All B.C. provincial parks are now closed to the public 

Anyone found in a closed park will be evicted and could face a $115 fine

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MEGAN LALONDE - All of the province's provincial parks are now closed, BC Parks announced today. These closures come following previously announced shutdowns of busy destinations like Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in Pemberton, pictured here.
  • PHOTO BY MEGAN LALONDE
  • All of the province's provincial parks are now closed, BC Parks announced today. These closures come following previously announced shutdowns of busy destinations like Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in Pemberton, pictured here.

In a further effort to halt the spread of COVID-19, BC Parks is implementing a full system shutdown, effective immediately.

That means all parks, protected areas, conservancies, recreation areas, and ecological reserves are closed to the public, while BC Parks' ban on all camping (both front and backcountry) has been extended until May 31.

"Because physical distancing works, it is critical that we take every action needed to restrict the spread of COVID-19. This applies to British Columbians and out-of-province visitors who were planning to visit or stay at our provincial parks. The message is clear: stay home, avoid travel, do not put yourself or others at risk," said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy, in a press release.

"We tried to provide safe spaces for people to get some exercise and fresh air in our beautiful parks. But it has proven too challenging to maintain a safe distance between visitors. This action is difficult but necessary. We look forward to the day we can welcome people back to our wonderful parks."

According to BC Parks, the closures will be enforced through regular monitoring and patrols, while anyone found in a closed park will be evicted and could face a $115 fine.

While the closures respond to both the federal and provincial directives that people should stay close to home to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk, these temporary measures were also informed by feedback from the RCMP, local governments, First Nations, local search and rescue outfits and the public, the ministry explained.

The full closures come ahead of the Easter long weekend, which typically marks the beginning of a busy spring outdoor recreation season across the province.

These provincial closures come following the temporary closure of Canada's national parks, as well as previously announced closures of the Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development's campgrounds and amenities in response to the COVID-19 situation.

The full shutdown also follows the closures of high-traffic Sea to Sky destinations like the Stawamus Chief, Shannon Falls, Murrin and Joffre Lakes provincial parks that BC Parks announced last month.

In the Sea to Sky corridor, the closures affect areas such as:

Pemberton

Birkenhead Lake

Nairn Falls

Duffey Lake

Cerise Creek Conservancy

Twin Two Conservancy

Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park

Whistler:

Callaghan Lake Provincial Park

Callaghan Lake Conservancy

Upper Soo Conservancy

Garibaldi Provincial Park (including destinations like Wedgemount Lake, Elfin Lakes, Singing Pass, and Garibaldi Lake)

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park

Squamish:

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Sigurd Creek Conservancy

Tantalus Provincial Park

Baynes Island Ecological Reserve

Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park

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