B.C.'s park pass system launches for 2nd year in hope of curbing crowds at popular destinations
VANCOUVER -- B.C.'s park pass system is now live, allowing locals to book a visit at five popular green spaces.
The pilot program was first introduced last summer in an effort to reduce the number of people visiting some parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is back, but with a few changes.
Starting Wednesday, park passes will be required at Joffre Lakes, Mount Robson (Berg Lake Trail), Stawamus Chief (Chief Parks Backside Trail, Garibaldi Park (at the trailheads at Diamond Head, Rubble Creek and Cheakamus) and Golden Ears Park.
Last year, passes were also required at Mount Seymour Park and Cypress Park, but neither are included in this year's program.
Unlike last year, park visitors can now book their trip the day before they want to go to a park. That's why the system launched Tuesday, even though the passes won't be required until Wednesday.
"We support the effort BC Parks is making to have discover parks ambassadors in some of our most popular parks to greet people and talk about safe and responsible recreation," said Doug Pope, manager at North Shore Rescue, in a news release when the project's renewal was announced..
"This is a welcome development to the day-pass program and ensures everyone can enjoy a safer experience. It’s important people plan ahead and are prepared before they venture into the outdoors.”
Not everyone is a fan of the park-pass program, however.
"We’re not happy with 'Day Pass 2.0.' We also don’t feel the public consultation process has been transparent,” Chris Ludwig of the BC Mountaineering Club told CTV News Vancouver last week.
"Experienced users like me can use our four-wheel drive to access areas that are far flung but for the majority of people this impacts access and equity to the parks."
But the province says park rangers noticed there was less littering and no human-wildlife conflicts in Garibaldi Park last year under the day-pass program for the first time "in several years."
Park visitors can reserve their pass online. At some parks, morning and afternoon passes will be used. The morning pass allows for arrival before 1 p.m., while the afternoon is for arrival after 1 p.m. Departure times aren't restricted.
Day-use passes aren't required for anyone camping overnight, except at Stawamus Chief. At the other four parks, campground reservations or permits are required for those staying overnight.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Michele Brunoro