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Copper Creek Trailhead Walk-in availability 7/4?

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Copper Creek Trailhead Walk-in availability 7/4?

Postby MN2CAPisco » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:44 am

Hey all,

So I'm sitting on the couch moping a bit after my buddy that was about to join me for a leg on the SHR starting this morning had his flight canceled. He's hoping to fly in tonight so that we'll start a day late, however we'll obviously have to let our reservation at the trailhead slip away.

So my question is, do we have any chance of securing a walk-up permit tomorrow leaving from Copper Creek? Obviously with the holiday weekend we may be up for some heavy competition, so we'll try to get there super early to be at the front of the line. I know they give out walk-ins for the day starting the day prior though, so we might be out of luck either way if people are lining up this afternoon to get permits for the weekend.

If we're out of luck, do we have other options? Looks like we can access the SHR through the Kennedy Canyon trail, though that looks to be a very large detour unless there are viable x-country routes to connect up to Granite Valley. (Class 2 or minor Class 3 is our comfort zone)

Thanks and wish me luck! I'm hoping thing will work out well and I'll be back this time next week to post a nice trip report for you all...



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Re: Copper Creek Trailhead Walk-in availability 7/4?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:23 pm

Patience! For all the effort to go in Kennedy Creek, you may as well enjoy Kings Canyon (nice campgrounds that rarely fill) and just wait a day. Just be first in line when next day permits are available. There is a free FS camp area just as you come down the road before you hit the valley bottom, if campgrounds are full.

You could also talk to the rangers at Grant Grove and tell them what happened. They may let you go in a day late on your permit. I found they were very flexible when I had to re-permit for my SHR hike. SHR hikers go off-trail the first day so they do not impact the more popular areas on the trail.

The "not quite legal" option is simply to leave at 4-5AM with your current permit, a day late. I doubt you would be "caught".
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Re: Copper Creek Trailhead Walk-in availability 7/4?

Postby MN2CAPisco » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:37 pm

Patience indeed...I'll likely have more of that out in the canyon than here on my couch. I should be up there now! :)

You think I'll have more luck up at Grant Grove getting the permit than Road's End? I actually did think about making the 3 1/2 hour drive up and back today just to get the permit in hand but decided against it. Since I don't yet have it the 4-5 start time isn't really an option unless I'm willing to risk a fine for travelling without a physical permit in hand.
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Re: Copper Creek Trailhead Walk-in availability 7/4?

Postby vhsvhs » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:25 pm

@MN2CAPisco - The Copper Creek trail is much less popular than other trailheads at Roads End (i.e., Woods Creek and Bubbs Creek). Although this weekend is busy, I suspect there is a very good chance you can get a walk-in permit for Copper, especially if you arrive at the Roads End ranger station when they open in the morning. I've enjoyed several trips up Copper Creek, many on busy summer weekends, and I've always been able to get walk-in permits. Obviously, there are no guarantees, but I would suggest you try it! Good luck!

One more thing: on my recent visit to Kings Canyon (a few weeks ago), the ranger at Grants Grove told me that permits for Roads End can only be acquired at Roads End. This seems like a new policy (???). I somehow remember, in the past, that I could get Roads End permits at the Grant Grove station.
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Re: Copper Creek Trailhead Walk-in availability 7/4?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:32 pm

I think the rangers at Grants Grove are senior to those at Roads End, thus able to make independent decisions. Although they many not write you a permit, you may be able to plead your case and they would call Roads End to tell them to write you a permit. You are simply changing a permit; not totally getting a new one. They should not charge you the $15 again. I agree that Copper Creek TH quota is not often filled. Once you leave the trail headed to Grouse Lake, there is no permit problem- you will not see a ranger, or for that matter, other people.

The most wait I would think you would do, is go out Saturday (July 5) instead of July 4. In the big picture of the entire SHR, this is not much of a delay. If you go in Kennedy Creek, you would be delayed nearly as much with a lot more effort expended.

Good Luck.
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