Know before you go Camping in British Columbia
On this page you will find links to updates about wildfires, environmental hazards, driving conditions and park/recreational resources to help you plan a fun and informed trip.
Campers are encouraged to check in with the campground operator and the local Visitor Centre in the communities they will be visiting for real-time, on-the-ground updates.
CURRENT TRAVEL ALERTS
January 20, 2022 – Highway Closures and Travel Restrictions – As parts of British Columbia have been impacted by heavy rain and flooding over the past two months, there are some highway closures and travel restrictions in place for impacted areas to ensure the movement of essential goods and services.
- Please check Drive BC for an up-to-date list of the latest restrictions and advisories.
- On January 19, 2022 the Coquihalla Highway reopened to all traffic.
- Closures remain along sections of Highway 1 north of Hope, and along Highway 8 between Merritt and Spences Bridge.
October 1 to April 30 is considered winter driving season and can be challenging for even the most experienced drivers. Poor visibility and the presence of snow, slush and ice are additional hazards you normally don’t have to deal with. Having the correct tires can make driving in winter conditions easier. M+S (Mud and Snow) tires are a safe option if you only encounter winter conditions on a limited basis and are prepared to drive with added care and caution if winter conditions are encountered. ShiftintoWinter.ca
Fully vaccinated international travellers (including American citizens and permanent residents living in the USA) can now enter Canada for leisure travel. Find out if you can enter Canada, here.
January 18, 2022 – Current Public Health Measures:
- no organized indoor social events and gatherings of any size;
- concerts, sports games and theatres reduced to 50% seated capacity, regardless of venue size;
- Bars and nightclubs that do not offer full meal service are closed
- Tables at restaurants, cafes and pubs are limited to a maximum of six people per table with physical distancing or barriers
- Indoor, personal gatherings are limited to the household/residents plus 10 individuals, or one additional household maximum, and everyone aged 12 and older must be fully vaccinated
- The BC Vaccine Card is required for organized events of all sizes and the QR code is scanned at events
- Movement between tables at food and liquor-serving premises is restricted, and masks must be worn when not seated
- Venues of 1,000 individuals or more are limited to 50% of the seating capacity with reinforced masking requirements and scanning of the BC Vaccine Card QR code
- All sports tournaments are paused
Effective November 30, 2021 – due to the emergence of the Omicron variant the Canadian Government has announced additional measures and requirements for all travelers arriving in Canada regardless of vaccination status. Check here for more information.
Effective October 30, 2021 – all travellers aged 12 and older taking flights leaving Canadian airports or travelling on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains must be fully vaccinated before boarding. Marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels like cruise ships must also complete the vaccination series before travelling. Marine vessels do not include ferries.
Since October 24, 2021 – proof of COVID-19 vaccination with both doses has been required in British Columbia to attend certain social and recreational events, including indoor ticketed sporting events, indoor and patio dining at restaurants, fitness centres, casinos and indoor organized events, including conferences and weddings. Learn more about proof of vaccine here.
Effective August 25, 2021 – masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces throughout British Columbia to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 Delta and other variants as British Columbia prepares for the fall and respiratory illness season.
FAQ TRAVEL POINTS
CHECK WEATHER CONDITIONS: BC’s mountainous terrain means weather conditions can change rapidly within relatively short distances, and snowfall can happen any month in the higher-elevation mountain passes. Before heading out on the road, always check the current weather conditions and weather alerts along your planned journey. Drive for the conditions. If the weather is bad (i.e. snowfall warning along the Coquihalla), delay your drive until the weather and road conditions improve, or consider an alternate route or a different mode of transportation.
WINTER DRIVING: Winter tires are required on most designated highways in British Columbia from October 1 to March 31. For select highways, including mountain passes and rural routes in high snowfall areas, the date is extended until April 30 to account for early spring snowfall. These highways are marked with regulatory signs. ShiftintoWinter.ca
WILDFIRES: No Wildfires of Note – To report a wildfire (dial *5555 on a cell phone or call toll free 1-800-663-5555).
CAMPFIRES: Check out the latest fire bans and restrictions.
PLEASE CAMP RESPONSIBLY. FOLLOW THE CAMPER’S CODE
The Camper’s Code has 9 rules that are really easy to follow. When all campers follow them, these good things happen:
- Camping continues to be enjoyable for all
- Nature remains pristine and beautiful
- People camping in the same area become friends
- Animals stay wild and free
KEY TRAVEL RESOURCES
Check BC Wildfire Service for wildfires of note, fire bans and restrictions.
- Interactive Maps and News Releases BC Government Wildfire Status
and Twitter: @BCGovFireInfo
- Air Quality Health Index
Check DriveBC.ca for major road events such as delays, closures, and suggested detours:
River Forecast Centre analyses snowpack, assesses seasonal water supply and flood risk, and predicts flows in British Columbia’s rivers and streams:
PARKS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATED CAMPGROUNDS
- BC Provincial Parks – wildfire notices
- BC Provincial Parks – COVID-19 notices
- Recreation Sites and Trails BC.ca
- Recreation Sites & Trails closures
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
- Report Wildfire or Irresponsible Behaviour 1-800-663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone)
- Evacuees and Reception Centres call: Emergency Info BC at: 1-800-585-9559.
- BC Wildfire Information Line 1-888-336-7378
- ESS Evacuees Information 1-800-585-9559
- Canadian Red Cross Evacuees Reunification 1-800-863-6582
- Emergency Coordination Centre 1-800-663-3456
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO – TRAVEL RESOURCES
- Destination BC – https://www.hellobc.com/know-before-you-go
- Thompson Okanagan – https://www.thompsonokanagan.com/know-before-you-go
- Kootenay Rockies Tourism – Know Before You Go – Kootenay Rockies
- Cariboo Chilcotin Coast – https://landwithoutlimits.com/plan-your-adventure/know-before-you-go/
- Vancouver Island – https://vancouverisland.travel/2020/03/12/covid-19-travel-advisory/