The Yosemite campground, Camp 4, will be testing out a new system for users during the 2019 summer season. Until this year, Camp 4 was on a first-come, first-served basis, with campers lining up for hours, or even a full day before their stay to get a spot in the campground. For decades, climbers have been attracted to Camp 4 because of its storied past as a climber hangout. However, limited sites in Camp 4 have caused an inability to meet the demand of the number of people who wish to stay there, at times leading to camping out of bounds and conflicts between campers, according to Sierra News. This is why Yosemite National Park has decided to trial a lottery system for the upcoming busy season.
The new system will be effective May 21 and last through mid-September, at which time it will be evaluated by the park to determine if it is effective, and whether it will be implemented again in subsequent years. For September through May, the off-season, Camp 4 will remain on a first-come, first-served basis.
Campers can apply for a site at recreation.gov. The lottery will open the day before your intended arrival at midnight, and remain open until 4 PM Pacific time. The lottery will automatically match applicants with the number of available sites, and will notify both winners and non-winners shortly after it closes at 4pm each day. A non-refundable lottery fee will be charged for each application, and an additional $6 camper fee will be charged to those who win a spot. You can apply for up to 12 people and up to seven nights.
To learn more about booking your stay at Camp 4 at nps.gov.