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Old 02-11-2007, 11:41 AM   #1
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Thumbs up New reservation system at recreation.gov for federally administered campgrounds

The new online reservation system for federally administered campgrounds (national parks, US Army Corps of Engineers, and national forests) is at recreation.gov. Reserveusa.com and Reservations.NPS.gov now lead you to this page at recreation.gov We had to establish new accounts to make the online reservations as our old ones were at the older systems.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that some site specific reservations were available in some portions of the Smokies, such as Elkmont campground, which had formerly not permitted site specific reservations at all. Also that the call center is now open 7 days a week.
Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 International 518-885-3639

Today, we were making a reservation online and had to call the center as the site did not permit a reservation at this time. The call center could make the reservation, so don't give up if you can't get it to work. The operator told us that there are some bugs right now. It really helps to have a campground map in front of you when you talk to the operator. We found most on the main websites for the parks.

Downside--if you want to stay at a National park campground that is first come first served, like Morefield Campground in Mesa Verde, or Cumberland Gap's Wilderness Road campground, it does not appear on the site at all. So we search the park website first to verify about the campgrounds. Also, and this could change as the system is updated, I noticed that the campsites in the Smokies were not described as well as the ones in reserveusa, such as whether it was level, etc. This could be something that will change with time.

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Old 02-11-2007, 11:47 AM   #2
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Lets hope this version works, the one they had last year was a nightmare.


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Old 02-11-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
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We used it to reserve our Death Valley camp site and it was an improvement. For DV they had a campground PDF and I compared that with Google maps to pick a site. On the selection page they also had helpful descriptions of each site (RV or tent, length, width, level, shade if any and distance to restrooms).
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:01 PM   #4
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I just used it the other night to book a few night at Big Lake in June with my Fly Fishing Club. I could not tell any difference from the old on line system.


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Old 02-11-2007, 02:21 PM   #5
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I just tried to look at a Google map of a campground and it shut down my MS window. Anyone else experiencing this problem?
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:25 PM   #6
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A minor difference I've noticed.

I think the only thing I've noticed so far about the reservations.gov system as opposed to the old reserve.usa system was that for example on parks we've reserved at before, reserveusa used to have info about whether the site was level or not. I checked back on the parks that did that and that info is no longer there. So maybe they are putting the non level sites for those particular parks in tent only categories? I am glad to read that other places, such as Death Valley as Silverback mentioned, do mention whether a site is level or not. That is something I especially appreciate about Michigan state parks, the campground system tells if the site is level or not, if the ground is sandy, etc.
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:31 PM   #7
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System Problems

I had to call the reservations number since the sites I was choosing showed as available, when they were actually already reserved. The person on the phone was very helpful and told me which site I could choose. I was then able to make the reservation online.

I also noticed a park that has not taken reservations for ten years or so, is now. It looks like I was the first to reserve for Memorial weekend on that one, though itís hard to tell since I donít think the system is updating availability very well.

Some of the maps that were on the old system are missing and the coordinates in the Google maps are way off on some of the parks too.

Itís nice to be able to choose any park in a state from one window and I appreciate that the number of reservation systems has been consolidated.
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:37 PM   #8
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It about time.
I was wonering when they would get something that works.

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