Yellowstone Backcountry Lottery Results

If you entered the early access lottery for YNP backcountry permits, did you get selected?


  • Total voters
    14

Jackson

I ❤️ GYE
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May 31, 2015
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Backcountry early access lottery results are in, and they have me saying lots of unkind things about recreation.gov. Let's hear how it went for everyone!

My wife, my friend, and I all entered, and 2 out of the 3 of us didn't get in. Only 2 of us tried it last year and both got in, so I'm wondering if we just got lucky last year or if we were unlucky this year.
 
Didn't apply - not too worried about the spots I want this year being taken.

Will be interested in others' results though - historically Yellowstone permits have been pretty non-competitive in my experience, but in some places the addition of a lottery has dramatically increased the number of applications. (And the number of unused permits.)

I got shutout on my Yosemite permits - thankfully I was just the backup and my buddy got what we needed.
 
I figured someone would be posting about this. Last year, I got a time at noon of the first day of reservations. This time, I got nothing. Pooh. I’m pouty about it, but, I am retired, and got a job working in Yellowstone for the season. I don’t know where I’ll be working (at one of the gas stations), or when. So, if I got an early time, I still wasn’t going to be able to plan much. But, still I pout. I feel left out. Like TMR, I feel like I’ll be able to get to where I want to, mostly. But Pooh. I don’t expect to win the zillion dollar lottery, but, I want an opportunity to pick a site early. Did I say Pooh?
 
Backcountry early access lottery results are in, and they have me saying lots of unkind things about recreation.gov. Let's hear how it went for everyone!

My wife, my friend, and I all entered, and 2 out of the 3 of us didn't get in. Only 2 of us tried it last year and both got in, so I'm wondering if we just got lucky last year or if we were unlucky this year.

Same here Jackson. 0 for 3 for our group. That shocked me. I didn't think there was such a demand. I've given up on trying to get a lottery permit to a place like The Wave, but Yellowstone! This has me longing for the old days of filling out the application and mailing it in. Maybe that extra work of filling out a form would limit the number of entries- who knows! Guess it's wait time for us until the end of April to try and secure a few spots.
 
I made the lottery, for April 20th, and Sheila made it for April 6th, no word on my daughter, or friend yet, but I will state unequivocally that recreation.gov Sucks! The old system was perfect. I was never denied a permit from early entry, and I did multiple requests (sometimes four) every year. Only occasionally did I not get the campsites that I requested originally, and if that occurred, then I was moved one campsite up or down the trail. Now I have to get others to do my bidding for me. What a piece of Shite! Who's ever idea it was to switch, I'd fire in a heartbeat. Can you tell where I strand on this? :mad: Now I'm hot under the collar! :hot:
 
Now am with the others here that do NOT NOT NOT like recreation.gov. Personally do think could this be unlawful where the government wants everything be done by a private contractor. Also hate this where one has to pay to camp. But have never ever done early reservations. As for myself would work all winter, then just hike all summer. And when needed permits would just walk up and get them. Think they still have this where a person can just walk up at the time and get them. But also how much of the time would just go in and hike in the nearby National Forest. Would camp many a time right near the boundary of the park but in the forest, and then dayhike all over during the day in the park. Did this many a time when in the Thorofare at Hawks Rest. There is many many many a place back here rather in the National Forest or the Park where one could sooooo easily just disappear. But when I did have a long hike in the backcountry of the park, how few few few rangers did I actually ever really see. Now as Thomas Jefferson said ... "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obediance to God".
 
With all the ads, all the wideo and trail reports everywhere and photographers publishing on facebook...... not saying I dont like seeing them .....

every armchair hiker wants to go to the yellowstone area .... maybe a few more bears are needed to police?
 
Scat- good to hear you were so successful and drew out!

@Kmatjhwy - We may be following your lead and just head to Hawks rest for a base camp this year.

I agree @Bob. I have a love/hate relationship with YouTube backpacking vids. I enjoy watching them- especially during the winter while on my treadmill. But most give new backpackers a false sense of what they are really getting into. Because of their experience and knowledge, they make it look easier than it is.
 
Count me as another who is on the outside looking in. :mad:

I would like to know some stats on the lottery -- how many people are selected, how many apply, etc.

The first couple posts here account for $70 that went to recreation.gov with nothing to show for it for the applicants. I wonder how much they will rake in from us "unselecteds." They should at least initiate a policy that refunds your $10 if you are not one of the chosen.

Grrrrr.
 
Now thought I elaborate some. How much backcountry is there right along the boundary of the park where one could camp and then dayhike all over. In the National Forest, Teton Wilderness area, one can be in one spot up to 16 days.

Now think of that South Boundary Trail area, how much country one can camp in the Wolverine - Coulter area, Big Game Ridge, Fox Park, and the Two Ocean Plateau with much wild country free to camp in nearby.

Also that whole North Absaroka Country. Years ago just hiked north along the boundary with no permit all over. In fact how many areas are actually trailless in the area. Or along the north boundary in the Absaroka Beartooth area. The Tetons would be the same with the west slope in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness and National Forest. Think outside the box people. Wild country all over. And even inthe GYE area, how much is even still trailless with no trails and no rangers. Yes did this for years ... hike back in to the Thorofare or somewhere wild, camp near the boundary with no permit and no permits required. Then hike all over with Enjoying Life.

Now think of all that wild country that is out there. Still much country both trailess and no rangers where one could easily disappear. Again think outside the recreation.gov box in my opinion. Go For It and Enjoy Iife.
 
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I think the lottery system creates more demand, and it sure works great for recreation.gov since they get to take your money for entering no matter what. Scam artists. Interesting that, at least from the comments here, it seems like well under half of the people who entered got a spot. That surprises me.

I wasn't planning on going anywhere heavily traveled, but it still would have been nice to get a route squared away early. Most of my trips will be outside the park anyway I guess.

Wish I could like some of the comments on here more than once!
 
I've never tried to obtain Yellowstone permits, but I've noticed a similar effect with permits for other destinations once they switched to recreation.gov. Eight years ago, I got a permit for Crater Lake in Indian Peaks Wilderness about a month in advance. This year, the permit application process was on recreation.gov (for the 2nd year I believe) and the permits were gone within seconds of it opening up for the year. I've noticed similar trends for a number of other locations in UT and CO as well. I don't know if it's because the masses are too lazy to spend the 5 extra minutes to figure out how to obtain a permit under the previous/old system, or because of recreation.gov advertising these locations, or if it's just a coincidence and the rise of recreation.gov happens to line up with the rise of instagram and such... but in any case I've grown to hate the system as well. The cost and fees also seem to be way higher. And yes, it sure seems like a scam that they keep the fees even if you don't get a permit.
 
I did not draw, but my fiance drew April 1 @ 12PM. Oddly enough, that development lead me here via @scatman 's Mirror Plateau trip report from 2016 (which was excellent btw).

I definitely agree with everyone when they say switching to rec.gov has made things more complicated than they need be. Although faxing itineraries to the office is pretty antiquated, it certainly kept a lot of people out of the pool, and rewarded the extra effort. The Grand Teton/RMNP/Glacier method is by far the worst. Refreshing your computer at an exact time, rushing to the date & location you want to book like you're defusing a bomb.
 
I get to pick campsites April 11.

In a perfect world, I'd be coming in Heart Lake TH, out to the Thorofare, and exit at Snake River TH.

Personally, we kind of enjoyed the old snail mail method of applying. It was always exciting to get that email from the backcountry office & see what we ended up with.
 
I did not draw, but my fiance drew April 1 @ 12PM. Oddly enough, that development lead me here via @scatman 's Mirror Plateau trip report from 2016 (which was excellent btw).

I definitely agree with everyone when they say switching to rec.gov has made things more complicated than they need be. Although faxing itineraries to the office is pretty antiquated, it certainly kept a lot of people out of the pool, and rewarded the extra effort. The Grand Teton/RMNP/Glacier method is by far the worst. Refreshing your computer at an exact time, rushing to the date & location you want to book like you're defusing a bomb.

Looks like you'll get exactly what you want with a 1st drawing.
 
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