Squam Lakes Association Camping - Frequently Asked Questions

SLA's Camping Frequently Asked Questions

Checking In.

On the day of your camping reservation, you may go directly out to your site.  Have a copy (physical or digital) of your completed camping confirmation form with you. SLA caretakers will make multiple stops throughout the evening to check you in. Check-in 12:30am. Check-out 11:30am.

Switching a camping reservation site or date.

If you would like to change a site or date, a camper must ask for a cancellation in writing to camping@squamlakes.org. Then reserve the desired site/date through our website as a separate transaction. This "new" reservation guarantees the site is still available (the site is the more up-to-date information on availability.  

Inclement Weather.

Like many campgrounds, the Squam Lakes Association does not offer refunds for inclement weather.  If it rains you may choose to cancel your camping reservation, refunds will be in accordance with our cancelation policy.

Cancellation Policy.

The SLA camping cancelation policy is to offer a full refund, less $25 handling fee, if a cancelation is 14 days or more prior to camping date.  50% refund if cancelation is 7 days or more prior to camping.  No refund with less than 7 days notice. Cancelations must be made in writing to camping@squamlakes.org.

Cancellation fees?

The closer to your camping reservation date the higher the cancelation fee. See cancellation policy above.

Why can’t I rent more than one site per island/area per night?

Over time it has become clear that large groups renting sites next to each other have a significant impact on the local environment. This regulation was put in place to ease environmental impacts and to preserve the experience for all to enjoy.

Does the SLA have a camping waiting list?

No.  The Squam Lakes Association does not maintain a waiting list for cancelations.  Once a cancelation is made we update our website to reflect its vacancy. To find out the availability of a certain campsite or date, please view our availability online page.

What amenities are available on site?

Our backcountry campsites include fire rings and composting toilets nearby. We do not offer electricity, trash receptacles, wifi, running water, picnic tables, grates for fire pits, or shuttle service to island campsites.


This is a Pack It In, Pack It Out facility. No trash receptacles are available at camping locations or SLA's main building. Remove all trash and dispose of properly.


The SLA does not provide shuttle service to campsites. Kayak and canoes rental are available through the SLA. Personal watercraft can be used; boats under 25hp can launch from our location, over 25hp must launch from the public boat ramp in Holderness. Dock space is on the first come first serve basis. Field parking is available and free of charge for overnight campers (boat trailers included) at the main SLA building at 534 US-RT 3, Holderness, NH 03245.

Can I drink the water?

We do not recommend that you drink the water.

Fire Wood

Camping fees include 1 bundle of wood per night, which will be available near dock locations. Additional bundles can be purchased for $3/bundle at the SLA main building or $6/bundle near docks. Additional bundle payments can be made to SLA caretakers, the store, or by calling us at 603-968-7336.  

Can I bring my own firewood?

No.  To protect the area from firewood gathering and to prevent the spread of invasive pests, do not bring firewood to our campsites.

Wildlife Encounters.

Remember that you are in a near wilderness location with many types of wildlife. Most encounters are harmless but avoid unpleasant interactions by running a clean camp. Do not feed wildlife. Do not approach wildlife. Report wildlife encounters to SLA staff. Hanging a bear bag has not been necessary in the past but do so at your discretion. Camping presents certain dangers and there is no guarantee of safety. 


 The SLA does not have an emergency response unit or the capacity to adequately respond to rescue situations.

 In the event of an emergency contact 911. 

 Holderness Police dispatch: 603-536-1626 

 Marine Patrol dispatch: 603-293-2037

 Squam Lakes Association: 603-968-7336


How big are the tent platforms?

Bowman #1: (6 person max) has no platforms
Bowman #2: (6 person max) has 3 raised 10x10 wooden platforms
Bowman #3: (6 person max) has three 10x10 pea stone platforms
Bowman #4: (12 person max) has three raised 10x16 wooden platforms
Moon #1: (12 person max) has 3 raised 10x16 wooden platforms
Moon #2: (6 person max)has 3 10x10 pea stone platforms
Moon #3: (6 person max) has no platforms
Wister #1: (12 person max)has 3 raised 10x16 wooden platforms
Wister #2: (6 person max) has no platforms
Wister #3: (6 person max) has no platforms
Wister #4: (6 person max) has no platforms
Heron Cove: (6 person max)has 3 raised 10x10 wooden platforms

Tents must be set up on platforms where provided to prevent ground compaction.