Memorial Day Holiday Roundup Outlook
Here is a sampling of camping outlooks taken from media across the U.S.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Kari Cobb, spokeswoman for California’s Yosemite National Park, said Monday (May 24) that campgrounds for Memorial Day weekend have been sold out for months on a holiday that’s traditionally among the park’s busiest. But aside from the expected crowds, this weekend may not be all that typical.
For one thing, campers will find it colder than usual, with rain and possibly even snow predicted for the valley this weekend. For backcountry folks, Tioga Road, the eastern access to the park and Tuolumne Meadows that generally reopens in time for the long weekend, has been plowed but remains closed, with 4 feet to 6 feet of snow along the roadway. (The park is expected to make a decision Wednesday on when the road will reopen.)
A good alternative: Although the the park’s official campsites may be full, try getting a reservation at private facilities, such as those in nearby Oakhurst (High Sierra RV Park & Campground) and Groveland (Yosemite Pines RV Resort).
The California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) has compiled a handy list of 87 private camping areas in California that showed availability for Memorial Day weekend as of Monday. Generally, prices run from $20 to $75 per night, with tent sites being the cheaper alternative.
KTAR Radio, Phoenix, reports:
Thousands of Valley residents will head for the high country to camp Memorial Day weekend, and right this minute is not too early to get started.
Brady Smith and Jackie Banks with the U.S. Forest Service say it's first-come, first-served in the campgrounds, so the sooner campers arrive, the better chance they have of finding a good place to pitch their tents.
"Definitely on the weekend, Saturday, you're out of luck," Smith said. "Friday, if you're leaving late from work, I think you're out of luck. You would probably definitely need to leave early Friday morning."
Smith added, "A lot of people come up here and campgrounds get filled by sometimes 9 a.m., 10 a.m. (Fridays). Some people come up here to reserve their spots for the weekend and already have a tent set up."
Right now, there are no campfire and smoking restrictions in Arizona's forests, so there are some options.
Banks said, "People can do disperse camping — that's where they pick a site off in the forest somewhere. So if they're willing to not necessarily be in a campground, there's many opportunities."
While there are no restrictions in effect, authorities say the fire danger is climbing each day and campers are urged to be very careful with fire.
WZZM-TV, Grand Rapids, Mich., reports:
To watch a video of the following story, click here.
After two years of stagnate growth, campground owners and operators around the state are expecting big things this summer.
Some campgrounds are reporting they are nearly fully booked with reservations for Memorial Day weekend.
The warm forecast means crowds of campers are set to pitch their tents and park their fifth-wheels at places like Pioneer Park in Muskegon County.
"Wednesday at this place will be hopping," says Jeff Winter, senior ranger at Pioneer Park.
Ottawa County campgrounds are preparing for the influx of summer business. Operators of Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park in Grand Haven say all of their available slots are nearly gone.
"Currently here on Monday we have 10 sites left," says Don Moore, general manager of the Yogi Bear park.
Already, some campers are staking out their sites and planning to watch people following them with recreational vehicles and tents.
"This is the kickoff to the summer, and it will be a fun weekend," says Arlyn Cribley of Nunica.
The Michigan Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds helps connect campers with Michigan campgrounds. It's free campground directory is available around the state.
This year the association's executive director says campgrounds should start to see some growth in business after two flat years.
"They are expecting to be up," says executive director Wayne Purchase. "Flat year last year, but this year they are expecting to be up."
Michigan has more than 1,400 licensed campgrounds in the state. Other than some select state parks, most campgrounds are reporting available space for campers wanting to make weekend reservations.
The Coloradoan, Fort Collins, Colo., reports:
Campgrounds around north central Colorado are reporting reservations on par with last year, if not better.
The Larimer County Department of Natural Resources has 24 camper cabins and more than 590 designated campsites, the majority of which will are open for the peak season April 1 through Oct. 31. All those sites are expected to be filled with campers for Memorial Day weekend.
Dan Rieves, visitor services manager with Larimer County, said there is no notable change in year-over-year reservations for their campsites. The forecast for the camping this summer is good considering reservoirs are full, which brings out the boaters who camp, he said.
"I think once the weather evens out a little bit, we'll be in great shape," Rieves said.
Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are consistently the most popular places to camp in Northern Colorado.
RMNP has five front country campgrounds, three of which accept reservations, accounting for 586 campsites with an additional 267 backcountry campsites.