“Reservation Only” Camping Coming to 20 Colorado State Parks in 2019

“Reservation Only” Camping Coming to 20 Colorado State Parks in 2019

Heads up lovers of Colorful Colorado, changes are coming to booking campsites in 2019. Ever arrived hoping to snag a walk-up campsite in a Colorado State Park only to find them full? No more! According to a news release on the official Colorado State Parks website, a reservations-only pilot rolled out in 2018 to 5 parks will expand to 20 total early next year. This is a big change that will result in eliminating the $10 reservation fee (yay!) and also striking out when trying to get a walk-up spot (also yay!).

Here is a summary of the new policy:

  • Policy will apply to the 20 State Parks listed below
  • Reservations begin 6 months prior to stay and include same-day
  • 3-Day advance reservation (no more guessing if they are full) window has been eliminated
  • Reservations by phone and internet no longer have $10 fee!
  • You must have a reservation at all 20 State Parks in the program
  • Walk-Ups still must make a reservation before selecting a campsite
  • Occupying a campsite without a reservation will result in citation
  • Reservations may be made at cpwshop.com from your computer or smartphone, or by calling 800-244-5613.

I like this change because it essentially eliminates a worthless drive up the mountain only to find a campground is full if you (OK, like us) tend to not make reservations very far in advance. You can check availability and book even as you drive up. Florida State Parks (seriously hope other states follow Colorado in this) leave you in a mystery if you want a same-day reservation or to know if they are full, so I applaud this change. Plus, free reservations?? Yes, it eliminates the “thrill” of walking up and snagging a sweet campsite, but is that really such a bad thing?

What are your thoughts on this change? Should other states adopt this policy?

State parks currently participating in this program are:
Cheyenne Mountain
Eleven Mile
St. Vrain
Trinidad Lake

State parks joining the program on January 1, 2019 are:
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Boyd Lake
Cherry Creek
Golden Gate Canyon
Highline Lake
Jackson Lake
John Martin Reservoir
North Sterling
Pearl Lake
State Forest
Steamboat Lake
Yampa River

State parks joining the program on April 1, 2019:
Lake Pueblo

Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Howard and Katelyn Newstate have traveled over 80,000 miles in their Winnebago Navion Class C RV, exploring from Alaska to mainland Mexico since 2018. Joined by their adventure pups, Piper, Ella and Scout, they share how to “Live Like a Local” in every New State they explore. For more information on their travels or the 51 Parks in 52 Weeks tour, visit NewstateNomads.com/NationalParks

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