YOSEMITE (CBS13) — A new pilot lottery program for the Camp 4 Campground at Yosemite National Park is set to launch in May.

According to the National Park, the daily lottery program will help improve the visitor experience at the only first-come, first served campground in the Yosemite Valley.

As visitor demands for camping space at Camp 4 have been increasing over the past decade, the current system did not serve the needs of campers. In the current system, campers have to line up and wait for a space to open on a first-come, first served basis. To get a spot, the park said campers will line up all day and sometimes the night before.

The National Park said this system is inefficient and has contributed to wildlife issues due to improper food storage, out of bounds camping, and conflicts between campers.

The new pilot program will launch on Tuesday, May 21 and go until early September, using a daily lottery system similar to the Half Dome daily lottery. 

Interested campers can enter the daily lottery on www.recreation.gov. The lottery opens at 12:01 am Pacific time the day before your intended arrival date. The lottery is open until 4:00 pm Pacific time. The lottery automatically matches applicants with the number of open camping spaces. All people who enter the daily lottery will be notified by email on the results of their lottery application.

This new pilot program will run through the busy summer season and will be evaluated fall 2019. For more information on Camp 4 Campground, visit: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camp4.htm.  For information in general on camping in Yosemite National Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm . 

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