Campground Reservations

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Campground Reservations

Postby IndianaTom » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:04 am

Has anyone had any luck making a reservation online at 10AM.

For two weeks I have waited until exactly 10AM to make a reservation and every time someone beats me to the punch. Are they calling it in or is my internet connection just slower?

Thanks,
Tom
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Re: Campground Reservations

Postby teapot57 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:26 pm

There is very fierce competition for campsites on the mornings they first become available, at least with Many Glacier campground. I was lucky enough yesterday to make an MG Campground reservation at 8:00 am MT, but it was my first time being successful after many attempts. It truly is luck to be first to make the connection to Recreation.gov. My strategy this time was to try for a campsite that, while nice, is less desirable than the ones along the river, as I figured there would be less competition for the site I chose than the 2 or 3 "primo" river sites that opened up. Be sure to log in and have everything selected so that you can press "book this site" at the exact time the clock turns to 8:00 am MT.

Try watching for cancellations starting in the next few weeks. If you are diligent and check often, a campsite in your date range will open up. That is how I made my bookings last year.

Good luck.
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Re: Campground Reservations

Postby Jay w » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:20 pm

Teapot is too generous. I too have tried to get a reservation (last year) with no luck. The frustrating thing is that when you actually go to the campground, some of these sites sit empty because it's easy to make a reservation, but much harder to actually show up at the campsite on the reservation date. It's a BS system and I hate it. But, keep trying and if you can't get a reservation, show up at 4 am on the date you wish and sleep in your car until 10 am or so. Check in is painfully slow, but a few cars do get a site.

Jay
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Re: Campground Reservations

Postby PeteE » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:18 am

Jay is right.
The current system is horrible, worse than BS.
The only reason we both got campsites last year(in the unreserved area) was because the weather was horrible.
Many people simply didn't show up. And so yes, there were "reserved" sites that went unused.

The Park Service needs to do away with reserved sites altogether at all the CG's.
Recreation.com is an abomination, a typical Federal folly.
Go back to first come first serve. Every site will be occupied with someone.
Yeah there will be long lines, but that's the case now.

pete :wink:

PS

If you want to camp inside the park this year, or any time in the near future considering the crowds in recent years, good luck.
If you're willing to camp outside the park, consider private CG's like KOA or Johnson's if on the East Side.
I laugh at those who say the private CG's are "too expensive".
Really??????????
You spend hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars getting here, and then complain about the few extra dollars a private CG site cost?
Defies logic imo.
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Re: Campground Reservations

Postby IndianaTom » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:56 am

Thanks for the heads up! Trying to make my fifth trip in a row. Last year I got lucky with reservations. Two years ago I got my reservation for Many Glacier on a Cancellation (appreciate those people taking the time to do that). Then I got up at 5AM to move to Rising sun. Took a folding chair with me, left wife sleeping. I was 2nd in line, got a spot, drove back at 9 to pick up the wife.

I am half tempted to buy property on Duck Lake so I have a spot to go to for the rest of my life with no hassles. That might end up in divorce court.


**Update** Missed out today. I may just stop this madness and go for a backcountry permit.
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Re: Campground Reservations

Postby PeteE » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:36 am

IndianaTom wrote:Thanks for the heads up! Trying to make my fifth trip in a row. Last year I got lucky with reservations. Two years ago I got my reservation for Many Glacier on a Cancellation (appreciate those people taking the time to do that). Then I got up at 5AM to move to Rising sun. Took a folding chair with me, left wife sleeping. I was 2nd in line, got a spot, drove back at 9 to pick up the wife.

You got it. That's pretty much what it takes to get a spot these days.

I am half tempted to buy property on Duck Lake so I have a spot to go to for the rest of my life with no hassles. That might end up in divorce court.
That's funny :)


**Update** Missed out today. I may just stop this madness and go for a backcountry permit.
BC reservations are tough too. However the process is more fair that front country reservations. At least I believe they will be after the changes they made for this year.

If your main interest in visiting GNP is day hiking and/or backpacking/backcountry camping....
I believe your best off finding a place to base camp, either inside the park or close by to your area of interest, e.g. East Side, West Side, Two Med etc.
Then just drive/shuttle to your trail heads. Otherwise you'll spend too much time driving, moving, waiting in lines, blah blah.

IF, you are the type that wants to just car camp and enjoy the ambience of the CG's inside the park...
Then brace yourself for long lines and all the hassle that goes with it.
GNP is just NOT what it used to be.

my 2cents


pete :wink:
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Re: Campground Reservations

Postby IndianaTom » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:37 am

I started coming to glacier in 2014 and it's amazing the way the visitorship has changed in that short amount of time. In 2014 we had a north circle backcountry permit, after the first night we had an injury so we came out of the backcountry, arrived at St Marys at 4 PM, there were plenty of sites available. I woke up at 9 am the next day went to Many Glacier and was able to grab a site on the river no problem. Fast forward 3 years, and the waking up at 4 AM is the new norm. Lucky for me, I only sleep 5 hours a night and have a wonderful group on this chat to get advice from.

I am all about back country, but my wife is not so much. She did survive a week on Isle Royale backpacking, but she said she'll never do that again. I am in the midst of planning a two week road trip, hoping to hit Yosemite, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Wind Cave, Theodore Roosevelt, Badlands, and hope to loop a couple days in my favorite park on the way home. Just an 8 hour detour north is all it'll take.
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Re: Campground Reservations

Postby IndianaTom » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:16 am

I don't like the reservation model, I prefer the first come, first serve method. I still haven't been able to get a reservation for Many Glacier, but I now have experience from another national park in high demand. I recently got a campsite Memorial day at North Pines in Yosemite. The method they use to release an entire month of sites at 10 AM on the 15th of the month, 5 months in advance. It was still super competitive with most the sites being filled within seconds, but it's more convenient in the fact that you aren't logging in every day. It's interesting to me that there isn't a policy across all the parks and each one operates independently even though they use the same reservation software.
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