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2016 summer Wilderness permits

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2016 summer Wilderness permits

Postby SSSdave » Thu May 12, 2016 9:05 am

Now mid May we are approaching the 2016 Sierra summer backpacking season.

There is a sticky on the board just for this topic:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=13999

For those who have not secured reserved permits for trips to areas they have an interest in visiting, I've noticed remaining Saturday and Friday entry dates on recreation.gov are generally being filled earlier than in past years. Mid week dates are still pretty open but it would be wise to peruse the situation at areas of interest. Below is some limited information on how to set up reserved permits some new folks may find useful with more thorough information on the above link and at the NF sites and recreation.gov. At this point I have 3 permits reserved.

First trip is on the June 18/19 weekend at Desolation for Half Moon Lake out of Glen Alpine Springs that will be our old folks warm-up trip this year. A week ago when I first looked at that, Saturday was already quota filled so chose June 17 Friday to go in as I took the last 3 slots on a 2 night permit. And here is the trick others can use. Like many people I'm a m-f 8-5 working person so won't get off work on that Friday till about 4pm. Will pick up the other 2 people late afternoon on the 210 mile drive and arrive maybe 9/10pm. The Desolation permit system prints out the actual permit via an email link one receives instead of having to actually pick up a permit in person. This is the most convenient national forest process currently. Thus we will start night hiking after arriving and hike up that trail at least a couple miles and maybe all the way depending on how we feel. Note Desolation permit fee is $10 per person plus $6 for a reservation.

The second permit I've reserved is at Sierra National Forest for a 9-day trip out of TA Edison Reservoirfor 3 people up the North Fork of Mono Creek up and over Rohn Pass into the upper Fish Creek basin. Like many of the smaller NF operations, they are still not using recreation.gov and don't have online trailhead quota information. One has to USPS mail in the online printed out permit form. If they find your requested entry date full, one receives a phone call where you can discuss other options. For that trip the Saturday entry date on July 16 was also already filled. Friday July 15 was open so on the phone moved our start to that. Yesterday received the reservation letter in my USPS mail box that is not an actual permit. And per policy that has been around at least a couple decades now, they have a night box system. Thus on Thursday morning July 14 will phone up their Prather office and request our permit be put in their night box that we will pick up later that evening on our drive in. During the phone call they may discuss usual policy and any special conditions. The permit fee was $5 per person or $15 total.

The third permit is at Inyo National Forest that for decades has always had the most advanced permit processes as that has evolved. Today that very popular NF also uses recreation.gov. They also have a night box system. My permit is for Shepherd Pass that starts only 5 days after we exit the SNF trip so also begins on a Friday. The reservation fee was $11 just for me. I will be base camping at 2 locations about the Upper Kern Basin. For that reservation will phone up INF Thursday morning July 28 to have my permit put into their night box that I will pick up late evening on my long drive and then drive up to the dirt road trailhead where will sleep. Then likely wake up pre dawn and start out on that trail dawn while temps are cool.



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SSSdave
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Re: 2016 summer Wilderness permits

Postby overheadx2 » Thu May 12, 2016 4:00 pm

Dave, if you are going over shepherds pass into kings Canyon NP, don't you have to pick up your permit in person or can you get a night drop for Sequoia and kings Canyon from the east side?
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Re: 2016 summer Wilderness permits

Postby SSSdave » Thu May 12, 2016 10:10 pm

Indeed, good catch. Anyone entering SEKI by first passing through the JMW must pick up a permit at an INF office in person like 8am earliest, thus cannot get an early morning start. In my case that will delay my start till after 9am. Last time I had to do that was 2014 going over Kearsarge Pass. And now recall that was one key reason I decided during planning not to push going much over 3k the first day even if I felt like I could do more and to take several long breaks going up the low elevation switchbacks that is likely to be warm.
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Re: 2016 summer Wilderness permits

Postby KevinDo » Sat May 14, 2016 10:30 pm

Does inyo do night drops for the Postpile area??
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Re: 2016 summer Wilderness permits

Postby Shawn » Sat May 14, 2016 11:44 pm

"Does inyo do night drops for the Postpile area??"

Yes, from the Ranger Station in Mammoth Lakes on 203. There's a night drop box outside their front door.
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Re: 2016 summer Wilderness permits

Postby overheadx2 » Mon May 16, 2016 10:53 pm

Dave, I was hoping I was wrong and you had figured out a way to get a night drop into SEKI. Nothing more irritating than hitting some LA traffic and missing the ranger station hours by 30 minutes and having to wait for the AM.
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