California has a lot of high demand for most of its campgrounds which always makes camping an adventure. This makes it nearly impossible to book a trip less than 6 months in advance. Reserve America has had a hold over all the desirable campgrounds and would open reservations all at once. This method left much to be desired; all the prime spots would get snatched the moment reservations opened. Reserve America also has a policy where they won’t let you book a spot less than 2 days before arriving; so if someone is a no show or cancels last minute, you are SOL. Getting a hold of someone on the phone is also super challenging and when you call the actual campground, there is not much they can do for you.
When we heard that Reserve America was being replaced we were instantly stoked. California has switched over to Reserve California which has rolling reservations allowing you to reserve a camping site six months in advance. For example on December 1st you could book a site all the way out to June 1st, but no later. The idea behind this is to keep all the prime spots from getting booked up instantly.
We aren’t sure what the answer should be for our wonderful state parks. It would be nice if each campground had their own site, but tight government pockets make that super unlikely. It would be really awesome if there was at least someone you could call. CA state parks have park rangers, would it really be so hard to give them a phone they could man? That way you could call to see if there were no-shows or first come first serve? What do you guys think?