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High Sierra Trail Walkup Permits

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High Sierra Trail Walkup Permits

Postby mbHale » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:16 pm

Hi everyone. A friend and I are planning to do the HST in mid-August. We have a permit for Aug 13-19 but there is a chance my job may conflict with that date. Does anyone have know about the chances of getting a walkup permit?

The park site says they reserve 1/4 of the 30 available slots for walkups (7-8). I have 2 people. I find it hard to believe that if we went up there the night before and were waiting before Lodgepole opened (as early as we have to be there), we would not be assured a permit. Does anyone have any knowledge to share regarding this process? Clearly this is risky.

Thanks.



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Re: High Sierra Trail Walkup Permits

Postby longri » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:24 pm

I don't know what your chances are. It probably depends on the specific date.

Unreservable walk in permits are available starting at 1pm the day before. So to maximize your odds you should be there then. If you can go mid-week that would improve your chances as well. In addition, slots due to cancellations and no shows become available starting at 9am the day of.

The last time I got a walk in permit for Crescent Mdw / HST it was mid-summer, mid-week, and I was there the day before at 1pm. There was no line, just two other parties interested in going somewhere else. I don't know what happened after that with the remaining permit slots, but it was really HOT and there were thunderstorms. I was glad I started early the next day. YMMV.
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Re: High Sierra Trail Walkup Permits

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:32 pm

I would give it a try. You can have a backup plan, an alternate would be Wolverton to Panther Gap via the Long Meadow trail, or Wolverton to Panther Gap via the Alta trail. There is a cutoff trail from the Alta trail to the HST between Panther Gap and Mehrten Meadow.
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Re: High Sierra Trail Walkup Permits

Postby stevet » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:30 am

Don't know about Sequoia, but would guess since Yosemite, Grand Canyon, the forest service do it, that you can claim a "no show" permit. You would have to start your hike the same day, so for the HST would have to hike the ~6 miles to Mehrton Creek in the late afternoon/early evening, but that it is a good "last minute" option.
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Re: High Sierra Trail Walkup Permits

Postby sparky » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:17 pm

I have never had an issue getting walk up permits in SEKI. I usually arrive 30 min to an hour early, but I am always the first one. Unlike Yosemite when you show up 2 hours early and you are 5th or 6th in line. You will be pleasantly surprised on how quiet SEKI is.
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Re: High Sierra Trail Walkup Permits

Postby DavePloessel » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:04 am

I didn't have an issue getting day-of permits on a Sat AM in August a couple years ago, BUT, we got there quite early, and there were a couple groups who arrived after us who did NOT get permits. As has been pointed out above, you can take the cutoff from wolverton as an alternate if you don't get the permit for C.M.

Maybe it was just bad luck for me, but the HST seemed pretty crowded to me. Not John Muir Highway crowded, but pretty busy. Point is that it seems more and more popular a route and as such the permits tend to fill or get picked up early.
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Re: High Sierra Trail Walkup Permits

Postby mattherrington » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:30 pm

x2 on AlmostThere's comments above. The real TH (Crescent Mdw) is always fully reserved (what can be reserved) that time of year so I reserved Alta/Panter Gap. Got to LodgePole CG late the night before which was full. With a quick explanation of the "we're pulling a permit right here first thing AM, leaving immediately thereafter and just need a place to crash" we were cordially given the typically held open site #1. Awesome.

First thing AM I was in the office and picked up one of the walk ups for Crescent Mdw no problem. Book your backup online as far out as you can and then hope for a walkup. All (most) day 1 hikers end up around crappy Bearpaw Mdw anyways (least fav. spot of the trip). Panther Gap would have been some welcome varied scenery in hindsight as opposed to the undulating HST.
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Re: High Sierra Trail Walkup Permits

Postby longri » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:43 pm

mattherrington wrote:crappy Bearpaw Mdw

It is kind of a buzzkill with the High Sierra Camp there. Usually buggy too. But late season after it's closed it's actually a pretty nice perch. You can appreciate why they chose it for development. Pitched the tent one late September afternoon right on the floorboards of the cabin that seemed like it had the best view of area and watched an amazing thunderstorm.
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