The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced a change to the camping and lodging reservation window, effective July 1, 2020.

In the past, people could reserve campsites, cabins, yurts, tipis and lodging facilities for up to one year in advance.  That time frame will be reduced 120 days, or four months.

This was always going to happen, but the DNR originally wanted to make the change this fall.  However, the decision was made to make the change effective sooner due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated operational changes to things such as cleaning protocols.

As explained in their press release:

 

“State Parks and Recreation Areas belong to all Minnesotans, so everyone should have equitable access to facilities and campgrounds,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “As our lives have become busier, it’s more difficult for people to plan vacations a whole year in advance. Shortening the reservation window will better accommodate visitors’ busy schedules and allow more people to enjoy the most desirable campsites and lodging.”

 

In this day and age, it's tough to plan for anything too far in advance as you can't be sure what restrictions or recommendations will be implemented in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DNR states that they already had to cancel more than 25,000 reservations in April and May this year due to the pandemic.  A lot of those reservations were made outside of a four month window, so creating a shorter reservation window will make it easier to work through any future operational changes that may be needed.

All reservations made before July 1, 2020 will be honored, even if they are for a date beyond the new 120-day reservation window.  However, if you need to change an existing reservation, your new date will have to adhere to the new reservation window policy.

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