With Parks Canada having launched its reservations for the 2024 visitor season, the first day of reservations opening for sites in Alberta, saw 7,453 reservations.

"As sites like Banff and Jasper open for reservation over the coming days, it is expected this number will increase," Megan Hope, with Parks Canada Media Relations, wrote in an email. "It is important to note that approximately 50 per cent of the reservations our visitors make are made less than 30 days before the camping date. Visitors are encouraged to check the site often for openings."

The reservation openings for Parks Canada-administered places in Alberta began on Wednesday, January 24, 2024. Some important dates to keep in mind if you're looking to book camping in Banff include:

  • Friday, January 26 2024 at 8:00 a.m.:

    • Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court

    • Tunnel Mountain Village 1

    • Tunnel Mountain Village 2

    • Lake Louise Hard-sided Equipment Only

    • Lake Louise Soft-sided Tents/Trailers

    • Johnston Canyon

    • Two Jack Lakeside

    • Two Jack Main

    • Rampart Creek

    • Silverhorn Creek

  • Monday, January 29 2024 at 8:00 a.m.:

    • Backcountry camping Banff, Kootenay & Yoho National Parks

  • Thursday, April 18 2024 at 8:00 a.m.:

  • Reservable Shuttle to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise lakeshore

"National Parks in Alberta are very popular and some of the busiest in the country. Reservations fill up quickly. Due to heightened demand, visitors are encouraged to be flexible, consider visiting during the week rather than weekends or visiting during shoulder seasons," Hope added.

Nationwide, over 16,000 reservations were made, with officials estimating that another 40,000 reservations will be made over the next few days.

Parks Canada is reminding the public that on the specific launch days, the entire season will open for reservations for that location.

"30 minutes before reservations open, anyone navigating the reservation website, as well as new users joining the website, will be directed to a waiting page. At exactly 8 a.m. local time, anyone on that waiting page is randomly assigned a place in a queue (a virtual line-up)," Parks Canada explains.

Another important reminder is that the order is determined randomly and is not based on how long users have been on the website up to that point. Users who arrive after 8 a.m. will be placed at the back of the queue.

"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. This process helps manage the number of visitors accessing the website and ensures a smooth and equitable experience for everyone."

It is also important to remember that if you have never made a Parks Canada reservation or if you haven’t made a reservation since before March 3, 2023, you’ll need to create a Parks Canada Reservation Service account.

The public is encouraged to check the Parks Canada website for a full list of National Parks by province for full details and launch dates.