Yosemite Campsite Land Rush

“Hey! Wanna go to a wedding with me in October in Yosemite?”


“Great! We need to wake up early on May 15th and book a campsite. Set a reminder.”

“Really? We need to book it that day?”

The answer is “yes”. In fact, you need to book it the SECOND your satellite clock flips to 7amPST.

Why? Because it’s like a land rush. I have NO CLUE how the California Parks department got enough money and infrastructure to NOT have the website crash immediately when hundreds of thousands of people are trying to book/confirm sites for the season- but their site is VERY organized, complete with camp-site descriptions (“average site, partial shade, near restroom”).

“We have 3 minutes.”

My palms are sweaty.

The night before I opened up all my tabs and scoured through the sites and locations and picked my top 10 that I thought would be good.I cross-referenced the map and the location and accounted for location to the river vs mosquitos vs bears. Then organized everything in order by preference. I was ready!

“2 minutes”.

I start to get a bunch of doubt… “Why are we worrying so much about this? I can see May and June selling out– but October??? That’s after the season. Surely we’re over-thinking this.

“1 minute.”

The plan is to book 2 campsites and cancel the worst one. Even though the Cali Parks Dept takes 10$ from every cancellation, it would probably be worth it just to get the land rush. (insert my face of skepticism. (“yea…ok….whatever.”)


I start clicking away at my first choices…. “Inventory not available” was the error that came up.

I click another. “Inventory not available”

I go down my list until I get to the very last one— and it goes through! I squeal!


I booked my very last site. The rush was better than the coffee I have yet to consume. I felt like a great conquerer! Like I deserved a coon-skin-cap and awesome boots and a rifle on my back. I felt like I had to stand up, with a flag and take a stance… (But since I was still in my jammy-jams, I just stood up and struck a pose. The cat stared at me with bewildered amusement.)

“We got one!” I exclaimed. Feeling like I just won the lottery by twiddling my thumbs the fastest.

“Where??? Which one?”


We check it out, (after the booking, of course) and both sigh… There was a reason it was available… It’s crowded, partial shade, near a dumpster (aka: Bear’s Dinning Room). This…was bad. How the hell did that get in my list?

“Crap…..CRAP CRAP CRAP! Let’s check yours.”

His internet decided to start working again and, by some small miracle, we end up booking a different site. A lovely site. Far away from Bear Dinning Rooms and screaming children play-things.

Of course, the California Parks Department wants to take 10$ for my cancellation fee. OF COURSE! They need to pay for that infrastructure somehow!

But we got a site. We felt victorious. 


Now I need to think about what I’m gonna wear.


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