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[Yosemite]

Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov

Postby WanderingJim » Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:16 pm

I saw this notice on Yosemite's Wilderness Permits page:

Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov for the 2022 season

Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov for the 2022 season. While the process of making reservations will change, many parts of the system will be the same or similar, including trailhead quotas, availability of walk-up permits, and reservation windows. More information will be available on this page this fall.


https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm

Not sure how I feel about this. Could be better, but recreation.gov is sometimes a bit hard to use and get permits from. Plus they'll probably add a rec.gov fee on top of the wilderness fees. I guess except for the lotteries, it will at least be more easily to know what's available and what you get.

May have to wait and see how it's implemented and try it out a few times before I know if it's better, the same, or worse.

Either way, I just wish they would go back to the emailed permits.
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Re: Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:34 pm

The good part - refunds.

It's really, really nice, in the age of wildfires and really unpredictable water sources, to be able to get a refund. Had to do that last month. Was not going to carry three gallons while hiking in dense smoky chewy air.
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Re: Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov

Postby balzaccom » Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:48 pm

I'm OK with it....but I would like recreation.gov to institute one simple change: set up an algorithm that prevents people from making multiple reservations for the same dates, and then just choosing to use the one they like--leaving the rest unused and unavailable to anyone else.

Every time I stay in a campground I see empty sites---as much as 30%--and yet I know that the campground lists on rec.gov as full.

Same with wilderness permits. I know people pull three or four permits, and then don't use them.

If I had my way, I would make everyone pay a $100 deposit on each permit, which will be refunded when you show up to claim the permit!
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Re: Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov

Postby Phil » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:44 pm

I hate Rec.gov. I've never had a smooth experience booking sites at campgrounds. Whatever. But very, very seldom do I make reservations for wilderness permits, and Balzaccom is absolutely right, people book and don't show up because they have no vested interest of consequence. Beyond taking advantage of trip timing and the 40% walkup quota windows, I've always cleaned up on no-shows when the hour struck 11am with almost 100% success rate in going where I want, but how do you do that with all the booking restrictions like 48 hours in advance in place? I bet they find that they end up with even popular trailheads being below daily quotas. They need to compensate somehow for the functional discrepancies this is going to create (along with and above Covid). Or will trailhead quotas end up all becoming 100% reservation only? Really, why extend a provenly obnoxious and rampant situation of people tying up sites and reservations that they never use in places like the Valley and TM campgrounds to the wilderness?
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Re: Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:46 pm

Not sure what you're going on about - I walked into Prather NF office and got a permit without fanfare.

:wink:

I of course wore a mask. I anticipate the parks will go back to in-person walk ins. SEKI is already there.
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Re: Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov

Postby Phil » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:58 pm

Oh yes, and you do know I'm going on about something or another. :twisted:
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Re: Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov

Postby balzaccom » Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:08 am

I haven't had the same experience, Phil. I used to really dislike recreation.gov, but have learned to use the system a bit better now. The worst scenario was being in Great Basin National Park trying to make a reservation for the cave tour that started in about 45 minutes. The ranger swore they couldn't help me. And I couldn't get internet service. grrrr. Finally got on the phone to rec.gov, and it turned out that I could only make a reservation for the following day. Dear god...

But in general, I don't mind the system. I am a regular user, so both my computer and their system logs me in and gets me up to speed quickly.

I have two complaints, though. #1, as noted above, is that the system is rife with people making reservations and then not using them.

The second is that the search function is not very helpful. If I want a reservation for Upper Pines in Yosemite, the system will allow me to check other dates...but not other campgrounds. Doesn't seem to make sense to me. The best result would be what the airlines do: do you want to adjust your dates? Do you want to try nearby airports? Recreation.gov forces you back out to the search page to enter a new campground and check the dates there. Not helpful.

On the other hand. I just took a trip down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, and five days before I left I checked rec.gov to see if I could get a campsite at Tuolumne Meadows. Nope. But when I went back a day and a half later, there was a site. And I got it.

And, of course, when I camped there fully 40% of the sites were not occupied...
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Re: Yosemite wilderness permits are moving to recreation.gov

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:18 am

See, I don't understand that change - rec.gov used to search surrounding campgrounds for open sites. Maybe someone who didn't like that feature complained about it? I distinctly remember it doing that for me on several occasions...
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