Wilderness Permit Information

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AaronRDavis
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by AaronRDavis » Sat May 16, 2020 10:15 am

Yep, here's what I got yesterday:
Greetings from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks,
You are receiving this message because your email address is associated with a 2020 wilderness permit reservation. We hope it finds you and your families and friends healthy.

Significant changes are being made for the 2020 wilderness permit quota season (May 22, 2020 to September 19, 2020) in accordance with CDC, state, and local public health guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this time, front-country access to wilderness trailheads in Sequoia and Kings Canyon is delayed at least through May 31, 2020. Reservations with an entry date prior to June 1st have been canceled and issued a full refund. This may be extended or modified as updated guidance is received. Please refer to the current conditions page for a list of accessible areas and available facilities and services.

When overnight wilderness trips resume, wilderness permits will be still be required. Our quota system remains in place, limiting the number of people entering the wilderness each day, from each trailhead, in accordance with the parks’ Wilderness Stewardship Plan. In order to comply with CDC guidelines and maintain social distancing, all wilderness permits will be issued remotely, by phone and email. Consequently, advance reservations are required for all wilderness permits in the 2020 season. No walk-up permits will be issued. The Lakes Trail, previously walk-up permits only, is available for reservation with a limited quota. Your existing reservation will not be cancelled unless the area remains closed at the time of entry or you contact us. For more information about the process for obtaining a wilderness permit this summer, please visit the parks’ permits website.

With reduced services in the parks, it is particularly important that visitors plan ahead and arrive prepared for their trip. Rangers are not available to answer questions at the trailhead. Animal resistant food storage containers (bear canisters) are still required in most of the park, but may not be available for rental. Visitors should rent or buy an appropriate food storage container before arriving in the park.
We apologize for the limited capacity to respond to inquiries this spring and understand that many of you have questions. Beginning May 18th the wilderness office will be answering phone (559-565-3766) and email (seki_wilderness_office@nps.gov) although we anticipate a high volume of questions and may not be able to respond quickly. Watch for future emails with more details and stay tuned to the parks’ website and social media for the latest news.

We are excited about summer in the mountains and look forward to helping you get outside for a great trip.








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robow8
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by robow8 » Sat May 16, 2020 10:27 am

Thanks Aaron. My follow up question is are they making the total daily quota now reserveable? I don't expect you to know, but hopefully SEKI will be posting something about this soon. With their above comments about the Lakes Trail, it makes me think that they will.
I hope that Yosemite decides to do this too. It would make my August 15 trip much more convenient.
It will be an interesting summer.

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jhfowler
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by jhfowler » Mon May 18, 2020 7:38 am

Not sure if this helps, but I applied for a permit yesterday and got this auto-reply:

------

Hello,

We have received your wilderness permit application for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Due to the Parks ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, park developed areas are closed. Therefore we are not processing any reservation applications for entry before June 1. The wilderness office is working with limited staff. We are still processing permit applications. However there are significant delays in processing and we ask for your continued patience. You can find more information about the parks closure on our web page at https://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm

You can find out which dates are full or nearly full at https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/ ... bility.htm

Thank you,

--
If you have general questions please e-mail at seki_wilderness_office@nps.gov

*** This is an automatically generated email, please do not reply ***

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tahoe23
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by tahoe23 » Wed May 20, 2020 10:34 am

I asked the National Forest Service -Inyo (facebook messenger) about when/how/if they would be releasing the 40% of quotas for walk-in permits. This is the reply I got May 19:

"We are working on a plan with some software changes that will allow us to issue permits with a phone call check in to avoid people congregating in large lines at our visitor centers. Hopefully we will have the details of how this will actually work soon. We hope to resume issuing permits for backpacking trips in early June. This will include the traditonal walk in permits.
Thank you for your patience while we all work through this issue."

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SirBC
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by SirBC » Wed May 20, 2020 11:57 am

tahoe23 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:34 am
I asked the National Forest Service -Inyo (facebook messenger) about when/how/if they would be releasing the 40% of quotas for walk-in permits. This is the reply I got May 19:

"We are working on a plan with some software changes that will allow us to issue permits with a phone call check in to avoid people congregating in large lines at our visitor centers. Hopefully we will have the details of how this will actually work soon. We hope to resume issuing permits for backpacking trips in early June. This will include the traditonal walk in permits.
Thank you for your patience while we all work through this issue."
Awesome news, thanks for checking up on this :thumbsup:
-------------
Dave | flickr

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oleander
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Lodgepole CG reservations canceled for the whole season

Post by oleander » Sat May 30, 2020 8:47 pm

Just got notice that my SEPTEMBER reservation at Lodgepole CG (SEKI) has been refunded. That campground will now be closed for the season.

I had been planning to car-camp there one night, immediately prior to a backcountry SEKI trip for which I also have a permit.

Going to stay hopeful that SEKI closures will be limited to some frontcountry campgrounds/facilities and will not extend to backcountry wilderness permits.

- Oleander

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CentralCalHiker
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by CentralCalHiker » Sat May 30, 2020 10:08 pm

Just go park off some road in the NF just a few miles down the road before your trip.

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rightstar76
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by rightstar76 » Sun May 31, 2020 3:22 am

All campground reservations were canceled. They will have to be rebooked. As of 5/30:
https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/ ... ng2020.htm

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caddis
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by caddis » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:51 am

If you are worried about missing the call for your permit. Here is the response I got from SEKI:
SEKI wrote: Yes if you know you will not be able a week before your trip we encourage you to call us at 559-565-3766 to verify the detail of the permit and provide your itinerary information. We would ask that you try and call as near to your departure date as possible so that we can provide the most current trail conditions and advisories.
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kylekuzma
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Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by kylekuzma » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:26 pm

LA Times posted an article saying that SEKI will begin re-opening this Thursday, starting with the backcountry.

"Park entrances, roads, parking lots, restrooms, picnic areas and trails, including paths leading to the popular General Sherman Tree, will open for the first time since March 25, according to a park statement. Hikers with reserved wilderness permits will be allowed to proceed in the backcountry; walk-up permits won’t be issued this summer."

https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/20 ... -to-reopen

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