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Old 05-13-2014, 04:06 PM   #1
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National Park camping with no reservations

Hi Everyone,

First year camping in the National Parks in a very long time and first time ever in our new pop-up tent trailer (have always tent camped in the past).

It seems from my quick online looking that very few campgrounds in the National Parks take reservations and that they operate how they did decades ago on a first-come first-serve basis. Is this correct? First trip tomorrow is Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands and then in the height of the summer season Rocky Mountain, Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier.

Any thoughts or helpful tips?

Thanks so much!
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:20 PM   #2
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Don't know about National Parks, but it seems like most State Parks do not take reservations directly at the park. You have to do it online or call a dedicated line.
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:25 PM   #3
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Suggest you try the NPS web site (recreation.gov) and check out what parks take resverations, which one's are first come first serve spaces, and some parks have a mixture of both resverable and non-resverable spaces.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:32 PM   #4
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i can tell you that Yellowstone and Tetons take reservations and you need to if you plan to be there in high season, especially Yellowstone.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:46 PM   #5
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If you look at the individual national park websites you will find information on how to make reservations. For most national parks if you click on “plan your visit” and then click on "fees and reservations" you will find the info you’re looking for.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:17 PM   #6
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Thank you, Everyone!

All good advice!

Appreciate you taking the time to help me out.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:16 PM   #7
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There are still first come first serve, but they have added some reservable sites also. As said earlier its on the Recreation.gov site. You will find a lot of information like be there before 10AM to get a spot.
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Old 05-18-2014, 02:14 AM   #8
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There are still first come first serve, but they have added some reservable sites also. As said earlier its on the Recreation.gov site. You will find a lot of information like be there before 10AM to get a spot.

Thank you! Will be going to Grand Canyon tomorrow!
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:42 AM   #9
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We were a bit late in getting our first pop-up trailer (former tenters too), and we found that there are a limited number of reservations or none at all. We have our first trip coming up and since we have a long haul between Dinosaur National Monument and Grand Tetons, we booked one night at the Jackson KOA to be assured of a spot in the afternoon. Next morning we are looking for a NPS spot at the Gros Ventre campground. After a few days we will try Yellowstone NP, which does take reservations, but was already booked up for a trailer and truck of our length (they measure the total length of your towing vehicle and trailer).

Happy camping and let folks know how you do without reservations.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:16 AM   #10
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Yellowstone is the same way, get there before 10 and you can usually get a spot. We did the same thing with Yellowstone and stayed in a place outside the north entrance. Headed in in the morning and got an excellent site at the mammoth hot springs campground on the 6th of July. We drove around the places and found that many of the campgrounds you reserved were stacked in like cord wood. and didn't have a great view. Enjoy your trip, if your in a pop-up some of the campgrounds in Yellowstone don't allow pop-ups because of the bears.
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