There’s a new go-to website to reserve campsites and tours at California State Parks

Starting Tuesday, visitors will have to call up a new website to book a tour at Hearst Castle, a vintage cottage at Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach, or a campsite at Half Moon Bay. And each day brings an expanded booking window too for those who like to plan ahead.

California State Parks is rolling out a new reservation system called ReserveCalifornia, which promises to be more user-friendly than the current ReserveAmerica system.

The new website only applies to California parks; ReserveAmerica still handles reservations for campgrounds and activities in other states. And is the primary booking website for many national parks.


The good news: With ReserveCalifornia, you’ll be able to reserve six months in advance of the current date. For example, as of Tuesday, you can reserve a campsite or cabin for Feb. 1. This gives travelers an early jump on popular places like the 24 hard-to-book cottages at Crystal Cove State Park.

The less-than-good news: There are still fees that will be tacked on to each transaction: $7.99 for camping reservations, $3.99 for tour reservations. (Prior fees were $8 and $3.48, respectively.)

What do you do if you are already booked?

“If you had a previous reservation with ReserveAmerica, the reservation is still valid,” parks spokesman Jorge Moreno says.

However, if you want to change, cancel or find your booking information online, you need to create a new user profile using the same email address you used when you made the original reservation.

Moreno says 110 parks will be online as of Tuesday, with 41 and other features to be added by March.

You can make ReserveCalifornia reservations online or by phone by calling (800) 444-7275 daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time, except Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day.


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