Although a growing number of national park campgrounds accept campsite reservations, many still do not. If you plan to camp and are heading to a first-come, first-served campground, the first thing to do upon arrival is to make sure a site is available. Campsites at major park campgrounds fill up early in summer, on weekends, and during other peak times, such as school holidays (try to avoid college spring breaks, often in Mar or Apr). A reservation or an early morning arrival (sometimes as early as 7 or 8am) is the best defense against disappointment. For each park, we indicate whether a campground tends to fill up especially early and whether reservations are accepted.
Reservations for many National Park Service campgrounds, as well as national forest and other agency campgrounds, can be made through one central reservation center (tel. 887/444-6777; TDD 877/833-6777; www.recreation.gov). Fees -- usually an $8 or $9 booking fee regardless of how many nights -- are charged.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.