Most campsites around the state can be claimed first-come, first-serve, but that might not be the case for long. Six state parks are testing a new policy that means campers will have to reserve their site in order to camp there – even if the campsite is empty on the day of their arrival. Campers that don’t follow the new rules will be subject to a citation. Note that campers arriving at an empty site day-of will be able to make last-minute reservations via phone, website, or on-site staff.

Officials likely hope that this new policy will help clear up some of the confusion between campers that have reserved spots and campers that simply look for a site that appears to be unused. Some fear that the technology requirements might keep some from camping.

According to one parks employee, this new policy has little downside, simply updating the process of reserving space at parks. It will also help to eliminate the requirement at some parks that campers book a reservation at least three days ahead of time.

The new policy goes into effect at Cheyenne Mountain, Trinidad Lake, St. Vrain, Eleven Mile, and Staunton state parks on July 1st and in sections of Ridgway State Park on September 15.

Here’s where you can make a reservation at a state park.


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