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If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:17 pm

I have gone out several times without the permit. I make a good effort to get a permit, but if the permit is not possible due to the FS or Park Service mistake, I leave them a note and go out. I am in their system so if they really wanted to "bust" me they could. I do not do this on a regular basis- a few times in the last 4 years. I have also obtained a permit once and due to complications (wrong information from the ranger) I was unable to get on the trail the day of the permit, so I just went out the next day. I am not going to be unsafe (walk out in the dark) just because the permit says a certain day. However, when I have a large group, I ALWAYS get the permit. On the less used trailheads, I wish they would extend the "self-register" season or have it self register year round. I think the permit system helps them manage the resource, but I am not going to go far out of my way to get the piece of paper if I have made the required effort to get the permit and they failed to come through on their end. I do not "sneak" in - I let them know where I am. I am not being a rebel, just practical.



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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby motox155 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:52 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote: I think the permit system helps them manage the resource, but I am not going to go far out of my way to get the piece of paper if I have made the required effort to get the permit and they failed to come through on their end. I do not "sneak" in - I let them know where I am. I am not being a rebel, just practical.


Well said.

I always attempt to get the permit and make all the necessary and required steps but if something gets dropped on their end I will not let it spoil my time off or plans. As it is, my time off is limited and must be planned for ahead of time.
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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby ucangler » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:41 pm

This leads to a even better question for the Sierra's, what is the penalty in not having a wilderness permit?

Does anyone know? I heard it was $5,000 fine?
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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:03 pm

In Yosemite it is $75 for no permit, and up to $5000 for letting a bear get food/not having an approved canister. And the ranger takes you out of the wilderness.

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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:10 pm

I actually watched a ranger on horseback above Glen Aulin turn a couple of my friends around as they didn't have a permit. Late '80's but there was no fine. He did follow them out though.

Outside of the NPS, i might risk it, but not in the park. Heck, on our pack trip in July south of Yose, they permitted us on a different trail than the packer took us up on.
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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby kpeter » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:35 pm

When I grew up backpacking in Idaho, permits were never required. I understand they are now required on one of the most popular areas in the Sawtooths, but for the most part it is still self-registration at the trailhead.

To people who grow up without permits, the concept of getting a permit months in advance seems completely counterintuitive to the idea of entering the wilderness. I do it and understand why it is necessary, but the notion that you can "manage" a primeval experience just seems wrong. For those who prize solitude as the sine qua non of the backpacking experience, permits advertise the fact that entering the wilderness is not going to feel like entering a real wilderness.

Personally, I love the incredible scenic beauty of the Sierras and will put up with other people to see it. But Sierra-only folks find it hard to imagine that there are places in the west that you can hike for 50 miles on maintained trails in near total solitude.
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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby quentinc » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:49 pm

Yes. :littledevil:
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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby Cloudy » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:16 pm

Sometimes you just have to be a scofflaw. I did so once with a friend in the Grand Canyon. There were no permits available when we got there and we would never get another chance to go back so we opted to press on anyway regardless of the possible consequences. We were only busted on the way out and received a fine which we paid by mail. It was worth it and as I have never been back, I would do it again in a heartbeat rather than miss the opportunity.
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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby Gozerian138 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:00 am

How much was the fine that you had to pay in Grand Canyon? Just curious..
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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby Cloudy » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:47 pm

It's been many years but I believe that it was in the $75 range. Note that this was when I was making $3 something an hour so it actually hurt pretty badly but was still worth it... No regrets :-)
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Re: If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby Moonwalker » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:43 pm

I don't think of myself as being a particularly obedient person, but I support the permit system. I've gone in without a permit before (in college), and felt paranoid the whole time. I don't think of it as the government trying to manage the experience, rather it is a logical and laudable attempt to protect a scarce resource from its own popularity. They don't have the staff to do much more than limit the numbers. Probably everyone who doesn't manage to get a permit in time has their own "good reason" why the rule shouldn't apply to them, but if you plan early enough, or go in at a less popular point, I bet there is almost never a problem.
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If you didn't get a permit...would you still go?

Postby Thebrassnuckles » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:08 pm

I jus went to monarch lakes out of mineral king. I tried to get a permit from the ranger station but it was 4:19 pm. They close at 4. The ranger gave me a whole pile of attitude and said no. They are closed, as he performed a refund for another guy.

I went to a campground up the road and stayed the night there. Went back in the morning for another serving of attitude, got my permit and hit the trail. Turned my nice relaxed trip into a hike in, sleep hike out.

Still had fun though.
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