Oh, Canada! Southern Alberta Parks Packed for ‘Long Weekend’
Campgrounds in southern Alberta are booked solid for the upcoming long weekend, according to Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation.
Enthusiasm for the July long weekend has hardly been dampened by the recent downpours that drenched southern parts of the province, the Calgary Herald reported.
As the rain-battered ground starts to dry, campground owners are now bracing for the onslaught of campers heading out for the Canada Day long weekend.
“It’s pretty soggy,” said Pauline Krause, park manager of the Lions Sheep River Campgrounds in Okotoks.
“But it isn’t deterring our campers. They’re all aware of it and they’re still coming.”
The Okotoks campground was evacuated as heavy rain touched down Tuesday (June 26). About 18 groups were displaced, but later moved back.
In High River, a large berm shielded George Lane Campground from high-rising water. The area is still muddy, but manager Darlene Wilms said two dozen campers remain on a wait list.
“We’ve been booked forever,” Wilms said.
Both Okotoks and High River residents were on high alert after being placed on a flood watch Tuesday. However, advisories were lifted less than 24 hours later.
Susan Johnson with Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation said provincial parks avoided extensive flooding and closures during the warning period.
Prospective campers are now out of time to reserve a site with clear, sunny skies being forecasted ahead.
Johnson said most campgrounds were “largely booked up about a week ago” and suggested Albertans check out first-come, first-served sites at 170 provincial campgrounds.
About 360 first-come, first-served sites are also offered at national parks in southern Alberta.
“The chances of getting one are pretty good,” Johnson said. Real-time availability updates can be found at reserve.albertaparks.ca.