A few JMT permit questions | High Sierra Topix  

A few JMT permit questions

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Re: A few JMT permit questions

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:38 pm

sierramel wrote:You CAN use the backpackers campgrounds without a permit. Just set up your camp AFTER the ranger personel close up shop (at the campground entrance nearest the Ahwahnee) at 6PM. And have yourself out of there before the rangers come back on duty at 8AM.
They don't check out the backpackers (Valley) campground until around 9AM after they make a run-through the car camp ground.
Backpackers up in Tuolomune is easier. If you have a car, park it at Lembert Dome, walk across the road from there over to the Tuolumne Meadows store and walk up behind it and through the car campground, up the hill, and to the backpackers campground near the trail to Elizabeth Lake.
Set up after 6PM. Take down your stuff before 9AM.


I stayed in TM backpacker last Monday. They came around well before 9 - before 8 am, actually, I was finishing breakfast and packing - and got a real good look at each camper on the way through... The times I've stayed in the valley, the ranger comes by a few times. Once well after 6 pm, more like 7 - I remember because it was post-dinner and we were settling in with some Half Dome ale.

TM is less particular in that they don't check permits, just that you paid and spent one night. One of the campground rangers told me that if someone rides in on a bus, without wilderness permit, staying in the bper camp is no big deal. Also, people will move into occupied campsites in any of the bper campgrounds without asking, and you may come back from that burger and soda to find three more tents within ten feet of yours.



User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: A few JMT permit questions

Postby yosehiker » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:04 am

Yes you CAN stay at a backpacker's campground whenever you want, but that doesn't mean you may or even should. I CAN do a lot of things, i can walk, i can drive, i can drive my car onto a meadow, i can be rude, i can build a huge campfire in a meadow on the shoreline of a lake, i can... I think you get the point. I like the way things are now: easy, straightforward and fair. But if people are intentionally breaking the law i fear that it will not always be so and that honest people like me will be reaping the consequences. And that's just not for backpacker's campgrounds. It really is not that hard to find a campsite in the park if you do a little thinking and planning before you go to the park.
User avatar
yosehiker
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:36 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: A few JMT permit questions

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:16 pm

I think the primary reason the TM backpacker camp is not as strict at the others is that the PCT and JMT run through - long distance hikers can stay there a night and get some flush toilet action and running water, and a burger at the grill.

Since my last post in this thread, I stayed in White Wolf BPer camp. The ranger rode his horse through sometime around midnight. He chatted up someone in one of the other tents. So not all campgrounds are the same... and just because folks say "they don't check after X time" does not mean that it's true.... It's just their experience, and probably limited to once or twice a year. (Mine is more like 6-7 times a year, but I live close and organize group backpacks into the central Sierra.)

Know what the rules are and understand risks before you take them. :)
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: A few JMT permit questions

Postby gary c. » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:11 pm

I've kind of been thinking along the same lines as yosehiker as I've followed this thread. I've been known to cheat and circumvent the sytem a little myself but I don't think we should put ways to beat the system out there on the net. Pretty soon things get abused and shut down. If someone posts a question and you have a sugestion that is less than legal how about a PM?
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
User avatar
gary c.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 999
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:56 pm
Location: Lancaster, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: A few JMT permit questions

Postby PeteL » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:14 am

I'm just back from the JMT, superb trip! A few final words on this thread:

As I mentioned previously, based on some good advice here, I'd reserved a permit starting Happy Isles -> Illilouette, for Tuesday 31st Aug (and finishing Whitney Portal). This gave me a backup option if I wasn't able to get anything else.

However, I arrived at Yosemite about 3pm the day before, on Mon 30th, and walked straight over to the wilderness center to check out the situation. It turned out that there were actually still plenty of same-day Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley permits available, although all the Happy Isles pass-through had gone (but apparently only just). So I was able to switch my next day Illilouette permit for an immediate Little Yosemite Valley permit, and get walking straight away, literally 30 mins after arrival! The rangers seemed keen to help, and the walkthrough of the wilderness regulations didn't seem too onerous and was done pretty quickly.

On the route, I had my permit physically checked once, heading out of Tuolomne Meadows. I also got stopped on Whitney and asked why I wasn't displaying a Whitney day permit tag. However he accepted my reply that I was doing the JMT without doing a physical check of my permit. I think he may have noticed my dirty and dishevelled state by that point in the conversation, and taken it as sufficient confirmation! In both cases the rangers were friendly and keen to chat.

So overall, after initial worries, the permit system actually worked fine for me, and I would definitely use the approach of reserving a less popular starting trailhead (such as HI -> Illilouette, or Glacier Point -> LYV) if I was doing the JMT again. At worst, it means a bit of extra non-JMT (but still very pleasant) walking, at best you can pick up a different permit on the spot.

> Be sure to post a trip report when you return!

I'm currently writing up a long and rambling trip report for my website (and wading through 1800+ photos!). Will post a summary and the best pics here too........
User avatar
PeteL
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:32 am
Experience: N/A

Previous

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 3 guests