Last Minute Camping

MN Department of Natural Resources

Up to 30 percent of the state's campsites can't be reserved, making them available to campers on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

"To increase chances of getting a non-reservable campsite on a holiday weekend, campers should arrive at the park Thursday night or early Friday morning, because most of the sites will be gone by Friday afternoon," said Chuck Kartak, assistant director for the state parks system.

"The next best chance to get a campsite would be on Sunday, because some weekend visitors only stay through Saturday. Campers may call the state parks in advance to find out how many campsites are expected to be open on any given day."

Anyone unable to spend the night may spend the day hiking, biking, paddling or geocaching. A daily permit will provide a vehicle full of family and friends with a whole day of fun for just $5. Annual permits, which cost $25, provide unlimited access to Minnesota state parks for a full year from the month of purchase.

For details on Minnesota's state parks, including descriptions of each park's scenery, wildlife and recreational opportunities, call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157, 888-MINNDNR (646-6367) or visit

To make camping or lodging reservations, call 1-866-85PARKS or 1-866-857-2757 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily, or visit




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