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Campground Site Demand Prompts New Yosemite Lottery Next Week

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Yosemite, CA – With demand far outweighing the supply, taking a gamble could land you a site at the popular North Pines Campground in Yosemite.

With more than ten thousand people visiting Recreation.gov the online site during Yosemite’s traditional on-sale dates in hopes of getting a reservation without much luck, Park Ranger Scott Gediman says they are piloting a lottery system for North Pines that could change some people’s luck. Noting that “many are unsuccessful year after year, causing frustration, disappointment, and feeling the system is flawed and unfair.” Gediman explained, “The booking windows literally sell out within minutes. We’ve had a lot of concerns from visitors who say, ‘Look, if you’re not computer savvy or you don’t get on right that minute, they can’t get a campground reservation.’”

The early access lottery pilot is an attempt to address these concerns. Gediman remarks, “It adds more equitability and gives more opportunities for people to get a reservation. We know this is not the be-all-end-all, but we’re trying something new and trying something different. If it works out, great, and if it doesn’t then we’ll take it from there.”

The lottery application period for the North Pines Campground runs from January 18 through February 6th for campground sites available between July 21 through September 14, 2022. Anyone may apply at any time during the open period to be entered in the lottery. Gediman details how it works, “You don’t have to go in on exactly that day and put it in. Whether you put in for the lottery on January 18th or February 1st or where ever, it doesn’t matter. It all just goes into a random lottery and then once people are chosen, then they’ll get an email and they’ll be able to make a campground reservation.”

Today was the first day for using the traditional online method to make campground reservations for May 15 through June 14, 2022, at Upper Pines, North Pines, Lower Pines, and Hodgdon Meadow campgrounds, click here.

Gediman added that while the lottery does not guarantee your desired dates or campsite will be available, it limits the number of users competing simultaneously for campsites during peak-season dates. To enter the lottery, starting on Tuesday, click here.

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