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No timeline for Liard Hot Springs reopening

The province says the Liard Hot Springs will remain closed for the foreseeable future as it readies to open camping reservations next month.
Liard Hot Springs
Liard Hot Springs.

The province says the Liard Hot Springs will remain closed for the foreseeable future as it readies to open camping reservations next month.

The provincial park was closed last spring at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, first under the order of regional BC Parks director David Brown, and later under the order of executive BC Parks director Bob Austad.

The Ministry of Environment says the Discover Camping online reservation system will open March 8.

B.C. residents will have priority access to campsites until July 8, and campers will be able to book sites up to two months in advance.

When asked whether the hot springs would be open for bookings, a ministry spokesperson said it was status quo for the park closure, and that it would be closed “for the foreseeable future.”

“All decisions are at the guidance of the PHO,” the spokesperson said.

The Lussier Hot Springs at Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park in the Kootenays remain closed under the BC Parks order, as do the Weewanie Hot Springs Provincial Park in Skeena.

Notices on the park webpages state the closures are to "to ensure the continued health and safety of First Nations, BC Parks visitors, employees, park contractors, volunteers and partners, and to support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19."

The province says day-use facilities, picnic shelters, and halls also remain closed for the season.

It also warns that public health guidelines for gatherings may change throughout the season and between the time of booking a campsite and a scheduled arrival date.

Backcountry camping reservations open March 1 for the full season of two popular backcountry trips - the Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park and the canoe circuit in Bowron Lake Provincial Park. The Berg Lake Trail can be reserved from June 12 to Sept. 30, and the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit can be reserved from May 15 to Sept. 23.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.