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Yosemite National Park Officials Instituting Reservation Program Changes To Stop Campsite Scalping


With hopes of bringing an end to the scalping of campsites, Yosemite National Park officials will require that visitors show some identification to claim their campsites, and won't allow reservations to be transferred to anyone else.

Campsite scalping has been a growing problem in Yosemite in recent years, with reserved sites being offered for sale on Craigslist. The other day park officials announced three changes to bring this practice to a halt:

* All visitors checking into a campsite will have to show identification upon arrival at the Campground Reservation Office. Currently, campers do not need to present any form of identification to secure their reserved campsite. However, this new identification policy is being implemented to ensure that the person who arrives at the campground office is the same person who made the campground reservation.

* Campground reservation holders will no longer be able to change the name of the person on the campground reservation. Previously, the original name on the reservation could be changed online on the reservation contractor's website. This would not change any components of the existing reservation. However, this change precludes the ability to change the name on a reservation once the reservation is made. There is a $10 cancellation fee for any reservation that is cancelled. Further, the same reservation under a different name is not guaranteed. 

* The final change to the campground reservation system will be implemented later this summer. This alteration will change the way in which cancelled reservations are released back into the system. Currently, once a reservation is cancelled, the campsite is put back online to be purchased. However, under the newly implemented system, the campsites that become available can only be reserved by calling the campground reservation phone number. There is no date available for this change.  

All campsites reserved in Yosemite National Park are reserved through a contractor, Active Works. The website is . They can also be reached at 1-877-444-6777. The park is implementing these changes to ensure equity and fairness for visitors wishing to make a campsite reservation within Yosemite National Park.


Sorry Zeb - can't buy into that in this case. Have to agree with Lee. Now if that doesn't tip the earth off its axis, I don't know what will. works just fine. When I show up at a camp, I have to show my reservation confirmation. I'd have no problem showing photo ID. There have to be ways to stop this nonsense without tipping the earth off its axis.

Anonymous, clearly these campsites are a precious resource that many want access to. Best allocation of scarce resources is to let people bid on it. Selling them below their market value almost always leads to arbitraging. Personnally, I really don't care as I can't stand camping anyway, but it seems that the answer to the issue is pretty obvious: increase supply and let the market determine the price.

On the other hand, maybe people like camaraderie and don't like solitude. Many of us on these pages, me included, have such a strong preference for solitude that we may overlook that.

Quote from above: "Although I called 5 months ahead of time, I could only get 3 nights. Two large groups were near me and they both told me it cost about 2600.00 for the week."

This is incredible, when one considers that there are fabulous, monumental, spectacular public lands all over the western U.S. that no one visits. In a visit to the Rio Grande National Forest north of Cumbres Pass, Colo., you'd be lucky to see three people in a week, and you'd have a view into the Chama River Valley that's like looking into Shangri-La.

Zeb - I'm as big a "free market" guy as you can get but these are lands owned by the US public. The parks should be open to everyone on an equal basis. I like the idea of reserving in a specific name and if that person doesn't show with ID- your gone - kind of like voting should be. That is the way many rafting permits are issued. Though, I like Ron's idea of more supply as well.

I'll second Ron Mackie's motion.

The best way to alleviate the issue would be to let would be campers bid on the camping sites and let the market work itself out. It'd work a lot better than setting prices lower than what the market would bear.

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