ENP has a new online reservation system this year. Personally, I find it not a good idea given trip routes can’t be realistically planned so far in advance safely without current weather information. If you do plan your trip and book a site, you will lose all your money if you were to cancel. This then does not give most people a reason to cancel and keeps those sites showing as booked. You can’t change your start date without first cancelling and losing your money and then paying to start a new one. All in all, not a good idea to book ahead IMHO unless the stars and the moons align in your favor or you don’t mind losing your full reservation cost.
A few summers ago, we did a canoe trip to the Adirondacks where it seemed to be full when we reserved online. When we arrived, it was about 1/3 empty because people had reserved sites three months in advance, plans changed, and they never told the campground. That puts other campers at a disadvantage. Three months in advance for ENP sites is crazy. Last year, we tried to leave the first day from EC but the wind kept us from heading out. The year before, while we were driving down, we realized we had to change our plans because of the weather, so making reservations three months in advance would not have worked. Finally, we've made good friends while waiting in line at the Ranger Station to make our reservations. (We aren't there this year -- stupid covid -- but plan to be back next year!) - Rob and Allison
Agreed. This seems like one of those things set up by someone who has never camped in the backcountry but likes to know that they can now fit it into their busy schedules. Pfffft!