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Old 12-13-2020, 06:50 PM   #41
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Sounds Idyllic, Jim.
It is very nice, for sure. We feel fortunate.

Our biggest issue is that our land taxes recently went up to near $40 CAD as farm land. Tough filling out a cheque for those large amounts.
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Old 12-16-2020, 01:41 PM   #42
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I am so glad you brought this up. We know that some people manage to obtain sites that are far from the spirit of camping. It gets to be easier to find sites at the "last minute" as so many people end up cancelling their reservations. I do think this all needs to be rethought and revised. Many sites empty with reservations on them perhaps due to the reasonable price? I prefer we don't have to end the reasonable price for seniors - but that is where it is coming from (half price?). Just some more thoughts. Thank you so much for this heads up.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:24 AM   #43
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I am not a bot, and this morning successfully made a reservation at Dead Horse Point

That being said, today followed several days of unsuccessfully trying and seeing all available campsites reserved literally within the first few seconds. This has been my experience at many of the national parks as well - the ones that are very popular have to be reserved the moment they first become available six months to the day ahead of time. There are undoubtedly a whole bunch of people trying to get those few reservations that become available on any given day, so it's not surprising that sometimes I get lucky and sometimes I don't.

When I'm planning a long trip I usually start with trying to get reservations at the most difficult places first and then working the rest of the itinerary around that. We have a two month spring trip planned in Southern Utah and I've been able to get nice campsite reservations at Arches NP, Canyonlands Needles NP, Capitol Reef NP, Great Sand Dunes NP and now Kodachrome Basin and Dead Horse Point State Parks. Most state parks only reserve four months or so ahead, so it was nail biting time trying to fill in those spots in our itinerary around national park reservations that were already in place. In every case, on the morning I made online reservations all available campsites were taken in the first minute or so.

It's frustrating that camping has become so popular that getting reservations can be like winning the lottery - I miss the way it was 20 years ago when you could just drop in at most national parks and get a spot. But this is the way things are now, might as well go with the flow and learn to work with it, and hope that perhaps in a year or two that the campground crunch will ease somewhat. In the meantime, while having to make reservations far in advance requires more work and limits our flexibility, it's nice to know when we travel that we have places lined up in areas where there will be no vacancies for drop-in's.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:45 AM   #44
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David,

Congrats on getting a spot at Deadhorse Point State park. Good to know that it is possible. Maybe there has been a relaxation of trying to get spots there, now that the window for photographing the Milky Way from there is over for the month of April. That was my main interest in going there, in addition to the hiking.

It is interesting to read the variety of responses to my initial query. We tend to go out in our E19 (or former E15B) to enjoy visiting either a new place or hike in a specific area. Just going to a lovely spot near where we live is low on our priority list. Afterall, we live about 2.5 miles from the west face of the Bridger Range in Montana. And our long range views are blocked in every direction by mountains.
Since I wrote my original query, we have been able to snag a reservation in Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. THe competition was not as fierce as that for Deadhorse Point, but still pretty brutal. And also, on the morning of Christmas Eve, we were able to get our number one choice for SolDuc Hotsprings campground in Olympic Nat'l Park for June 24th.

BTW, has anyone seen the Consumer Celluar Commercial. I spotted an Escape Trailer in it. Good to see a great trailer getting some visibility.
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Old 02-14-2021, 10:55 AM   #45
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I beat the BOTs!!!

I beat the BOTs this morning and got a reservation at Fish Creek in Glacier National Park for two weeks starting August 14th.
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Old 02-15-2021, 09:52 AM   #46
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I beat the BOTs this morning and got a reservation at Fish Creek in Glacier National Park for two weeks starting August 14th.
TT Martin, Congrats on getting a campsite in Glacier Nat'l Park, If you have not been there, you will really enjoy it. (And you will if you HAVE been there before.) Make sure you have your bear spray with you.
However, note that Fish Creek is reserved thru Recreation.gov. That is where you can reserve Nat'l Park and Forest campsites. That site has bot blockers or is not "bot-friendly." The bot problem lies with ReserveAmerica.com. That company manages campsite reservations for many States, that include State Parks in Oregon, Montana, and Utah, just to name a few. I note that California is now no longer working with ReserveAmerica.com. Maybe if more of us complained, ReserveAmerica would change its procedures. If our local ski area, Bridger Bowl, outside of Bozeman, MT, can afford to use a reCaptcha bot blocker (to prevent bots from eating up all of the ski reservations - now required in this time of Covid), surely a big company like ReserveAmerica.com can do the same thing.
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Old 02-15-2021, 10:09 AM   #47
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Fish Creek is reserved thru Recreation.gov. That is where you can reserve Nat'l Park and Forest campsites. That site has bot blockers or is not "bot-friendly."
Yes, and no. There are still automated scripts being used to reserve sites at Recreation.gov. The use of BOTS might not be commercialized like on ReserveAmerica. None the less it still exists. Sites at popular parks book out in seconds.

How to book a campsite in Yosemite valley
Building your own bot to co-opt natural resources


In fact if I wasn't successful after several attempts I was going to resort to that myself.
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:33 PM   #48
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I agree, Moab is a circus. It used to be quiet and interesting. Now it is overrun with off road types. Noise and dust everywhere. Ugh
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:56 AM   #49
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Most of the national parks have released dates to reserve thru 8/28. Looking last week for a trip in Sept we’re planning, I noticed pretty good availability at all the CO, UT, and NV parks for the moment. There wasn’t a park we were looking at I couldn’t have booked, at least for Aug, didn’t look earlier.
For most parks, at least in these areas, it looks like one will be fine if you plan early. There will always be the Yosemite type parks, but they have always been a problem to book long before all the mess. I was expecting no availability when I started searching, so this was a pleasant surprise.
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:15 PM   #50
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Campers still selling at an all time record pace and campsites are dwindling. The struggle is real.
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Old 03-30-2021, 05:33 PM   #51
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Disclaimer: All this information is freely available online via a Google search. I'm not exposing any secrets here.

I have some recent insight into this problem. Turns out that recreation.gov (and probably reserveamerica.com although I haven't verified that) modified their sites to defeat bots that actually BOOK a site. I couldn't find any evidence that people are currently re-selling campsite reservations on eBay. In addition, many parks have policies that would prevent you from transferring a site once reserved.

So the best a bot can do for you is notify you that a site has become available. There are pay services that do this like this one: https://campnab.com/ ($10) (referenced in the article posted earlier).

You will get a text and you must immediately get online and reserve the site. These are only available when someone cancels a reservation, because the initial booking window is like 1 second when new availability is released.

If you are tech savvy and you REALLY need a specific campground and date range, you can go on Github and download a python script that can send out a tweet when a site becomes available. This is the route I went: https://github.com/banool/recreation...mpsite-checker (similar to the Yosemite checker referenced in the article posted earlier)

Note that this is a huge PIA and to make this work you really need a server that's up and running 100% of the time to run the python script every 5 minutes on (via cron). You need to also have a Twitter developer account (free, but hard to set up). You tweet from the developer account and follow that account from your regular Twitter account. Install the twitter app on your phone and have it notify you. It took me about 4 hours to get this all working. I didn't even have a Twitter account since I'm not interested in it so I had to learn a little about how Twitter works as well.

But it does work and I was able to nab a reservation in my preferred campground and date range after about a week of the bot running. The first time I was notified I wasn't fast enough but the 2nd time I was on within 10 minutes and got 3 nights.

So if you can't beat 'um, I guess you have to join 'um. This is a moral gray area. You are not using the bot to book the site or resell and take profit, but you do have an advantage over others who do not have the desire to go down this path.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:14 AM   #52
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But it does work and I was able to nab a reservation in my preferred campground and date range after about a week of the bot running. The first time I was notified I wasn't fast enough but the 2nd time I was on within 10 minutes and got 3 nights.

I think the stress of trying to find a site this way would take most all enjoyment away for me. I find no fault with anyone that has the patience to do it, and it may well become the norm. Sure miss the good old days when we could just "go camping".
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:25 AM   #53
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I think the stress of trying to find a site this way would take most all enjoyment away for me. I find no fault with anyone that has the patience to do it, and it may well become the norm. Sure miss the good old days when we could just "go camping".
I agree. Is this really what it has come to? I consider myself pretty computer savvy and even my eyes glazed over with the mention of a python script, cron, Twitter developer account... The point of camping in part is to get away from all that. There are businesses that rent RV's and set up a National Park circuit for you. They must be nabbing many of these sites. If I was going to go out west to hit National Parks I'd probably just do a Sprinter van and hotels/lodges which is what we did in 2019 for a northeast US tour which included Niagara Falls, Lake Placid, Acadia National Park and Cape Cod National Seashore/Nantucket Island. Worked out great. This assumes the places to stay close by aren't also all booked full!
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Old 03-31-2021, 09:01 AM   #54
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I had five tabs open, each on a different available site. I clicked on the first one at 7:59:59 (using the clock on one of my GPS units), and then successive tabs as fast as I could. The first one was too early and the rest, by the one second required to manually to go from one tab to another, were reserved by the time I got there. I cannot click as fast as a bot.

I feel your pain. After we were pure lucky to snag a site, then we had 6 people trying to book a florida site with no luck trying every day at 8am for a week for friends to join us. I think we are missing something honestly. From what I'm reading here, it's not bots booking them... but that's hard to believe. Must be personal bots? (looks like commercial ones are illegal.)

We would get the same result... at 8am too early (how)... then immediately too late.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:05 PM   #55
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More camping restrictions in Colorado. Crowd control.
Crested Butte area plus South Platt Ranger District.
Reservations required.

South Platt Ranger District.

“Dispersed camping and parking is allowed in designated sites only on the South Platte Ranger District. Designated sites are posted with "Parking" and "Tent" symbols. “

https://the-journal.com/articles/207...KRAfmWORjgPl_c
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:38 PM   #56
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Our trip to Utah this past March/April was planned last October and I was able to book sites at 'improved' campgrounds since most National/State parks were full or closed. Moab was especially troublesome, however, because of a Jeep Rally (which ended up being cancelled). And a heads up for anyone going to Zion ... they've instituted a shuttle system whereby you have to reserve a spot ahead of time (can't drive into the park). At 9:00 am Pacific on the first day of reservations, I snagged tickets on the day I wanted. Within 10 minutes, all shuttle spots for the April 1 - 15 time period were gone. They do have same-day walkups but there are time restrictions.
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