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.