Wilderness Permit Information

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!
Post Reply
User avatar
cloudlesssky
Topix Regular
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 4:19 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by cloudlesssky » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:45 pm

I just received my first email-requested permit via email today (7/15) for my hike departing 7/22 (Mammoth to Yosemite-Happy Isles). They sent me the permit, Yosemite regulations, and info about accessing Reds Meadow area (the ESTA bus service isn't operating this year). I hope they continue the email request and email permit service after we get through the COVID situation.








User avatar
LincolnB
Topix Novice
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:16 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by LincolnB » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:03 pm

People are booking permits and not using them - blocking others from hiking.

I was planning a 3-day backpack toward Baxter pass starting 7/12, but no permits were available. Following the advice on this forum I checked Recreation.gov Monday morning and sure enough, 10 permits per day appeared for the next 7 days, and quickly started disappearing. I reserved a permit for 1, got the emailed permit four days later, and slept at the trailhead the night before. No-one else was there that night, and over the next three days I saw just one person on the trail. But for those three days there had been 30 last-minute permits released and taken, plus whatever had been released earlier in the year - almost all of them no-shows. So those trying to follow the rules are needlessly blocked from hiking...

User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Addict
Posts: 3040
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by SSSdave » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:32 pm

Apparently Inyo is still too busy to answer their phone and does not have the bandwidth to process all queued up reservations before starting dates so some people like this person with paid for recreation dot gov wilderness permits are facing not having a permit before their trip starting dates. Apparently several weeks ago they at least changed from the earlier situation of everyone going through their choke point phone system to one of at the recreation dot gov site of sending an email with permit #, entry location, entry date on the email header to their dedicated permit email address that they are then supposed to send a reply to with the permit. That has been an improvement as it removes the need to phone them to do so that was a choke point nightmare. However if they still cannot process permits within their advertised 2 day period, either they need to lengthen the stated time to do so or get more manpower that I doubt is an option with them.

Note the INF site itself explains one might set up a night box pick-up for the permit but that unfortunately requires phoning them up too while the email method is done via rec dot gov. I also sent an email to rec dot gov asking if a refund is available if INF does not respond nor ever answers one's phone calls because they are too busy. Not that such amounts to much. What we enthusiasts need to understand if 2 days is now an issue, is how many days before an entry date can we request a permit and expect to receive a permit with certainty via the email method. Otherwise we are back to making the decision I related weeks ago of not doing one's planned trip or as I suggested just printing out the rec dot gov permit info and going in without an actual permit.

User avatar
astrogerly
Topix Regular
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:48 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Contact:

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by astrogerly » Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:51 pm

Sorry that you're still having bad luck @SSSdave. Since they changed the process about a month-ish ago, I've been able to get several permits via the new system and talked to someone on the phone each time (occasionally have to try a second or third time to get through). They even emailed it to me before we finished talking to make sure I received it. I believe I saw a post that this (past) week was going to be periods of down time as they upgraded their infrastructure. Could be part of it right now?! Honestly, I'd call them 5-7 days before your entry date. That's when we've had luck. I've not bothered with the email part as I just heard about that this past week and we didn't backpack this weekend or next (so haven't had a chance to try that yet).

User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Addict
Posts: 3040
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by SSSdave » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:44 am

Inyo sent it overnight.

User avatar
overheadx2
Topix Expert
Posts: 574
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:08 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: huntington beach

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by overheadx2 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:49 pm

So I am a little confused. I have been hearing that permits are released on recreation.gov on Monday so for the following 2 weeks. Checked today, but no extra permits any where. Now I just read that I should call and get the walk up permits emailed to me. Any help would be appreciated, Phil

User avatar
jfr
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:21 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: 32N 117W
Contact:

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by jfr » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:51 pm

Inyo NF is upgrading their phone system this week https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/new ... EPRD767231

"July 16, 2020-- The phone system for the Inyo National Forest is being upgraded over the next week.

The telephone replacement project is necessary to upgrade the Forest Service’s outdated phone system to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture and security requirements. People should expect that there will be breaks in phone service while this upgrade is completed.

As much as possible, we encourage people to use email to continue service for the next week. If your issue isn’t time urgent, we suggest waiting a week until the phone system is upgraded."
Trip Reports and PhotoJournal: http://hikingtales.com/

User avatar
astrogerly
Topix Regular
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:48 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Contact:

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by astrogerly » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:00 pm

@overheadx2 They are online now. They have been loading them at various times throughout the day when they have time between normal duties - no rhyme or reason to the order they do it in either. Today was all over the board. The trailhead I wanted was one of the last they loaded. You just have to refresh like crazy on Monday's it seems...

User avatar
Iriscaddis
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:50 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by Iriscaddis » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:44 pm

Greetings. Here’s an update on using the online system, Recreation.gov. A few weeks ago I called the 800 numbers and the 760 numbers. Mammoth Lakes did call me back. They’re stressed but pleasant and want to get through calls efficiently but quickly to get to others in queue. Here’s the deal: they load the permits manually 14 days ahead of a requested date, on Mondays, starting around 8am PT. So, after all that, I did get my reservations online for late July dates. Nothing was showing up until 11:30ish. Kearsage pass showed up and gone in about an hour. I think there was 2 permits left. So while at the office today, I was refreshing my iPhone browser, dumped cache, anything I could to make sure I was doing it right. By the way, the app does not have the permits, per my chat with Rec.gov. So I used a browser. If anyone has a different experience please let the thread know. You also have send an email with your entry date/trail/rsvp no, and copy the questions. The details are in our confirmation email and also on the .gov site. Apparently the permits will be emailed 2 days before the entry date. Regardless, I’ll have my email as validation.
An ordeal but these are unprecedented times and the rangers are doing a great job. Here, here

User avatar
mokelumnekid
Topix Expert
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:45 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Post by mokelumnekid » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:50 pm

Okay I'm still very confused. What if my 14 days out falls on a Wednesday, and so the "posting availability on a Monday" doesn't make sense to me. If I want a 14 day out "walk up" permit for Aug 6 what day will it be posted on rec.gov? Or will it be posted, do I instead simply call Inyo office on that 14th day out? Thanks for your patience everyone. This is nuts.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ethoits, Google Adsense [Bot] and 7 guests