Happy turkey or tofurky day! Our friends over at the Adventure Cycling Association turned us on to this petition.
This petition would require National Park System units to ensure touring cyclists and other non-motorized travelers have a place to camp even if a park’s campgrounds are full. It says: “Self-propelled visitors (SPV), people arriving by foot, bicycle, canoe, or other mode of non-motorized travel, frequently arrive at a park after the campground has sold out, and may not be able to travel to the next available campground before dark.“
Existing policy seems to be park-by-park in nature. Quite a few large western national parks (Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon, others) have designated hiker-biker sites, and guarantee space for late-arriving cyclists.
As someone who’s toured through a few National Parks, I have first-hand experience with this problem. When April and I toured Glacier, we weren’t stressing out to find camping spots, as the park provides hiker-biker sites. However, when I’ve toured both Olympic and Mount Rainier, we were constantly worrying about making it to a campground before all the spots filled up. A few times we almost didn’t make it. (Note: While National Forests usually allow free or “dispersed” camping outside of official campgrounds, all camping in National Parks must be done inside official campgrounds.)
While I would love to see hiker/biker sites offered at all National Parks, I feel that a “no cyclist (or SPV) turned away” policy is a good start. If you agree, please consider signing the petition. They need 25,000 signatures by December 15, and they still have a long way to go.