With the most national and state parks in America, California has no shortage of desirable places to pitch a tent and spend an evening under the stars.
But one campground in particular is the hardest to reserve in the state, and one of the most competitive bookings in the country.
Camping website The Dyrt looked into the most hard-to-book campgrounds in America and found that some of the most sought-after campgrounds are fully booked around the clock.
“Camping’s popularity is at an all-time high,” the website says. “More than 80 million Americans went camping last year, and 58.4 percent of campers surveyed in the 2023 Camping Report said they had difficulty finding a campsite to book because all reservations were taken.”
For Californians looking to reserve a spot in the Inyo National Forest, you’ll have to cross your fingers and say a prayer if you want to secure one highly coveted campsite.
The Twin Lakes Campground near Mammoth Lakes is the hardest-to-book campground in California and the ninth most difficult in the nation.
The campground offers 94 camping spots for tents and RVs, but they are fully booked 97.2% of the year, according to The Dyrt.
Twin Lakes is particularly popular due to its amenities, including fishing, boating and waterfall views, as well as its close proximity to Mammoth Lakes.
Reviews compiled by the website include reports of bald eagle sightings, excellent fishing, quality hiking trails and breathtaking views.
Although Twin Lakes is the most sought-after spot in California, it didn’t even crack the top five in the nation.
The top two spots both go to campgrounds located in America’s first park: Yellowstone.
The Slough Creek Campground in Yellowstone is the hardest campground to book in the nation. The National Park Services says the campground offers some of the best wildlife watching opportunities in the park, beautiful clear views of the night sky and the chance to hear some howling wolves. There are only 16 campsites available at Slough Creek.
In second place is Mammoth Campground, the only campground at Yellowstone that is open year-round. Located just five miles south of the park’s North Entrance near Mammoth Hot Springs, the campground is close to fishing and hiking trails and offers great opportunities to view some of the park’s famous bison and elk.
Both Slough Creek and Mammoth campgrounds are fully booked 100% of the year, the website says.
The complete top 10 list is below:
|Rank||Campground||No. of campsites||Percentage of year fully booked|
|1.||Slough Creek Campground, Wyoming||16||100%|
|2.||Mammoth Campground, Wyoming||82||100%|
|3.||Seven Points, Tennessee||61||99.1%|
|4.||Fruita Campground, Utah||65||97.9%|
|5.||South Campground, Utah||120||97.8%|
|6.||Piñon Flats Campground, Colorado||90||97.6%|
|7.||Upper Coffee Pot, Idaho||14||97.6%|
|8.||Cages Bend, Tennessee||42||97.3%|
|9.||Twin Lakes Campground, California||94||97.2%|
|10.||Signal Mountain Campground, Wyoming||79||97.1%|
For more on each campsite, click here.
And if you want to try your luck and hope for a cancellation to book one of these highly sought campsites, The Dyrt offers alerts to let you know when a campground is available.