State park camp sites filling up fast

March 08, 2007 11:00 pm

By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

is predicting a busy summer, based on the number of reservations it received when it began taking them last month.

It processed about 17,000 reservations on Feb. 1, about 1,500 of them during the first seven minutes. During the following hour, it processed more than 10,000 reservations.

The reservations represent 65,000 camping nights.

Jim Luscutoff, chief of the Concessions, Reservations and Fees Division, called Feb. 1 "the most successful" he had seen in the history of the California Park System.

But the potentially record-breaking Feb. 1 tells only half the story.

Luscutoff explained that since the California State Parks changed to its reservations seven months in advance system, Feb. 1 is the marker date for people who want to camp along the Southern California beaches and others south of Santa Cruz.

"About 60 percent of our parks offer site-specific reservations," Luscutoff said. "People who know about the 26 beach-side sites with hook-ups at Santa Cruz, and the private cabins on Mt. Tamalpais make their reservations for specific sites."

The beach-side sites in Santa Cruz, he added, are booked every day of the year, "including Christmas."

"People can still get reservations for inland parks, and parks north of Santa Cruz," he said. "People can book reservations in Del Norte County's parks through the end of September by calling now."

Along with Feb. 1, Luscutoff said that Nov. 1 and Dec. 1 are also banner days for California State Parks reservations.

Since the reservation system changed, he added, its current results can't be compared to those of preceding years.

"We may have had banner years then, too," he said. "We just can't compare them because the systems are different."