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Camp Ground Reservations - The Best Ways to Make Them

Where Can You Make Camp Reservations?
Once upon a time you could travel almost anywhere and find a campground for the night. If you waited too late, you might not get the best spot, but there was usually one available. Then stories began to circulate about crowds at the most popular parks and –gasp!—making reservations to go camping. But isn’t camping all about a chance to relax and go with the flow? Reservations are for hotels, filled with prissy city-dwellers who can’t stand dust on their shoes. Not anymore! The popularity of camping and RVing has soared in recent years and camping reservations have come to stay. Today there are online services for making your reservations, and you would be foolish to set out at peak times without them.

ReserveAmerica is the nation’s largest online camping reservations service. The first online camping reservation was made in September, 1997, and led to a current annual rate of more than four million. Reserve America represents more than 100,000 campsites around the country including all federal parks, even those listed with the National Recreation Reservation Service. You can also get camping reservations for state park systems in 19 states, including California, and all Kampground of America (KOA) parks.

Camping Reservations Windows
All federal and California state parks have set limits regarding how far ahead of your trip you may reserve camping spots. For all federal campgrounds you may reserve space up to six months ahead; on the 15th of every month reservations become available for the sixth month ahead. So on January 15th camping reservations for June 15th through July 14th open up. The only exception to this policy is Yosemite National Park, where five months is the maximum advance time. If you want to camp in a California state park you can reserve up to seven months in advance, starting on the first of the month. This means that on February 1st you can reserve a campsite for any time in the month of August.

Online Camping Reservations and Other Methods
Camping reservations are also available by phone or even mail for many campgrounds. To reserve a site at privately-owned, commercial parks check a directory or website to find the best method.

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