REGINA -- Saskatchewan campsites will be available for bookings starting on May 4, for camping start dates on June 1.

The opening of campsites was announced as part of the Re-open Saskatchewan plan laid out by Premier Scott Moe on Thursday.

“While the reservation launch was initially delayed due to COVID-19, we are pleased to cautiously open for the 2020 camping season,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister and Minister Responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan Gene Makowsky said in a news release. “We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our parks, where they can naturally physical distance and enjoy the outdoors. However, campers should be aware of numerous restrictions and understand that at least at first, camping will look different this year.”

Campgrounds were included in the first of five phases in the plan.

Campers can start reserving their sites on May 4 through an online reservation system.

Saskatchewan parks will also open for fishing, hiking and biking. Anyone in the parks will need to follow strict physical distancing rules to maintain the safety of park staff and visitors.

Campgrounds will be at a 50 per cent capacity, so only every other site will be available for booking. Provincial parks will only be open to Saskatchewan residents starting June 1.

Camping reservations will open at 7 a.m. on scheduled dates. The online queue opens at 6:40 a.m.

The province will use staggered launch dates to manage the volume of requests.

Campsites need to be reserved online or through the call centre at 1-855-737-7275.

Here is the schedule of booking dates:

  • Monday, May 4: Seasonal campsites across provincial parks
  • Wednesday, May 6: Pike Lake, The Battlefords, Narrow Hills, Blackstrap
  • Thursday, May 7: Bronson Forest, Meadow Lake, Makwa Lake, Lac La Ronge
  • Friday, May 8: Saskatchewan Landing, Douglas, Danielson
  • Monday, May 11: Buffalo Pound, Rowan’s Ravine, Echo Valley, Crooked Lake
  • Tuesday, May 12: Cypress Hills
  • Wednesday, May 13: Duck Mountain, Good Spirit Lake, Greenwater Lake
  • Thursday, May 14: Candle Lake, Great Blue Heron, Moose Mountain

The province says seasonal campsite fees will be pro-rated for a June 1 opening.