no calendar for Berg Lake. Fortunately, I made my reservation in October. However, I couldn't recall if I reserved 1 or 2 tent pads for each night and campsite. I logged into my account to check and the way they list each campsite as a separate reservation was crowded and messy. I gave up trying and had to dig into my email confirmation to double-check the number of pads.

CEB 01-19-2020 02:41 PM

Yeah, looks like one of those cases where someone got sold on “improved” through a new contractor when the old ways were just fine. I liked the old version.

I did find a trick that might help to see what availability is, not 100% sure though. When you get to the “Reservations not available” screen there’s a “Show Map” in the upper right corner. If You select only one night and 1 campsite and then click that link you see all the campsites listed and it seems as though the actual availability might show there. You can then scroll through a day at a time to see the next days/sites and then maybe string something together.

ColdBrook 01-19-2020 10:52 PM

Without logging on, I tried to create a reservation. The Available list, under the "Show Map" button that CEB mentions, does seem to show actual availability (last time I looked, the entire calendar was red for every site).
However, when I click on the Reserve button on right side of screen, I get a "Unit not available" notice.
When I click on Reserve button on left side of screen, I get the same notice, but now an arrow appears, allowing one to toggle forward to "Make Another Reservation." (It doesn't work, but possibly a positive step.) Currently if I type in 5 nights, the site assumes I want 5 nights all in one site.

As the calendar of availability (under "Show Map"), at least, may be correct at this point, the best bet might be figuring out what you want, then calling with your list of nights and sites.

Should it be of interest, online Lake O'Hara camping reservations for the entire season open Friday, January 24, at 8 a.m. MST. Sites are expected to be fully booked within a few hours.

Good luck to all!

ColdBrook 05-31-2020 09:27 AM

Interesting article from May 21, after crashes and reboot on opening day for reserving Banff campgrounds (I think, am not sure, the system referred to as buckling under weight of 35,000 computers trying to access it was the Discover Camping website):


Parks Canada says it is now looking for a completely new reservation system.

It has put out a tender to find a provider, but it's not clear if the new system will be ready for the 2021 camping season because the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into a lot of Parks Canada's operations, campgrounds included.

dpdp 05-31-2020 09:58 AM

Thanks for that - hope they can get a better system for next year.

I'm still holding my breath to see if it might be possible to get sites on Berg Lake or Rockwall trails in peak season if there are a lot of cancellations this year (it's the only time I can get off...)

martin 06-02-2020 05:13 PM[/QUOTE]
Note that this news article is referring to the Parks Canada website, not the BC Provincial park reservation system (

What I find interesting though is they are basically admitting in the article that the slowdown is at least in part caused by commercial companies reserving camp sites (to resell for profit of course). But I guess since it's employees sitting down at actual computers making reservations, instead of an automated bot, it's OK.
"The way they're likely getting that volume is they have a number of employees who are on the system, trying to make reservations,"

I wonder if the BC Parks reservation system crash last week was caused by commercial companies booking sites for re-sale.

flipside 06-13-2020 07:10 PM

I'm not a BC resident and got an email stating that Discover Parks is limiting access to local residents for summer 2020. I had to cancel my reservation before June 15th to receive a full refund. I understand, it's just pandemic life.

Here's where I learned a bit about why the site is a dumpster fire. The gov't sold or contracted out park management (website, phone support, reservations, payments etc) to a private entity called USC Direct. USC paid the gov't for any reservations made prior to Nov 1 2019. Thus, USC does not have the ability to refund original payment methods. They don't have that money, Ministry of Finance has it. USC essentially cancelled each reservation in their system and sent a corresponding refund request to Ministry of Finance. Each site must be refunded separately so I've got 8 little gov't refund checks in CAD coming in the mail over the next 7 ish weeks.

The new website is so difficult to navigate and unreliable that I wish I could have just rolled my reservation over to 2021. Even without COVID restrictions, I have no confidence I'll be able to book sites next year.

I understand things change but I wish the new company would just use the old site. Whoever scrapped it wasted money. It's disheartening to hear they're potentially letting employees and vendors snag sites and resell as well.

CEB 06-13-2020 09:18 PM

@flipside - are you Albertan? If so, I hope you didnít cancel an Assiniboine trip.

Iím thinking thereís alot of pissed off Albertans because BC Parks told them they couldnít book on Discover Camping but then realized that Assiniboine is a weird one because you pretty much gotta start or cross in Alberta to get there so seemed a little ridiculous. Also, Assiniboine Lodge operates out of Alberta as well. Not sure how many days later they changed the policy but anyone that took them on their word for the first few days missed out or maybe even cancelled.

zeljkok 06-13-2020 09:53 PM

Why do you guys even bother I'll never know

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