El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits | High Sierra Topix  

El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

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

El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby SSSdave » Thu May 09, 2013 10:51 am

This morning went to the El Dorado National Forest website to see what their current process was for wilderness permits and found they are the first to my knowledge with a complete online process. Well of course other national forests may have recently moved to this same process also as I am not aware of goings on in the USGS. Historically each NF has dealt with wilderness permits through their own processes thus we backpackers have always needed to contact specific NF's to understand what to do.

I now have a reserved permit for a 9-day mid July backpack in SEKI over Sawtooth Pass so have made plans for one 2-day and one 3-day warmup backpacks during June. This online permit went smoothly. They have a well designed page showing whether or not quotas are yet filled per wilderness zone. Then after that is checked, at www.recreation.gov one fills out the usual permit info, even a checkbox for those bringing up fido, pays online via credit card, gets an ok, then later the permit is sent via email. The above is a 2-day weekend trip out of the Wrights Lake trailhead up to Grouse Lake. Will likely drive up Friday after work, pick up the permit from a nightbox, and then night hike up the easy 2 mile 1200 foot vertical trail. Mind numbing how different things are today versus decades ago.



User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby maverick » Thu May 09, 2013 11:12 am

If anyone is interested here is a link to a lot questions one may have about the
process with all the answer to them.
http://www.recreation.gov/marketing.do? ... trans.html
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8033
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby schmalz » Thu May 09, 2013 12:35 pm

Inyo was setup like this last year. It is much, much easier to check availability and get permits now. I am a big fan of the system.
User avatar
schmalz
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Altadena, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu May 09, 2013 12:44 pm

schmalz wrote:Inyo was setup like this last year. It is much, much easier to check availability and get permits now. I am a big fan of the system.

Me too. I got reservations for Onion Valley and Rock Creek later this year, and it was quite painless.

ETA: Re Eldorado NF, it looks like they don't have online permit reservations for Mokelumne Wilderness--just Desolation.
User avatar
TehipiteTom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:42 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby larroyo33 » Thu May 09, 2013 8:06 pm

I love recreation.gov. I hope Yosemite starts using it for issuing permits in the near future.
User avatar
larroyo33
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:15 pm
Location: San Diego
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby tim » Thu May 09, 2013 10:18 pm

SSSdave wrote:Will likely drive up Friday after work, pick up the permit from a nightbox, and then night hike up the easy 2 mile 1200 foot vertical trail. Mind numbing how different things are today versus decades ago.


You don't actually need to pick up a permit for Desolation Wilderness. The email allows you to print the actual permit, unlike Inyo NF where all you get is a confirmation to take into the permit issuing station. Even before the online system, Desolation sent out permits in the mail, not just confirmation letters.
User avatar
tim
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:36 pm
Location: Bay Area
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby SSSdave » Fri May 10, 2013 8:37 am

tim wrote:...You don't actually need to pick up a permit for Desolation Wilderness. The email allows you to print the actual permit, unlike Inyo NF where all you get is a confirmation to take into the permit issuing station. Even before the online system, Desolation sent out permits in the mail, not just confirmation letters.


Yeah noticed that later on the confirmation email which is great for any of we experienced folk. What it does relate however is one must wait until within 15 days of an entry date before returning to their website, logging in, and printing the permit out. Likely to make sure visitors have recently read policies. From now on when I phone up or visit any of the other parks and forests, am going to be asking what they know about how far along they are in implementing this new system. Since there are numbers of us here on this board, if others do likewise it will be useful to have Eric post that info as stickys.

This is particularly going to effect this person by making weekend backpacks far more doable. For years I've been whining about how weekend backpacking for we urban Californians is unworkable. I simply will not bother dealing with a 4+ hour drive each way for a weekend backpack if that means I have to listen to some sermon at 8am Saturday morning when I might otherwise be 3 hours up some trail approaching whatever destination where I might have enough time to make it all worthwhile. Actually since I'm an enthusiastic night hiker, would often be setting out on Friday evenings after leaving work moving up trails so I might wake up at destinations as dawn rises.

Since they will be using a national database, that will eventually allow them to distinguish between novices and frequent enthusiasts which is good. Understandably some parks and forests ie Yosemite may continue to want visitors to come in for face to face sermons because they simply do not trust either novices or enthusiasts as too many of the latter in this era break rules left and right because they know there is little enforcement. Others may trust enthusiasts but not novices so the database will allow them to distinguish between the two instantly and thus allow some to get permits through USPS mail while others are asked to come in for a sermon. Another benefit of a national database is they ought to be able to flag those who have been cited for backcountry issues and use that to either over a penalty period deny permits or at a minimum force them to always come in for a sermon. Once many of those that tend to bend rules understood how that worked, it would certainly put a chill on such behaviors that this person would welcome.

Of course the primary use of the database is for the much larger numbers of people requesting outdoor campground reservations. And of course numbers of loud obnoxious inconsiderate visitors who frequent public campgrounds is legend. A database will make their heretofore anonymous obnoxiousness a thing of the past.

David
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby tim » Fri May 10, 2013 8:39 pm

I think the main issue is the NPS regulations which require an in person briefing (no night boxes). Desolation is not adjacent to any National Parks whereas Inyo NF is.

The reason for saying return within 15 days of the trip to print the permit is that up till then you can cancel and get back a refund for everything but the $6 booking fee. That's good because it means more people will bother to cancel and the permits can be rebooked by someone else. With the previous paper system I bet a lot of permits went unused because there was no straightforward way to change/cancel a permit (except in person at the FS office).
User avatar
tim
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:36 pm
Location: Bay Area
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed May 15, 2013 8:33 am

SSSdave wrote:
Yeah noticed that later on the confirmation email which is great for any of we experienced folk. What it does relate however is one must wait until within 15 days of an entry date before returning to their website, logging in, and printing the permit out.
David


This is not working for me. Yesterday I reserved a permit for Desolation. Just an overnighter on Saturday. I have been waiting for my permit to be e-mailed to me but all I read is that I have to pick up the permit at the issuing station. I have logged back onto Recreation.gov but I still can't print out the permit.

I wonder what I did wrong? I 'm pretty sure I printed out a permit for my trip to Maude last October.

Thanks,

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
User avatar
Vaca Russ
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, Ill
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: El Dorado NF fully online wilderness permits

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed May 15, 2013 1:25 pm

OK, if you have this problem call the forest service at the permit issue station.

I spoke with Susanne Johnson at the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. She printed out my permit, scanned it and then just e-mailed it to me.

Thanks Susanne! :D

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
User avatar
Vaca Russ
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, Ill
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: EagleB, Yahoo [Bot] and 6 guests