Interesting Thread on Another Hiking Forum

Jackson

I like to go outside.
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Yeah, for all its convenience, online permit reservations seem like a downgrade in some ways.

I guess this makes me slightly happy Yellowstone does its version of the lottery system first. Doesn't matter when you enter your submission as long as its before the deadline. But my dislike of competing for permits is why I so rarely go anywhere that requires a permit that's only available in a limited quantity.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
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Just more examples of people in it for themselves nomatter the cost or effect to others........ gaming the system.
It will just get worse, like everything else.
 

scoags

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i might catch shit for this, but id be interested to see more concrete evidence that bots are actually manipulating the supply. its obvious that it can be done, but is it being done? Booze-Allen should know, but like someone in the other thread suggested, do they care, so long as they are raking in the "service fee"?

obviously resale (transfer) of reservations seems like a terrible idea, because it would open the door for scalpers gouging people.

tough to find the perfect solution when it comes to reservations it seems.
 

Reef&Ruins

Colorado Plateau is calling...
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I tried to get campsites at Slough Creek this summer. Had everything ready to go at 7 am on the day they were released and by the time I got ready to reserve and pay... all gone. And it was 7:00 still. There's something up.
 

Yvonne

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a lot here in Washington State is a lottery system and permits via Recreation.gov.
I don't like it so much, especially the early access lottery systems for Mount Rainier and North Cascades NP. For these two parks, you barely have a chance of snagging a permit after the early lotteries are done which really sucks.
Recreation.gov also has lots of glitches, especially when using the app which can be super frustrating.

I did enter the lottery for the Enchantments and hit the jackpot right away on my first try and got a permit during the peak season of the larches in early October. After I heard that folks were unsuccessful for 20 years I feel really lucky about my permit.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Personally do think something is up and there is truth to this story. In April I spent near two weeks up in Zion NP. I was able to snag campsites via Recreation. Gov. Later at recreation it said all the campsites were filled. But when I was there was absolutely shocked ... shocked to see just how many campsites (multiple sites) were still empty and were never filled. Think people would cancel to get back their money. It is either bots or there is a bunch of people who don't care. Some nights it seemed as if a third or more of the campsites in the campground were empty. Think it will just get worse. Do like to go to those areas where reservations are not required.

Now as for personal things, it is off to the PNW and Alaska again. Enjoy Life!
 
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Nethos

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i might catch shit for this, but id be interested to see more concrete evidence that bots are actually manipulating the supply. its obvious that it can be done, but is it being done? Booze-Allen should know, but like someone in the other thread suggested, do they care, so long as they are raking in the "service fee"?

obviously resale (transfer) of reservations seems like a terrible idea, because it would open the door for scalpers gouging people.

tough to find the perfect solution when it comes to reservations it seems.
This is 100% happening, at least with cancelled permits. My anecdotal experience: I did a trip last year with a friend that created an algorithm that would ping selected backcountry sites on Rec.gov every 5 minutes to see if they came available, while it wouldn't book for you, it would let you know if a site you wanted for a specified set of dates is available. Could be shifted to work regular campsites too, anything on rec.gov. Additionally, I definitely saw recently a subscription based (just googled, there are more than one) services that will do this for you. Scan backcountry or frontcountry campground on the online services like rec.gov and text you when the site you want becomes available on the dates you want. This existing alone sucks, and monetizing that seems pretty horrible to me.

While I'm not sure this is sucking up all the permits, it's definitely a thing. I'm not sure there is a perfect system, but the lottery system in Yellowstone and Glacier seem best and most equitable to me. Though sometimes I think turning land into a national park or monument, and then other layers like adding a backcountry lottery only exacerbates the demand issue. For example, because there is a lottery, I made a reservation for a trip this year I'm not sure I'll have the time to do, but know that I would consider only if I had the permit. I'll obviously cancel if I don't plan to go well in advance, but I'm still negatively effecting supply. I can't be the only one doing this with the hot areas.

I don't think the time-release permit system is a good solve(i.e. June 6th permit opens @ 7AM PST on March 6, etc) because it favors those privileged with the time and energy to make themselves available AND plan a vacation months or years in advance. Holding a certain percentage of permits in reserve for walk-ups is also a good hedge for that, but unfortunately nothing is perfect.
 

scoags

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i dont have a problem with a program that sends a message to people who want to know when X campsite becomes available. Honestly, that should probably be a feature of rec.gov, imo. A program that instantly reserves campsties as they come open and then resells them or whatever would be unfair and a problem.

i agree keeping walk-ups available is a good idea.
 

Rockskipper

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I reserved several nights in Mammoth for June, then changed my mind and came back when the rolling date was there for the days I wanted in July, then just did a change date. This leaves openings for prior dates, and when I go check, sometimes they're booked and and sometimes not for quite some time. You can change dates and also change sites, but not campgrounds. Maybe this is partly why prior dates are open.
 
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Nethos

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i dont have a problem with a program that sends a message to people who want to know when X campsite becomes available. Honestly, that should probably be a feature of rec.gov, imo. A program that instantly reserves campsties as they come open and then resells them or whatever would be unfair and a problem.

i agree keeping walk-ups available is a good idea.
I understand that position. What bothers me is the current exclusivity of the feature, only available to tech or tech-adjacent, or those with the money to pay. Just goes against my personal values, but as they say, that's a me problem. :roflmao:
 
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