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Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees

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avatar Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 08, 2009 11:43AM


don't get me wrong, i would NEVER do this ( i buy a yearly pass every year, and have for many years), but i couldn't help but notice ... if you go to the entrance early enough in the morning, and then leave the park late enough in the evening, you could actually get in and out for free.

there are no employees during these hours to collect from you... no one to check you.

i left around 7pm and no one was there. i imagine some do this... the same is for camping... during the winter time, if you were to go late to the campground and leave early, no employees are there during certain times either... i found this kind of odd, you'd think there would be a better system.

so bottom line is, you could enter for free ($20.00), and camp for free (another $20.00) and get off scott free with $40.00.. that's a LOT of money for the park to miss out on imo.



Post Edited (04-08-09 11:44)



Like I always say, "if you can't laugh at yourself, let me do it".

My Yosemite Blog: http://yosemiteforrest.blogspot.com/
avatar Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 08, 2009 11:50AM
Back in the days when the fee was $5 you could easily do this. The fees all went back to Washington and the individual parks didn't have much incentive to collect them. Now they get to keep a good chunk of the fees and I've notice they are open a lot earlier/later than they used to be.

Another way to avoid the fee:


http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php/v/yosemite/sh-pb251056.jpg.html

avatar Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 08, 2009 12:07PM
i imagine they stay open later in the busier months of the year.
avatar Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 08, 2009 12:18PM
Yeah - I've entered Yosemite after the regular hours and before I paid the fee - exiting the same evening without paying. I did of course end up paying the next morning when reentering. I think theoretically they check people on the way out (regular hours of course) and can optionally charge someone on the way out. They can also charge a second admission fee for someone staying longer than 7 days.

As for cheating on admissions fees - I've heard of a few motels that set up trays for people to leave their used receipts so that they could be transferred to new guests. I believe a stop was put to it after the NPS found out about it.

Now Arches National Park has only one fee collecting entrance. They also had an automated fee collection station for after hours admission. I wasn't sure what to do with someone with a (then) Golden Age Pass. The machine only had selections for regular admission, and purchase of a National Parks Pass (this was 2006), full Golden Eagle Pass, Golden Age Pass, or Golden Access Pass - and took credit cards. I couldn't find any selection for someone with an existing pass. We just went in. I later found out that we followed the correct procedure. I'm not sure what they did with anything other than the standard admission, which would produce a receipt. I suppose one took the receipt for the pass and later requested the validated physical card upon exiting.
Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 08, 2009 01:08PM
They probably have to weigh the amount they'd probably collect in fees against the cost of manning all the kiosks for the extra hours, and figure they'll get at least some of them back on exit. There's always someone who will try to get around whatever...fees, laws, rules, etc., but in the long run they pay in other ways.

Camping...maybe in the off-season, but rangers do patrol very early via drive-throughs, and later with a walk-through. Again, if someone gets a thrill about coming in late and hoping they're not in a reserved site whose legitimate owner will arrive, and wants to scoot out (no doubt firing up his pickup/diesel at 6AM in the process) at daybreak, I hope it's a big thrill for them. On-season, I don't think it's very likely they'd even try, since most sites are reserved.

The post made me think, though; if I ever show up and someone's camped in my site, instead of asking them to move, I think I'd just go find the ranger. That way they could ask "Just where IS your reservation...oh, and your entrance fee receipt...8^).





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 08, 2009 01:09PM
good one Gary. lol i like your idea.
avatar Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 08, 2009 10:34PM
Sierrafan wrote:

> They probably have to weigh the amount they'd probably collect
> in fees against the cost of manning all the kiosks for the
> extra hours, and figure they'll get at least some of them back
> on exit. There's always someone who will try to get around
> whatever...fees, laws, rules, etc., but in the long run they
> pay in other ways.
>

In Yellowstone, they stopped allowing checks (presumably too many bounced checks) for camping sites so now you have to bring the exact change to put in the "self-service" envelopes. Kinda hassle.





The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 08, 2009 08:32PM
I've done it twice in SEKI and once in Joshua Tree.

But all three times I had a year pass in pocket, so no biggie.
avatar Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 08, 2009 10:17PM
forrestranger: there are no employees during these hours to collect from you... no one to check you.

I am forever cured of such shananigans when my best friend got hauled off the train by East German police for riding without the Eurail Pass. (they only randomly check if you have a pass and it was not her lucky day)

B
avatar Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 09, 2009 08:46AM
During one of our Yosemite visits (I was about 10) we got to Yosemite before the entrance was manned. My dad planned on paying on the way out. But during our day there he forgot to set aside the money, and ended up w/o enough money for the entrance fee.

Wanting to avoid embarrassment, we stayed later than usual, figuring that we'd get to the gate after the staff left. Well, we got there well after dark, but to my dad's surprise, the gate was still manned. smiling smiley

He briefly considered waiting until they left, but decided against it and told them what happened. They took down his address, and sent him a bill.

avatar Re: Cheating on entrance & camping fees
April 09, 2009 09:22AM
Similarly at Lava Beds NM last summer, I arrived in the campground around 9 p.m., left around 8 a.m. next morning, was stopped at the north entrance while on my way to Crater Lake, I owed $7...only had $2 cash. I said would you take a card, but they don't even have dialup to process that. She took the $2. I wonder what she would have done if I had $0. Later that day, Crater Lake took the card and dialed right up to that lousy internet and sucked $10 out of me (a few minutes later the visitor center sucked another $120...)
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