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New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

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New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Saltydog » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:35 pm

There is quite a discussion raging on the JMT FB page (and nowhere else apparently) about rumored bizarre new rules for Yos TH permits: 1) that Glacier Point will no longer be access to the JMT and 2) that that permits providing JMT access with listed exit THs south of Red's will be limited to 30 a day. Believe me, this discussion does NOT need more rumor or hearsay, but if anyone has anything solid or definitive on this it would be very timely and appreciated. We already know that NOTHING to this effect has been on any Yos NP or YOS Conservancy page, but if you have something new or solid, there are a lot of folks planning JMT hikes who are very concerned about this.



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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby JWreno » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:02 pm

I don't think it would be a bad idea to thin the herd a little. I have down 2 complete northbound JMTs entering at Cottonwood pass and last summer did the traditional Happy Isles to Whitney Portal version. I enjoyed the northbound versions more because I spent less time leapfrogging the herd over and over. It is very easy to get a northbound permit out of Horseshoe meadows (Cottonwood Pass) and you can pick up the permit at the Mono Lake visitors center instead of dealing with Yosemite.

I got my Cottonwood entry pass reservations within 2 weeks of departure, vs. the 24 weeks out of Happy Isles.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby maverick » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:06 pm

Call the Yosemite Wilderness Permit Office, rumors are just unsubstantiated hearsay,
until one of the governing agencies tells you otherwise Salty. (209) 372-0200
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Saltydog » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:47 pm

That's just the problem, Mav. We have contacted 2 wilderness rangers and had diametrically opposed information from each. One says no change for 2015, the other says these 2 new rules are in effect now. We get no response from inquiries any higher up the food change, and nothing in writing.

And please, before we get into a discussion of whether such rules are a good idea, the goal here is to find out if in fact they even exist. There is nothing on any web document, including the current Superintendent's Compendium.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:14 pm

Every year I hear new things about permits. This last year I had more issues than any other with permits. I was out for about a month or more with no permit at all.

In regards to the 30 days it's a strange thing I encountered this year with White Mountain Ranger District. They apparently will not issue any permits longer than 30 days. Why I have no idea. I ran into a Ranger in Kings Canyon that knew the law number that states you cannot spend more than 30 days on any Federal land. He said that as soon as you exit one area and enter another it resets your 30 day limit. This does not explain why White Mountain will not issue for longer if your crossing multiple boarders.

It also means that the hikes I do in the summer are illegal because since SEKI is managed as one crossing between them does not reset your 30 days. And I always spend more than 30 days without leaving the two parks.

I violate a number of technicalities under the permit laws by being a long distance hiker operating on a single permit. The fact that any other year I have been issued a single permit for my entire hike was technically illegal itself. But 95% of the Rangers I talk to argue those laws where never meant for someone like me.

Hopefully this coming summer it will go back to the norm for me and I will get a single permit while going in at Florence. If not I will not have a permit for a month.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby maverick » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:59 pm

Salty wrote:
That's just the problem, Mav. We have contacted 2 wilderness rangers and had
diametrically opposed information from each. One says no change for 2015, the
other says these 2 new rules are in effect now. We get no response from inquiries
any higher up the food change, and nothing in writing.


Why am I not surprised. Will check into this tomorrow, and hopefully get this cleared
up, unless someone else chimes in with some reliable and solid information.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Saltydog » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:04 pm

Thanks, RP, always good to hear from you. Maybe you should go in at Yos: when I did in 2013, they asked me what my exit date was, and I asked what the max allowable was: I was told there was no limit, so on August 5 I asked for November 1, facetiously, and got it.

Mav: Hope you can get further than we have: chapter and verse in the Compendium if you can. BTW this could affect ability to hook up from Yos at Ediza in Sept. If the rumor is true, Red's/Postpile entry permits are going to be in huge demand.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:59 am

Yosemite has always been the easiest to deal with. They only want to know where you enter and where you exit and it's free. The only trouble I have ever had with their permits is when a SEKI ranger tried to argue that my permit was not valid inside their borders.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:13 pm

There was supposed to be a meeting between Yosemite and Inyo in December
that did not happen. This is a yearly meeting to discuss any changes, including
any new regulation that could effect the JMT in 2015, it has been rescheduled for
this month, but Inyo is not aware of anything at this time Salty.
My Yosemite contact has forwarded your questions to a higher authority, who will
be able to address you concerns.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:21 pm

From my Yosemite source Salty:
Some changes are in the works and that the info should be posted shortly, perhaps late
this week, once announcement details are worked out.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby maverick » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:47 pm

Here it is:

Dear Yosemite Hiking Community,

I wanted to take this opportunity to share information with you about the John Muir
Trail (JMT) within Yosemite National Park. Over the last several years, Yosemite
National Park has seen a significant increase in demand for permits to hike the JMT.
During that time, there also has been an increase in the number of impacts related
to JMT hikers along the trail corridor. Last summer, for example, there were 31
reported bear incidents in the Yosemite Wilderness; 30 of which occurred along the
JMT. In addition, popular backcountry camps have seen a sharp increase in overnight
users which is affecting the quality of the visitor experience. The increased demand
for JMT permits has also lead to some hikers skirting the traditional permit system,
which has made it more difficult for non-JMT hikers to obtain wilderness permits for
other trails within Yosemite National Park.

The National Park Service is working with its neighboring agencies to develop an
interim solution that will protect natural resources, provide for a quality visitor
experience, and maintain hiking access throughout Yosemite—including the JMT.
Implementation of an interim solution will be communicated to the public and
the hiking community.

The National Park Service will continue to work with social media sites to ensure
current, accurate, and up to date information is shared. We look forward to a
solution that enables access and protects the park resources that attract JMT hikers.

Finally, I would like to apologize for any confusing or mis-information that has
reached the Yosemite (John Muir) hiking community. I understand and appreciate
your support for Yosemite’s Wilderness and invite you help us protect its truly
unique qualities.

Sincerely,

Ed Dunlavey
Wilderness Manager, Yosemite National Park
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby SoCalCPA » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:41 pm

30 of 31 incidences? - I'm a little skeptical that this was caused by JMT traffic - How many of the incidences were in Little Yosemite Valley? How many at Sunrise High Sierra Camp or Tuolumne? - Not to criticize because the hiking traffic in Yosemite is really off the hook but my experience with hikers that were doing long distances on the JMT has been that they were pretty savvy with the rules with bears - as I am too - I have to wonder if those incidences were from hikers that were not through-hikers.

Maybe special preference can be given to those that are hiking larger portions of the JMT regarding permits which probably only makes up a small percentage of the overall permits given out in Yosemite
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