Montana Camping for the Family

Planning a Camping Trip for your family in Montana?
By Hookemharry

Posted: March 31, 2011

Camping out with your family is a popular way to spend a weekend for many Montanans. It’s a chance to spend some time hiking, fishing, or just exploring with your family. State Parks around the state have a lot to offer. Some Montanans have been frustrated over the last few years in their effort in finding a campsite at a sold out park because they arrived too late. They get off work on Friday head to their favorite campground only to find it full. Maybe that has happened to you. Well I have some good news! You can now make a reservation.  This new program should make planning a stay at 20 of Montana State Parks a little easier. But you will need to plan ahead.   “Montana has 550 State Park campsites and we think the new reservation system will take some of the stress out of making sure our guests have a place to stay”, said Tom Reilly, Assistant Administrator for State Parks. Idaho, which has 1200 State Park campsites, has been using a reservation system successfully for ten years. Reilly thinks Montana can benefit from what Idaho has learned from doing their program. “The company they use, ReserveAmerica, will also handle our reservation system “.

Here is how the reservation program works. It will be in place for 20 Montana State Parks from May27-September 5. Approximately 70-75 percent of the campsites in each park are available for the reservation program. The remaining 25-30 percent of the campsites will accommodate “walk in” visitors on a first come basis first serve basis as they do now. To make a reservation you can either call a toll free number 855-922-6768 to the reservation call center from 8am-7pm weekdays and 9am-5pm weekends or you can go on line to 24 hours a day. Reservations need to be made at least two days before your expected stay and can be made up to 9 months in advance. You will be able to pay by credit or debit card.  Once your reservation is complete you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all the campsite and campground information. There is a $10 processing fee charged with each reservation. Campsites at the 20 State Parks that are earmarked to be reserved will be identified with a sign that have an R in a circle. The R sign will be posted with a piece of paper with your name on it.. “Guests will have 24 hours from 2pm on the day they made the reservation to show up,” added Reilly, “if they don’t show for 24 hours and they have reserved multiple days then we will reserve the campsite to another “walk in” guest”.  If you do call in advance and cancel all it will cost you is the $10 processing fee.

The on line reservations web site features photos, campground maps, site descriptions, and travel directions. “We are encouraging our guests to reserve on line it is an easy and great way to find out more about the campgrounds and what they have to offer”, added Chas Van Genderen State Parks Administrator, “by offering this reservation program it will help people relax knowing they have a campsite waiting for their family after work on Friday night or before and during a busy holiday”.

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