Jan 2, 2013
When should you make your camping reservation?
Answer: As soon as they are available!
Many of the most popular campsites that accept reservations begin to fill up as soon as the reservations are available. For example, I made reservations for Memorial Weekend 2013 at Spillway campground on Woods Canyon Lake in December of 2012 and most of the sites were already booked. As of Today, January 2nd, there are only two sites available for that weekend.
Without a doubt, I will get a huge amount of emails the week before every busy holiday weekend asking if there are any openings. By the way, I don't have any access to the recreation.gov or reserveamerica.com database so I have no idea how many sites are open at any given time. You can book a reservation through one of the websites listed above up to six months ahead of time. So, if you know your camping dates, make your reservations the day they are available on the reservation system.
The best time to arrive at a mostly empty campground is on a Sunday afternoon or Monday unless it is on a busy holiday weekend, those busy weekends include Memorial Weekend, Fourth of July (the whole week) and Labor Day Weekend. Then show up either Monday afternoon or Tuesday. Most of the traffic will be heading out by early afternoon and you can grab a site easily on and of those days, usually without a reservation. The best thing about showing up after a busy weekend is leftover firewood. Do a quick search for wood in the sites around you and save a few bucks.
Do some research on our site and on each of the campground pages and when you are ready to make a reservation, look for this icon.
This icon links to the campground page on www.reserveamerica.com and you can make your reservation from thier website.
Now, if you don't have a reservation and need a site, there are many campgrounds that offer first come first served campsites and is a ton of dispersed camping along the Mogollon Rim between the Woods Canyon Lake turnoff and Heber. Pretty much and side road has dispersed camping and you won't have to drive too far to go fishing. and Canyon Point Campground has showers that you can use for $5 per person.