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NPS Permit

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  • Chip
    I keep reading about the permits needed to hike the JMT, I don t remember which sources I read this from. What I ve learned so far is the request must be
    Message 1 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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      I keep reading about the permits needed to hike the JMT, I don't remember which sources I read this from. What I've learned so far is the request must be faxed in no earlier than 168 days, if sent any sooner they are thrown out for not following directions. Then the application goes into a lottery for the slots available, until all slots are full or the size of the requesting groups are too large for the final slots. Only dates 168 days or earlier will be considered including the second and third choice. What I'm wondering is how long does it take to get a reply from the NPS? If you really want to start at Happy Valley which is the most requested, do you have to wait for the reply or do you send one the next day until you get a slot?

      I believe I read you can call them after the lottery and see if any slots are left, is this true and how receptive are the personnel to these calls? I would prefer not waiting all night at the permit office for a walk up permit. I would be too tired to hike after staying up all night.
    • Roleigh Martin
      Be sure and read the files here: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/johnmuirtrail/files/Permit%20Trailhead%20Options There are about 8 permit ways to get onto
      Message 2 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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        Be sure and read the files here:

        There are about 8 permit ways to get onto the JMT going South to Whitney Portal.

        I'm walking out the door, not enough time to reply in depth.  Hopefully others will.

        -------------------------------------------------
        Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
        _



        On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 8:09 AM, Chip <cencir@...> wrote:
         

        I keep reading about the permits needed to hike the JMT, I don't remember which sources I read this from. What I've learned so far is the request must be faxed in no earlier than 168 days, if sent any sooner they are thrown out for not following directions. Then the application goes into a lottery for the slots available, until all slots are full or the size of the requesting groups are too large for the final slots. Only dates 168 days or earlier will be considered including the second and third choice. What I'm wondering is how long does it take to get a reply from the NPS? If you really want to start at Happy Valley which is the most requested, do you have to wait for the reply or do you send one the next day until you get a slot?

        I believe I read you can call them after the lottery and see if any slots are left, is this true and how receptive are the personnel to these calls? I would prefer not waiting all night at the permit office for a walk up permit. I would be too tired to hike after staying up all night.


      • ravi_jmt2013
        I faxed in my permit request this year exactly 168 days prior to the start of my hike and received an email response around 1pm eastern time regarding the
        Message 3 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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          I faxed in my permit request this year exactly 168 days prior to the start of my hike and received an email response around 1pm eastern time regarding the status of the request.  I was able to call the wilderness permit office later the same day to discuss the permit since I wasn't sure about the exact regulations involved.  They were willing to talk to me for a while and answered my questions.  I think that it is best to call them later in the day once they have processed all incoming faxes. 


          Regarding walk-in permits, I was able to change my permit from the Happy Isles>>Glacier Point permit I received through the reservation to Happy Isles >> Little Yosemite Valley by showing up at the permit office in Yosemite Valley and just asking for the change.  The only issue was that the "upgraded" permit required me to leave on Monday rather than Tuesday.  I visited the office around 3pm on a Sunday afternoon.  I would suggest having at least an alternate permit reserved in advance to fall back on but definitely ask for changes when you arrive.



          ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <cencir@...> wrote:

          I keep reading about the permits needed to hike the JMT, I don't remember which sources I read this from. What I've learned so far is the request must be faxed in no earlier than 168 days, if sent any sooner they are thrown out for not following directions. Then the application goes into a lottery for the slots available, until all slots are full or the size of the requesting groups are too large for the final slots. Only dates 168 days or earlier will be considered including the second and third choice. What I'm wondering is how long does it take to get a reply from the NPS? If you really want to start at Happy Valley which is the most requested, do you have to wait for the reply or do you send one the next day until you get a slot?

          I believe I read you can call them after the lottery and see if any slots are left, is this true and how receptive are the personnel to these calls? I would prefer not waiting all night at the permit office for a walk up permit. I would be too tired to hike after staying up all night.
        • ravi_jmt2013
          Happy Isles Glacier Point permit Whoops, this should have been Glacier Point Little Yosemite Valley. I m in need of more coffee ... ... I faxed in my
          Message 4 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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            "Happy Isles>>Glacier Point permit"


            Whoops, this should have been Glacier Point >> Little Yosemite Valley.  I'm in need of more coffee ...



            ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <ravi@...> wrote:

            I faxed in my permit request this year exactly 168 days prior to the start of my hike and received an email response around 1pm eastern time regarding the status of the request.  I was able to call the wilderness permit office later the same day to discuss the permit since I wasn't sure about the exact regulations involved.  They were willing to talk to me for a while and answered my questions.  I think that it is best to call them later in the day once they have processed all incoming faxes. 


            Regarding walk-in permits, I was able to change my permit from the Happy Isles>>Glacier Point permit I received through the reservation to Happy Isles >> Little Yosemite Valley by showing up at the permit office in Yosemite Valley and just asking for the change.  The only issue was that the "upgraded" permit required me to leave on Monday rather than Tuesday.  I visited the office around 3pm on a Sunday afternoon.  I would suggest having at least an alternate permit reserved in advance to fall back on but definitely ask for changes when you arrive.



            ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <cencir@...> wrote:

            I keep reading about the permits needed to hike the JMT, I don't remember which sources I read this from. What I've learned so far is the request must be faxed in no earlier than 168 days, if sent any sooner they are thrown out for not following directions. Then the application goes into a lottery for the slots available, until all slots are full or the size of the requesting groups are too large for the final slots. Only dates 168 days or earlier will be considered including the second and third choice. What I'm wondering is how long does it take to get a reply from the NPS? If you really want to start at Happy Valley which is the most requested, do you have to wait for the reply or do you send one the next day until you get a slot?

            I believe I read you can call them after the lottery and see if any slots are left, is this true and how receptive are the personnel to these calls? I would prefer not waiting all night at the permit office for a walk up permit. I would be too tired to hike after staying up all night.
          • johndittli
            Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts
            Message 5 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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              Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts down trail.


              The NPS is currently strategizing on how to reduce this impacts (ie numbers of hikers). The likely way is to issue a limited number of Whitney area exits regardless of starting TH. In short, don't expect to be able to circumnavigate the permit system in the near future.


              John Dittli 


                



              ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <roleigh@...> wrote:

              Be sure and read the files here:

              There are about 8 permit ways to get onto the JMT going South to Whitney Portal.

              I'm walking out the door, not enough time to reply in depth.  Hopefully others will.

              -------------------------------------------------
              Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
              _



              On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 8:09 AM, Chip <cencir@...> wrote:
               

              I keep reading about the permits needed to hike the JMT, I don't remember which sources I read this from. What I've learned so far is the request must be faxed in no earlier than 168 days, if sent any sooner they are thrown out for not following directions. Then the application goes into a lottery for the slots available, until all slots are full or the size of the requesting groups are too large for the final slots. Only dates 168 days or earlier will be considered including the second and third choice. What I'm wondering is how long does it take to get a reply from the NPS? If you really want to start at Happy Valley which is the most requested, do you have to wait for the reply or do you send one the next day until you get a slot?

              I believe I read you can call them after the lottery and see if any slots are left, is this true and how receptive are the personnel to these calls? I would prefer not waiting all night at the permit office for a walk up permit. I would be too tired to hike after staying up all night.


            • John Ladd
              ... This is going to be controversial and make a lot of people very unhappy. Could lead to a very highly prized permit - like the permits to take private rafts
              Message 6 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 6:37 AM, <johndittli@...> wrote:

                Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts down trail.

                The NPS is currently strategizing on how to reduce this impacts (ie numbers of hikers). The likely way is to issue a limited number of Whitney area exits regardless of starting TH. In short, don't expect to be able to circumnavigate the permit system in the near future.


                This is going to be controversial and make a lot of people very unhappy. Could lead to a very highly prized permit - like the permits to take private rafts down the Grand Canyon where you'd apply year after year and finally get your river permit after many years of trying.

                On the plus side, it would be good to move people off the overused, overloved JMT onto the many other wonderful Sierra trails. It might expand our appreciation of the Sierra. Return it to more of a solitary or small-group experience and less of a social one. Not all bad.

                John Curran Ladd
                1616 Castro Street
                San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                415-648-9279
              • ravi_jmt2013
                It wouldn t surprise me to see changes. If there is one thing that I hope stays the same is the ability of backpackers to have flexibility in their itinerary
                Message 7 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                  It wouldn't surprise me to see changes.  If there is one thing that I hope stays the same is the ability of backpackers to have flexibility in their itinerary once they have a valid permit rather than having a system like the one in place at Grand Canyon and Smoky Mountains national parks where the permits specify camp locations for each night of the trip.  That type of experience has been far different for me and felt much more constrained.  There were many nights on my JMT trip this year where I camped at locations different from where I originally intended for a variety of reasons which allowed for some spontaneity that would be lost under a Grand Canyon/Smoky Mountain type system.  In comparison, incorporating the Whitney exit permit would be preferable in my opinion since that is already something backpackers entering on an Inyo trailhead have to deal with today.  For future trips, I would gladly avoid exiting Whitney Portal anyway.



                  ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <johnladd@...> wrote:

                  On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 6:37 AM, <johndittli@...> wrote:

                  Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts down trail.

                  The NPS is currently strategizing on how to reduce this impacts (ie numbers of hikers). The likely way is to issue a limited number of Whitney area exits regardless of starting TH. In short, don't expect to be able to circumnavigate the permit system in the near future.


                  This is going to be controversial and make a lot of people very unhappy. Could lead to a very highly prized permit - like the permits to take private rafts down the Grand Canyon where you'd apply year after year and finally get your river permit after many years of trying.

                  On the plus side, it would be good to move people off the overused, overloved JMT onto the many other wonderful Sierra trails. It might expand our appreciation of the Sierra. Return it to more of a solitary or small-group experience and less of a social one. Not all bad.

                  John Curran Ladd
                  1616 Castro Street
                  San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                  415-648-9279
                • johndittli
                  Good discussion! Flexibility is the beauty of the Sierra wilderness permit system. Unlike other areas, as Ravi stated, it allows for IMO, a wilder experience.
                  Message 8 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                    Good discussion! Flexibility is the beauty of the Sierra wilderness permit system. Unlike other areas, as Ravi stated, it allows for IMO, a wilder experience.


                    John Ladd, I do see JMT permits becoming "coveted" like a Colorado River permit. As they should be really. The JMT is touted, rightfully, as one of the worlds premier hiking trails. Short of creating a european type experience (huts/toilets) which I would be vehemently opposed to, numbers have to be limited. This was historically done through the HI quota. 


                    Unfortunately we promote circumvention of the HI quota on this site. This is leading to some serious issues "down stream". Management will be much more difficult than the Colorado due to the myriad of TH to access a thru hike or section hike of the JMT. Ultimately it will take multi-agency cooperation, and we all know how well, and quickly, that all works.


                    John Dittli



                    ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <ravi@...> wrote:

                    It wouldn't surprise me to see changes.  If there is one thing that I hope stays the same is the ability of backpackers to have flexibility in their itinerary once they have a valid permit rather than having a system like the one in place at Grand Canyon and Smoky Mountains national parks where the permits specify camp locations for each night of the trip.  That type of experience has been far different for me and felt much more constrained.  There were many nights on my JMT trip this year where I camped at locations different from where I originally intended for a variety of reasons which allowed for some spontaneity that would be lost under a Grand Canyon/Smoky Mountain type system.  In comparison, incorporating the Whitney exit permit would be preferable in my opinion since that is already something backpackers entering on an Inyo trailhead have to deal with today.  For future trips, I would gladly avoid exiting Whitney Portal anyway.



                    ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <johnladd@...> wrote:

                    On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 6:37 AM, <johndittli@...> wrote:

                    Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts down trail.

                    The NPS is currently strategizing on how to reduce this impacts (ie numbers of hikers). The likely way is to issue a limited number of Whitney area exits regardless of starting TH. In short, don't expect to be able to circumnavigate the permit system in the near future.


                    This is going to be controversial and make a lot of people very unhappy. Could lead to a very highly prized permit - like the permits to take private rafts down the Grand Canyon where you'd apply year after year and finally get your river permit after many years of trying.

                    On the plus side, it would be good to move people off the overused, overloved JMT onto the many other wonderful Sierra trails. It might expand our appreciation of the Sierra. Return it to more of a solitary or small-group experience and less of a social one. Not all bad.

                    John Curran Ladd
                    1616 Castro Street
                    San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                    415-648-9279
                  • John
                    Perhaps a Federally-run, web site-based, exchange system is just around the corner for Wilderness Permits!!! ;)
                    Message 9 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                      Perhaps a Federally-run, web site-based, exchange system is just around the corner for Wilderness Permits!!!  ;)

                      On Nov 16, 2013, at 7:44 AM, <johndittli@...> wrote:

                       

                      Good discussion! Flexibility is the beauty of the Sierra wilderness permit system. Unlike other areas, as Ravi stated, it allows for IMO, a wilder experience.


                      John Ladd, I do see JMT permits becoming "coveted" like a Colorado River permit. As they should be really. The JMT is touted, rightfully, as one of the worlds premier hiking trails. Short of creating a european type experience (huts/toilets) which I would be vehemently opposed to, numbers have to be limited. This was historically done through the HI quota. 


                      Unfortunately we promote circumvention of the HI quota on this site. This is leading to some serious issues "down stream". Management will be much more difficult than the Colorado due to the myriad of TH to access a thru hike or section hike of the JMT. Ultimately it will take multi-agency cooperation, and we all know how well, and quickly, that all works.


                      John Dittli



                      ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <ravi@...> wrote:

                      It wouldn't surprise me to see changes.  If there is one thing that I hope stays the same is the ability of backpackers to have flexibility in their itinerary once they have a valid permit rather than having a system like the one in place at Grand Canyon and Smoky Mountains national parks where the permits specify camp locations for each night of the trip.  That type of experience has been far different for me and felt much more constrained.  There were many nights on my JMT trip this year where I camped at locations different from where I originally intended for a variety of reasons which allowed for some spontaneity that would be lost under a Grand Canyon/Smoky Mountain type system.  In comparison, incorporating the Whitney exit permit would be preferable in my opinion since that is already something backpackers entering on an Inyo trailhead have to deal with today.  For future trips, I would gladly avoid exiting Whitney Portal anyway.



                      ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <johnladd@...> wrote:

                      On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 6:37 AM, <johndittli@...> wrote:

                      Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts down trail.

                      The NPS is currently strategizing on how to reduce this impacts (ie numbers of hikers). The likely way is to issue a limited number of Whitney area exits regardless of starting TH. In short, don't expect to be able to circumnavigate the permit system in the near future.


                      This is going to be controversial and make a lot of people very unhappy. Could lead to a very highly prized permit - like the permits to take private rafts down the Grand Canyon where you'd apply year after year and finally get your river permit after many years of trying.

                      On the plus side, it would be good to move people off the overused, overloved JMT onto the many other wonderful Sierra trails. It might expand our appreciation of the Sierra. Return it to more of a solitary or small-group experience and less of a social one. Not all bad.

                      John Curran Ladd
                      1616 Castro Street
                      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                      415-648-9279

                    • Robert
                      I REALLY hope that Yosemite changes their archaic, vastly outdated Fax-in permit request system soon!!! The one they have now sucks-ass! My other pet-peeve
                      Message 10 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                        I REALLY hope that Yosemite changes their archaic, vastly outdated Fax-in permit request system soon!!! The one they have now sucks-ass! My other 'pet-peeve' is the low number of reservable JMT thru-hike permits available. I know they use the %60-40 reservable/non-reservable system to allow for walk-ups, but a thru-hike of the JMT takes some advance planning, and they should make the JMT pass throughout %100 reservable. I know there are folks that like the spontaneity of walking up for a permit, so leave some alternate routes open for them, ie; the Illiouette Falls or LYV camp. Just my 2 cents.

                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John <jmaddog1082@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Perhaps a Federally-run, web site-based, exchange system is just around the corner for Wilderness Permits!!! ;)
                        >
                        > On Nov 16, 2013, at 7:44 AM, <johndittli@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > Good discussion! Flexibility is the beauty of the Sierra wilderness permit system. Unlike other areas, as Ravi stated, it allows for IMO, a wilder experience.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > John Ladd, I do see JMT permits becoming "coveted" like a Colorado River permit. As they should be really. The JMT is touted, rightfully, as one of the worlds premier hiking trails. Short of creating a european type experience (huts/toilets) which I would be vehemently opposed to, numbers have to be limited. This was historically done through the HI quota.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Unfortunately we promote circumvention of the HI quota on this site. This is leading to some serious issues "down stream". Management will be much more difficult than the Colorado due to the myriad of TH to access a thru hike or section hike of the JMT. Ultimately it will take multi-agency cooperation, and we all know how well, and quickly, that all works.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > John Dittli
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <ravi@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > It wouldn't surprise me to see changes. If there is one thing that I hope stays the same is the ability of backpackers to have flexibility in their itinerary once they have a valid permit rather than having a system like the one in place at Grand Canyon and Smoky Mountains national parks where the permits specify camp locations for each night of the trip. That type of experience has been far different for me and felt much more constrained. There were many nights on my JMT trip this year where I camped at locations different from where I originally intended for a variety of reasons which allowed for some spontaneity that would be lost under a Grand Canyon/Smoky Mountain type system. In comparison, incorporating the Whitney exit permit would be preferable in my opinion since that is already something backpackers entering on an Inyo trailhead have to deal with today. For future trips, I would gladly avoid exiting Whitney Portal anyway.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <johnladd@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 6:37 AM, <johndittli@> wrote:
                        > > Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts down trail.
                        > >
                        > > The NPS is currently strategizing on how to reduce this impacts (ie numbers of hikers). The likely way is to issue a limited number of Whitney area exits regardless of starting TH. In short, don't expect to be able to circumnavigate the permit system in the near future.
                        > >
                        > > This is going to be controversial and make a lot of people very unhappy. Could lead to a very highly prized permit - like the permits to take private rafts down the Grand Canyon where you'd apply year after year and finally get your river permit after many years of trying.
                        > >
                        > > On the plus side, it would be good to move people off the overused, overloved JMT onto the many other wonderful Sierra trails. It might expand our appreciation of the Sierra. Return it to more of a solitary or small-group experience and less of a social one. Not all bad.
                        > >
                        > > John Curran Ladd
                        > > 1616 Castro Street
                        > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                        > > 415-648-9279
                        > >
                        >
                      • johndittli
                        Good points Robert. While I am a 100% walk up guy, really there are very few people thru hiking the JMT on a whim John Dittli ... I REALLY hope that Yosemite
                        Message 11 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                          Good points Robert. While I am a 100% walk up guy, really there are very few people thru hiking the JMT on a "whim"


                          John Dittli 



                          ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <rnperky@...> wrote:

                          I REALLY hope that Yosemite changes their archaic, vastly outdated Fax-in permit request system soon!!! The one they have now sucks-ass! My other 'pet-peeve' is the low number of reservable JMT thru-hike permits available. I know they use the %60-40 reservable/non-reservable system to allow for walk-ups, but a thru-hike of the JMT takes some advance planning, and they should make the JMT pass throughout %100 reservable. I know there are folks that like the spontaneity of walking up for a permit, so leave some alternate routes open for them, ie; the Illiouette Falls or LYV camp. Just my 2 cents.

                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John <jmaddog1082@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Perhaps a Federally-run, web site-based, exchange system is just around the corner for Wilderness Permits!!! ;)
                          >
                          > On Nov 16, 2013, at 7:44 AM, <johndittli@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > Good discussion! Flexibility is the beauty of the Sierra wilderness permit system. Unlike other areas, as Ravi stated, it allows for IMO, a wilder experience.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > John Ladd, I do see JMT permits becoming "coveted" like a Colorado River permit. As they should be really. The JMT is touted, rightfully, as one of the worlds premier hiking trails. Short of creating a european type experience (huts/toilets) which I would be vehemently opposed to, numbers have to be limited. This was historically done through the HI quota.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Unfortunately we promote circumvention of the HI quota on this site. This is leading to some serious issues "down stream". Management will be much more difficult than the Colorado due to the myriad of TH to access a thru hike or section hike of the JMT. Ultimately it will take multi-agency cooperation, and we all know how well, and quickly, that all works.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > John Dittli
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <ravi@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > It wouldn't surprise me to see changes. If there is one thing that I hope stays the same is the ability of backpackers to have flexibility in their itinerary once they have a valid permit rather than having a system like the one in place at Grand Canyon and Smoky Mountains national parks where the permits specify camp locations for each night of the trip. That type of experience has been far different for me and felt much more constrained. There were many nights on my JMT trip this year where I camped at locations different from where I originally intended for a variety of reasons which allowed for some spontaneity that would be lost under a Grand Canyon/Smoky Mountain type system. In comparison, incorporating the Whitney exit permit would be preferable in my opinion since that is already something backpackers entering on an Inyo trailhead have to deal with today. For future trips, I would gladly avoid exiting Whitney Portal anyway.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <johnladd@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 6:37 AM, <johndittli@> wrote:
                          > > Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts down trail.
                          > >
                          > > The NPS is currently strategizing on how to reduce this impacts (ie numbers of hikers). The likely way is to issue a limited number of Whitney area exits regardless of starting TH. In short, don't expect to be able to circumnavigate the permit system in the near future.
                          > >
                          > > This is going to be controversial and make a lot of people very unhappy. Could lead to a very highly prized permit - like the permits to take private rafts down the Grand Canyon where you'd apply year after year and finally get your river permit after many years of trying.
                          > >
                          > > On the plus side, it would be good to move people off the overused, overloved JMT onto the many other wonderful Sierra trails. It might expand our appreciation of the Sierra. Return it to more of a solitary or small-group experience and less of a social one. Not all bad.
                          > >
                          > > John Curran Ladd
                          > > 1616 Castro Street
                          > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                          > > 415-648-9279
                          > >
                          >
                        • john_friend
                          Last year when I was trying to get a permit for the JMT starting at Happy Isles and had been rejected 5 days in a row, I called the permit office one afternoon
                          Message 12 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                            Last year when I was trying to get a permit for the JMT starting at Happy Isles and had been rejected 5 days in a row, I called the permit office one afternoon and asked if I was doing things properly (I wondered if I wasn't filling things out properly or if my date math was one day off).  They specifically recommended that I select other trailheads that I could connect with the JMT from and the next day I faxed in my request I got a permit starting from Glacier Point and that's what we used.


                            This is how the system currently works and the person at the permit office recommended how to use the current system to solve my problem.  No place did they say this was not in the "spirit of the permit system".  Happy Isles isn't the only gateway to the JMT.  There are segment hikers joining portions of the JMT in lots of places.  


                            Now, I certainly understand that the way the system currently works does not directly control how many people are actually on any given segment of the JMT.  It's only a very indirect control at best.  If they wanted more direct control, they'd have to implement actual full JMT permits or JMT segment permits rather than just trailhead entry permits.


                            --John



                            ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <johndittli@...> wrote:

                            Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts down trail.


                            The NPS is currently strategizing on how to reduce this impacts (ie numbers of hikers). The likely way is to issue a limited number of Whitney area exits regardless of starting TH. In short, don't expect to be able to circumnavigate the permit system in the near future.


                            John Dittli 


                              



                            ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <roleigh@...> wrote:

                            Be sure and read the files here:

                            There are about 8 permit ways to get onto the JMT going South to Whitney Portal.

                            I'm walking out the door, not enough time to reply in depth.  Hopefully others will.

                            -------------------------------------------------
                            Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                            _



                            On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 8:09 AM, Chip <cencir@...> wrote:
                             

                            I keep reading about the permits needed to hike the JMT, I don't remember which sources I read this from. What I've learned so far is the request must be faxed in no earlier than 168 days, if sent any sooner they are thrown out for not following directions. Then the application goes into a lottery for the slots available, until all slots are full or the size of the requesting groups are too large for the final slots. Only dates 168 days or earlier will be considered including the second and third choice. What I'm wondering is how long does it take to get a reply from the NPS? If you really want to start at Happy Valley which is the most requested, do you have to wait for the reply or do you send one the next day until you get a slot?

                            I believe I read you can call them after the lottery and see if any slots are left, is this true and how receptive are the personnel to these calls? I would prefer not waiting all night at the permit office for a walk up permit. I would be too tired to hike after staying up all night.


                          • ravi_jmt2013
                            I think that the more controversial permits is the HI Illilouette permit that involves an out and back before proceeding on the JMT. I know that they have
                            Message 13 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                              I think that the more controversial permits is the HI>>Illilouette permit that involves an "out and back" before proceeding on the JMT.   I know that they have been used successfully in the past but the way I read the wilderness permit map (http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/Wilderness-Trailheads_07-14-2013_28x38-1.pdf), it is a grey area.  The legend at the bottom left of the map indicates that "hikers may not backtrack from one trailhead to another trailhead on any night of their trip (either partially or fully) unless exiting at their entry trailhead to end their wilderness trip."

                              Interestingly, the GP>>Illilouette and the Mono Meadows permit would appear to not have the "backtracking" problem since the trip never backtracks and only involves an additional night. 

                              The areas of the JMT that appeared crowded to me included most of the trail within Yosemite, parts of Ansel Adams wilderness, the area around Red's Meadow, the JMT portion of the Rae Lakes loop, and of course the Whitney area.  The rest of the trail didn't seem that crowded, however, I don't really know if what I perceive to be minimal impact has more actual impact on the trail.




                              ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <yahoo@...> wrote:

                              Last year when I was trying to get a permit for the JMT starting at Happy Isles and had been rejected 5 days in a row, I called the permit office one afternoon and asked if I was doing things properly (I wondered if I wasn't filling things out properly or if my date math was one day off).  They specifically recommended that I select other trailheads that I could connect with the JMT from and the next day I faxed in my request I got a permit starting from Glacier Point and that's what we used.


                              This is how the system currently works and the person at the permit office recommended how to use the current system to solve my problem.  No place did they say this was not in the "spirit of the permit system".  Happy Isles isn't the only gateway to the JMT.  There are segment hikers joining portions of the JMT in lots of places.  


                              Now, I certainly understand that the way the system currently works does not directly control how many people are actually on any given segment of the JMT.  It's only a very indirect control at best.  If they wanted more direct control, they'd have to implement actual full JMT permits or JMT segment permits rather than just trailhead entry permits.


                              --John



                              ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <johndittli@...> wrote:

                              Be aware that starting the JMT at any trailhead in Yosemite other than HI is not in the spirit of the permit system and is leading to unprecedented impacts down trail.


                              The NPS is currently strategizing on how to reduce this impacts (ie numbers of hikers). The likely way is to issue a limited number of Whitney area exits regardless of starting TH. In short, don't expect to be able to circumnavigate the permit system in the near future.


                              John Dittli 


                                



                              ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <roleigh@...> wrote:

                              Be sure and read the files here:

                              There are about 8 permit ways to get onto the JMT going South to Whitney Portal.

                              I'm walking out the door, not enough time to reply in depth.  Hopefully others will.

                              -------------------------------------------------
                              Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                              _



                              On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 8:09 AM, Chip <cencir@...> wrote:
                               

                              I keep reading about the permits needed to hike the JMT, I don't remember which sources I read this from. What I've learned so far is the request must be faxed in no earlier than 168 days, if sent any sooner they are thrown out for not following directions. Then the application goes into a lottery for the slots available, until all slots are full or the size of the requesting groups are too large for the final slots. Only dates 168 days or earlier will be considered including the second and third choice. What I'm wondering is how long does it take to get a reply from the NPS? If you really want to start at Happy Valley which is the most requested, do you have to wait for the reply or do you send one the next day until you get a slot?

                              I believe I read you can call them after the lottery and see if any slots are left, is this true and how receptive are the personnel to these calls? I would prefer not waiting all night at the permit office for a walk up permit. I would be too tired to hike after staying up all night.


                            • fred_brockman
                              John or anyone, Can you direct me to where this lottery system is described for the advance reservations available 168 days in advance? I went to the NPS
                              Message 14 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                                John or anyone,

                                Can you direct me to where this "lottery" system is described for the advance reservations available 168 days in advance? I went to the NPS website and clicked wilderness permits, and also to the NPS site and clicked JMT/PCT - and I don't see anything about a lottery there.

                                Is a lottery a done deal for 2014 (and just not on these website yet) or just being considered for 2014 at this point?

                                thanks, fred





                                ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <cencir@...> wrote:

                                I keep reading about the permits needed to hike the JMT, I don't remember which sources I read this from. What I've learned so far is the request must be faxed in no earlier than 168 days, if sent any sooner they are thrown out for not following directions. Then the application goes into a lottery for the slots available, until all slots are full or the size of the requesting groups are too large for the final slots. Only dates 168 days or earlier will be considered including the second and third choice. What I'm wondering is how long does it take to get a reply from the NPS? If you really want to start at Happy Valley which is the most requested, do you have to wait for the reply or do you send one the next day until you get a slot?

                                I believe I read you can call them after the lottery and see if any slots are left, is this true and how receptive are the personnel to these calls? I would prefer not waiting all night at the permit office for a walk up permit. I would be too tired to hike after staying up all night.
                              • John Ladd
                                ... use that term for Half Dome permits, but not for other wilderness permits) If the permits requested for a given day/trailhead don t exceed the daily
                                Message 15 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                                  On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 2:35 PM, <fred_brockman@...> wrote:

                                  John or anyone,

                                  Can you direct me to where this "lottery" system is described for the advance reservations available 168 days in advance? I went to the NPS website and clicked wilderness permits, and also to the NPS site and clicked JMT/PCT - and I don't see anything about a lottery there.

                                  Fred -- National Park Service website doesn't call it a "lottery". (They use that term for Half Dome permits, but not for other wilderness permits) 

                                  If the permits requested for a given day/trailhead don't exceed the daily trailhead quota, the permits are simply issued like any wilderness permit. I suppose that's why they don't use the word.

                                  But it becomes a lottery whenever the number of permit requests received on a given date exceeds the number available for the just-opened entry date and trailhead. 

                                  Given the JMT popularity, the requests for entry permits at the JMT trailheads almost always exceed the permit quota for the requested date, so it almost always becomes a lottery, so that's how many users of this Board refer to the process even if the NPS doesn't use the word.

                                  The system is described here:


                                  with the dates here

                                   

                                  Is a lottery a done deal for 2014 (and just not on these website yet) or just being considered for 2014 at this point?

                                  It's not a new system. The same system that we call a lottery has been used for a number of years now. We don't know for sure that it will be used in 2014, but I suspect it will be (possibly with the modifications mentioned by john Dittli). I haven't heard any proposals to change the basic pattern (other than perhaps to add some further limit on the numbers by a Whitney exit permit or otherwise)

                                • John Ladd
                                  ... I do suspect that the areas of maximal impact are the areas that get the double whammy of (1) lots of JMT thru-hikers PLUS (2) being a popular stretch for
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                                    On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM, <ravi@...> wrote:
                                    The areas of the JMT that appeared crowded to me included most of the trail within Yosemite, parts of Ansel Adams wilderness, the area around Red's Meadow, the JMT portion of the Rae Lakes loop, and of course the Whitney area.  The rest of the trail didn't seem that crowded, however, I don't really know if what I perceive to be minimal impact has more actual impact on the trail.

                                    I do suspect that the areas of maximal impact are the areas that get the double whammy of (1) lots of JMT thru-hikers PLUS (2) being a popular stretch for shorter trips, i.e., just the stretches you mention. One could, I suppose, address the overuse problem by tighter numerical restrictions of the shorter hike permits in areas where they overlap the JMT, which might funnel the shorter trips into routes not overlapping the longer trail. But routes like the Rae Lakes Loop also have their fans who will resist cutbacks. 

                                    John D - is there any consideration being given to restricting the short trips (or redirecting them away from the JMT) rather that trying to limit JMT thru-hikes? Seems like it's an idea to at least consider. Either method would redirect hikers from more-used to less-used trails.

                                    John Curran Ladd
                                    1616 Castro Street
                                    San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                    415-648-9279
                                  • Dittli-Goethals
                                    John Ladd- I don t know of any talk about changing quotas or instituting destinations quotas at other trailheads. It so happens that the JMT goes thru some of
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                                      John Ladd- I don't know of any talk about changing quotas or instituting destinations quotas at other trailheads. It so happens that the JMT goes thru some of the most beautiful scenery in the Sierra that is also accessible from local trailheads. But from my understanding, use isn't increasing at those trailheads while thru permits for the JMT have increased from ~350 in the 90's to ~3,500 this year. 

                                      Those numbers only reflect Yosemite starts. Add the PCT thru hikers and you have over 4,000, then the Inyo and Sierra NF starts and that number could easily double. As far as impacts, all we need to do is some conservative math: 6,000 hikers X let's say an average 10 night stay along the JMT. That's 60,000 poops. If you consider that the majority of people camp in or around the same areas, this alone doesn't paint a pretty picture.

                                      Of course there are many other impacts, but sanitation is one that most can relate to.

                                      John Dittli


                                      On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                       

                                      On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM, <ravi@...> wrote:
                                      The areas of the JMT that appeared crowded to me included most of the trail within Yosemite, parts of Ansel Adams wilderness, the area around Red's Meadow, the JMT portion of the Rae Lakes loop, and of course the Whitney area.  The rest of the trail didn't seem that crowded, however, I don't really know if what I perceive to be minimal impact has more actual impact on the trail.

                                      I do suspect that the areas of maximal impact are the areas that get the double whammy of (1) lots of JMT thru-hikers PLUS (2) being a popular stretch for shorter trips, i.e., just the stretches you mention. One could, I suppose, address the overuse problem by tighter numerical restrictions of the shorter hike permits in areas where they overlap the JMT, which might funnel the shorter trips into routes not overlapping the longer trail. But routes like the Rae Lakes Loop also have their fans who will resist cutbacks. 

                                      John D - is there any consideration being given to restricting the short trips (or redirecting them away from the JMT) rather that trying to limit JMT thru-hikes? Seems like it's an idea to at least consider. Either method would redirect hikers from more-used to less-used trails.

                                      John Curran Ladd
                                      1616 Castro Street
                                      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                      415-648-9279




                                      --
                                      John Dittli/Leslie Goethals
                                      John Dittli Photography
                                      www.johndittli.com
                                      760-934-3505 

                                      Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                                      2010  IPPY Gold Medal Award Winner
                                    • kennethjessett@sbcglobal.net
                                      As far as impacts, all we need to do is some conservative math: 6,000 hikers X let s say an average 10 night stay along the JMT. That s 60,000 poops. If you
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                                        "As far as impacts, all we need to do is some conservative math: 6,000 hikers X let's say an average 10 night stay along the JMT. That's 60,000 poops. If you consider that the majority of people camp in or around the same areas, this alone doesn't paint a pretty picture."

                                        That statistic doesn't take into consideration the number of hikers suffering from constipation either because of their bowels being unfamiliar with the wilderness food they are eating or because they have difficulty squatting down to take care of the emptying of said bowels. You need to take an 'exit' survey to be accurate on this.
                                      • johndittli
                                        LOL Ken. I guess it doesn t include those with a 2-3 a day habit either... Nor those that have to be evacuated . But yes, a proper exit survey is in order!
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                                          LOL Ken. I guess it doesn't include those with a 2-3 a day habit either... Nor those that have to be 'evacuated'. But yes, a proper "exit" survey is in order!



                                          ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <kenjessett@...> wrote:

                                          "As far as impacts, all we need to do is some conservative math: 6,000 hikers X let's say an average 10 night stay along the JMT. That's 60,000 poops. If you consider that the majority of people camp in or around the same areas, this alone doesn't paint a pretty picture."

                                          That statistic doesn't take into consideration the number of hikers suffering from constipation either because of their bowels being unfamiliar with the wilderness food they are eating or because they have difficulty squatting down to take care of the emptying of said bowels. You need to take an 'exit' survey to be accurate on this.
                                        • fred_brockman
                                          Thanks for the information John L. I had incorrectly assumed the advance reservations for permits were given on a first-applied-first-given basis. fred ... On
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Nov 16, 2013
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                                            Thanks for the information John L.  I had incorrectly assumed the advance reservations for permits were given on a first-applied-first-given basis.

                                            fred



                                            ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <johnladd@...> wrote:

                                            On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 2:35 PM, <fred_brockman@...> wrote:

                                            John or anyone,

                                            Can you direct me to where this "lottery" system is described for the advance reservations available 168 days in advance? I went to the NPS website and clicked wilderness permits, and also to the NPS site and clicked JMT/PCT - and I don't see anything about a lottery there.

                                            Fred -- National Park Service website doesn't call it a "lottery". (They use that term for Half Dome permits, but not for other wilderness permits) 

                                            If the permits requested for a given day/trailhead don't exceed the daily trailhead quota, the permits are simply issued like any wilderness permit. I suppose that's why they don't use the word.

                                            But it becomes a lottery whenever the number of permit requests received on a given date exceeds the number available for the just-opened entry date and trailhead. 

                                            Given the JMT popularity, the requests for entry permits at the JMT trailheads almost always exceed the permit quota for the requested date, so it almost always becomes a lottery, so that's how many users of this Board refer to the process even if the NPS doesn't use the word.

                                            The system is described here:


                                            with the dates here

                                             

                                            Is a lottery a done deal for 2014 (and just not on these website yet) or just being considered for 2014 at this point?

                                            It's not a new system. The same system that we call a lottery has been used for a number of years now. We don't know for sure that it will be used in 2014, but I suspect it will be (possibly with the modifications mentioned by john Dittli). I haven't heard any proposals to change the basic pattern (other than perhaps to add some further limit on the numbers by a Whitney exit permit or otherwise)

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