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California State Park Campsite Reservations Gets Easier

Reserving a campsite at one of California’s State Parks just got easier with the passage of AB 618.  The bill will help open up campsites by deterring no-shows and cancellations. Governor Newsom signed the bill into law and it will go into effective on January 1, 2024.

San Elijo State Beach

Reserving A California State Park Campsite Gets Easier - San Elijo

As many campers know, the high demand for the 15,000+ campsites and shortcomings of the current reservation system have made it very difficult to reserve a campsite.  In addition, many reserved campsites go unused because of the lack of penalties for no shows. The bill will also incentivize early cancellations and make more campsites available to others. Campsite Assist can also help campers snag campsite reservations by providing alerts (text and email) when campsites become available.

AB 618 Highlights

  • Reservation credits will be given to those who cancel at least 7 days before their arrival date and they will have up to 5 years to use the credits on another reservation.
  • No shows will forfeit the remainder of their reservation (booking) and the campsite will become available.
  • Reservation holders will receive at least 2 reminder emails about their upcoming stay, as well as cancellation and refund/credit options.
  • Campers will only be able to stay a maximum of 30 days at the same campsite; it will also limit the stay to 7 consecutive nights during peak season.

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

Reserving A California State Park Campsite Gets Easier - Del Norte Redwoods

In addition, the bill directs California State Parks to implement a lottery system for 5 of the most popular state parks. The state parks will be determined based on booking interest 6 months in advance of the reservation date.

Low-income park visitors holding the “Golden Bear” annual pass will also receive a 25% discount. This will include households that have an income below a certain income level. CalWORKs and supplemental security income recipients will also be eligible.

Emerald Bay State Park (Lake Tahoe)

Reserving A California State Park Campsite Gets Easier - Emerald Bay

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