Photo: Valley of Fire State Park is one of several Nevada State Parks that will switch from first-come, first-served to Reserved Camping | File
Nevada is set to transition from its traditional first-come, first-served state park campgrounds to a more structured reservation system with a pilot program that begins September 1 at select parks, with the remaining campgrounds coming online by the end of the year. Nevada will also implement entry reservations for day-use visits at select parks. The move comes as a response to the growing demand for camping and day-use facilities in the state.
Starting September 1, the “Reserve Nevada” online reservation system will be available for campers and visitors. This platform will provide reservations for day-use passes, campsites, cabins, annual permits, and special events. Reservations will be hit with a service fee of up to $5 per transaction, but might be advisable, as Nevada’s busiest parks already tend to fill up quickly without reservations. When states implement camping reservations, parks usually become much more popular.
The phased implementation will begin with the Valley of Fire State Park, followed by Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area and Washoe Lake State Park. By the end of the year, all parks offering camping facilities are expected to be integrated into the system.
Nevada was one of the few remaining states without a reservation system, though some states keep back a certain number of sites for first-come, first-served travelers. In Nevada’s new system, online camping reservations must be made at least three days in advance. That’s a bit of outdated methodology, with most reservation systems able to handle bookings up to the moment you arrive. However, any unreserved sites will still be available for spontaneous campers on a first-come, first-served basis. Sites will open for booking 11 months ahead at 8:00 a.m. Pacific.
For those planning day visits, a pilot program will require day-use reservations at Big Bend of the Colorado before 11:30 a.m. to manage traffic at the park entrance. After this time, the park will revert first-come, first-served for day visitors.
The “Reserve Nevada” System: What to Expect
Starting September 1, the “Reserve Nevada” online platform will be available for campers and visitors. This system will cater to reservations for:
- Day-use passes
- Annual permits
- Special events
While a service fee of up to $5 per transaction will be applied, securing a reservation is highly recommended, especially for popular parks.
- Reason for Change: The reservation system was introduced due to the surge in visitors over recent years.
- Mandatory Reservations? Reservations are optional but beneficial for securing specific campsites or dates.
- Fees: A $5 transaction fee applies to the reservation system. Additional fees are charged for modifications or cancellations.
- Advance Booking: Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance, starting at 8:00 am PST.
- Last-Minute Reservations: Overnight reservations should be made at least three days prior to the planned arrival date.
- Modifications & Cancellations: Fees apply for changes or cancellations, especially if done close to the arrival date.
- Where to book: parks.nv.com/reservations