Reservation Drawing FAQs
What is the Reservation Drawing?
Reservation Drawing is a new pilot program that uses a lottery-style system for the opportunity to make a reservation in high-demand campgrounds. This pilot program is currently underway ONLY to reserve the Steep Ravine Cabins in Mount Tamalpais State Park. Using the ReserveCalifornia reservation system, visitors can apply for free for the reservation drawing up to eight months in advance, with the drawings conducted seven months ahead of the reservation dates. If selected, winners have 30 days to claim and pay for their reservation. Any unclaimed inventory is released for reservation during the normal six-month rolling window. Unsuccessful applicants will receive one point to be used in future drawings, which increases their chances of winning until they are awarded a reservation. Once a visitor wins a reservation, their points are removed and their balance starts at zero.
How do I apply for a Reservation Drawing?
To apply for a Reservation Drawing, visitors must have a profile with ReserveCalifornia. The current Reservation Drawings can be found above the Steep Ravine Cabins campground map when viewing Mount Tamalpais State Park. Visitors can also apply by phone through the customer contact center at (800) 444-PARK (7275), or for international callers, (833) 448-7278.
Is it free to apply for a Reservation Drawing?
Yes. During the pilot phase, there is no fee to apply for a Reservation Drawing for the Steep Ravine Cabins at Mount Tamalpais State Park. However, future drawings may require a small fee to apply.
Does the Reservation Drawing award free reservations?
No. The Reservation Drawing does not award free reservations. The drawing is held to give all visitors an equal chance to compete for a reservation at the highly sought-after Steep Ravine Cabins at Mount Tamalpais State Park. If a visitor is awarded their reservation choice, they must claim and pay for the reservation within 30 days to keep it. Any unclaimed inventory will be released for reservation six months in advance.
Will I be notified of the Reservation Drawing results?
Yes. Visitors who apply for a Reservation Drawing will be sent an email with their application number. After the drawing, visitors will be notified via email whether they were awarded a reservation. Winners will have 30 days to claim and pay for their reservation. Any unclaimed inventory will be released for reservation six months in advance.
How long do I have to book my awarded reservation?
Visitors will have 30 days to claim and pay for their reservation.
What are points?
Points refer to a reward system for unsuccessful applicants in the program. Each unsuccessful applicant receives one point, and these points can be used as additional chances to win in future drawings. There is no limit to the number of points a visitor can accumulate, and each point represents one additional chance to be awarded their reservation choice if it is available in a future drawing. Points earned during the pilot will be carried over.
Will my points be used if I do not book my awarded reservation choice?
If a visitor is awarded one of their reservation choices, their points will be reset to zero. However, if they cancel their reservation, the points used for that reservation will still be marked as "used” and reset to zero. Any canceled inventory is released during the on-sale six months in advance or the following day at 8 a.m. if it is within the six-month reservation window.
How many times can I sign up for the drawing to receive a point?
Each visitor is limited to one entry per drawing.
What are reservation choices?
Reservation choices refer to the visitor's preferred details for their stay at the park, including the unit type, arrival date, nights, trailer lengths and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-only option. Visitors can create up to three reservation choices, and if the winning visitor's first choice is available, they will be awarded that reservation choice. If their first choice is not available, the system will award their second choice. Visitors are encouraged to create multiple reservation choices with different variations to increase their chances of winning the drawing.
Are ADA sites included in Reservation Drawings?
Yes. ADA sites are included in the Reservation Drawings, and visitors can select an ADA site as their preferred choice. However, it is important to note that if a visitor does not qualify for an ADA site, their reservation will be canceled at the park during check-in. In this case, the reservation fee, cancellation fee and one night's camping fee will be charged, and the reservation will be canceled.
Will an awarded reservation count toward the 30-night calendar limit?
Yes, an awarded reservation will count toward the 30-night calendar limit at most California state parks. Visitors will not be able to claim or pay for a reservation if it exceeds the 30-night stay limit.