"Not sure why so many people prefer to do it southbound".
Permits...The annual Whitney Trail lottery restricts access NOBO from the Portal. It was (up to now) so much easier to start/get permits from Yosemite.
HiSierra wrote:I've also been advocating better public information about the specifics of the problem. Let people know there are two areas where camping has become concentrated, and they should try to avoid those (Sunrise area and Lyell Canyon). Show them these areas on a map, and alternative areas to camp, as part of the "bear lecture." A good percentage of hikers will want to avoid crowds, bears, and overused sites. But they have to know in advance. This info should be on the website for trip planning as well.
JMT, Yosemite through-access is the problem...thoughts.
Instead of advocating alternative areas/ telling JMT hikers to avoid these two main "bottleneck" zones - (Sunrise area and Lyell Canyon), suggest herding all (or most anyway) of the Muirs together while in the park...It's a freeway trail anyway.
Introduce two large campsites (similar to LYV) - one somewhere near Sunrise HSC and another at Twin Bridges (half way up Donahue). You can post little signs...station a backcountry Ranger at both...maybe erect adequate (two-story?) crappers at both too...force/encourage the JMT permit-holding hikers to stay at these designated MUIR camps. Charge all SOBO JMT hikers $25 each (call it a Yose MUIR fee?) to pay for the Rangers salary. This plan would alleviate encouraging dispersed camping along Yosemite's initial Muir sections - never a good idea when 100 (many brand new) hikers/day start out/or pass using one corridor. There would then be 4 larger, quality, "MUIR must" campsites along the route in Yosemite (much like the Missions)...LYV, Sunrise, Tuolumne BP, and Twin Bridges, plenty of room for all, and lots easier to maintain/manage all the JMT crapola when it is contained, not dispersed.
All other quotas would/could then remain the same.
BTW, why a public forum discussion period would be nice before any action taken.