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Permit probabilities and alternatives in SEKI

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Permit probabilities and alternatives in SEKI

Postby DanielG » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:08 pm

Tried searching forums for answers to this one but wasn't coming up with anything very specific. I'm thinking of taking my wife to SEKI for the first time this coming weekend for a 3 day hike with plan to drive most the way from SF on Thursday, sleep, then finish the drive Friday morning. My thought was to do a loop starting at Road's End --> Junction Meadow --> Brower Lake --> Sphinx Creek.

I've never gone in via the Road's End trailhead and don't have a permit reservation. I was wondering what kind of odds I might face for getting a walk-up permit on Friday morning at 7 or 8am? Given how far Road's End is from other trailheads, what is a good strategy for having alternatives in case Bubb's Creek TH walk-up isn't available? Any suggestions on how to navigate the walk-up permit process and nearby alternatives would be greatly appreciated!



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Re: Permit probabilities and alternatives in SEKI

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:19 pm

Since walk ins for Friday are available the afternoon before, you may want to back up the arrival time. A campsite in Sheep Creek or a night in a pullout outside the park boundary gets you an early early early predawn start up that godforsaken hot as hades stretch of trail between the bridge and the Sphinx Creek Junction anyways....
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Re: Permit probabilities and alternatives in SEKI

Postby DanielG » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:39 pm

Would love to go earlier but due to both our jobs can't leave before around 7pm on Thursday from SF, so pretty much best case scenario is 7am at the permit station and even that's a bit of a stretch.
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Re: Permit probabilities and alternatives in SEKI

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:42 pm

And that's a pretty ambitious plan for three days...

Junction is a long hot pull. The reservations are all booked solid for the next 11 days for Bubbs Creek -- however, people often flake on reservations. There's a chance you might have to settle for doing the Woods Creek trailhead around the loop, or Copper Creek, which is not reserved solid - which is a tough trail but, you want an ambitious route anyways and the high lakes over Granite Pass are gorgeous too.
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Re: Permit probabilities and alternatives in SEKI

Postby limpingcrab » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:19 am

Well, I've never been denied a walk-in permit at Road's end, and I've had quite a few, so that's no guarantee but it'll help you get your hopes up.

All of the backup options out of Kings Canyon itself are much steeper, but if that doesn't bother you I must say that the lake basins on north side of Hogback Peak are among the most beautiful and seldom visited places I've been in the SIerra. You'll surely be able to get a permit for one of the trailheads leading up there.
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Re: Permit probabilities and alternatives in SEKI

Postby DanielG » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:06 am

Very helpful, I'll look into alternatives at Copper Creek. I'm not familiar with Hogback Peak; will scan caltopo tonight to find what you're referring to. Appreciate the help!
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