Find Your Site
Before you leave, print off a copy of your campgrounds. Cell service can be spotty, and visitor centers might be closed, so you don’t want to depend on either.
When you show up, look for a big, brown welcome sign. It will have you a map with general rules and a check-in system. Most campgrounds have designated sites with assigned numbers. They'll probably ask you to clip a piece of paper to a post to indicate your camping dates. For backcountry camping you’ll clip this permit to your tent.
If you're picking your campsite, stay close to potable water and amenities. For safety reasons (floods and wildlife), stay at least 200 ft away from running water.
As you drive around, have your kids count the number of sites between the bathrooms (or any landmark) and your site. Get a rhyme going, write it on notecards, tape it on flashlights.
Once you're parked, set up a flag that’s easy to see, give everyone a headlamp or flashlight, and start picking a spot for the tent.