The Northwest Territories’ Parks in Canada will begin accepting online reservations for the 2023 camping season starting in the first week of April.
According to the NWT Parks website, Prelude Lake’s booking starts on April 4, followed by Reid Lake on April 5, Fred Henne on April 6, and all other parks on April 7.
Parks will officially open on May 15 and will close on September 15, with the majority of parks following these dates.
There have been calls to extend the camping season, as was done in 2020 during the pandemic’s first wave to provide more staycation opportunities.
Tourism Minister Caroline Wawzonek has stated that a similar exercise would be better handled by the private sector, offering some form of winter camping.
She noted that during the 2020 extension, running two extra weeks cost over $200,000, with very low uptake and very high costs.
However, Wawzonek hinted that an extension might be possible, but only if there was sufficient occupancy and incoming revenue to make a business case.
In a separate statement, Wawzonek said that seven of the NWT’s parks set some form of visitor record last summer, with new additions coming to many parks this summer.
Inuvik’s Gwich’in Park is getting a new deck and performance area with tiered seating, while Happy Valley Park will have larger shower and washroom facilities.
Fort Providence’s campground is getting a new “adventure-themed playground,” Sambaa Deh’s shower building is being upgraded, and Hay River Territorial Park will have a new change room and concession.
Shower buildings and laundry facilities are being added at the 60th Parallel and Little Buffalo River Crossing campgrounds, while the visitor information center at Blackstone is being renovated.
All reservations for NWT Parks must be made online through the NWT Parks website, which also has a list of opening and closing dates for the territory’s parks.
The Northwest Territories’ parks offer a variety of experiences, from scenic lakes and rivers to rugged terrain and wildlife. The parks provide visitors with the chance to explore the beauty of the region while enjoying camping, hiking, boating, and other outdoor activities.
The announcement of NWT Parks online booking dates and opening dates for 2023 provides clarity and certainty for visitors who are planning to explore the Northwest Territories’ beautiful outdoor spaces.
The potential extension of the camping season also presents an opportunity for the private sector to get involved in offering winter camping experiences, which can help to extend the tourism season and provide more opportunities for outdoor recreation and hospitality.