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Wilderness Permit Information

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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Postby wildhiker » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:12 pm

After reading freebrownies long description of how to "beat the system" for JMT wilderness permits, all I can say is Yuck! What is happening to the wild! Is it just another game to play so you can be the "winner" and "do" the JMT? What about true encounters with wild nature? That requires restraint and humility, not competition. As for me, I'll never play such a game just to say I hiked a marquee trail. I'll find some other corner of the wilderness where I can experience nature, not a game.
-Phil



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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:46 am

wildhiker wrote:After reading freebrownies long description of how to "beat the system" for JMT wilderness permits, all I can say is Yuck! What is happening to the wild! Is it just another game to play so you can be the "winner" and "do" the JMT? What about true encounters with wild nature? That requires restraint and humility, not competition. As for me, I'll never play such a game just to say I hiked a marquee trail. I'll find some other corner of the wilderness where I can experience nature, not a game.
-Phil


Just the kind of talk that gets you called an "elitist."

There are those in the world who think everything should be free and easy access, and plenty of hikers enjoy jamming the trails with nonstop party shenanigans. Whatever floats your boat, as long as you're at least sticking to the quotas and food storage rules.

I'll be fine being an elitist or a loser or whatever someone wants to falsely label me especially if it's clear they don't get it, never will, and have a completely different ethic about these things than I do - I don't have to agree with them and I'll never have to spend any appreciable time with them.... They can hike the highways, I'll take the remote areas, everyone will be happy that way.

I started to make a spreadsheet similar to Asolthane's but he beat me to it. Having it here as a sticky to refer newbies to is handy enough. But things will be changing, more of the wilderness areas are moving toward the system Inyo uses -- it's several years out tho. Sierra NF will be there in perhaps five years or so. A reflection of the continuing budget and personnel crisis.
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Postby freebrownies » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:45 pm

In defense of the crazy registration system for obtaining permits, and "tactics" of increasing one's chances...
I, like many, prefer unadulterated encounters with nature, but never having hiked in the Sierra, and having had a dream of hiking the JMT for some years, I find it worth the hassle (and the likelihood of sharing the trail with a "host" of other hikers). Similarly, I went to Havasupai last summer, after 16 hours (literally) of redialing on the phone before securing a reservation. Would I do it again? Maybe (especially if their new online reservation system works in future years).

I'm grateful for quota systems because they keep the trail from becoming a disneyland line of people, like the many shorter hikes I've taken in other parks without quotas which become a ridiculous procession of tourists. When I want a completely raw, isolated experience, I'll hire a helicopter to drop me off 100 miles from the nearest town in the Yukon, or go to one of my little secret spots in my local wilderness areas. When I want to try out a more popular area praised for its beauty and such, I'll find ways to increase my chances. Will I return to the Sierras after this summer? Likely. To each his own, I guess.
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:32 am

With all the closures this summer, the FS websites say they will re-permit or refund. If they re-permit, is that from the reserved quota or would they write a permit out of the "first come" quota? In other words, if I show up for a first-come permit, is the amount available that day still the same as posted on the list of quotas (for example the Inyo Forest list)?
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:43 am

freebrownies wrote:In defense of the crazy registration system for obtaining permits, and "tactics" of increasing one's chances...
I, like many, prefer unadulterated encounters with nature, but never having hiked in the Sierra, and having had a dream of hiking the JMT for some years, I find it worth the hassle (and the likelihood of sharing the trail with a "host" of other hikers).


Never let it be said that I'm not grateful for quotas. The requests for JMT permits are skyrocketing and the trails would be a solid flow of hikers for days on end without them... This is by the way reflective only of people who actually did it, there were 30,000 requests... and this likely does not include people like the fellows I met last weekend starting at Florence Lake going south, who were then going to jump back over to Edison and start going north from there, because doing the trail in the traditional manner has become such a total cluster that it made more sense for them to go out from the middle.

jmtgraph_2.png


It would be impossible to saw the trees out of the trail -- we'd have to take additional personnel for crowd control.

And we'd have to install pit toilets everywhere, as they do in Little Yosemite Valley and all along the Mist Trail.
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:27 am

Just looking at the full trailhead permit page https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/trailheads.htm and being denied my 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices for Sept 12, 13, or 14, I've resubmitted for the only 4 days still left in Sept. Their response to fax requests seems to be very fast. Fax connected on the first or second try and the form was easy to fill out. Might actually be fishing my favorite place on my birthday :)
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Postby rlown » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:34 pm

An update on Yose permits.. On my second attempt to secure a permit, I got September 25th, which was great. I saw the charge hit the Visa acct, but no email. I guess they used the old email address I had on prior trips. I called and got through the phone tree from hell. Sure enough, they used the old email address. All fixed and now all is good. I asked if I could pick up the permit at the Mono Visitor Center, and they said no. sigh, as I've always done that before.
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Postby sambieni » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:31 am

FYI. I am learning the hard way that if you intend to enter SEKI via Inyo, etc, you cannot do a night drop. The rep via phone informed me that all permits - such as those out of Onion Valley or similar - heading into SEKI require an in person pickup to review rules of the road.

As for me, this kinda disrupts my 3-day weekend plan; ie 2 extra hours driving on day setting out and an earlier wake up to get to permit office by 8 am opening.
GRRR!!!!
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SEKI (westside) - new system

Postby oleander » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:52 pm

For backpacking permits to westside SEKI trailheads, SEKI has replaced its fax system with an email system.

SEKI's updated primer on backpack permitting is excellent and thorough. Kudos! Here:

https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/ ... -Final.pdf

As before, entries for the entire summer season open at midnight (actually 12:01 a.m.) on March 1. They are processed by SEKI in the order received. So if you're applying for a popular trail such as Bubbs Creek or the High Sierra Trail, it behooves you to do so at the midnight hour.

The permit form is a PDF that is a bit wonky. In theory, you can fill it in online, then save it, then email it (as an attachment) to SEKI. In practice, I found some of the lines impossible to fill in online. I had to print out my partially-filled-out form, complete the rest of it by hand, and scan the filled-out form back into my system, before I could email it. You don't have to wait till midnight on March 1 to get your permit form(s) ready. They are available online in advance. If you may need to arrange a printer and scanner, then plan accordingly. [Or, perhaps the glitches in this form will have been worked out by the time the summer 2019 application period rolls around.]

I applied for two different trips. My lesson learned: I should have used different email accounts for the two different applications. If you do as I did - if you send two separate emails from the same email account, each with its own distinct subject line and permit application - nevertheless your two emails will be merged into a single "conversation mode" by SEKI's email system. The system will think that your second email merely pertains to the first email, and that you only applied for one permit. (Confirmed by someone I spoke to in the wilderness office.) Consequently, you may hear back about your first permit application and not the second one.

It was suggested to me that I just send one single email, with both permit applications attached. For some of us, this is not practicable as each of the PDF permit applications is fairly large, and two such attachments may exceed the max megabytes of our outgoing servers. So, next time I have two trips, I will be sending the applications from two separate email accounts.

I'd like to thank SEKI for switching from a fax to an email system. Sitting in front of a fax machine, hitting "resend" at 2:00 a.m., was no fun. This new system is much easier!

- Elizabeth
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Postby CAMERONM » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:25 pm

FYI. I am learning the hard way that if you intend to enter SEKI via Inyo, etc, you cannot do a night drop. The rep via phone informed me that all permits - such as those out of Onion Valley or similar - heading into SEKI require an in person pickup to review rules of the road.

As for me, this kinda disrupts my 3-day weekend plan; ie 2 extra hours driving on day setting out and an earlier wake up to get to permit office by 8 am opening. GRRR!!!!


It is more than that. A lot of eastside busses and shuttles leave around 8. You walk out of the permit office by 8:30, if you are lucky.
I was told that this is completely something imposed on Inyo by SEKI.
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