Hack for Getting Your Washington State Park Campsite Reservation

Recently, our family attempted to secure a Lake Chelan campsite around next year’s 4th of July. The process reminded us of trying to get Taylor Swift Era’s Tour tickets.


The Washington State Parks website suggests: 

'You can make reservations up to nine (9) months in advance of the start date of your reservation as early as 7am Pacific time.' -Parks.WA.gov


We tried to follow this advice last week. Here's where that went down:

7 a.m. came along and it was time to click the button and reserver our favorite spot. It seemed it was going to grant us access…then said something to the effect of “Sorry - this spot has already been reserved.”

PTSD feelings of not getting Taylor Swift tickets were swarming back into our brains.

Credit: Connor
Credit: Connor

So someone is getting there first. How on earth can you and I be the ones who get the competitive advantage and grab that camping spot first?

I did some research…here’s what I found

Here's the Parks Department's advice on how to reserve a spot at a Washington State Park:

* Log onto the Washington State Park Reservation website You can also call (888) CAMPOUT or (888)-226-7688.

‘Drop-in visitors are welcome as long as space is available, but reservations (READ: 9 months in advance for popular times and spots) offer peace of mind when traveling to distant or popular parks.’ -Washington State Parks

Lake Chelan State Park (via Facebook)
Lake Chelan State Park (via Facebook)


* On the morning of the sale, log in "well before" the sale begins.

* Select the campground page (know the exact number of the campsite - or campsites, you want.), 

* Select your dates

* Be ready to select an available campsite, and “Add to Cart” the moment they are released for sale.

* Have your credit card number ready to go and make it happen!

NOTE: The Washington State Parks website says to “Refresh your page at exactly the time sites are released for sale - Example: Refresh at exactly 7:00 am on the dot” 

Author’s note: As mentioned earlier, this is exactly what my wife did to try and secure our preferred campsite in a peak weekend (Last weekend of June through the 4th of July, 2024.)

Why not give a popular Ticketmaster hack - to get into the front of the line?

1) They suggest logging into the Ticketmaster Waiting room” exactly 10 minutes in advance. I realize that the State Parks reservation website doesn't have a "Waiting room." (The Washington State Parks advice of logging in "well before" could mean getting up extra early and logging in an hour or so before.)

2) Refresh" the page 10 seconds before the release time to improve your chances of getting to the front of the queue. If the ticket window (or campsite window) opens up at 7 a.m. -  Try this at 6:59:50 a.m. - will this Ticketmaster hack work on the Washington State Parks website?

It's worth a try.

One of your family members should try the refresh at 7 a.m. advice and another try the Ticketmaster (refresh 10 seconds before 7 a.m.) hack.

Good luck getting that campsite!


INFO: Washington State Parks, Radiotimes.com

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