When To Book Your National Park Summer Camping Trip

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The temperature has been steadily rising for the past few weeks. It makes us daydream about spending summer nights under the sky looking at the stars; then what’s better than the national parks for it?

Due to the pandemic, the National Parks have become a busy places to visit. So I recommend planning and booking early, especially for the national parks you want to know about.

Almost all parks have introduced new guidelines due to the pandemic and overcrowding. Some have an online reservation system along with new hiking guidelines. 

In short, if you want to camp at any national park, only stay focused on some important dates, i.e., when the parks will open for the season, when booking will begin, and when campgrounds tend to book the most. This will help you get the optimal experience. 

Moreover, if you can’t figure out the best time to go to the desired campground, tracking the important dates will make you enjoy it the most. If you love camping, you must know where to book and follow all processes.

For the newbies, head to Recreation.gov, where all sites become available six months in advance. It will show you the most visited camping park of the past from the past 4 to 6 months. 

Here you will learn the best time to book my favorite parks close to Las Vegas. Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Death Valley National Park to at fullest. 

So, let’s start. 

Below are the dates you must focus on if you want to camp in the country’s top parks.

Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park: 

This park is famous for crimson-colored hoodoos and is located in southern Utah. According to a report, in 2018, Bryce Canyon National Park received 2,679,478 (2 million 6 hundred 79 thousand +) recreational visitors. 

For camping, Bryce National Park Sunset Campground is awesome. The campground opening depends on the weather and conditions at the end and beginning of the season. But traditionally, it opens from April 15th to October 31st. The reservation starts on a rolling basis six months prior, usually from May 20th to October 15th. 

The dark sky with an abundance of stars looks mesmerizing. The best time to visit the campground is 1 or 2 hours before dawn till sunrise.

There is also North Campground in Bryce Canyon National Park. All North Campground sites are first-come, first-served. Moreover, it is open 24 hours a day. It is considered as ultimate camping site because of its colorful rock spires and grand vistas popping over the High Plateaus region.

Grand Canyon National Park

If you want to stay in Phantom Ranch (lodge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon Park), then you must know that the lottery for these places starts 15 months in advance. As an example, Your July 2023 submission would be for September 2024.

South Rim: 

You can make a reservation for Mather Campground, located in the south rim, six months in advance. These spots are available for reservation 10 A.M. ET daily. One reservation per person is limited to 4 nights. It provides a unique feel with great food and unharmed animals like deer. We found people saying it is worth the hassle they do for reservations. Mather Campground remains open year-round.

North Rim: 

Somehow, the reservation timing for the north rim is as exact for the south rim. You can make a reservation six months in advance when spots are available at 10 A.M ET. 

The North rim is much smaller than the south rim. ( See the image at the top of this post) Here is Trailer Village to stay as RV Park. You can make reservations 13 months in advance. It has been seen that the north rim usually opens from May 15th to October 31st. 

Death Valley National Park

My favorite National Park! The hottest, driest National Park, Death Valley, offers fact and fantasy sceneries and incredible vistas. Going there feels hot, but these views keep you recharged and make the place worthful.

When it comes to camping in Death Valley National Park, there are nine camping sites, including Furnace Creek. 

Furnace Creek reservation starts from October 15th to April 15th. There is no reservation in summer; however, the campground remains open all year. The best part is you can make reservations five days to 6 months in advance. 

Sunset, Texas Springs, Stovepipe wells, Thorndike, and Mahogany Flat campsites open late fall through spring, and these are first-come-first-served sites.

For Mesquit Spring, Emigrant, and Wildrose Campsites, no reservation is required, and open all year. Important to know, Emigrant is a tent-only campground.
The Wild Rose campsite is accessible to vehicles no longer than 25 feet.

On the other hand, Thorndike and Mahogany Flat are also accessible to vehicles no longer than 25 feet, but 4-wheel drive may be necessary.

Sunset Campground and Stovepipe Wells Campground have no restrictions on RV length.

If you are a pet lover, be ready; Death Valley National Park campground allows you to bring four pets.

Remember: Before going to any of the above campgrounds, always check the travel state restrictions and park guidelines to avoid any difficulty if authorities have changed these.

Please Enjoy Our National Parks Responsibly!