SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will accept new reservations from one day to six months out, starting Thursday, the agency said Monday.
The change is the latest step in managing future reservations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early last summer, the reservation booking window temporarily changed from one day to two weeks, then to 30 days, while OPRD slowly reopened camping after a two-month closure. In normal times, the reservation window is one day to nine months.
“A shorter reservation window helps us deal with the uncertainty posed by state management of the COVID-19 emergency, and the financial hit of changing, canceling and refunding reservations,” said Lisa Sumption, director of OPRD.
State parks are funded by revenue from park visitors, a small share of the Oregon Lottery, and a portion of state recreational vehicle registrations.
“Although revenue stopped during the two-month closure and continues to be less than what we’ve earned in past years, we’ve adjusted our operations and now are comfortable extending the reservation booking window,” she said. “All of us extend a heartfelt thank you to our visitors as we continue to evaluate our operations to better serve campers and day-use visitors as we head into the spring and summer.”
In addition to the reservation booking window change, all new campsite, yurt and cabin openings will become available at 6 a.m. each day, rather than midnight. This minor change is being made to improve customer service.
“No more staying up to midnight to make an online reservation,” Sumption said. “If you try to reserve a site beyond the 30-day window at midnight Jan. 14, you will see the sites marked with an ‘X’ for unavailable. All available sites will be marked with an ‘A’ at 6 a.m., Jan. 14, and each day going forward.
More changes to the reservation window are possible as the year goes on.
Oregon State Parks reservations are accepted online, and by phone at 800-452-5687, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed holidays).