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Its time to start thinking about family camping trips. This year the U.S. Forest Service is suggesting people try to make camping reservations as early as possible.

By making reservations early, there is a better selection of campsites. Also, it's easier to get through on phone lines. Last year phone lines became so congested that few people were able to get through.This year to help alleviate the phone congestion problem the reservation center has extended their business hours and increased the number of phone lines.

Hours are March 1 through May 5, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

From May 6 through July 31, hours will be 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The national forest campground reservation system has approximately 600 campgrounds with more than 13,000 campsites available for reservations nationwide.

Campers making reservations should be prepared by knowing the name of the campground, the national forest, state, their planned arrival date, number of nights, number of persons in their party, and the type and size of recreation equipment they plan to bring.

When making a reservation, campers will be asked to prepay their full camping fees and the reservations service fee ($7.85 for each family site and $15.75 for each group site) with VISA, Mastercard, or Discovercard. Personal checks are accepted for mailed reservations requests.

The number is 1-800-280-CAMP (2267) TTY/TDD number is 1-800-879-4496.