Minnesota state parks reservation system FAQ

We've simplified and updated our reservations policy. 

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These new changes took effect December 1, 2020:

  1. Cancellation fees are eliminated for cancellations that occur 14 days or more before arrival to encourage early cancellation and allow sites to be rebooked.
  2. Reservation holders who do not call or occupy the site on their reserved date of arrival will be canceled by park staff to allow others to reserve the site.
  3. Customers who make a reservation at the maximum reservation window (120 days in advance of the arrival date) must wait 21 days before they can modify or cancel the reservation.

All campsites in Minnesota state parks and recreation areas require a reservation before they may be occupied, year-round. We strongly recommend you make your reservations before leaving home, because cell phone coverage and wi-fi are unpredictable at some parks.


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How is COVID-19 affecting reservations?

COVID-19 cleaning protocols necessitate a 24-hour gap between many reservations for cleaning and sanitizing. During the pandemic, reservations for lodging, camper cabins, yurts, wall tents, and tipis can only be made by calling the call center, not online. This allows our staff to manually adjust reservations to build in the required extra time between stays.

If you will be visiting a state park or recreation area, you need to know our Key Three:

1. Plan ahead. Buy your vehicle permit in advance to minimize person-to-person contact. Record your confirmation number and place it visibly on your car's dashboard. Make your reservations before you arrive at the park, and use a credit card to pay. Don't count on the park office being open or staff being available to help.

2. Arrive prepared. Buildings and warming shelters may not be open. Dress appropriately for the weather, and bring extra supplies with you.

3. Follow the rules. Continue to follow all COVID-related guidance. Pay attention to signs, stay home if you feel sick, and practice social distancing--even outdoors.

Are reservations required year-round?

Yes, all lodging and all campsites in state parks and recreation areas are 100% reservable and require a reservation. Sites that are open in the winter still require a reservation.

You can make same-day reservations with no reservation fee, whether you're booking your site from home, from the road, or at the park.

If you want to camp without a reservation, the state forest recreation areas have first-come, first-served sites.

How do I make a reservation?

Make your reservation online.

Or call us toll free at 866-857-2757.

Call center hours
October 1 through March 31: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday - Friday and 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
April 1 through September 30: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily.
Closed on holidays.

What is the reservations window - when can I book my trip?

You can make a camping or lodging reservation up to 120 days before your arrival date. If you're booking your stay at the maximum window, there's no need to book each day individually. You can book your entire stay in one transaction.

Online reservations can be made 24 hours a day, except for the first day a reservation becomes available. On that first day, reservations cannot be made before 8 a.m.

For those who prefer to be spontaneous, we offer same-day reservations with no reservation fee, whether you're booking your site from home, from the road, or even from the park.

Why do I see some sites booked more than 120 days out?

On July 1, 2020 we changed the reservations window from one year to 120 days. New reservations may only be made 120 days in advance of arrival, but existing reservations that were made under the old rules are still being honored. This means that until July 1, 2021, there may still be some sites that were booked a full year earlier.

We also sometimes block sites so they cannot be reserved on a particular date. This may be so we have sites available for an I Can Camp! program or other event, or it may be related to COVID-19 cleaning protocols.

How long can I stay?

Maximum nights for a single camping reservation: 14.
Maximum nights for a single lodging reservation: 7. 

What is the reservation fee?

It is $7.00 to make a reservation online and $10.00 to make a reservation by phone. These fees are non-refundable.

There is no fee to make a same-day reservation.

What is defined as 'camping' and what is 'lodging'?

Camping includes campsites, wall tents, yurts, and group camps.

Lodging includes cabins, camper cabins, guest houses, suites, and rooms.

How can I see my current and past reservations?

Log in and go to "Your Account" and then "Your Reservations."

This page will show all of your upcoming reservations. Use the date filter to see your past reservations.

Can I modify my reservation?

Yes, you may modify a reservation up to two times. If you made your reservation at the maximum reservation window (120 days in advance of the arrival date), you will need to wait 21 days before you can modify it.

If you have already modified a reservation twice and you need to do it again, you will need to cancel and rebook the reservation.

Modifying a reservation online can be challenging. You may prefer to use the call center. 

To modify a reservation online, log in and go to "Your Account" and then "Your Reservations." Find your upcoming reservation on the list, along with options to cancel, modify or reprint your reservation.

To shorten or lengthen your stay, adjust the nights under "Reservation Dates."

  • If you are shortening your stay you will be due back a refund.
  • If you want more nights than are available, you will get an error message.

To change sites or parks, go to "Select New Unit" in the "Unit Details" box. This will take you to the calendar view for the park from your unmodified reservation.

  • Search for and select a new stay just as you did when you made your original reservation.
  • Go back through the shopping cart with your new stay. The system will adjust the amount you owe or the amount we owe you.
What are the cancellation and no-show policies?

The camping and lodging reservation fee is not refundable, and is charged at the time the reservation is made. If you made your reservation at the maximum reservation window (120 days in advance of the arrival date), you will need to wait 21 days before you can cancel it.

As of December 1, 2020:

Camping cancellations
  • Cancel 14 or more days prior to arrival: No cancellation fee.
  • Cancel less than 14 days prior to arrival, but more than 48 hours prior to check-in: $10 cancellation fee.
  • Cancel less than 48 hours prior to check-in: $10 cancellation fee and the first night's camping fees are deducted from the original site fees paid.
Lodging cancellations
  • Cancel 14 or more days prior to arrival: No cancellation fee.
  • Cancel less than 14 days prior to arrival: $10 cancellation fee and one night's lodging fee is forfeited. (Not to exceed the original amount paid.)
No shows
  • If the site is not occupied by 11:00 a.m. the day after the scheduled date of arrival, the reservation may be canceled with no fees refunded. Upon cancellation, the site will immediately be opened for re-booking.
Can I purchase or redeem a Minnesota state parks gift card using the reservations website?

Yes, you can purchase a gift card online and it will be mailed out to you.

You may use a gift card to make a reservation. You can split your payment between a gift card and a credit card, but only one gift card may be used per transaction online. To apply multiple gift cards to a single transaction, please use the call center.

Besides camping and lodging, what can I reserve or purchase using the reservations website?
  • Online reservations for tours and programs, including cave and mine tours.
  • Online reservations for the I Can! programs.
  • Day and annual state park vehicle permits.

Ski and horse passes, OHV and snowmobile registrations, and fishing and hunting licenses are not sold through the Minnesota state parks reservations system.

I can't get into my account, or I can’t set up a new account. What should I do?

We can help you reset your password, recover an existing account, or walk you through setting up a new account. Use the Contact Us form or email [email protected].

If you are trying to access an existing account, please include your name, phone number, and street address when you contact us so we can look it up in the system.

I don't want to use a credit card but I need to make a reservation. What are my options?

We strongly encourage the use of credit cards during the COVID-19 pandemic, but you can still pay with cash or check if you prefer - or a Minnesota state parks gift card.

Pay with cash (only available for same-day reservations):

Contact the call center and tell them which spot you are reserving. They will put your reservation on hold, and you can pay using cash at the self-registration station when you arrive at the park.

Pay with a check (only available for reservations over a month away):

You can only pay by check for reservations with arrival dates over 30 days out.

Contact the call center and tell them which spot you are reserving, and that you will be paying by check. They will put a hold on your site and give you instructions to mail your payment.

If we do not receive your check 21 days prior to your arrival, we will cancel your reservation.

I still have questions or comments about the reservations system or policy.

Please email [email protected] and we will get back to you.