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Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov

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Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
July 23, 2019 07:28PM
I would like to go to Tuolumne Meadows Campground Aug 6-9. I have lucked out before with other campers cancellations, and picked up reservations here and there.

I haven't seen spots marked 'A' for Available(they are all reserved), but I have noticed some marked 'W' for Walk-up. Sometimes(but not always) the 'W' is accompanied by a number; I assume the number is related to an open site.

My question are: Is the 'W' related to a cancellation?
If so, does it just go in the first-come first-served pile?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2019 07:29PM by rbell1.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
July 23, 2019 10:40PM
Hi, Half of the TM sites are walk-ins. My understanding is that the number corresponds to the number of available walk-in sites.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
July 24, 2019 04:40AM
Thanks. Not trying to nitpick, but do you mean Walk-up? I take it to mean that it is for the people coming in without a reservation(Like me).
That is the term used on recreation.gov.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
July 24, 2019 11:05PM
Yes, that's what I mean.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
July 25, 2019 07:36AM
o.k., here's my understanding. per nps website, there are 304 tent and RV sites in TM, half reservable, half for same-day walkups. if you look at, say, a day in august when all reservable sites, the only ones subject to rec.gov, are shown as reserved, there are in fact 152 sites available for walk-ups.(actually, more complicated--some may have already been taken by walkups a few days earlier who registered for multi-day stay). I think that when you see a "w" and the number "5", that means that 5 previously reserved sites are now available, probably due to cancellation. why they aren't shown as now reservable is a mystery to me, probably part of the larger mystery of the rec.gov website. simple, huh?

I'm going on my experience and logic(?) based on stated rules. anyone from rec.gov who can clarify, please do so. remember, rec.gov is providing this information, not nps. also recall that TM is the only yosemite campground with this 50-50 mix of reservable/walkup sites, which may further confuse the issue.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2019 11:15AM by mkbgdns.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
July 25, 2019 11:54AM
Quote
mkbgdns
when you see a "w" and the number "5", that means that 5 previously reserved sites are now available, probably due to cancellation.
Thanks for the explanation. That is what I was guessing regarding the designation of campsites changing from Unavailable to Walk-up over the last couple of weeks. We will take our chances and try to Walk-up/drive-up and get a campsite in about 2 weeks.
avatar Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
July 25, 2019 02:00PM
Just as a point of clarification, TM Campground doesn't have individual sites available for reservation, but site "types" are available for reservation. Someone with a reservation shows up and a site will be assigned at check-in, similar to reserving a hotel room. I've had that kind of reservation before at a Forest Service campground, although I recall I was allowed to look around for my site type (the site markers were color coded) and then say which site I wanted. I'm not sure if that's a possibility at TM.

All the reservations for Yosemite Valley camping are campsite specific. It frankly makes the reservation process more difficult because someone else may serve a particular site a split second earlier when reservations become available.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
August 02, 2019 03:47PM
So I kept monitoring(still am) the TM reservations board, Tent Only sites, on recreation.gov. There were more Walk-ups(W) showing up Aug 5 and 6. Finally some Available(A) started showing up, so I jumped on and reserved one. The weird thing is that now, a lot of the dates are showing up as Not available(X). Not sure why they don't how up as Reserved any more.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
August 04, 2019 12:58PM
In my experience, the X's are for campsite closures due to issues like;
Merced River flooding campgrounds,
trimming dangerous trees over site,
campsites scheduled for upgrades/maintenance,
NPS likes to make us suffer smiling smiley,
etc.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
August 04, 2019 01:16PM
in Pig Latin, "recreation.gov" translates as "mystery".
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
August 07, 2019 07:55PM
Rec.gov had a glitch with Tuolumne reservations starting August 1. Luckily I didn't have a signal til today so didn't even know about it
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
August 11, 2019 05:16PM
As we started up 120 from 395, we called my wife to let her know we had gotten that far on our drive from L.A. and were OK. She said we had gotten an email from recreation.gov about our reservation when we lost our cell signal. I sweated going up and checking in for our first night. Luckily, they told us that it was not an issue.

There was a lottery for the spots in the 'A' loop, which seemed new to me(I was there last year). We got an 'A' site. I got up early the next morning to get two more nights. Ranger came out at 8 AM to say that if you are renewing a site, you won't have any problem getting as many nights as you want; We only needed two more nights.

To let people know, I was at the Rangers office at 5:45 AM, there were already 12 people in line ahead of me. By the time that they opened at 8:05, there were about 40 people in line.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
August 12, 2019 11:09AM
I can say that the last few septembers, SOP is that kiosk has sign up list for A loop sites, they are assigned in order on the list (not a true lottery) at 12:30 (you got to be there to claim). if you're a walk-up, you have to get a spot at the main office first, then proceed to kiosk. 12:30 because check-out time is 12:00, and they do a drive-thru to verify site status. they don't assume current occupants won't re-up before 12:00. the rangers do their best to be reasonable, so if you're lurking, you're #1 on the list, and your preferred site vacates early (and the departing folks leave their campsite ticket in the drop box, so kiosk knows they've left) they'll let you move in.

for the past several years, rangers have said that at some point, they'll be shutting down some A loop sites to comply with Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. probably why A loop didn't get re-paved like the rest of the campground a few years back.

sounds like 8:00 is current start time in the office. last few years, it has also been 7:30 and 9:00. staffing varies, indifference to the Park Service at the highest levels has introduced some chaos.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2019 05:44PM by mkbgdns.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
August 12, 2019 08:27PM
Quote

they are assigned in order on the list (not a true lottery) at 12:30 (you got to be there to claim).

Yes, not a true lottery, more like a first come. first serve of 'A' sites that were available.
Re: Campsite reservations question on recreation.gov
August 12, 2019 05:05PM
Exactly as mkbgdns says. Except this year, there were people getting on the A list before they had confirmed reservation from the front office. Not quite fair if you already had rezzies.


Last year, the reservation office was open at 9am, but we were there in June and the campground didn't even fill up.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2019 05:06PM by hikerchick395.
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