How to Reserve a National Park Camping Spot in High Season

Camping is America’s favorite pastime. However, finding a spot in the great national parks can be a bit tricky. We hope to help guide you through some options, how to make a reservation, and what to look for.  If you are looking to enjoy our great National parks this summer, you should take a minute to read what to expect when making a reservation at your preferred destination.

You probably have already guessed it, the parks are going to be crowded during peak hours. These hours are in the summertime for the mid to northern regions and even in the southern regions as well.  This is a time when kids are not in school and a time when snowbirds will be milling about a bit more.

However, there are still spots to grab up. You should start looking well in advance, 6 months or so is good to start planning your national park camping trip.  If you didn’t think it was that far in advance, you might find the parks are filled up. However, that doesn’t mean you still cannot go.

Private Campgrounds

Many National parks have a lot of facilities around you that will offer camping as well as lodging.  These private campgrounds and cabins are perfect for your stay and you can still get into the National park and have a look around. Many of these private camping experiences offer a few more amenities than you might find in the national parks as well. And, sometimes they cost less.

If you need to have wifi while camping, this is certainly your better option. And, before you mock those that feel the need, it is said that people that can stay connected tend to camp longer!  Not everyone has to be connected for social reasons, sometimes their businesses depend on it. So, never feel less of a camper for wanting an amenity! We can all enjoy the wilderness in our own ways.  But, be sure to enjoy it safely.

National Park Rules

When you are in national parks, whether you are a visitor for the day or overnight, there are rules that apply to you all. Be kind and courteous to the other campers. Enjoy from a distance when you see wildlife, remember you are in their home. And, take everything you brought with you out of the park, don’t litter, or leave trash laying around. This is a park that is meant to be enjoyed for generations to come. We all just need to follow some simple rules.

When making reservations you might find that the government sites have left some to be desired. However, there are secondary sites such as Reserve America that can certainly make things a little easier. Be sure that you take note of when you are to check-in and what time set up and tear down should be.

Also, if you live near a national park, there are some spots that are first-come, first-serve. Some are spots that people have canceled last minute. These can be snatched up in the early morning. But, there is not a guarantee.


I have been camping and going outdoors for over 15 years! My first experience was when I joined the scouts. There I learned a lot. From building a campfire to set up a really big tent. Then I know this is awesome. Around 2005 I also started Geocaching. This is a lot of fun. And every time we go camping we look at the map to see if there are some nice caches around.

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