California camping reservations: How to book, where to go

Kristen Tate builds a lot. An independent book editor from San Francisco takes two car trips for two weeks each summer, thanksgiving time and usually on weekends. They know that it is difficult to set up camp in California, especially if you are looking for a prestigious place for summer.

“If I want something better this week, I plan ahead,” Tate said. “Maybe I have a six-month window when [reservations] open it, or I will not bother to wait for the window two weeks ago. I start looking at that moment because that’s when people start to ban. ”

Dad’s advice to get rid of it over the weekend on vacation: “Keep your browser open and stay there.”

Why is it so difficult to reserve a place? California State Parks states that in some cases, it may not meet the requirements. “We have about 13,000 places … and every year, on average, more than 6.5 million visitors live in our famous parks.”

The plague of COVID-19 has increased dramatically.

For example, of the 10.1 million families living in 2020, 21% said they were new to the camp, compared to 4% in 2019, according to a new KOA report, which manages reserves in the US and Canada. For the first quarter of this year, KOA reported that reserves have increased 112% over the same period in 2020, and 100% more immediately in 2019.

In the midst of the epidemic, many retail outlets were reopened, then closed and relocated, and re-opened with limited force to comply with government health regulations. Now, many need to reopen a full reopening of regional sites that have gone to orange (reducing COVID-19 regulations on businesses and events). The government has also introduced a travel technology that has asked California residents about 120 miles[120 km]from their home.

Whether you are camping or RV, here are some tips and tricks that can help you. Prices for camping areas vary, depending on whether you visit long-distance or in season without weather. In addition, some camps are closed due to last year’s plague or fire.

How do I get started?

Dad starts his hunt with the “old California atlases,” which seem to be backwards, because most of the leafy areas have leaves. But not all.

The capitals “contain all the archives,” he said. “That is why so many small ones, small or large, will be listed on that map. You may not know much about them online.”

Once you have your destination and the date you want, click on it. The campgrounds are open six months in advance at many national and state parks, meaning that residents of Memorial Day reservations will reserve their venues at the end of November. (Check payments as the days go by.)

Zoos: California has nine, more than any other country: Channel Islands, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Kings Canyon, Lassen Volcanic, Pinnacles, Redwood, Sequoia and Yosemite.

In many parks, Recreation.gov [(877) 444-6777] then online. You can select a location and view any photos and maps, allowing you to select a page near the stream or in the middle of the forest. Reservations are open six months in advance.

California State Parks: The agency operates ReserveC California.com [(800) 444-7275 ] an online method, which opens reservations six months before the date you want to camp. It also provides maps and useful information.

One caveat that frustrates many who are trying to reserve this page: People who already have a reservation can change their dates. That’s why campgrounds can be sold even if you just book six months the day you want to go.

Among the most difficult areas to maintain: Crystal Cove between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, with 24 small houses, as well as coastal areas from Santa Cruz to Southern California. The council recommends experimenting with state parks north of Santa Cruz or residential areas. See the page for more information on the camps, how to reserve a place, where reservations are open year-round and other questions.

Reservation tips: Carefully read the terms and conditions of payment. In state parks, you do not have to pay $ 7.99 to reserve a place if you can block. For Recreation.gov, non-refundable fees include $ 8 online, $ 9 for Call Center and $ 3 for in-person reservations. Also, you can create online alerts that let you know if your camping site is available.

National forests: Angeles, San Bernardino and Los Padres forests both north and east as well as Cleveland in the south provide first-timers, camping sites. Don’t arrive on Thursday so you will have a chance to get a place on the weekend for the summer season. Some may be stored at Recreation.gov.

National forests also provide home or “scattered” camps, which means the area may not have water, baths, fireplaces or the like. Bring everything you need (and unpack).

Other public areas: District parks and nature reserves have their own storage systems and can be a good choice. “I often find it fun because they don’t fill up,” Tate said.

For example, you can book a page at Idyllwild Regional Park near Mt. San Jacinto via Riverside County Parks for $ 30 a night (RivCoParks.org, [(800) 234-7275]) or Mission Creek Preserve at Desert Hot Springs for free (donations are accepted) through the Wildlands Conservancy, which has this page.

Private camping sites: Camp-C California.com offers you the opportunity to search for refuge in 1,200 places and click to reserve a place to reserve a place. For example, I researched “Yosemite” and found eight trails outside the park in nearby towns such as Groveland and Oakhurst.

“Design your living space,” said Dyana Kelley, President of CampCalNOW RV Park and Campground Alliance. “Filters allow you to select and select items that are most relevant to you and minimize them.”

Do you want a camp with Wi-Fi? Pool or water park? Where is the grocery store? Do you want to bring your pet? Choose the type of camp you want based on what you can’t be without, Kelley said.

Tip: This page gives you the option to select a camp and then click to see where you can rent an RV nearby. It can be a time saver for those who do not want to rent in LA Some providers will have a RV ready when you arrive at your camp.

Can’t I just show up?

That’s all good. The campground is very busy during the summer, and you may be homeless. “You can try; I can’t wait to find a place, ”said Kelley. “You must have a plan B.”

Schedule B can mean having a second or third choice if you fill out the first one. Flexibility is essential. Dad once arrived in the evening at Joshua Tree National Park and started camping. That’s when he booked a room with his HotelTonight app. “It’s very good,” he said. “Well, you missed camp for one night, but you found a nice hotel room for $ 100.” And you can be the first in line the next day to test the camp.

Is there no easy way out?

Yes and no. There are free apps like The Dyrt (thedyrt.com) and Campendium (campendium.com) that allow you to search the camps and provide photos and information about the work and special camps. But they do not show real-time availability or allow you to reserve a place.

Hipcamp.com goes elsewhere. They provide a place to camp in a place you never thought you could visit, such as lavender or llama farm. It is a good way to identify areas where there are few people camping. Read on this page and understand what it does and what it does not offer based on bathrooms, showers and more. A pilot program, Hipcamp is increasing the temporary availability of state parks on its page, even if you need to reserve a place in ReserveC California.

I have no camping equipment

Welcome to the world of glamping, ready-made camping with all the fixings. Camps can be expensive and expensive, such as Ventana Big Sur Glamping, which protects you from safari tents on a 20 acre redwood canyon, filled with firewood, hot water, electric lights, USB ports, towels and lanterns (from $ 240 per night).

Or Eco-Camps, which features safari tents in Temecula (starting at $ 159 a night) and Goleta, both open in May. You can’t be called a camper, but why not?

“It’s great if you have a group of camp-loving people but they don’t have any equipment, or you don’t like camping but you still want to be with them,” Tate said. “They’re camping tents, and you don’t have to come with anything.”

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