Gateway Gazette

The 2019 Camp Down is On

Alberta Parks’ online campsite reservations open as of Feb. 4.

Campers can start booking their Alberta Parks provincial summer camping experience online Feb. 4.

Campers can log on to to book their group camping areas. Comfort camping reservations open Feb. 11 at 9 a.m., while individual campsite reservations for the May long weekend start Feb. 19.

New this year is Kananaskis backcountry camping reservations which open Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. Combined with additional individual, group and comfort camping options, Alberta Parks is offering more than 650 new online booking options.

“Albertans continue to flock to our online reservation system with their sights set on connecting with the great outdoors and evenings relaxing around the campfire. This year, we’re pleased to expand our reservation offering to include Alberta’s magnificent backcountry.”

~Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks

Staggered reservation times by region for individual campsites on Feb. 19 are:

  • South region at 9 a.m.
  • Kananaskis Country at 11 a.m.
  • Central region at 1 p.m.
  • Northwest/east regions at 3 p.m.

Reservations made for individual campsites are 90 days out from the booking date.

In 2018, the reservation system processed 164,101 individual campsites, 3,251 group camping areas and 3,638 comfort camping units. The 2018 total exceeded the previous year’s online reservation tally of 163,780 and set a new record for annual bookings.

In the fiscal 2018-19 year, government is investing $38 million in provincial park upgrades, expansions and modernizations as part of its $239-million, five-year commitment under Budget 2016. Improvements to the provincial parks system include access for persons with disabilities, new and improved boat launches, facility upgrades and maintenance to popular amenities like picnic tables, fire pits and washrooms.

Quick facts

  • The RAP system added seven campgrounds combining 457 individual sites, five comfort camping units, eight new group camping areas and 17 backcountry campgrounds with 206 (permit) sites this year.
  • Backcountry reservations are campground-specific only, not site-specific, meaning people who book into the campgrounds can select a vacant site upon arrival.
  • Comfort camping units are shelters that come in a variety of styles, such as a yurt or canvas-wall tent, and include amenities like beds, table and chairs, cookware, utensils and power.
  • Alberta’s RAP system has nearly 600,000 account users.
  • There are about 250 provincial campgrounds with more than 14,000 campsites in the Alberta provincial parks system.
  • The RAP system allows online booking for 88 provincial campgrounds (the remaining provincial campgrounds are first come, first served), 162 group camping areas and 64 comfort camping units.
  • The online system is mobile-friendly, so people can book campsites on their mobile devices.
  • To make an online reservation, set up an account or update your existing account in advance of the reservation days, visit
  • Camping in Alberta remains an affordable family fun option; there are no new camping-related fee increases in 2019. Alberta Parks last introduced minor fee increases in 2016.
  • Revenue generated from camping fees is invested back into Alberta Parks.

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