The permit reservation line opened in Yosemite on Tuesday, and it took me a day and a half of fairly frequent dialing and busy tones before I got through for my trip in June. I got the permit I was looking for so that was OK, but if I'd been going for a popular trailhead I might have missed out (Wednesday morning already showed some full trailheads for Memorial Day and June). Last summer I was lucky and got my Cathedral Lakes permit for August by phoning on the first day they were available in late Feb (got through within 10 mins at 8.30am in the morning). Obviously the first couple of days in January I'm sure the reservation people have to deal with a flood of enquiries for everything in May and most of June, but I'm wondering if I was just lucky last year or if it really does become easier to get through later in Jan and Feb.
Is it better to apply by fax instead? I like the instant feedback on the phone, but I'm not sure what gets priority. Does anyone know whether the faxes received before 8am are processed before any calls are taken that morning, or will you miss out if someone calls at 8am before the pile of faxes has been sorted through?
Also, any experiences about what is best for other places? Inyo National Forest allows you to call for a permit (as well as fax and mail), but Sierra National Forest only takes applications by post (albeit 12 not 6 months in advance according to their website - so maybe I'm too late for Labor Day weekend already ), so I'm also wondering about whether its easy or hard to reach Inyo NF by phone (is this also impacted by whether they are in the middle of processing Whitney lottery applications? That's not what I'm after but I could imagine it being a big distraction in March).
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tim wrote:Is it better to apply by fax instead? I like the instant feedback on the phone, but I'm not sure what gets priority. Does anyone know whether the faxes received before 8am are processed before any calls are taken that morning, or will you miss out if someone calls at 8am before the pile of faxes has been sorted through?
You've obviously read the Yose page for permits at: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm
Seems they say fax is preferred. 2 years ago, they had an online permit system. not sure where that went. I now too, prefer the phone; It makes me feel better that i'll get what i want.
The "check availability" link on the site is very good as well (when it works.) Yose outsources it's permit service, hence probably the reason that you can't do online reservations anymore, i'd think.
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