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east coast newbs

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Re: east coast newbs

Postby sparky » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:33 am

Getting a permit isnt an issue if you show up early. If thats a big deal, then dont go to yosemite. But like others have said, anywhere in the sierra is wonderful, and you cant go wrong. If you want solitude in only 3 or 4 days avoid yosemite.

If you just want to hike the high sierra, you will find it outside yosemite. Green meadows, towering sheer granite, waterfalls, lakes, blue sky.....go find it

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Re: east coast newbs

Postby markskor » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:47 am

lambertiana wrote:As has already been said by others, good luck getting permits for anything decent in Yosemite.

By this time of year, when you call in, you will discover immediately that all the desirable reserved (on-line) backcountry permit dates are filled - gone. This does not mean that good permits are still not available. Here is the way it works - Yosemite permit-wise. 60% of all the backcountry permits are designated reservable, and by this time of year, (check for yourself) probably your choice of dates is long filled up. However, the remaining 40% are designated "next-day" and are still available - in fact, most of the quotas are never filled.

Many hopeful backpackers send in their dream choices 6 months ahead of time to ensure guaranteed trail space - always a wise move for larger parties. Unfortunately, these planners often ask for 4 - 6 person permits, anticipating that Aunt Millie and the neighborhood friend will be coming along too on the trip...(You know how this story goes?)...over 1/2 drop out last minute. The Yosemite Permit folk have no way of knowing that the reserved party of 6 is now only a twosome until the day before when the party arrives in the park to pick up their reserved permit...thus 4 spaces are opened up last minute.
If 20% of the reserved permits drop out (a conservative estimate) and 40% are open as next day, that adds up to over 50% of all permits being wide open and available.

If you are a single or a two, just show up, get to the permit place early, be flexible, and grab one - I do. I never make reservations anymore and have always gotten my first choice of trailhead...(Half Dome/Happy Isles being the one exception). Even at that, my buddy once wanted to bag the Dome two years ago July 4th (a rather busy day in the park). Without any prior reservations, we were on the trail by 11:00, permit in hand.
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Re: east coast newbs

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:11 am

What trips people up with Yosemite is that the campgrounds fill, the permit quota that's reservable fills, and they have these nightmares of not getting to do what they want to do.

I have made one campsite reservation - last August, height of the season, someone wanted to hike some destination from Happy Isles. I went online on a whim and got a site in Upper Pines that had apparently been a cancellation. Allowed several of us to go up the night before so we could dayhike at the ungodly hour our friend wanted to start hiking.

I took a group of 20 people to Tuolumne Meadows campground the week it opened last year - we got enough sites for us. Had to get on a waiting list but the sites that came up were all next to each other.

I have done three consecutive backpacking trips - walk in for a permit for Parker Pass, get it, hike with one group of friends. Walk in the morning I got back, got a permit for Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, went for three days with another friend. Walk in after that... Yeah, I stored a bunch of stuff in a bear locker at the Dog Lake Trailhead, it was all there each time I picked up another canister full of food.

Take a list of trips of the same duration, prioritize them, walk in, get permits, go backpacking. People cancel ALL the time. ALL the time. Ask Inyo - they are really, really good at recycling those Whitney permits, abandoned daily. One of the reasons I got with a hiking group was having endless cases where the hiking buddy du joir bailed out on me and left me in the lurch. I'll post a trip, have 50 people sign up, and have six people on the trail with me at the end. There has not been a trip where I have not had enough permit slots for people, but there have been those where I reserved 10 and ate the fees for half of those.
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