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ReserveCalifornia™ FAQ's


February 2, 2018

Q: When can I start booking state park camping and lodging locations with ReserveCalifornia?

A: You can start booking your reservations using ReserveCalifornia™ now at

Q: If I have a reservation through ReserveAmerica, how will I be able to view it on ReserveCalifornia?

A: One important feature of the new reservation system is the ability to retrieve reservations made prior to July 27, 2017 on ReserveAmerica. To view, modify or cancel these reservations, customers will need to log into ReserveCalifornia using the e-mail that was used when the original reservation was created and then reset their password. Members of the public that do not have a current reservation will need to create a new ReserveCalifornia account to book their next adventure.

Q: How do I modify or cancel a reservation made with ReserveAmerica?

A: Please call our customer contact center at (800) 444-PARK (7275). The customer contact center will be available seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. (except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day).

Q: Why did California State Parks change to ReserveCalifornia?

A: Over the last two years, the California Department of Parks and Recreation has strengthened policies, procedures, guidelines, and organizational structures to support a sustainable entrepreneurial, service-oriented, creative and collaborative culture. Part of this effort included a new comprehensive reservation system to support field operations and enhance the experience of visitors with a modern platform.

Q: How does the new booking reservation system work?

A: The new reservation system moved from a block or on-sale day reservation period to a rolling window. The public can reserve the highly sought-after campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Camping and lodging inventory will become available each day for a period of six months in advance. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Q: I do not understand how the new rolling window reservation works. Can you please provide an example?

A: Booking a reservation on the new system is easy and similar to booking hotel rooms, airline tickets and other similar services. It is also similar to the booking window for facilities in the National Park Service.

With ReserveCalifornia™ you can make reservations six months to the day in advance of the arrival date. Each new date opens at 8 a.m. PST. The rolling window also adjusts for months longer or shorter than 30 days. For example:

If you make a reservation on:

You can make reservations with an arrival date of:

February 1, 2018 (open at 8 a.m. PST)

August 1, 2018

February  2, 2018 (open at 8 a.m. PST)

August 2, 2018

February  3, 2018 (open at 8 a.m. PST)

August 3, 2018

Months with longer or shorter than 30 days

February 28, 2018 (open at 8 a.m. PST)

August 28, 2018

March 1, 2018 (open at 8 a.m. PST)

August 29-31


Q: What are the new features with ReserveCalifornia?

A: A variety of features will be phased in through the Fall 2018, allowing for better trip planning and access to outdoor public spaces. Below is a breakdown of the features:

 The new reservation system provides more user-friendly and intuitive web services, including:

  • Additional self-service options, such as online profiles.
  • More campsites available for online reservation.
  • Interactive maps with more detailed views of campsites.
  • Easier to reserve camping and lodging sites (rolling window).
  • Customer contact center.

 As additional features of the new service are phased-in through the Fall 2018, visitors and staff will enjoy:

  • Ability to view real-time reservation inventory.
  • More payment options at locations currently accepting only cash and checks.
  • Additional trip information to make it easier for you to plan your visits.
  • More campsites available for online reservations. An additional 41 state parks will be added to the new service. These units will be added incrementally through 2018. Currently, visitors are able to book at 110 parks.

The new reservation system includes state-of-the-art, computerized point-of-sale and fee collection equipment that will allow debit and credit card payments at more locations. This equipment will be installed in phases across the state, beginning with Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument (Hearst Castle) and continuing at other state parks through March 2018. Day-use locations at Bolsa Chica and Huntington state beaches will launch new point-of-sale equipment in fall 2017, with installation at Carlsbad, South Carlsbad and San Elijo camping facilities shortly thereafter.

Q: How do I make a reservation on ReserveCalifornia™?

A: You can make reservations online or by calling our Customer Contact Center. Below are the details:

  • Phone: (800) 444-PARK (7275). The customer contact center will be available seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. (except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day). For international callers, please dial 833-448-7278.

Q: Will the processing fees be changing with the new system?

A: Yes, processing fees changed. See below. 


                                                     Reservation Fees

Type of Reservation

ReserveAmerica Fee

ReserveCalifornia™ Fee




Tours (Hearst Castle™)

 $3.48 per ticket  $8 per ticket


Q: Will California State Parks still use ReserveAmerica at any of the state park units?

A: No. As of July 26, 2017, California State Parks will no longer use ReserveAmerica. The department is grateful for the service of this vendor and appreciates their continued support.

Q: Will the new service have my reservation that I made a few months ago?

A: Yes. All existing reservations made through ReserveAmerica for stay-dates through February 2018 will be transferred to the new system and are accessible to visitors.  

Q: Will I still be able to walk up and camp or will I always need a reservation?

A: Yes, you may still enjoy walk-up camping. Some sites will remain first-come, first-served. View Details

Q: I already have an account with ReserveAmerica. Will I need to create a new account?

A: Yes, you will need to create a new account/customer profile on the new system. Customer accounts from ReserveAmerica will not transfer to the new system. To create a new account, visit

Q: Will more state parks have reservations available online on ReserveCalifornia™?

A: Yes, an additional 41 state parks will be added to the new service. The parks will be added incrementally through 2018. Currently visitors are able to book at 110 parks. Information on the new parks will be provided as they are added to the system.

Q: Will ReserveCalifornia™ impact any of California State Park’s annual, seasonal or discount passes?

A: Yes, but only for current Distinguished Veteran (DVP) and Disabled Discount (DDP) pass holders. We are modernizing the way we manage these programs. If you have one of these passes, please visit us online at to view information on how to exchange your current pass for a new credit card design pass.

We are asking current pass holders to visit one of the 47 designated state park locations so they may continue to easily access state parks. It is important to note that current pass holders under the DVP and DDP programs may continue to use their current pass for walk up (first-come, first-serve) camping and day use through February 28, 2018. Old passes will not be valid after these dates.

Q: What type of activities are available in California’s state park system?

A: California State Parks protects and preserves the state's most significant natural and cultural resources while delivering public spaces to bring families and friends together and providing a wide array of recreational opportunities for the benefit and enjoyment of all people. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, on and off-road cycling, hiking, camping, and rock climbing are some of the recreational activities enjoyed in 280 state parks organized into 22 field districts throughout the state.