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Campfire Talk

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1) Giving a Gift?
2) Golden Age/Access Passport?
3) Availability Time?
4) Reservations Needed?
Changing Days?
Multiple Reservations?
Leaving Early?
No Credit Card?
9) Is There a Fee?

Question 1: Giving a Gift?

I want to give my son and his wife a week of camping at a local campground as an anniversary present. How do I make the reservation and show their names on the confirmation?


What a nice gift idea! Give a summer camping vacation for Christmas, too! If you wish to purchase for someone else, you need to make the reservation in their name, and you make the payment. Simple!

Question 2: Golden Age/Access Passport?

Is my Golden Age or Access Passport good for a discount on a campsite reserved through the NRRS?


Yes, you can apply your Golden Age/Access Passport discount to any site you will personally occupy. Tell the reservation agent that you have a Passport and provide the number when you call, as the agent will not otherwise ask. You will have to reserve in your name and present your card in person upon check-in at the campground to get the discount. Your guests can camp with you on your site, but you are the registered camper who is entitled to the discount.

Question 3: Availability Time?

What is the time frame within which I can reserve any specific campsite? Is this the "booking window" for the reservation service?


The booking window defines when a campsite is available for reservation. It begins 240 days before the date of scheduled arrival for individual sites, 360 days for group sites. The booking window ends from 1 to 5 days before the site would actually be occupied, depending on the campground location.

Question 4: Reservations Needed ?

Do I really need to make a reservation or can I just take my chances by showing up on the day I want to start camping?


A walk-up customer may claim any site available when he or she arrives. During peak season most of the reservable facilities are completely booked. Therefore, reservations are essential during the busiest period of the camping season. The earlier you make your reservation the more choices you have. Even during less busy times a reservation assures you just the campsite you want, rather than whatever site is still vacant by the time you arrive.

Question 5: Changing Days?

What happens if I reserve a site, then discover that I told the reservation agent the wrong days? Can I request a change in dates?


Yes, a change in dates is possible. You can call toll-free from home or while on the road to change any reservation regardless of how it was made, as long as a campsite is available during the new time period and you are within the booking window for that date. If you made a reservation on the Internet or at a field location that offers the reservation service, you can make changes by contacting that same source. Please note that there is a $10.00 service fee for a rescheduled reservation.

Question 6: Multiple Reservations?

How many reservations can I make during one call?


You can make up to four separate reservations at a single field location during one phone call. There is no limit to the number of reservations you can make at diverse locations, which is a very useful feature when planning a cross-country camping trip. Of course, you will still have to heed any specific campground rules that limit the duration of stay and the camping season. And, you will have to pay for all reserved sites to confirm that they are booked until you arrive. Please make multiple reservations wisely, because if you change your mind later, you will have to pay a $10 cancellation fee for EACH campsite reservation you cancel.

Question 7: Leaving Early?

So I have a confirmation for 6 nights at a campground, then decide to check out after 3 nights. But I want money back for the unused portion of the reservation. Can that be done?


In this instance, you are departing the campground after only 3 nights of your confirmed 6 nights reservation. You are entitled to a refund for your unused days, less a $10 service fee for cancellation of the remaining days. If you used a bank card to pay, then your refund will be credited to your bank card account. If you paid by cash, bank check or certified check then your refund can be provided in the form of a credit voucher or a check.

Question 8: No Credit Card?

I am a camper without a credit card. How do I make a reservation, get it confirmed, and how many days do I have to get the check or money order to the vendor?


Through the call center, you can make payment using a bank check or certified check. These will be accepted if the reservation request is received 20 days or more in advance of the customer's arrival date. All reservations with a commitment to pay by bank check or certified check will be placed in a "hold" status for a maximum of 10 days while awaiting receipt of payment. If received within the 10 day "hold," then your reservation will be completed and you will receive a confirmation. At field sites that offer the reservation service you can pay with cash if you have no credit card.

Question 9: Is There A Fee?

Is there a service charge for making a reservation?


For customers reserving Forest Service sites, the reservation fee is $8.65 per reservation, added to the use fee (the same as the previous reservation charge). For customers reserving Alaska cabins or sites at Corps of Engineers locations there is no separate reservation fee. All fees will be collected at the time you make a reservation.