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Backcountry sites between Christmas and New Year's?

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Offline ds9writer

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Backcountry sites between Christmas and New Year's?
« on: December 03, 2017, 09:41:27 PM »
My son and I are looking at being in the Bend the week after Christmas (Dec 27-31 probably).  And... I think we've convinced my wife to go (it'll be her first time!)

I've read posts that go both ways, and I've looked at the same week in El Campo from last year (looked pretty full)... but my question is... will there be trouble getting a backcountry site that week?  We'd probably want to avoid the River Road sites (at wife's request), but any others would be fine.

Does anyone have experience with this week?  Just don't want to drive all the way there (8 hours) and find there's no place to stay...

The Basin would be ok too - what are the chances of getting one of the non-reservable sites?

Thanks in advance!
You don't travel to see different things,
You travel to see things differently.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Backcountry sites between Christmas and New Year's?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 09:51:46 AM »
"Man, that's alot of pink!"  This is what I said when I looked back at last year's campsite occupancy on the park's El Cheepo web site.  I like using Dominquez trail head campsite as the tale-tell.  When that site is full up, the park is full up.  It is about the furthest spot from both sides, and has a history of border trouble. That says to me it is the last place to get used.  Some body has to get the spots, it may be you.  But a real good Plan B or C is in order.  Stillwell ranch is the next best option in my opinion.

The earlier you get to PJ permit office the better, of course.  Leave home early.  I have seen people in line dropping out of sites, then immediately being picked up by the next people in line.  Point being that they all get filled, but there are a bunch of changes that take place each day. 

Don't know about the Basin.  Never stayed there.
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Offline ds9writer

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Re: Backcountry sites between Christmas and New Year's?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 10:34:03 AM »
Thank you!

Maybe a better question would be -- when do people arrive during this week?  Christmas Eve?  Christmas Day?  The 26th?  I wouldn't have a problem if some of these campsites didn't fill till the 28th... just don't want the park to be full from the 26th on and we're not arriving until the 27th (or the 28th early early)...

(I do know one Spring Break we came on that first Saturday and we had to take Dominguez, but then others were free a couple days later and we moved... could be this time is similar??)
You don't travel to see different things,
You travel to see things differently.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Backcountry sites between Christmas and New Year's?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 12:31:08 PM »
Thank you!

Maybe a better question would be -- when do people arrive during this week?  Christmas Eve?  Christmas Day?  The 26th?  I wouldn't have a problem if some of these campsites didn't fill till the 28th... just don't want the park to be full from the 26th on and we're not arriving until the 27th (or the 28th early early)...

(I do know one Spring Break we came on that first Saturday and we had to take Dominguez, but then others were free a couple days later and we moved... could be this time is similar??)

For what it's worth, here are the number of permits issued each day around last year's Christmas and New Year's holidays.

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Offline ds9writer

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Re: Backcountry sites between Christmas and New Year's?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 12:54:30 PM »
That does help, thank you! 

Not the greatest data for our purposes :icon_eek: but seems like if 60-something permits were issued on the 28th, that means some people were leaving and some spots were opened up...

« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 01:01:42 PM by ds9writer »
You don't travel to see different things,
You travel to see things differently.

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Offline catz

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Re: Backcountry sites between Christmas and New Year's?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 03:47:47 PM »
   
 seems like if 60-something permits were issued on the 28th, that means some people were leaving and some spots were opened up...



That will be true every day.  From the graph it appears that the busiest period is between Christmas and New Years (not surprisingly).
Wake me when it's time to go.

 


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