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Valley Camping Reservation question: recreation.org

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avatar Valley Camping Reservation question: recreation.org
October 15, 2018 02:26PM
If I remember right, on the old recreation.org site, when a new reservation window opened (just like Feb. 15-Mar. 14 did today for Upper Pines) you could make a reservation for up 2 two weeks at a time, even if it meant most of your reservation was part of the month not open yet. As an example, since Mar. 14 is the last day of the current reservation window, one could make a reservation for 2 weeks beginning on Mar. 14 that extended through Mar. 27. You could not make a reservation of any length beginning on, or after Mar. 15, but as long as your start date was w/in the current open window you could make it be for 2 weeks. Am I remembering right/wrong?

The reason I am bringing this up is that on the new website one can only extend a reservation for 2 nights beyond the end of the reservation window (i.e., if you reserve on, or before, the 14th, then the 16th is the furthest into the future you can go. I called recreation.org (877 444-6777) and they confirmed that to be the situation. They said it was up to the campground to let them know when they could release sites. I asked if they had a number I could call, and they gave me (209) 372-8502. I called and it was the Valley Reservation office (I assume the one in the back corner of the Curry crab apple grove parking lot). I left a message and my phone number. However, as I was typing this I decided to call again just to get the exact name of the office that I had called...and a real person answered. I explained the situation to him and he said there are still a lot of bugs being worked out of the system, but this was the first he had heard of this particular one. He said he would pass it on to his supervisor. Now I wait....

I don't recall that being the case, but then I don't think I ever tried to reserve beyond the window, so I wouldn't swear to it.
avatar Re: Valley Camping Reservation question: recreation.org
October 15, 2018 04:04PM
If one's only camping window is from the 10th of the month until the 20th of the same calendar month then they now have to make one reservation for 10th to the 16th, and then HOPE that the next month they can catch a break and make a reservation in the same site from the 17th to the 20th (or even another site for that matter). By having a two week 'overlap' that eliminates that issue.
avatar Re: Valley Camping Reservation question: recreation.org
October 22, 2018 12:28PM
Since I had not heard back from anyone I called the campground office just now, and got a real person again. The first person was very nice, but she had to hand me off to 2nd person. The second person (Ryan) was very knowledgeable and helpful, but still didn't have the specific answer I was seeking. After further explanation he said he would have to check with his boss and give me a call back. Well, he called back about 5 minutes later.

The issue is: Why, on the last day of the booking period (now for Upper Pines Mar. 14) can you only make reservations for 3 nights, and is this going to be the ongoing policy when future booking windows open.

The resolution is: On Nov. 15, the Mar. 15-Apr. 14 reservation window opens on recreation.gov for reservations at Lower, Upper and North CG's. At that time, one will be able to make reservations for up to 7 nights on the last day of the booking window (in other words, in on Apr. 14th, out on the 20th)

This year the grand-kids have spring break for the week of Apr. 15-19. So I now know that at 7am on Nov. 15th I will be able (to try) to make reservations for the 14th through the 19th...phew!

Last year their break was earlier, so our last day was Apr. 5th. The next day was the mandatory evacuation for flooding...another PHEW!
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