Camping Reservations through Recreation.gov

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Al_HikesAZ
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Camping Reservations through Recreation.gov

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Apr 18 2012 8:41 pm

Recreation.gov http://www.recreation.gov/ is the Federal Government “Gateway for Discovering the Great Outdoors”. You can peruse it without joining or you can register and set up an account. If you want to actually reserve a Campground site you will need to register. Many of these campgrounds are listed on HAZ under the MapDex under camping, but Recreation.gov has much more information and is where you can actually reserve campsites.

Recreation.gov is more for car campers and people who want to camp and dayhike from a fixed base. Backpackers on HAZ backpack to Dispersed Camping sites or wilderness sites that are not covered by Recreation.gov. If you are new to camping this is a great place to start. If you are unfamiliar with an area, this is a great place to start. You can discover the developed Federal Campgrounds in the area that interests you and book reservations.

You need to learn how to interpret the presentation. A campsite might have 72 campgrounds but only 12 reservable. This means that the other 60 are “first come – first served” (FCFS). In some areas, like Oak Creek Canyon, if you don’t reserve a campground well in advance, you are unlikely to luck into a campground on FCFS basis. In other areas, you will often get a campground on a FCFS basis.

Backpackers in the Grand Canyon Backcountry and some special NPS sites need special permits

Under the Books Section on HAZ under the Campground Section are Books and Book Reviews on camping.http://hikearizona.com/books.php?sort=&cat=17&STu=3

And here is an inside tip you will only get on HAZ. I will often call the Ranger District for the campground. I'll schmooze and get them to like me ( yeah I can be charming when I have to) and I will inquire about current conditions. I will also ask which campsite is the best. You can't really tell from the site maps. Sometimes the Ranger will just say "Oh they are all good" but occasionally a Ranger will say " Campsite X is the highest with eastern exposure and gets get sunrises". So if you want a photo of a great sunrise, book Campsite X and if you want to sleep in don't book CAmpsite X
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. Andy Rooney

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Nighthiker
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Re: Camping Reservations through Recreation.gov

Post by Nighthiker » Apr 19 2012 4:57 pm

I make lists of which sites are suitable for popup camping, large tent camping and small tent camping. If I need to make reservations I know which sites I prefer. I prefer to disperse type camping but I use campgrounds for a base camp if I am camping for several days or if joined by friends. New campground manager for the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest this year.
jk

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Al_HikesAZ
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Re: Camping Reservations through Recreation.gov

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Apr 19 2012 5:09 pm

Nighthiker - Joe has Campgrounds on the MapDex under Camps if you click find and then go the the map. http://hikearizona.com/map.php But he doesn't have much info on the campgrounds. If you can think of any way to make this feature more useful, let Joe know. I suggested making it like the Book Reviews.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. Andy Rooney

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Nighthiker
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Joined: Feb 03 2002 6:59 am
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Re: Camping Reservations through Recreation.gov

Post by Nighthiker » Apr 20 2012 8:29 pm

One observation I have noted with regards to camping, whoever designed the campgrounds has not camped. Our camping vehicles, tents etc. have become heavier and bigger. What may have been a good site for a family tent or vehicle 10 years ago is not suited for today's family tent or vehicle. If people should post info about a campground I would suggest including a description of how you camped and the size of you camp foot print.

If you review the Reserve America site some campgrounds you cannot select a site, a site is assigned to you upon your arrival, like wise at some campgrounds last year at first come first serve campgrounds, the camp host would select your site for you.
jk

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Trishness
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Re: Camping Reservations through Recreation.gov

Post by Trishness » Apr 20 2012 8:48 pm

I've been really lucky for the most part with getting reservations through http://www.recreation.gov/

Like Al said, call the Ranger District and lay on the charm....In the last 6 years I've only had one SNAFU and I was reimbursed 100% because they messed up and stuck us in an RV site when we were tent camping. Even the ranger said "what the heck happened here?" So we got 3 days free!!!!

That being said, I've been to many areas where you MUST use this reservation system. I always note the "better" campsites and then the following year will reserve those if I return


Trish
Trish-Kabob

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds" Ed Abbey

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Al_HikesAZ
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Re: Camping Reservations through Recreation.gov

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Apr 21 2012 5:53 pm

:budrose:
Trishness wrote:Like Al said, call the Ranger District and lay on the charm....
You are always charming. I can't possibly imagine you being more charming. For me it's a real effort :tt:
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. Andy Rooney

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