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What Time Of Day Can I Make A Michigan State Park Campsite Reservation


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Noella Roth



Michigan is a state abundant in natural beauty, from its pristine lakes to its lush forests. It offers numerous state parks where camping enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the wonders of nature. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a week-long adventure, securing a campsite reservation is essential.


In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about making campsite reservations in Michigan state parks. From the reservation process to the best time of day to make a reservation, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your camping gear and get ready to embark on a memorable outdoor experience in the Great Lakes State!


Michigan state parks feature a wide range of amenities and activities for campers of all levels of experience. Whether you prefer rustic tent camping or RV camping with full hook-ups, there is a campsite that suits your needs. Many state parks offer hiking and biking trails, swimming beaches, fishing opportunities, and even interpretive programs to educate campers about the local ecosystem.


To ensure you secure the campsite of your choice, it is important to understand the reservation process and know when to make your reservation. Let’s delve into the details of how to make a reservation at a Michigan state park and find out the best time of day to do so.


General Information about Michigan State Park Campsites

Michigan state park campsites offer a variety of camping options to accommodate different preferences and needs. Whether you’re a tent camper or an RV enthusiast, you’ll find a suitable campsite in one of the many state parks scattered across the state.


Tent camping enthusiasts will appreciate the rustic charm of the tent-only campsites. These sites are typically equipped with a fire ring, picnic table, and access to nearby restroom facilities. If you prefer a more comfortable camping experience, you can opt for modern campsites that offer amenities such as electricity hook-ups, showers, and even Wi-Fi.


For those who prefer RV camping, Michigan state parks provide campsites with electrical hook-ups, water hook-ups, and, in some cases, sewage hook-ups as well. These sites often feature level pads and enough space to accommodate larger RVs.


It is important to note that each campsite has a maximum capacity for the number of people and vehicles allowed. This information is crucial when making a reservation to ensure you select a campsite that can accommodate your group size.


Additionally, Michigan state parks offer a variety of recreational activities to engage campers of all ages. Many parks have swimming beaches, perfect for cooling off on hot summer days. You can also explore the park’s hiking and biking trails, fish in its lakes and rivers, or participate in interpretive programs led by knowledgeable park staff. The opportunities for outdoor adventure are endless.


Lastly, it’s important to remember that Michigan state park campsites operate on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that while reservations are strongly recommended, there may be some availability for walk-in campers. However, to ensure you secure a campsite and have the best camping experience, it is highly recommended to make a reservation in advance.


Now that we have a general understanding of Michigan state park campsites, let’s explore the reservation process in detail.


Reservation Process for Michigan State Park Campsites

Making a reservation for a campsite in a Michigan state park is a straightforward process that can be done online or over the phone. The reservation system is managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and is designed to make the camping experience as convenient as possible.


To begin the reservation process, you will need to visit the Michigan DNR’s official website or call their reservation phone line. On the website, you’ll find a user-friendly interface that allows you to search for available campsites based on your preferred dates, park location, camping equipment type, and desired amenities.


Once you have selected your desired campsite, you will need to provide some personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, and email address. You will also need to provide information related to your camping equipment, such as the length of your RV or the number of tents you’ll be using.


After entering your information, you will be prompted to select the dates of your camping trip. Keep in mind that some parks have minimum stay requirements, especially during peak season, so plan accordingly. Once you’ve selected the dates, you will be shown the available campsites for that time period.


At this point, you can choose the campsite that best suits your preferences and needs. You will be provided with a map of the campground layout to assist you in selecting a site. Take note of any site-specific details, such as whether it is a waterfront site or if it offers additional privacy. Once you’ve made your selection, proceed to the payment section to finalize your reservation.


The reservation system accepts various payment methods, including credit cards and electronic checks. Verify all the details of your reservation and make the necessary payment. Once the payment is processed, you will receive a confirmation email or a confirmation number, which serves as proof of your reservation.


If you prefer to make a reservation over the phone, you can call the Michigan DNR’s reservation phone line and provide the necessary information to a customer service representative. They will guide you through the process and assist you in finding an available campsite that meets your requirements.


It is important to note that some popular Michigan state parks have high demand for campsites, especially during peak season. Therefore, it is advisable to make your reservation as early as possible, ideally several months in advance, to secure your desired campsite.


Now that you know the reservation process for Michigan state park campsites, let’s find out the best time of day to make a reservation.


What Time of Day Can I Make a Reservation?

If you’re eager to secure a campsite at a Michigan state park, you’re probably wondering about the best time of day to make a reservation. The reservation system for Michigan state park campsites opens at 8:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the reservation start date, which is typically six months in advance of the arrival date.


This means that if you plan to camp on a specific date, you can make a reservation starting at 8:00 AM EST six months prior to that date. It’s important to mark your calendar and set a reminder so that you can be online or on the phone promptly at 8:00 AM EST to increase your chances of securing a desirable campsite.


Michigan state parks are highly popular destinations for camping, especially during peak season, weekends, and holidays. As a result, campsites can fill up quickly, and it’s not uncommon for sought-after sites to be booked within minutes of the reservation system opening.


While the reservation system is available 24 hours a day, it is advisable to make your reservation as early as possible to ensure you have the best selection of available campsites. Being prepared and ready to make your reservation right at 8:00 AM EST can give you a competitive edge in securing your desired campsite.


It’s worth noting that some campers have reported success in securing last-minute cancellations or availability due to other unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, if your initial reservation attempt is unsuccessful, it’s worth checking the reservation system periodically for any newly available campsites.


Remember that the best time of day to make a reservation is dependent on the specific park and the dates you wish to camp. Popular parks and weekends may have higher demand, so it’s crucial to plan accordingly and be proactive in making your reservation.


With the knowledge of when the reservation system opens, you can set your alarm, have your desired campsites in mind, and be ready to book your Michigan state park camping adventure as soon as the clock strikes 8:00 AM EST.


Now that you have a clear idea of the reservation process and the best time to make a reservation, let’s explore some tips to make your campsite reservation experience smoother.


Tips for Making Campsite Reservations

Making a campsite reservation can be an exciting but also competitive process, especially in popular destinations like Michigan state parks. To increase your chances of securing the perfect campsite for your outdoor adventure, consider the following tips:

  1. Plan in advance: As soon as you know the dates you want to go camping, mark them on your calendar and set a reminder for the reservation start date. This way, you can be prepared and ready to make your reservation as soon as the system opens.
  2. Be flexible with dates: If you’re open to adjusting your camping dates, consider booking on weekdays or during off-peak seasons. This will significantly increase your chances of finding available campsites and may even offer a quieter and more secluded camping experience.
  3. Research the parks: Before the reservation date, familiarize yourself with the different Michigan state parks and their amenities. Determine which parks align with your camping preferences and prioritize them on your reservation list.
  4. Create a list of preferred campsites: Take the time to research the campgrounds within your desired parks and identify specific campsites that appeal to you. Make note of their popularity, amenities, and location within the park. Having a list ready when the reservation system opens will help you make a quicker decision.
  5. Have multiple device options: To improve your chances of securing a campsite, have multiple electronic devices ready – such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet – to access the reservation system. This way, if one device encounters any technical difficulties, you can quickly switch to another.
  6. Be patient and persistent: The reservation system can be busy and experience high demand, causing delays or glitches. Stay patient and persistent in refreshing the page or redialing the reservation phone line if you encounter any issues. Keep trying until you successfully secure your desired campsite.
  7. Consider alternate campsites: If your first choice is unavailable, have a few backup campsites in mind. Familiarize yourself with their availability and amenities so that you can quickly switch your selection if needed.
  8. Be aware of cancellation policies: Familiarize yourself with the cancellation policies of the state park and campground you choose. This will allow you to make changes to your reservation, if necessary, without any penalties.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared and increase your likelihood of securing a desirable campsite for your Michigan state park adventure.


Now that you’re equipped with valuable tips for making campsite reservations, it’s time to plan your outdoor getaway and experience the wonders of Michigan’s state parks.



Making a reservation for a campsite in a Michigan state park is a crucial step in ensuring a memorable and enjoyable camping experience. Understanding the reservation process and knowing the best time to make a reservation can greatly increase your chances of securing the perfect campsite for your outdoor adventure.


Michigan state parks offer a variety of camping options to accommodate different preferences, from tent-only sites to fully equipped RV sites. These parks provide a plethora of recreational activities and amenities, allowing campers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Great Lakes State.


When it comes to making a reservation, the key is to plan in advance, be flexible with your camping dates, and familiarize yourself with the different parks and their campsites. Setting reminders and having multiple electronic devices ready can help you navigate the reservation system smoothly.


Remember, the reservation system for Michigan state park campsites opens at 8:00 AM EST, six months before your desired camping date. Being prepared and proactive in making your reservation at the designated time will give you the best chance of securing your preferred campsite.


If your first-choice campsite is not available, don’t get discouraged. Having alternate campsites in mind and being patient and persistent in the process can lead you to find the perfect spot for your outdoor adventure.


Now that you are armed with all the essential information and tips, it’s time to start planning your next camping trip to one of Michigan’s beautiful state parks. Embrace the natural beauty, explore the trails, relax by the lakes, and make cherished memories in the great outdoors of the Great Lakes State.