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Re: angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?

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Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 07:51AM
I totally lucked out and got a river site in Lower Pines for the 3rd week of June for 5 nights. Surprised myself. One PC and one laptop and the laptop was the lucky one.

Tom



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2011 07:52AM by mtn man.
avatar Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 10:41AM
I got 7 nights in July in Upper Pines, and I felt like I'd won the lottery. Everything was gone in less than 4 minutes it seemed.
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 11:35AM
Terrible! My husband and I were both on our laptops at 6:55 and it was complete full at 7am when our computers refreshed! What did we do wrong? I HATE this system. I was in total tears, with this being a summer I can finally go again as my kids are old enough. Boo hoo on you Yosemite Valley reservation system!!!!

Any advice for next time?

I think our big mistake was to go for a certain site. I think we need to just put the dates in? Not sure what to do- help!
avatar Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 03:04PM
Quote
mountainmama
Terrible! My husband and I were both on our laptops at 6:55 and it was complete full at 7am when our computers refreshed! What did we do wrong? I HATE this system. I was in total tears, with this being a summer I can finally go again as my kids are old enough. Boo hoo on you Yosemite Valley reservation system!!!!

Any advice for next time?

I think our big mistake was to go for a certain site. I think we need to just put the dates in? Not sure what to do- help!

You have to be flexible. My reservation in 2009 was successful only because I was ready to pick any other site with availability for the four nights I wanted. I did have a preferred site, but after a minute and telling me that the site was unavailable, I moved to my backup browser tab that had the dates set up for any available site in Upper Pines. You just move your mouse quickly to select any one as soon as you can. What I did was preselected the dates and the little facility map thing. When I hit for search sites, I got a picture of all the sites that might be available and clicked on any one quickly. It gives you that little bubble, click on "SEE DETAILS", and one the next page click on "BOOK THIS SITE" and you'll be set. Of course there's the chance that someone else still beats you to it, but again you have to work quickly.
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 18, 2011 02:49PM
Great advice - Will keep in mind for next year
avatar Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 18, 2011 08:41PM
Quote
SoCalCPA
Great advice - Will keep in mind for next year

The way I see it, most people will preselect the most desirable sites. Regardless of what site you pick as an initial selection, you run the risk that maybe someone else beats you to it. All it takes is one person a microsecond faster even reserving one night in your plan at the same campsite to force you to try another one. My thinking was that I had to move quickly to find whatever sites were available rather than chance that maybe a 2nd choice site had those exact dates available. By the time I was given options for those dates, I think that less than 1/4 of Upper Pines could be reserved for my nights.

If I were to do this again, I would probably forget about even trying to get a 1st choice. I'd start with a search for dates and move quickly on any random site that comes up.
avatar Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 18, 2011 09:53PM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
SoCalCPA
Great advice - Will keep in mind for next year

The way I see it, most people will preselect the most desirable sites. Regardless of what site you pick as an initial selection, you run the risk that maybe someone else beats you to it. All it takes is one person a microsecond faster even reserving one night in your plan at the same campsite to force you to try another one. My thinking was that I had to move quickly to find whatever sites were available rather than chance that maybe a 2nd choice site had those exact dates available. By the time I was given options for those dates, I think that less than 1/4 of Upper Pines could be reserved for my nights.

If I were to do this again, I would probably forget about even trying to get a 1st choice. I'd start with a search for dates and move quickly on any random site that comes up.

This doesn't help: http://twitter.com/GoodJuJuNow/status/37714501881167873
angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 18, 2011 10:06PM
The park should require picture ID corresponding to the person who booked the site when they check in. All too often I have come across people paying over $500 for a week, and who gets the extra money, not the Park... Let's set up a sting! angry smiley
avatar Re: angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 19, 2011 10:11AM
y_p_w, you (and the others) make some excellent points about the reservation system here. As I only use the system a few times a year,
here's a question I have.
I always (logically) log in to my account several minutes before the opening bell at 7:00 AM, but with multiple browsers opened, is it really
necessary to sign in first?
What happens if you go in and grab a site first, is it possible to do this, and then sign in once things are safely in your shopping cart?
I've never tried it any other way than signing in to my account before beginning, or is it necessary to log-in first, in order to even be able
to get a site into your shopping cart?
As to the illegal reselling of sites for profit, that has been a bane to all campers out there who get shut out. eBay seems to have cracked
down on it of late, but there is still the wild west of Craigslist. Seems every ad on there starts with the same phony "we are unable to use
this reservation we made", and then they proceed to ask five times the face value for the site.
Wickett I agree with your disgust over the situation, but you have to realize some families often have multiple family members or friends
all trying to help them secure just one site, so prohibiting a name transfer to anyone other than the original reservee would be a bit too
draconian.
A sting at the point of sale (Craigslist, etc.) by the NPS would go some way to discouraging the practice, but that is all in theory of course.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2011 10:15AM by PineCone.
avatar Re: angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 19, 2011 10:47AM
Quote
PineCone
Wickett I agree with your disgust over the situation, but you have to realize some families often have multiple family members or friends
all trying to help them secure just one site, so prohibiting a name transfer to anyone other than the original reservee would be a bit too
draconian.

Why not just have the other people log in using the account name and password of the person who is going to be using the site?
avatar Re: angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 19, 2011 11:00AM
Quote
szalkowski
Why not just have the other people log in using the account name and password of the person who is going to be using the site?

There are still extenuating circumstances that solution wouldn't cover.
For instance, what if I'm taking my brother and his wife along with us, but I find
out a week before the reservation date I have to work that week, I can't transfer
the site to my brother? I agree with prohibiting resale-for-profit 100%, that is
where the real problem lies, but not with a total prohibition on transfer between
family and friends.
avatar Re: angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 19, 2011 11:13AM
Quote
PineCone
Quote
szalkowski
Why not just have the other people log in using the account name and password of the person who is going to be using the site?

There are still extenuating circumstances that solution wouldn't cover.
For instance, what if I'm taking my brother and his wife along with us, but I find
out a week before the reservation date I have to work that week, I can't transfer
the site to my brother? I agree with prohibiting resale-for-profit 100%, that is
where the real problem lies, but not with a total prohibition on transfer between
family and friends.


So... require seeing either a photo I.D. or the credit card used for payment.
avatar Re: angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 19, 2011 11:58AM
Quote
szalkowski
So... require seeing either a photo I.D. or the credit card used for payment.

Well, it might be someone's step-brother or sister for instance (and a different last name) so
the name wouldn't match the original reservee, and I'm sure many people would be hesitant
to hand over their credit card to a relative for a week! eye rolling smiley

Just for the record, limiting the reservation to the original reservee would be OK by me
personally, I'd actually benefit from it, but I realize it would be problematic for others,
and I'm sympathetic to the fact it would not be agreeable to many.

Also, not sure the reservation system could be modified to create this rule just for Yosemite,
as I don't think the problem exists at any other camping destination in the NPS system??

A better solution for Yosemite would be to reopen the 2 & 1/2 campgrounds that never should
have been removed in the first place (without any public input or consent, and which Congress
gave them the money to repair after the 1997 flood). It's so heartening to see the former tents-only
campground Upper River being utilized in recent years as a storage lot for construction materials
and heavy equipment! angry smiley
avatar Re: angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 19, 2011 12:15PM
Quote
PineCone
Quote
szalkowski
So... require seeing either a photo I.D. or the credit card used for payment.

Well, it might be someone's step-brother or sister for instance (and a different last name) so
the name wouldn't match the original reservee...

Hence the credit card option.


Quote
PineCone
...and I'm sure many people would be hesitant
to hand over their credit card to a relative for a week!

In that case, too bad (from several points of view).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2011 12:18PM by szalkowski.
Re: angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 19, 2011 02:51PM
Quote
PineCone

Wickett I agree with your disgust over the situation, but you have to realize some families often have multiple family members or friends
all trying to help them secure just one site, so prohibiting a name transfer to anyone other than the original reservee would be a bit too
draconian.
A sting at the point of sale (Craigslist, etc.) by the NPS would go some way to discouraging the practice, but that is all in theory of course.

The family helping would know what name to put down for the person camping. It asks the name of the person staying, not necessarily the credit card holders name, so family helping out is fine.
avatar Re: angry smileyRe: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 19, 2011 03:29PM
Quote
PineCone
I always (logically) log in to my account several minutes before the opening bell at 7:00 AM, but with multiple browsers opened, is it really
necessary to sign in first?
What happens if you go in and grab a site first, is it possible to do this, and then sign in once things are safely in your shopping cart?
I've never tried it any other way than signing in to my account before beginning, or is it necessary to log-in first, in order to even be able
to get a site into your shopping cart?

I don't believe that it's strictly required that you log in first. I think it might be a good idea to do so. It saves a little bit of time, and the system will release the reservation if you don't close the deal within a certain period of time. I tried test booking at a federal campground and it prompted me to sign in (or register). However - this wasn't a Yosemite Valley campground, so I'm not sure if maybe the speed at which Yosemite campsites are selected might make a difference. There is the chance that the reservation system doesn't lock in the site and dates until you sign in, and that a site could be taken while the login or registration is performed.

Quote
PineCone
As to the illegal reselling of sites for profit, that has been a bane to all campers out there who get shut out. eBay seems to have cracked
down on it of late, but there is still the wild west of Craigslist. Seems every ad on there starts with the same phony "we are unable to use
this reservation we made", and then they proceed to ask five times the face value for the site.
Wickett I agree with your disgust over the situation, but you have to realize some families often have multiple family members or friends
all trying to help them secure just one site, so prohibiting a name transfer to anyone other than the original reservee would be a bit too
draconian.
A sting at the point of sale (Craigslist, etc.) by the NPS would go some way to discouraging the practice, but that is all in theory of course.

eBay usually takes down anything that would be considered "lodging". They only accept lodging listings from "trusted" users that are registered with some sort of travel service organization (or something to that effect). They claim there's too much fraud going on. I've seen some Yosemite campground reservations that were taken down well before the end of the auction period.
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 05:25PM
One way that some of the sites are gone immediately is if a person reserves 7 days and it overlaps into the next time period. Theoretically a person could have 6 days of the next time period before it even opens.
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 06:50PM
A few tips for next time:
Log in to the site at least 10-15 minutes early to get ready and feel comfortable with where you need to go
Be as flexible as possible with dates
Have a map of the campground in front of you with preferred sites circled
Be open to other sites (it may be the only chance you get)
Click "any site" and "date range" and search by the earliest possible date you could go

If they all disappear, keep trying! When someone takes the spot, the system holds the spot for I believe 7 or 8 minutes, and if they don't take care of business, it automatically puts the spot back into circulation. Starting about 7:07 you'll see some come back up, but move quickly again, because others are waiting too! Keep trying for about half hour-- people drop them when another person in their party got a better spot/date, etc. If you still didn't get one, bookmark the site and keep going back and checking. I have gotten multiple reservations just by going back on a daily basis, being flexible and taking my chances. Every once in a while spots do open up. Regardless, it is very much LUCK that gets you a site the first time around.
Better luck to you next time!
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 01:23PM
Out of six of us...none got reservations for Yosemite Valley this morning. Two got Monday to Monday reservations in Hogdon Meadows. Since I reserved a week in the valley last month, our group will be camping at different times this late spring/early summer. Of course, I can drive over and set up a tent in their site at the later date.

The last time (and the only time for my husband and I) that we didn't get reservations was 2007. We had our family campout in Tuolumne Meadows (in June...not many people even knew the campground had opened there.)
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 01:53PM
Seriously! Six of you?! This is the first time I've ever tried to get Yosemite reservations! I LIVED there for 5 summers, so I didn't need stinkin' reservations. UGH! Guess being a grownup sucks at at times like this!
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 02:37PM
The wife and I were trying, this was going to be our last Yosemite trip for quite a while as I will be transferring to NC. My boys are not going to be happy...
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 06:55PM
Keep checking back! I have gotten multiple reservations by checking back daily and being as open as can be with dates and spots. People drop reservations when someone else they are going with got another better site or date.

On the day of, don't give up at 7:05 when everything is gone. When someone gets a spot, the system holds it for them for 7-8 minutes and if they don't take care of business, the system puts it back into circulation. Starting at about 7:07 spots start to show up again, but you have to move quickly again, because others are waiting too.
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 03:08PM
It's 99% luck, the other 1% is being prepared and knowing how the system works. Some things I've learned over the years is to know ahead of time which site is available when, go for midweek, and have handy a clock with a second hand that is lined up exactly with the official internet clock. Having multiple people on different computers going after different sites helps (Although I was lucky with only 2 this morning), but the most important thing is to push the "book these dates" button at exactly 7:00:00 a.m. PST (that's why you need a clock with a second hand that is set exactly the same as the internet clock). Still it's 99% luck. Going for the less popular sites and less popular campgrounds increases your chances. May is easier, May to June is harder, and June to July is well......darn near impossible. I was lucky this morning but I've been shut out before too.
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 15, 2011 05:51PM
Quote
mtn man
It's 99% luck, the other 1% is being prepared and knowing how the system works. Some things I've learned over the years is to know ahead of time which site is available when, go for midweek, and have handy a clock with a second hand that is lined up exactly with the official internet clock. Having multiple people on different computers going after different sites helps (Although I was lucky with only 2 this morning), but the most important thing is to push the "book these dates" button at exactly 7:00:00 a.m. PST (that's why you need a clock with a second hand that is set exactly the same as the internet clock). Still it's 99% luck. Going for the less popular sites and less popular campgrounds increases your chances. May is easier, May to June is harder, and June to July is well......darn near impossible. I was lucky this morning but I've been shut out before too.

7am on the spot is too late...you need to start a few hundred milliseconds before 7am due to ping/lag. Today's was particularly brutal, though. Usually I'm able to tag 2 or 3 sites during July 4th weekend (I delete from shopping cart immediately sans 1 site), but I was only able to get 1 site. I'm guessing the North Pines closure wasn't helping.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2011 05:52PM by mandarb916.
Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations this morning...How'd everyone do?
February 17, 2011 11:18AM
Tuesday morning was the first time I have ever used the system and I simply got on at 7AM per the National Standard Time - I was trying to reserve in Upper Pines figuring (correctly or incorrectly) that demand would be less - I selected several sites and dates in advance - My first request was not available but I noticed that the same site 2 days later was open so I immediately went into a request mode and got seven days in Upper Pines - Got this probably around 7:01. I used my office computer which has a fast connection.

This will be the first time our family will be camping in Yosemite - not the first time at the park. After reading through some of these posts, I'm seeing that I was very fortunate to get any campsite at all.
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