January 12, 2013

Yosemite Preparations: Reserving a Campsite in Yosemite National Park

The alarm clock emitted an ugly noise.  It was Saturday, December 15.  With anticipation I had waited for this day ever since my wife had agreed to camp in Yosemite.  December 15, is the first day for reserving a spot in Yosemite National Park for April 15 thru May 14.  January 15 opens up reservations for May 15 to June 14 and so on.  See the schedule here.  It may be misleading for me to refer to the 15th as an entire day.  The spots fill up very quickly for the summer months.

Despite my impatience in waiting for this day, I hit snooze several times until realization struck that I could be hitting snooze on my first visit to John Muirs playground.  I jerked out of bed, kissed my sleeping wife, and ran downstairs.  

Yosemite Valley camp in Upper Pines
Coffee brewing, laptop fired up, I logged onto reservations.gov.  It was 7:30 PCT.  Reservation bagging began at 7:00.  At the time, it meant little to me.  All the spots couldn't possibly fill up in 30 minutes.  Right?

My camp of choice: Upper Pines in Yosemite Valley has a whopping 240 campsites.  As I selected the dates that I wanted, what happened next knocked some sincerity into the task at hand.  All but four sites were already filled.  With a good combination of precision and speed I completed the remainder of my task without fault and reserved one of the last four sites at Upper Pines in Yosemite Valley.  I came very close to not getting a spot. Before ever even resting eyes on her glory, I had underestimated Yosemite, hopefully for last time.