How to

Secret to booking a campsite

A campground can be seen in Redwood National and State Parks Redwood Forest.

SAN DIEGO, California – The simple phrase that will make all California campers cringe: “Based on your search, there are 0 facilities available.”

This is the message that will appear if no campgrounds are available on the selected date when attempting to book a place at one of California’s state parks.

According to booking platform Reserve California, there are 15,000 campgrounds scattered across the Golden State. With so many options, most would think booking a website would be easy. As it turns out, camping in California can be a challenge due to the high demand.

So, what’s the secret to securing a spot in one of California’s state parks? plan ahead.

The trick to landing a campsite is planning your adventure well in advance — six months in advance, to be exact. Reservations for campsites and accommodation can be made exactly six months before the arrival date, with the reservation window opening at 8am

To increase your chances, report to Reserve California about 20 minutes in advance and enter the name of the campground you wish to visit. This requires an account, which can be created free of charge with a valid email address.

When the reservation window opens, all campsites are immediately available.

Once the clock strikes eight, select your expected arrival date(s) and the type of pitch you wish to book (RV/RV, Tent, Trailer or Truck/SUV/Van). Then click View Results and select your website and book.

This doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the spot you’ve been waiting for, but it does increase your chances of beating other campers into the fire.

In case you get the dreaded “No websites available” message, there are two backup options. You can click Next Available Date to view alternative date options that are available for reservation.

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Another option is to sign up for notifications for specific dates. If someone cancels their reservation, Reserve California will notify you via text message or email. You can then log in and secure the booking.

Detailed information about the reservation can be found here.

Adventure awaits California campers – let the planning begin.


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