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 > Forest Service Campground - First Come, First Serve & hosts

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WhitehouseLV

Cowboy State

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Posted: 06/15/21 10:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IDman wrote:

The CG Host may have been holding it for a buddy of his. I've seen that before.


right?!


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WhitehouseLV

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Posted: 06/15/21 10:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ReneeG wrote:

I'm with the others in calling the FS office. We often go in to a campground and pick a site that's open, then check with the host on when the other more desirable sites will be open, then move. If you have a good host, they will work with you and come around to tell you that the current occupants are about to leave so you can go over and grab it.


left a message this morning with the Forest Service.

Called Recreation.gov & they didn't agree with it but pretty much said the host can do that.

The host did mention she might cancel another campers reservations because they were a no-show (It's only been 1 day) and they haven't returned her phone calls. I forget how many days she said they had the site reserved but it wasn't 1 or 2 it was like a week or longer. I told her it's a paid-for site. Lots of things can happen and I wouldn't be so quick to cancel someone's reservations. But she does have that right.


I'll still go up and check for open sites. Maybe try the kiss @ss approach. ha!

WhitehouseLV

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Posted: 06/15/21 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cptqueeg wrote:

Locals here become friends w the hosts at non-reserved FS campgrounds so they get a call when something opens. The host typically puts the lawn chairs out to hold the spot until the camper shows up.


sounds like a good approach

bobsallyh

Livingston, TX.

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Posted: 06/15/21 12:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We ran into a similar situation several years ago at Swan Lake, MT. FS CG. There was a 14 day limit and we always pay several days then renew since there is no refund. Well about the 3rd day there we were told that the next day it was going to be reserved and we would have go bye, byes. Not so fast my friend. There were 11 such sites and they were going to take them all. I left several of the affected people in some of those sites know what was going on. The guy across from me was semi-local and always paid the same way we do. He quickly went down and paid his days left into the Iron Ranger. He wanted to see what they were going to do about refunds. We decided to wait until the next day when they took our tag off and replaced it with a reserve tag. About noon the following day the host went around re-tagging 11 sites. After we ate lunch, we jumped in the truck and drove into the Big Fork, MT. Forest Service office. Two gals behind the counter in their best FS PR asked how we were doing. By the way everybody in that office was great! I said " we would be better if we weren't getting evicted from Swan Lake CG". With that statement they became all ears and sort of looked at one another. About that time a lady back in an office came out and said "what did I hear you say"? She asked if one of us would come back to her office, that she was going to call the concessionaire over in West Yellowstone, MT. My wife went back and talked to the concessionaire. It got a little loud and when the concessionaire said "this is the only FS CG that had first come, first serve sites" Wife immediately told here that approx. 5 miles from West Yellowstone was a total first come first serve CG that she just happen to concessionaire also . Then the back pedaling started. Concessionaire said there was nothing could be done about the situation and wife told her this wasn't the end. The gals in the office then told us there had been several other incidents regarding that concessionaire who we were familiar with. That outfit had just gotten the contract for the area FS CGs. So as we were driving back to Swan Lake just before cell service goes kaput the phone rings with a 406 area code. (MT.) I pulled off quickly, wife answered and imagine this, it was the concessionaire at West Yellowstone. "You may stay your entire time". So about an hour after we get back to Swan Lake, the host came by and pulled off all 11 tags. It wasn't the host's, it was the concessionaire trying to pull something. At the time, that outfit had CGs and trailheads from West Yellowstone to Bozeman and another bit out of Bozeman. The contract for the Swan Lake area and on up towards Eureka had come up because the previous guy retired and they got the winning bid. About a month later we were in Libby, MT. and the cell rings, again a 406 area code. It was the Billings FS. office that wanted to know what went down at Swan Lake, so the word got passed on somehow.

WhitehouseLV

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Posted: 06/15/21 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bobsallyh wrote:

We ran into a similar situation several years ago at Swan Lake, MT. FS CG. There was a 14 day limit and we always pay several days then renew since there is no refund. Well about the 3rd day there we were told that the next day it was going to be reserved and we would have go bye, byes. Not so fast my friend. There were 11 such sites and they were going to take them all. I left several of the affected people in some of those sites know what was going on. The guy across from me was semi-local and always paid the same way we do. He quickly went down and paid his days left into the Iron Ranger. He wanted to see what they were going to do about refunds. We decided to wait until the next day when they took our tag off and replaced it with a reserve tag. About noon the following day the host went around re-tagging 11 sites. After we ate lunch, we jumped in the truck and drove into the Big Fork, MT. Forest Service office. Two gals behind the counter in their best FS PR asked how we were doing. By the way everybody in that office was great! I said " we would be better if we weren't getting evicted from Swan Lake CG". With that statement they became all ears and sort of looked at one another. About that time a lady back in an office came out and said "what did I hear you say"? She asked if one of us would come back to her office, that she was going to call the concessionaire over in West Yellowstone, MT. My wife went back and talked to the concessionaire. It got a little loud and when the concessionaire said "this is the only FS CG that had first come, first serve sites" Wife immediately told here that approx. 5 miles from West Yellowstone was a total first come first serve CG that she just happen to concessionaire also . Then the back pedaling started. Concessionaire said there was nothing could be done about the situation and wife told her this wasn't the end. The gals in the office then told us there had been several other incidents regarding that concessionaire who we were familiar with. That outfit had just gotten the contract for the area FS CGs. So as we were driving back to Swan Lake just before cell service goes kaput the phone rings with a 406 area code. (MT.) I pulled off quickly, wife answered and imagine this, it was the concessionaire at West Yellowstone. "You may stay your entire time". So about an hour after we get back to Swan Lake, the host came by and pulled off all 11 tags. It wasn't the host's, it was the concessionaire trying to pull something. At the time, that outfit had CGs and trailheads from West Yellowstone to Bozeman and another bit out of Bozeman. The contract for the Swan Lake area and on up towards Eureka had come up because the previous guy retired and they got the winning bid. About a month later we were in Libby, MT. and the cell rings, again a 406 area code. It was the Billings FS. office that wanted to know what went down at Swan Lake, so the word got passed on somehow.


WOW!

Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 06/15/21 03:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are headed West next week and stay mainly in first come CGs. Should be interesting with the reports of 30%+ increase in activity this summer.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
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profdant139

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Posted: 06/15/21 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A very similar thing happened to us at Difficult Campground (really!) near Aspen, a few years ago. We didn't fight it or put up a fuss -- life is too short. But it is annoying, that's for sure.


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Yosemite Sam1

Under the pines.

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Posted: 06/15/21 09:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ivylog wrote:

We are headed West next week and stay mainly in first come CGs. Should be interesting with the reports of 30%+ increase in activity this summer.


Ditto in July to Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyonland where campgrounds are mostly first-come-first-serrve.. Also with reports of congestions.

Would appreciate updates and experiences from those who'll be swinging by that way ahead of us.

pitch

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Posted: 06/16/21 05:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were in California, don't remember where. Looking for a spot. Campground had plenty vacant sites. We called for reservation headquarters said no vacancy. Checked with camp host,He pointed to an empty site said that is in use for a week but the people packed up go ahead. We set up fully expecting an outraged camper to show up in the middle of the night. Nope, stayed three quiet days.
Did not pay either. Host said thesite was paid in full and the system would not accept payment on an occupied site. Felt a bit guilty but?

profdant139

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Posted: 06/16/21 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pitch, we had the opposite experience in Great Basin Nat Park. On a rainy day (key fact), we spotted a totally vacant site that was first come, first served. We set up our trailer.

After a half hour of work, a guy shows up in a panel truck, claiming that this was his site! It turns out that he had posted his little ticket stub on the stake in front of the campsite but that the rain had washed it off the stake and onto the ground. When we found it, there was his name and date.

He had failed to leave any evidence of occupation in his site -- when we asked him why, he told us that he had no excess possessions and had to pack everything up when he drove his truck from the campsite to the visitors' center.

So we had to leave. Moral of the story: even if you think the site is vacant, check carefully for those ticket stubs!!

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