HST Permit vs fines

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
tim
Topix Expert
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:36 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Bay Area

Re: HST Permit vs fines

Post by tim » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:54 am

Hobbes wrote:This is what's going on with the four THs out of Horseshoe (Trail, Cottonwood, NAP & OAP) for people who want to do the JMT. It adds an extra day or so+, but it's practically a 100% guaranteed dunk shot you can walk-in and get a permit any day of the week.
In fact it is 100% guaranteed since Trail Pass is non-quota








User avatar
htrout
Topix Novice
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:05 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: HST Permit vs fines

Post by htrout » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:31 am

This is a fascinating thread. I've never had an issue getting permits but I usually go during the shoulder seasons (don't mind the cold).

But this year I'm wanting to go during a busier time. I really don't have a preference where I go, but if I were to show up at a permit station (say, in Bishop or Mammoth or Lee Vining during peak season, would there be a permit for something available? I know it isn't a guarantee, but I've never taken the chance since I drive over from the geographically impossible Central Coast to the geographically impossible East Sierras. The earliest I can realistically get to a station is 3:00 pm and I'd want to hike out the next morning. And I usually start my hikes mid-week and end on a Saturday (drive home Sunday). I guess I have the same question for SEKI - easier for me to get to, but been-there-done-that my whole life... All I need on my hikes is water and open air... and a fishing spot is always nice. :)

User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1120
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Experience: N/A
Location: The OC

Re: HST Permit vs fines

Post by Hobbes » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:16 am

It sounds like you'd be coming through Walker pass/Isabella, so that puts the Lone Pine IAVC into play.

Have you ever been to Miter basin or Crabtree? You can make a 3/4 day loop by going XC through Miter/Crabtree, then hightail it back on the PCT. There are 4 passes to choose from: New army, Army, Cottonwood & Trail. (As Tim mentioned above, Trail pass is non-quota, hence 100% available. It's an extra 5 miles from Cottonwood on the PCT, so say 2+ hours.)

If you were planning on a different trip and somehow got shut out, this would be a good fallback option. OTOH, Miter/Crabtree is considered by some (myself included) as a top-shelf destination, so you could go there directly knowing you were definitely going to hike. As an aside, I'd be astounded if you couldn't get a walk-in permit for either NAP or Army, which would be the two most scenic routes.

Another consideration, and this would be dependent on your experience, conditioning & equipment, would be to go for one of the 'bad boys': Shepherd, Sawmill, Baxter & Taboose. They have (very) low quotas, but not many takers. Getting over to the eastern Sierra in the afternoon sets up the perfect schedule, because you'd wouldn't have to burn all day waiting around. That is, you could leisurely car camp the first evening @ the TH, then get a fresh 4-5am start the next day.

My (1st world problem) is that I can get to LP in under 4 hours. So, If I leave at 4am, I can be waiting for the office to open @ 8am, but even a rushed 9am start can be too late for those suckers. Alternatively, I can waste a day going up after lunch, but then again I get antsy and think about starting late. If your logistics dictate a certain schedule, then it's out of your control and you can plan appropriately.

User avatar
oleander
Topix Expert
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:15 am
Experience: N/A

Re: HST Permit vs fines

Post by oleander » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:07 pm

In 2015, Bearpaw Meadow got its first-ever live-in ranger. His ranger station is practically right on top of the trail. I passed by it 3 times in 2015 and he was standing outside asking for permits all 3 times. Saw him at Buck Creek too, so make that four sightings in three passes.

Ranger Matt. Nice guy. He used to work in Inyo's Bishop office. He said the new post is permanent, not a one-year thing.

User avatar
oldranger
Topix Addict
Posts: 2762
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Bend, Oregon

Re: HST Permit vs fines

Post by oldranger » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:22 pm

Oleander

Bearpaw had a full time seasonal ranger at least from the late 70s thru 90. Don't know when it was not manned on a regular basis after that. I'm sure George knows. But Matt is not the "first-ever live-in ranger." (Unless he is stationed there all year.)

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

User avatar
cahiker
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:03 am
Experience: N/A

Re: HST Permit vs fines

Post by cahiker » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:50 am

SEKI likes to send rangers out on the popular trails with a list of everyone who has a wilderness permit for that day. I've been checked this way at Merhten Creek along the HST and near Emerald Lake. Kind of nice to be able to just give your last name and not need to dig out the permit, though.

Cross Country
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1332
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:16 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: HST Permit vs fines

Post by Cross Country » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:30 am

It seems to me that when I first started hiking in the Sierra that the permit quota system didn't exist. When did it start?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: davidsheridan, Google Adsense [Bot] and 6 guests