B.C. introduces free day-use passes for six provincial parks

The B.C. government has kicked off a new, free day-use pass pilot program for six of the province’s most popular parks.

Given that very few people are able to travel out of the province or country during the summer due to the pandemic, B.C.’s parks have been packed to the rafters, leading to problems parking, overcrowded trails and damage to the immediate environment.

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In a bid to control the use of the parks, the province, starting Monday, July 27, will introduce a free, day pass system for certain areas of:

* Mount Robson Park: Berg Lake Trail

* Stawamus Chief Park: Chief Peaks Trail

* Cypress Park: upper mountain trails, including the Howe Sound Crest Trail, Hollyburn Mountain Trails and the Black Mountain Plateau trails

* Mount Seymour Park: upper mountain trails including the Seymour Main Trail, Dog Mountain Trail and Mystery Lake Trail

* Garibaldi Park: trailheads at Diamond Head, Rubble Creek and Cheakamus and

* Golden Ears Park: all trails and day-use areas.

Garibaldi Park will fully reopen on July 27 with the introduction of day-use passes in select areas.

Like many parks in the Sea-to-Sky corridor, Garibaldi has seen a significant increase in visitors during the last four years, which has led to overcrowding in some areas of the park.

The free day-use passes are part of a pilot program intended to help BC Parks re-open busy areas and test the passes as a tool to manage overcrowding.

The passes can be obtained on the Discover Camping website and will be released daily at 6 a.m. for same-day bookings.

The number of passes available each day depends on the park and ranges from vehicle passes for the Berg Lake Trail and Golden Ears Park to individual trail passes in the other parks for morning, afternoon or full day.

Backcountry campers with camping permits are not required to reserve a day-use pass, but should carry proof of their camping permit if they are using one of the select trails that require a pass.

Park operator staff will be checking passes upon arrival. Visitors can download the pass onto their mobile device or print it to show at the park.

Further details about the passes required in each park, along with detailed information about BC Parks response to COVID-19 and which parks remain closed, can be found here: www.bcparks.ca

Before heading out, people are advised to visit the individual park page for any changes to available services.

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