By the end of the summer, Nevada will no longer be the only state without a reservation system for its state parks. In an announcement last week, Nevada State Parks said it will allow visitors to book campsites and buy day passes online as far as 11 months out.
Although most states have some sort of reservation system, Nevada State Parks spokeswoman Jenny Jackson explained that the Silver State hasn’t needed one up until this point.
“Most of our state parks are fairly rural and do not fill up, and we have a very friendly state park system, where our rangers do everything they can to accommodate visitors,” Jackson said.
She explained that the first-come, first-serve system has always worked well (and will continue to be available), but in the past few years, they’ve seen a sudden increase in traffic. Last year alone, Nevada’s state parks had nearly four million visitors.
“We wanted to make sure that we really had a need for (reservations) before we invested all of the time and resources into it,” Jackson said.
She added that they reached the point where a digital system would help park staff and visitors. While reservations would inherently help visitors plan their trips, knowing how many people were coming in would help staff allocate resources.
The agency partnered with Tyler Technologies, a Texas-based software and technology services company that caters to the public sector. According to an announcement, Tyler modernized Ohio’s park reservation system in 2022.
Jackson explained that the agency plans to roll out the system in September, beginning with Valley of Fire State Park. They picked that park because it’s the most popular among all the 27 state parks.