No wonder you had such a hard time making camping reservations last summer

Survey sheds light on camping trends, which have spiked since the pandemic

John Meyer
The Denver Post
Based on federal data, Heaton Bay Campground, located off Dillon Dam Road between Frisco and Dillon, was Colorado's fifth-most popular campground.
Nicole Miller/Summit Daily News

Avid campers are painfully aware of how challenging it has become to secure camping reservations over the past three years. Now we know just how much.

Getting a spot was five times harder in 2022 than before the pandemic, according to an annual survey conducted by The Dyrt, a popular camping website and app with 30 million visitors annually.

The Dyrt’s 2023 Camping Report, which is based on a random survey of 3,000 Dyrt users and a separate survey of camping property managers in all 50 states, found that sleeping under the stars is more popular than ever. The Dyrt says an estimated 80 million people went camping in the U.S. last year, 7.2 million for the first time. More than 15 million went camping for the first time in the past two years.

More than 58.4% of respondents said they had a hard time finding campsites in 2022. That number was only 10.6% in 2019.

According to the survey, the two most popular kinds of camping were via RVs (35.8 million) and tents (30.6 million). Nearly 54% of campers responding were 55 years of age or older, with the 45-54 age group accounting for another 19.4%. Only 11.5% were 34 and under.


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