Yellowstone -summer scramble for campsites? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-24-2014, 10:06 PM   #15
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If you are referring to the event on Mt. Hood some 28 years ago, in May of 1986, that seems to have been laid to poor leadership and a failure to as much as read the weather reports. But I see that there are many other opinions, none of which seem to have much to do with the suggested inherent danger of the campsite reservation system.
Persuasive Writing: Taking a Position

I would be much more worried about vacationers having to rush to a certain campground in order to beat others to a camping space by 10 o'clock in the morning, than about those that know when and where the have to be and don't have to be rushed about what time of the afternoon or evening they arrive.

I seldom see/hear late arrivals in campgrounds that are reservations based, but not so in popular first-come venues when I am often awakened by vehicles prowling around and then double parking in the middle of the night in someone else's campsite, as is, more often than not, the case at Joshua Tree N.P. in-park campgrounds.

When a driver has an entire family in the car, has been driving all day long and everyone is tired, knowing that a reserved space is ahead is a lot less stressful, and therefore safer, than that same driver when they have to start looking somewhere else when they find that there is no Room at the Inn.

For those of us that can luxuriate in weekday travel it's a different story, but for the RV'er that is on a weekend getaway, or even an annual vacation, having reservations can result in a safer trip for all of us on the road.

As for me, I try to avoid moving on weekends, in part because of the crush from Weekenders, I sympathize for them, they have to go back to work on Monday and I don't.

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Old 09-24-2014, 11:11 PM   #16
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We just got back from a five week trip a couple weeks ago that included Glacier in August and Yellowstone late August/early September. The only time we made reservations was on long travel days to ensure we had a place to stay for the night. At Yellowstone that meant reservations at Madison CG. We then headed over to Mammoth CG (our favorite in the park) and had no problem getting a site. You have to get there early (before Noon early, not the crack of dawn), but in all the times we've camped in or near Yellowstone, we've never had to resort to Plan B. There are also some nice National Forest Campgrounds near Cooke City which is at the northeast entrance to the park. Soda Butte comes to mind. Also, if you want to be near West Yellowstone, Baker's Hole is a NFCG and has electric and primitive camping, but again - get there early enough in the day to secure a site.

Hearing about the scramble for sites at Glacier kept me away from that park prior to this year. The link Jon provided for campground status was a great resource. You can check historically by month when each campground fills. I wish some of the other national parks offered that information.

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Old 11-26-2014, 03:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I hate being tied to a schedule when on vacation, so you can see why I don't like reservations.

I disagree with most of the above posts about needing reservations. I hope to camp in the Tetons next summer, with perhaps a night or three in Yellowstone, and I will not have reservations; I have every confidence that I will obtain campsites without trouble.

I've camped in Many Glacier CG without reservations at the height of the tourist season... simply drove up and got a spot at 4:30 pm on a weekday. Ok, I really should have played it safe and gotten there more like noon or 1 pm, but it goes to show.

Yosemite, impossible to get a spot without reservations, right? Nope. I drove up to Bridalveil Creek around 10:30 am on a July Sunday and there were plenty of open sites. While I was there they tended not to fill until 3 or 4 pm. Now, the Yosemite Valley CGs are admittedly a different story... I made reservations there for 2 consecutive nights, one obtained 2 weeks before leaving home and the other one just 1 week prior to departure.

In the Tetons, I plan on staying at Lizard Creek for a while. It's small, so it should be quiet and less likely to feel like RV City. It's right on the lake shore, too, so it should be scenic. I suspect that I will have a nice view from my campsite of the mountains across the lake. And if I want to get away from everything, I'll go boondock for free in the national forest land a few miles east.

The best way to get a First-Come site is to show up before noon on a Sunday or early in the week. Have a nearby backup location just in case the primary CG is actually full, but chances are you will score a spot if you get there by the above time. Skip the reservation hassle and be carefree.
Totally agree with Bob Miller on not needing reservations for Yellowstone. It has not gone to a totally reservation system, at least not when we last visited, which was in 2010.

We have gone to Yellowstone four times over the years. Never with a reservation. Twice all the sites had been full when we pulled in later in the day. They told us at the gate all campgrounds were full & gave suggestions where to be able to find a spot near by.

First time (our second visit), we were entering via the East Entrance by Cody. We stayed at the forest campground not far before one gets to the park for one night, drove in early & got a site the next morning at Grant Village.

Second time (3rd visit in 2009), we were told all the campgrounds were full when we entered by the North Entrance down from Mammoth. Gave a handout with place near by to find a site. We ended up just doing a overnight along the 'main' street in a forest service parking lot. Got a very nice campsite at Mammoth.

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions: Yellowstone and area suggestions..

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