Monday, June 04, 2007

Californa State Parks see spike in camping reservations

Summer is around the corner and Sierra District campgrounds are filling up fast since bookings were made available several months ago.

“It’s my understanding that reservations were up by somewhere between 10 and 17 percent,” said Ken Anderson, service manager of the California State Parks Sierra District.

Each year the state parks online registration system offers reservations seven months in advance, and if this year’s influx of early bookings is any indication, it’s going to be a busy summer.

“In February we had a record number of reservations,” said state parks spokeswoman Sheryl Watson. “... We almost sell out every year.”
Memorial Day Weekend reservations were up nearly 8 percent California-wide and nearly 18 percent in the Sierra District over last year, Watson said.
The Sierra District includes eight campgrounds between Lake Tahoe and the Truckee area.

“Our use is definitely up,” said Lake Tahoe sector Superintendent Susan Grove. “One of the reasons is because California population has just exploded. ... What happens in the state generally correlates with what happens in state parks, too.”

Whether it’s a growing desire to see the Sierra Mountains up close from campgrounds, or the impact of increasing fuel prices, interest in camping seems to be on the rise.
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