North Pines is in Yosemite Valley, along the Merced River.
The seven other reservable Yosemite campgrounds will remain on the general reservation system, in which spots for peak season become available five months in advance, on the 15th of each month.
The park’s news release warns that winning a lottery spot does not guarantee the desired site and dates. It advises winners to have alternative dates in mind and to check updated availability as their booking time approaches.
The pilot program is an attempt to address allegations of unfairness under the current reservation system, in which campsites frequently sell out within minutes of becoming available. “We regularly receive complaints from users saying they were unsuccessful because they are not computer savvy, their computers or internet connection are not fast enough, or that bots (automated computer systems) got all the reservations, or that some users receive preferential treatment. The early access lottery pilot is an attempt to address these concerns,” the Yosemite release said.
The system might be expanded to other campgrounds, depending on the pilot’s results.