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Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

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Rochester, NY
posts: 21
Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

Hi all -

I appreciate all the advice you guys offer on this forum! I have another campground reservation question. I'm looking to book a site in one of the Pines campgrounds for two nights in mid-June (reservations open on Friday). I realize my odds of success aren't great, but I've already created an account on reservation.gov and have familiarized myself with the process.

On to my question: is my reservation secured once I click "Book these Dates"? Or, do I need to go through the entire shopping cart process (entering details and credit card info) before I've secured it? If it's the latter, is there a way to enter and save my credit card info on my account now, so I can checkout quicker?

Copperopolis...
posts: 920
1. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

I have a suggestion for you:

Call the Recreation.gov telephone number today and ask a reservation agent!

I *think* that if you are sucessful when you hit the *book these dates* button, that you are then given something like 15 minutes to successfully complete the reservation process. Ask them if that is correct information.

* * * * * * *

On the day the reservations open, I guess you know that to increase your chances of getting a campsite, that it is a good idea to have you and a few of your friends or family on different computers ready to hit the book-it button THE SECOND THAT the reservations open (not a half a minute later, not a quarter of a minute later). Best to have your computer clocks synchronized to the recreation.gov clock.

Seattle
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
posts: 5,592
reviews: 42
2. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

Once the site is in you rshopping cart, you have a reasonable amount of time to complete your reservation before you get "timed out." Just practice in advance and then proceed through the steps. You should be fine.

Seattle
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
posts: 5,592
reviews: 42
3. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

Re-reading my answer, I see I did not really respond to the question of whether your rreservation is "secure" when you cick "Book these Dates". It is yours once you do that and it goes into your shopping cart, meaning that no one else can take it. But it is not fully confirmed until you complete the reservation with your credit card details within the allotted time. I don't think it is 15 minutes; but it is enough to complete the reservation if you just proceed at a normal pace and don't go for coffee in the meantime. So once the site is in your cart you can take a deep breath and relax; it is not a race at that point. But you do have to proceed to the checkout and finish up.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,404
reviews: 56
4. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

The tip for other folks reading this, and maybe for yourself as well, is that you should not give up if all the campsites are gone in 3 minutes. There are a few folks who put campsites in their shopping cart, but at the end of the time period (I think it's 15 minutes) don't buy them. So those sites are put back on the reservation website. Around 7:15 am you might see a few spots becoming available. Grab them and put them in your cart!

Copperopolis...
posts: 920
5. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

Regarding some campsite reservations POSSIBLY becoming available at 7:15 AM, yes, that is the information I have (same as Pacific NWFamily).

Also remember that some folks have booked campsites for 3 or 4 days beginning with say, June 13 or 14 and so their reservation might extend beyond June 14. In other words, you can expect that some of the campsites for June 15 are already booked now. Does that make sense? ( Did I say that clearly?)

The point here: Best to have a list of your most desired campsites because who knows -- your top choice of campsite might already be booked for June 15 (before the on-sale day has arrived).

Edited: 4:17 am, February 13, 2013
Seattle
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
posts: 5,592
reviews: 42
6. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

OK, I just went through a "dummy booking" to see how much time you have. I could have booked any of several sites in Upper Pines for 2 nights in May!! (Unfortunately we cannot travel at that time, much as we'd love to visit Yosemite then).

I watched the time and here is what I found. You do indeed have 15 minutes from the time you hit "book these dates." The next screen has some things to fill in (number of people, etc.) and read, and you check the "agree box", then hit "Shopping Cart." the next screen will show you haw much time you have left to complete the booking. The first time I went through, I purposely fussed around before going to the shopping cart, and the next screen said I had 8 minutes lef (which would have been plenty). I started over and this time went through the steps on the first page right away. The next page showed I had 14 minutes left.

This assumes everything is working properly. There was one year, around 2006 or so, when the site was not working and it would time you out after 2-3 minutes. But it did that to everyone so very few got reservations made, until they fixed it a couple of hours later.

BillsFan, if you haven't done so already, I suggest you go in and work through the process with a dummy booking for a date in May, any campground, just so you know what the screens look like and what you will be asked to enter at each step. Also, remember that on The Day you can log in before 7:00 am so you are all ready to go when the starting bell rings. Also have the Yosemite page up and initial choices (type of site, dates) filled in.

Rochester, NY
posts: 21
7. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

Woot! Thanks all for the help! We were able to reserve a tent site today in Lower Pines.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,404
reviews: 56
8. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

Yay!

Most of the sites disappeared in seconds, but some lasted for at least a minute. At 7:15, quite a few reappeared on the website (the shopping carts timed out for folks who grabbed campsites but didn't complete their reservation.) Then those sites disappeared within seconds.

As of this moment there are six individual nights available in Upper Pines. I bet they're gone by the time I submit my reply.

For anyone who missed the reservation window, check the reservation website often. Cancellations happen!

London, United...
posts: 9
reviews: 4
9. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

Gutted, we were looking for an RV site for July at one if the Pines sites. Had 3 of us on four different computers with all info completed just needing to hit the button. Nothing at all. So gutted. Anyone know the next best option with an RV. We have two children under 3 so don't want to travel too far! That was the whole point of a week in Yosemite so we could relax and not drive.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,404
reviews: 56
10. Re: Yosemite Campground Reservations - June

Keep looking!

Tuolumne Meadows is 50% reservable, so you're likely to get a site up there if you arrive early in the morning. (They only release sites when other First Come First Served folks leave.) And TM is a great place to be with a family! Just be prepared for insects.

Indian Flat RV Park is fairly close to the Valley, but you'd need to drive in from El Portal or take the YARTS fee bus.

Wawona is a great place to explore, even if you just spend two nights there.

There are other campgrounds that are just First Come First Served; most of them open in July. Depending on your tourism itinerary, one of these might work well. Here is some more information: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c162983