Best Non-Permit Backpacking

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AZeBrA
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Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by AZeBrA » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:02 pm

New to the forum.

I live in Phoenix and have been graciously approved (via the ol wife) for a solo 4 day trip mid august-september

I'd consider myself a Level 3 feller. I've been successful up to this point at acclimating well to altitude.
Been around 10,000-12,600 pretty regularly the past 3 months.

Looking for.....
1-3 nights/10-30 miles
Elevation Gain
Potential peaks to bag
Lakes are a plus...rivers..streams..water source of some variety
Moderate to low traffic.
willing to travel but ideally eastern sierras/sequoia nf
Last edited by AZeBrA on Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.








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bobby49
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Re: Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by bobby49 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:07 pm

First of all, you might want to define what you are looking for. What makes a gem location? How far are you willing to travel to get to a trailhead?

Besides, there are places that do require an overnight permit, but those permits are easy to get. The permitting system allows the authorities to give you "the lecture" about wilderness laws and ethics.

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AZeBrA
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Re: Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by AZeBrA » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:23 pm

Sure thing.

1-3 nights/10-30 miles
Elevation Gain
Potential peaks to bag
Lakes are a plus...rivers..streams..water source of some variety
Moderate to low traffic.
Ideally eastern sierras/sequoia nf

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c9h13no3
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Re: Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:23 pm

bobby49 wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:07 pm
First of all, you might want to define what you are looking for. What makes a gem location? How far are you willing to travel to get to a trailhead?
Also: When are you going? Many places have self issue permits at the trail heads after mid-September. Takes 1-2 minutes, and allows the park service to count how many people are using various places.

Other times, places will issue you a permit over the phone, and you just pick it up in a night drop box.

But yeah, the Inyo NF permit hassle is a pain.
"Adventure is just bad planning." - Roald Amundsen
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maverick
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Re: Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by maverick » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:30 pm

Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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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AZeBrA
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Re: Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by AZeBrA » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:40 pm

maverick wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:30 pm
AZeBrA, please read: http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... 161#p25161
Very cool.

I will revamp the initial post. Thanks!

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Re: Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by wildhiker » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:16 pm

There is really no part of the high Sierra where you can legally backpack without a wilderness permit. I think what you are asking for is advice about places where permits are easy to get with no hassles. Unfortunately, in addition to the enormous popularity of the national parks and the Inyo Forest trailheads that cause a lot of competition to get wilderness permits, this year we have the added hassle of COVID-19, which has forced most permitting agencies into a cumbersome reservation only system that can require a lot of advance planning and luck.

The two areas in the "true High Sierra" (most of us define that as the entire region from Sonora Pass south to Cottonwood Pass, plus some outliers around Lake Tahoe) that seem to have the easiest wilderness permitting procedures in the time of COVID-19 are the Stanislaus National Forest on the west side for the Emigrant Wilderness and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest on the east side for the Hoover Wilderness. Both of those areas border Yosemite National Park and permits can include hiking into the park. For Emigrant, you apparently just call the Stanislaus NF ranger station a couple of days in advance and they write up the permit and leave it in the "drop box" at the ranger station for you to pickup (I haven't tried them yet this year, but this is what I read on trip reports here on HST). For Hoover, you can reserve in advance on recreation.gov and they will email the permit to you, or you just show up at the walk-up window at the Bridgeport ranger station to pickup a permit in person (just did this last Friday). But verify this information on the respective forest websites!

I recommend checking out the Hoover Wilderness. Lots of dramatic peaks and canyons both in Hoover and the adjacent parts of Yosemite Park.

-Phil

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Re: Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:03 am

Yeah, most of the no-permit backpacking spots I know of in the Sierra are farther north (Granite Chief Wilderness, Bald Peak & Eagle Roadless Area, Grouse Ridge). And they're also on the smaller side, good for shorter trips.

I'd just pick a no-quota, easy permit spot.
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Re: Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by SSSdave » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:39 am

One can backpack without a permit anywhere in national forests OUTSIDE wilderness boundaries. But in your target areas that is all low interest lower elevation sagebrush or forest areas almost no one summer backpacks within. So yeah you need to read up on and understand the permit processes. Also do some minimal homework by on amazon searching with "Sierra Nevada backpacking" to get one of the guide books.

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AZeBrA
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Re: Best Non-Permit Backpacking

Post by AZeBrA » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:43 am

wildhiker wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:16 pm
There is really no part of the high Sierra where you can legally backpack without a wilderness permit. I think what you are asking for is advice about places where permits are easy to get with no hassles. Unfortunately, in addition to the enormous popularity of the national parks and the Inyo Forest trailheads that cause a lot of competition to get wilderness permits, this year we have the added hassle of COVID-19, which has forced most permitting agencies into a cumbersome reservation only system that can require a lot of advance planning and luck.

The two areas in the "true High Sierra" (most of us define that as the entire region from Sonora Pass south to Cottonwood Pass, plus some outliers around Lake Tahoe) that seem to have the easiest wilderness permitting procedures in the time of COVID-19 are the Stanislaus National Forest on the west side for the Emigrant Wilderness and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest on the east side for the Hoover Wilderness. Both of those areas border Yosemite National Park and permits can include hiking into the park. For Emigrant, you apparently just call the Stanislaus NF ranger station a couple of days in advance and they write up the permit and leave it in the "drop box" at the ranger station for you to pickup (I haven't tried them yet this year, but this is what I read on trip reports here on HST). For Hoover, you can reserve in advance on recreation.gov and they will email the permit to you, or you just show up at the walk-up window at the Bridgeport ranger station to pickup a permit in person (just did this last Friday). But verify this information on the respective forest websites!

I recommend checking out the Hoover Wilderness. Lots of dramatic peaks and canyons both in Hoover and the adjacent parts of Yosemite Park.

-Phil
Very good deal. Hoover Wilderness has peaked my interest. I saw permits do seem to be more readily available there.

So if I narrow it down to that area, what are some recommendations? Alltrails makes it look like i cant go wrong
with any choice, are there any trails that are must do? Day hikes included in case i pursue that route?

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