If you’re like us you LOVE vacationing in Michigan State Park campsites but find the MIDNR reservation system website to be a bit daunting. Or, maybe you’ve never used it and have no idea where to start. We see questions about this topic in the Camp the Mitten Facebook community frequently so here’s a brief overview of what you need to know – and a few tips we’ve found that help.
If you’re looking for inspiration for where to camp, check our our Michigan State Park campground reviews.
Where Do I Book Michigan State Park Campsites?
We prefer to use the Michigan DNR reservation website, https://www.midnrreservations.com/. You can also book via the DNR phone reservation system by calling (800) 44-PARKS.
How Early Can I Book a Campsite?
You can begin booking six months to the day of your trip at 8:00am on weekdays and 9:00am on weekends. For example, today is Saturday, January 16 so it’s possible to book any campsite beginning July 16 this morning at 9:00am.
How Long Can I Book a Campsite?
The state park reservation system allows you to book up to 15 nights. So, if I book today to arrive July 16 and depart any day up through July 31.
What Do The Colors Mean?
Green is your best friend on the reservation website as it represents open campsites! Here’s a run down and explanation of other colors:
- Green – Campsite is open and available to book
- Red – Campsite is booked during the dates you selected
- Purple – Campsite is available for some of the dates you selected but not all. If you entered a date range of July 16 – July 25 and the campsite is available beginning July 20, it will appear purple.
- Orange – Campsite is available but does not meet the restrictions you set in your search. For example, if a campsite is rated to accommodate a 25ft camper and you selected that your camper is 35ft in the search, the site will appear orange.
- Light Blue – Campsite is currently in your cart ready to reserve
- Blue – Campsite you have selected right now
- Black – Campsite is not available to reserve for the dates you’ve selected
How have campsites already been reserved before six months ahead of the reservation date?
This is confusing so stick with us here! Campsites can be reserved for any length of time you choose up to 15 nights. So, campsites ONLY become available when the previous reservation ends. This makes planning a reservation for a specific campsite a bit tricky because you can’t be 100% certain what date it will be available because it’s dependent on who books the site before you and how long they choose to reserve it.
If you’re absolutely set on booking a specific campsite you’ll need to be willing to be flexible with your vacation dates. You can view the “Available Dates” button to see a calendar which will detail the next date the site will be available.
How Quickly Do I Need to Book the Campsite(s) in my Cart?
You must complete your reservation payment within 20 minutes of adding it to your cart.
Can I Book Multiple Campsites at the Same Time?
Yes – you can add multiple campsites to your cart at the same time. Just know that you’ll have to complete all reservation purchases in 20 minutes or risk losing campsites,
What Do I do if the Website Freezes?
When the new reservation website launched a couple years ago it was a very common occurrence to have the website freeze during the booking process. It’s less frequent now but during busy booking days (like six months before the July 4th holiday weekend) it still sometimes happens. If you see the campsite in your cart, you can call the DNR phone reservation system and attempt to book it over the phone.
If you clicked reserve and the site is loading for several minutes without adding the campsite to your cart you likely did not “win” this booking and will need to select a different site. Truly a heartbreaking moment. We’ve been there countless times!
What if I Need to Cancel or Change My Vacation Dates?
You cannot make any changes to your reservation before 5 months ahead of your arrival date or your new arrival date. Depending on how close you are to your arrival date, you’ll forfeit a percentage (10-40%) of your nightly booking fees. Check out the DNR website for specifics.