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Recreation.gov Frequently Asked Questions

About the new Recreation.gov and the NRRS
About Reservations
About Recreation

Questions about the National Recreation Reservation Service and Recreation.gov web site:

Q: What is the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS™) and who are the partners involved?
A: The National Recreation Reservation Service™ is your one-stop reservation resource for the recreation facilities and activities offered by the US Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and USDA Forest Service.
Q: What type of facilities can be reserved through Recreation.gov and the NRRS™?
A: With over 60,000 reservable facilities at over 2,500 locations, the NRRS is the largest outdoor recreation reservation service in the country. Whether you're heading North to Alaska's Tongass National Forest, South to Florida's Lake Okeechobee, East to North Carolinas Blue Ridge Parkway, or West to California's Los Padres National Forest, you can reserve your place under the stars with the NRRS. Customers can reserve the following facilities through NRRS .
  1. Individual Campsites: reserve up to 6 months in advance for all agencies within the NRRS™, except for Yosemite National Park. For Yosemite National Park, reservations are available 5 months in advance and go on-sale each month on the 15th of the month (the entire 5th month becomes available).
  2. Cabins: reserve up to 6 Months in advance for all agencies within the NRRS™.
  3. Group Facilities: reserve up to 12 Months in advance for all agencies within the NRRS™.
Q: What payment methods are accepted through Recreation.gov?
A: Recreation.gov accepts several methods of payment to accommodate your needs, including: VISA, Master Card, Discover and American Express.

Method of Payment

Method of Payment Sales Channels
Call Center Internet Field
Bankcard Yes Yes Yes
Certified Checks
Bank Checks
Money Orders
No No Yes
Personal Checks
Travelers Checks
No No Yes
Cash No No Yes
Foreign Currency No No No

Recreation.gov Billing Information: Customer's monthly credit card statements will reflect "Recreation.gov 888-448-1474", for reservation transactions.

Q: I don't understand what some of the definitions or lingo refers to on your site.
A: The terminology used on our web site reflects the numerous agencies' Recreation.gov represents. The definitions below are an example of some of the more commonly used terms found on the site:
Site Type The site type is a brief description of what the site has to offer, e.g. Electricity, water, for families etc. Camping Area or Loop : A camping area or loop identifies a specific section within a campground. The name of the area or loop might reflect a geographical attribute close by, such as a lake or pond.
Overnight or Day Use Identifies sites for overnight camping and sites for day use facilities, such as picnics or family reunions.
Campground/Park Both words refer to the same thing.
Facility Type The facility, a reservation is made for. For example a campsite, cabin or picnic shelter (day use).
Book Now Make a reservation at a facility with the criteria chosen.
Search Criteria Information used to search for a facility, a site or availability
Walk In Coming in to a facility to book a site without making a reservation.
Site Availability Determines whether a site is available or not, to book a reservation.
Site Number The site number is an identification number for a particular site, as assigned by the facility.
Season: The date range a facility is open to receive reservations, walk ins or day use patronage. Some facilities are open year round.
Q: Is my personal information I enter on Recreation.gov kept confidential?
A: We, at Recreation.gov, have created this privacy policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to protecting your personal information and informing you about how we handle it. This privacy policy only applies to transactions made, and data gathered, on the Recreation.gov web site. Please review this privacy policy periodically to check for revisions as we may update it from time to time. This privacy policy was last revised on November 19, 2003. Each time you visit the Site or provide us with information, by doing so you are accepting the practices described in this privacy policy at that time. For more information on please see the privacy and security section.
Q: Forgotten your Password and Username?
A: Click on the Sign In link at the top of the home page, and click on the Forgot your Password link. Questions related to billing or confirmation statements:

Questions related to billing or confirmation statements:

Q: How come I have not received my confirmation letter yet or have received it too late? How can I have this resent?
A: A confirmation letter is automatically generated after a reservation has been made on the site to the email address provided in your personal profile. In the case that you didn't receive the confirmation, check to make sure that your email address is entered correctly in your personal profile or if there are any problems with your internet provider. To receive a copy of the confirmation letter, contact our customer service team at 1 - 888-448-1474 or nrrs-cs@reserveamerica.com, and they will re-send it to you.
Q: I made a reservation on the web site and then canceled it. On my confirmation letter statement, it appears that I was billed twice?
A: In the case that a reservation was charged to your credit card and then cancelled and credited back to your card, the invoice statement will appear as follows: Payment Date Amount Payment Method Receipt Comments Feb. 18/03 $185 Visa 1-123456 Visa Feb. 18/03 ($185) Visa 1-123456 Visa The purchase amount, set in brackets, indicates that the charge has been applied back to the credit card and not double billed. If you have concerns regarding your billing statement, please contact us at customer service 1-888-448-1474 or at nrrs-cs@reserveamerica.com.
Q: My credit card bill showed a reservation billing under the name "Recreation.gov 1-888-448-1474 ". Is this from my reservation?
A: Yes. Your monthly statement will contain a reservation billing under the name "Recreation.gov 1-888-448-1474," not the National Recreation Reservation Service or ReserveAmerica. Please make note of this. If you have questions, please call customer service at 1-888-448-1474.
Q: I called the day before I was scheduled to arrive at the facility and cancelled my reservation. Why was I charged a cancellation fee plus a one night camping fee for cancelling?
A: NRRS Late Cancellations fees are as follows:
  • Individual Campsites: If an individual cancels an individual campsite reservation the day before arrival, or on the day of arrival they will be charged the $10.00 service fee and forfeit the first night use fee. Cancellations for a single night's use will not be assessed a service fee.
  • Cabins/Lookouts: If a customer cancels a cabin or lookout reservation within 14 days of your scheduled arrival date, they will be charged the $10.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's recreation use fee. No-shows, Early Departures, or Cancellations after the scheduled arrival date, are not entitled to a refund. Cancellations for single night's use will not be assessed a service fee. If a customer cancels a group day use facility reservation within 14 days of the scheduled arrival date, they will forfeit the total day use fee with no service fee change.
  • Group Facility: If a customer cancels a group overnight facility reservation within 14 days of the scheduled arrival date they will be charged the $10.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's use fee. Cancellations for a single night's use will not be assessed a service fee. If a customer cancels a group day use facility reservation within 14 days of the scheduled arrival date, they will forfeit the total day use fee with no service fee charge. No-shows:
  • No Shows:
    Camping:
    If the customer does not arrive at the campground or group facility and do not cancel the reservation by the times listed above, they will be assessed a $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night use fee or the total day use fee.

    Please Note! Reserved campsites and group overnight facilities will be held until check-out time on the day following your scheduled arrival.

    Group day use facilities will be held until check-in time on your scheduled arrival date.

  • Tour Parks: There are no refunds for late cancellations. However, exceptions may be made on a case by case basis. Questions related to reservations made on the web site:
Q: How do I make a reservation?
A: When calling to make a reservation, you will be asked to provide the following information:
  • Campground name (or state)
  • Arrival and departure dates
  • Type of site required (tent, RV, cabin, lookout, etc.)
  • The number of people in your party
  • Method of payment (Bank Card: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover card)
Q: How do I Book a Group Tour Reservation?
A: Group Tours are available via Recreation.gov for specific parks only – not all parks offer group reservations via the web site – please check the inventory information on the park you are looking for, if it is not available you can call the Group Sales Team directly to make your reservation 1-877-559-6777.
Q: Can I cancel my reservation by sending Recreation.gov an email?
A: No. Unfortunately we are unable to cancel reservations via email requests. If you made your reservation online, you may cancel it online on the Current Reservations page.
Q: How do I modify or change an existing reservation in the system?
A: Once a reservation is made online it cannot be modified from the web site. Changing dates, sites or campgrounds must be done through our call centers. Please call 1-877-444-6777. A $10.00 service fee will apply if you change or cancel your reservation.
Q: What reservations do I currently have on your system?
A: A detailed listing of your reservations (both past and present) made on line, is stored in our system and can be viewed at your leisure on Recreation.gov To view your current and past web reservations, sign into the system from the home page (click on the link Sign In under the Membership heading). When you enter your user name and password the system will take you to a screen titled My Reservations. From this page you can view the current Internet reservations that you have in the system, the status of the reservation (if a payment is still outstanding, etc.) and past reservations. From this screen, you can make updates to your profile or change your email address and password.

Internet Accounts Users for USFS & USACE Locations (Accounts from Recreation.gov, ReserveUSA and ReserveAmerica.com) Some internet users will experience changes to their ability to view reservations effective October 17th, 2007. You will experience different changes depending upon whether you have an account on Recreation.gov or ReserveAmerica.com.

  • Recreation.gov Members: If you use a www.Recreation.gov membership to make your reservations, once the US Forest Service and US Army Corps of Engineers are upgraded to the new system this will impact your ability to view reservations that have occurred prior to September 30, 2007. As of October 17, 2007 you will only be able view reservations with an arrival or departure date that overlaps September 30, 2007 using www.Recreation.gov. If you frequently refer to your past reservations it is a good idea to save this information on your system and/or print out the information for future reference.
  • ReserveAmerica.com Members: If you use a www.ReserveAmerica.com membership to make your reservations for the US Forest Service or the US Army Corps of Engineers, you will NOT be able to view any historical or future reservations via www.Recreation.gov or www.ReserveAmerica.com after October 17, 2007. For past or future reservations, please be sure to keep the information on your system and/or print out the information for future reference prior to the System Freeze Period. You will also not be able to make reservations using ReserveAmerica.com for reservations for Forest Service or Corps of Engineers facilities after September 30, 2007. Reservations may only be made using the NRRS website, www.Recreation.gov.
Q: Why do some campgrounds have a weekend restriction? What does that mean?
A: The system will prevent a reservation from being booked on dates which conflict with an agency's reservation restrictions. See below for examples of reservation restrictions: If you are trying to book a reservation for a period of time that exceeds the maximum number of days a facility allows, an error message will be returned not allowing the reservation to be completed. The system complies with the reservation policies as set by the contract the Agency belongs to. To view a facility's reservation policies, click on the link titled General Rules found on the bottom of every campground detail page. If you are trying to book a reservation too close to the date of your arrival the system won't allow it. Facilities have restrictions on the minimum number of days between the date you reserve and the date of your arrival. If you are trying to book more campsites than allowed under the same user, the system won't allow it. To insure campsites are available to all people, the system puts a limit on the number of campsites any one person can reserve.
Q: What does non-reservable mean on the site listing?
A: Reservations cannot be made for that particular site, and the site is available only on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Q: How many reservations can I make at one time?
A: Four
Q: What if I can't come the first night of my reservation?
A: Reserved campsites and group overnight facilities will be held until check-out time on the day following the scheduled arrival day.
Q: Why am I not able to book the site that I want? The system indicates the site is not available, but when I show up at the campgrounds I see numerous available sites. Is there something wrong with the system?
A: A site may not be available for many reasons. Some of these include: Site closures: On occasion it may be necessary for a facility to close a site. Reasons for site closures vary from general maintenance required to upkeep the site, to closures for emergency purposes such as site flooding. Our reservation system will display the site but will indicate it as unavailable. Non-Reservable site: A facility has full control over which sites are made available on the ReserveAmerica web site and which sites are not. Available sites are indicated during the reservation process when searching for availability or looking in the Campground Detail pages. Non-reservable sites can be closed or left for walk in customers only. Site already booked: During a facility's peak season sites can be in high demand. ReserveAmerica's web site is available to campers around the world trying to book a reservation. The site is not booked until a confirmation is received, resulting in a reservation ID number. If you have concerns or questions about a site's availability, please contact one of our call centers, 1-877-444-6777.

Questions related to a specific facility, site or organization (i.e. availability at a facility)

Q: What is the maximum length of stay in the campgrounds?
A: Camping longer than 14 consecutive days is generally not allowed. At Corps of Engineers campsites only, camping at one or more campsites at any one water resource project (lake) for a period longer than 14 days during any 30-consecutive day period is prohibited.
Q: Where can I build a campfire?
A: Within campgrounds and other recreation areas, fires may only be built in fire rings, stoves, grills, or fireplaces provided for that purpose.
Q: Does Receation.gov have a campground waiting list that I can be put on to reserve my favorite site?
A: No. Receation.gov does not maintain a waiting list for cancellations. When a cancellation is made on our web site or call center, the reserved site is placed back in the system to be reserved again. To find out the availability of a campsite continue to view the availability online or contact our call centers to get continual updates. Please use the contact us page.
Q: Can I request a list of available sites to be sent to me by email for a specific campground?
A: The availability on the web site is constantly changing which does not allow us to send information of this nature through an email. Availability of a site can be seen online or by calling our reservation call centers.
Q: How do I know what dates a facility opens and closes for the season?
A: Each facility has an open date and a close date, which determines the facility's "season" (see the questions related to web site info - terminology). These dates can vary for each facility and can vary, based on the agency managing the forest, facility, or campground. A facility's season determines the earliest date and the final date in the year the facility accepts campers. The location of a facility may also determine a facility's season, as facilities located in warmer climates may be open year round.
Q: The map I used to find a facility from your home page doesn't provide me with enough details to drive to the facility.
A: Some State maps contain more details, such as road names and landmark titles, than others. For complete details on the best directions for driving to a facility, navigate to the Facility details page and see the information below the heading, Getting There. You may also want to contact the facility directly.
Q: I would like to find out more about a facility or the surrounding area, such as what tourist attractions are in the vicinity. Where can I find this information?
A: A brief description of the facility and its surrounding area is available on the Facility details page.
Q: Can I use the "Contact Us" form on Recreation.gov to get more information on particular recreation sites?
A: If you have a question about one of the sites on Recreation.gov please contact the site directly. Recreation.gov does not have the detailed information about the more than 2,500 specific facilities, lakes, forest etc. in the database.

Instead of using the Comment form, please use the phone numbers and addresses provided under campground details of Recrreation.gov to contact the managers at the individual sites.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) About Recreation


NOTE: Recreation.gov can not endorse a commercial site or product. Instead of requesting Recreation.gov to add a link to your site, please contact your state tourism office or Convention and Visitor Bureau to get your attraction/facility added to their list of recreation sites. For more details regarding how to get federal government-owned or affiliated recreation sites added to the Recreation.gov database, or to get data from the Recreation.gov to add to your database/publication/website, please see the separate FAQ's About Recreation.gov list (below).

In addition to the FirstGov site for Frequently Asked Questions of the US Government, you may also find answers at the Recreation and FAQ sites for the following organizations:


Recreation.gov helps you discover and book trips to all of America's public places.
Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration

Agency Partners