Wow. I got denied. I had 15 dates selected, throughout end of july/early august for 2 people for a day hike and I didn't get any of them. I am very disappointed.
About the same date range as mine, but for 6 people. Same results though.
I have all six people lined up, not reserving with hikers to be named latter, or reserving a table without all the diners.
I think it's probably better to have all six hikers enter the lottery independent, and maybe have some with unique names (not family members) apply for two people.
Learning the gamemanship for the lottery by asking around... however after I entered the lottery listing the others.