Unlike the forest service, Yosemite, and Kings Canyon, Point Reyes allows you to pick up your permit after 4:30 pm without phoning in advance to let them know. They leave the permit in the wooden box outside the Visitor Center. One time, I suggested to the ranger at the permit desk that they keep track of non-shows from the permits not picked up and if people repeatedly are no-shows and don't phone to cancel they not be allowed to camp in Point Reyes for a year or so. He was sympathetic to the suggestion, but doubted anything would be done.
While the forest service, NPS, and state parks are good about dealing with wilderness permits, they are not so good about car camping reservations. If you have a reservation for 3 nights and don't show up, the campsite remains vacant those 3 nights. For example, the last time my wife and I camped at Lodgepole, I noticed site 101 (one of the best campsites) was unoccupied. I asked the man at the kiosk about it and he said since they reserved it for 4 nights the site would have to remain unoccupied. I've also seen this happen at the state parks and Death Valley where a reserved site sits unoccupied for two or more days. (Since we had the neighboring site on two of those occasions, we thought it was great not to have to deal with neighbors.)
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