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Old 06-24-2023, 12:32 PM   #1
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Here is my recent experience at a "Crowded Campground" About 2 months ago our friends booked 3 nights, June 21 thru the 23, departing today, June 24th at the Buckskin Mountain Arizona State Park on the Colorado River. They invited us to go, but when I checked the AZ State park reservation website it was completely booked.

About 10 days ago I checked it again and there was one spot that became available for June 22 & 23, departing today the 24. I jumped on it and booked it.

We arrived at the park on Thursday afternoon, June 22nd. The row we were booked into had 11 spaces...only 3 were occupied. Overall the "Completely Booked" campground was only about 30% occupied! I checked the website again just to make sure, and for the time we were there it said No Campsites Available! We left this morning and it had gotten a lot busier Friday night, but the space next to ours was vacant when we arrived and vacant when we left this morning. I would estimate this morning it was about 85% full, with many prime spots still available!

I think their reservation system obviously needs a complete overhaul. It's difficult to use in the first place, compared the their old system that was replaced by this new and improved version about a year ago. Pretty disgusting to see so many empty spots in a fully booked campground!
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Old 06-24-2023, 01:13 PM   #2
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I do agree something's very frustrating at campgrounds. We booked two sites at a NYS campground last year (9 month window) for 5 days, and they were the last ones available. The loop was never close to being full. I believe some folks may have cancelled or booked sites and for whatever reason just never showed up. Maybe there are computer bots involved somehow. Hard to say.
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Old 06-24-2023, 01:52 PM   #3
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There's probably nothing wrong with the booking system. It's "No Shows". They book a site, pay for it and never show up for one reason or another.
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Old 06-24-2023, 01:56 PM   #4
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I am not sure about which or if all State Parks are this way, but I have seen the same thing and when I asked in person why the website often shows nothing available or only one or two sites when so many are empty, I was told that is because only about half of them are available to be reserved and those that are not available to be reserved just shows unavailable on the website which means you can't reserve those but they are not necessarily occupied. They did tell me I could call any morning and they would tell me if they had any first come first serve spots open, but couldn't hold one for me.

The sites that can't be reserved are first come first serve and may or may not be available. I agree that most Park reservation systems are not very good or informative. ~CA
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Old 06-24-2023, 02:22 PM   #5
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We've been trying to get a week in February in the keys. lol But at 200-300 a night for a spot, and unforgiving cancellation policies, those people WILL show up. lol

I do agree that the best suggestion is to call and talk to a real person to find out what the actual booking process is for each park.
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Old 06-24-2023, 02:29 PM   #6
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I love no shows. The park gets the money, I get more privacy.
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Old 06-24-2023, 03:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Route 66 Traveler View Post
Here is my recent experience at a "Crowded Campground" About 2 months ago our friends booked 3 nights, June 21 thru the 23, departing today, June 24th at the Buckskin Mountain Arizona State Park on the Colorado River. They invited us to go, but when I checked the AZ State park reservation website it was completely booked.

About 10 days ago I checked it again and there was one spot that became available for June 22 & 23, departing today the 24. I jumped on it and booked it.

We arrived at the park on Thursday afternoon, June 22nd. The row we were booked into had 11 spaces...only 3 were occupied. Overall the "Completely Booked" campground was only about 30% occupied! I checked the website again just to make sure, and for the time we were there it said No Campsites Available! We left this morning and it had gotten a lot busier Friday night, but the space next to ours was vacant when we arrived and vacant when we left this morning. I would estimate this morning it was about 85% full, with many prime spots still available!

I think their reservation system obviously needs a complete overhaul. It's difficult to use in the first place, compared the their old system that was replaced by this new and improved version about a year ago. Pretty disgusting to see so many empty spots in a fully booked campground!

Did you take advantage of the feedback system? I think the state parks system has a pretty comprehensive feedback setup. At least the last time I used Fool Hollow it did and I have used others. If not then call the parks office on Monday and voice the complaint. They can't fix a problem they are not aware of.
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Old 06-24-2023, 03:11 PM   #8
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This: https://azstateparks.com/contact-us/
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Old 06-24-2023, 03:36 PM   #9
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I plan on calling Monday. Thanks for the link. My other complaint is that quiet hours are 10pm-7am. Across from us were three RV’s, a group of about 15 people. They played loud music and talked loud until 2:30 am!

If the spaces have been reserved for multiple days and they don’t show up, then the spaces should be made available on the website and the “Campground Full” sign at the gate should be taken down.

Given the available spaces that were open it’s hard for me to believe they were all “No Shows”
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Old 06-24-2023, 03:55 PM   #10
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I plan on calling Monday. Thanks for the link. My other complaint is that quiet hours are 10pm-7am. Across from us were three RV’s, a group of about 15 people. They played loud music and talked loud until 2:30 am!

If the spaces have been reserved for multiple days and they don’t show up, then the spaces should be made available on the website and the “Campground Full” sign at the gate should be taken down.

Given the available spaces that were open it’s hard for me to believe they were all “No Shows”

Yes the after hours noise would be a bit annoying but there are also camp hosts at all of those that should be notified or should be taking care of it.
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Old 06-24-2023, 03:56 PM   #11
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If the spaces have been reserved for multiple days and they don’t show up, then the spaces should be made available on the website and the “Campground Full” sign at the gate should be taken down.
Are they short on Volunteers/Rangers and not filling all the sites on purpose?
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Old 06-24-2023, 04:31 PM   #12
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Are they short on Volunteers/Rangers and not filling all the sites on purpose?
Not sure…They close the checkin at 5 pm. We came back from dinner about 6pm and there were about 6 names on a list for late arrivals. There were probably at least 25 open spaces. Never saw a listing for the Camp Host site either. It is well maintained with lots of workers/Rangers during daylight hours. Just the huge imbalance between the web site showing nothing available and the actual occupancy of the campground that is a bit frustrating.
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Old 06-24-2023, 04:53 PM   #13
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I see this in Texas state parks all the time. It’s no shows. Very frustrating. This is a subject that’s been beat to death. My opinion…..unless you get online and cancel or call there should be a no show fee charged. Or make it more lucrative for the camper to cancel by way of 100% refund up to the the day of arrival.
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Old 06-24-2023, 06:13 PM   #14
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I see this in Texas state parks all the time. It’s no shows. Very frustrating. This is a subject that’s been beat to death. My opinion…..unless you get online and cancel or call there should be a no show fee charged. Or make it more lucrative for the camper to cancel by way of 100% refund up to the the day of arrival.



Arizona Parks system is pretty clear, if you "no show" or fail to cancel after a certain time you pay for the space. So while it leaves the space open the state is still collecting the money.
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Old 06-24-2023, 06:13 PM   #15
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Just the huge imbalance between the web site showing nothing available and the actual occupancy of the campground that is a bit frustrating.
For sure and also a loss of funds to keep it open/maintained if not rented.
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Old 06-24-2023, 06:16 PM   #16
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Arizona Parks: Campers who do not show up by 12 noon the day following the first night’s reservation will forfeit all payments and campsite will become available for first-come, first-served or new reservation.
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Old 06-24-2023, 06:21 PM   #17
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I see this in Texas state parks all the time. It’s no shows. Very frustrating. This is a subject that’s been beat to death. My opinion…..unless you get online and cancel or call there should be a no show fee charged. Or make it more lucrative for the camper to cancel by way of 100% refund up to the the day of arrival.
And folks will reserve every weekend knowing it won't cost them anything to cancel.
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Old 06-24-2023, 06:48 PM   #18
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There's probably nothing wrong with the booking system. It's "No Shows". They book a site, pay for it and never show up for one reason or another.
I was gonna say that. People who booked- ran into vehicle problems, emergencies, life in general etc
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Old 06-24-2023, 07:41 PM   #19
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I live in Florida and we residents have “Given Up” on being able to use OUR State Park Campgrounds due to so many Non Residents coming from other states and using them. Or should I say booking reservations and Not showing up ,when you do this it is very Rude and disrespectful. But we residents know you that do this could care less …….
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Old 06-24-2023, 07:44 PM   #20
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I live in Florida and we residents have “Given Up” on being able to use OUR State Park Campgrounds due to so many Non Residents coming from other states and using them. Or should I say booking reservations and Not showing up ,when you do this it is very Rude and disrespectful. But we residents know you that do this could care less …….
Do you know that residents now get to book 30 days before non residents? Residents can book at 11 months out and non residents 10 months out.
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