12 Comments
May 6·edited May 6Liked by Cole Noble

Excellent write up and quite revealing. I'm pretty familiar with much of this as a full-time camper but it's not talked about much outside of camping circles.

One thing I'd like to see is for parks to bring back "First Come First Serve" slots. Back in the day these were pretty common but it's rare now. Quite a few full-timers are the kind that go with the wind in their wanderings so reservations put a crimp in it (as well as make it more difficult to find unreserved spots in reservation only parks).

In Florida it's a big problem because of snowbirds booking up all available sites many months in advance so locals are often out of luck when they get the urge to take their family camping for the weekend.

Ray

P.S. Welcome to Florida! I was born and raised here and it's still a basecamp of sorts for my wanderings : )

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Thanks for the link, Cole 💛

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Wow. Thanks for sharing. I had no idea there was so much registration and ticketing going on. Guess Sedona’s not the only place that’s gotten insane....

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Awesome write up! I'd definitely be interested in an investigation into the lottery and reservation systems - there's been many instances since they sprang up that have felt illegitimate. I've even heard a few anecdotes of reservations being resold for profit.

One thing that has remained true and been amplified with these systems is the environment of IFYKYK in the outdoors. I'd say since COVID I've actually had an easier time securing permits and finding isolated trails because of the sheer amount of hoops I have to jump through and obscure footnotes I have to read. Living in San Francisco you constantly hear about Yosemite crowds but I've spent several July Fourth weekends there only seeing a handful of other people. Most weekend warriors and busy families simply aren't able or motivated enough to put in the effort to look beyond the surface. As you mention, this is unacceptably exclusionary and not sustainable. It is a good thing for the average casual visitor to see more of our parks (and even have more visitors). At the end of the day those of us looking to find solitude will still have beta to trade if we're willing to hike, skin, or shoe far enough!

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Fun to see some “data” to support the half-mile hypothesis I’ve held for years. I refuse to judge how over-crowded any area is until I get a half-mile into the hike. Almost without fail, the crowds melt away. Good stuff Cole

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