By Travis Duncan
Starting in 2020, it will be easier than ever for visitors to reserve a campsite, cabin, yurt, picnic area, or other facilities at Colorado’s 41 state parks. Effective Jan. 1, all of Colorado’s state parks will require campers to book campsites within the Colorado Parks and Wildlife purchasing system which now provides the flexibility to book anywhere from six months in advance up until the moment they arrive at the park and find an available site.
This program was tested successfully at five parks in 2018 and 17 more parks in 2019. Using the system, campers can reserve a site 24/7 and no longer have a closed window that prevents them from reserving a site in the three days ahead of a planned stay. Reserving a site is now as easy as logging into cpwshop.com from your computer or smartphone, or by calling 800-244-5613.
Park managers already using the booking system reported success with eliminating the three-day reservation window and switching to a system where campers can reserve their own spots via phone or online the day they plan to arrive at the park or up to six months in advance.
The ability to reserve a site on the same day eliminates the need for campers to gamble on a first-come, first-served spot, only to arrive at the park and find that there aren’t any spots available.
What if someone occupies a site they haven’t reserved?
Campers who occupy a campsite without a reservation will be subject to a citation and/or eviction. All campers must reserve a campsite prior to occupying the site. This can be done 24/7 at cpwshop.com or by calling 1-800-244-5613.
Please note: Cellular coverage at some state parks (like Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Golden Gate Canyon, State Forest, and Highline) can range from spotty to non-existent. CPW advises those interested in camping at these parks to make their reservations online or by phone before arrival.