This Popular National Park's Campsite Now Requires Summer Reservations — What to Know

In addition to making a reservation, campers will be required to pay $24 per night booking fee.

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, Washington

Sean Pavone/Getty Images

Summer camping experiences in the popular Olympic National Park, outside of Seattle, Washington, will now require reservations, due to increased popularity.

Campers planning a visit to the Staircase Campground during July 5 through August 31 will need to reserve a campsite in advance on the National Park Service’s website, or calling the NPS telephone reservation line (877-444-6777). The reservation window to make a booking will open two-weeks in advance of the desired date, with a maximum stay of seven days. Campers can use the grounds on a first-come, first-served basis outside of the summertime reservation window. 

In addition to making a reservation, campers will be required to pay $24 per night booking fee. Seniors and people with the Access Pass will receive a 50 percent discount. Olympic National Park is over one million acres, and has other campsites that do not require a reservation

These changes come as the NPS reports higher attendance to this campsite, especially during the busy summer travel season. 

"This summer reservation system will help visitors plan a visit to this remote area of the park during the busiest season of the year," National Park Service Revenue and Fee Program Manager Cheryl Higbee said in a statement.

The Staircase Campground is comprised of 49 different campsites, and has access to a variety of hiking trails for hikers of all abilities. The NPS recommends the Shady Lane trail for a flat, less strenuous hike, and a separate hike to the Flapjack Lakes is recommended for stronger hikers due to the elevation change. 

Due to increased visitation, other national parks have increased fees, or required reservations to manage capacity. Earlier this year, the Great Smoky Mountains National park increased parking rate

In 2023, travelers can avoid entrance fees at all National Parks on select days including August 4, which is the  Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act, and on November 11, Veterans Day. 

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