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Carson Pass Area Permit to Round Top / Winnemucca

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:44 pm
by davidsheridan
Anyone have any sense about arriving on a Saturday morning in July to try and get a permit to camp at either Round Top or Winemucca?

Found this info on El Dorado NF website: "in the Carson Pass Management Area is allowed only in the designated sites at Winnemucca, Round Top, and Fourth of July Lakes. There are three sites at Winnemucca Lake, six sites at Round Top Lake, and six sites at Fourth of July Lake. Permits for camping in these sites will only be issued at the Carson Pass Information Station in the summer and the Amador Ranger Station at other times."

Question: If I arrive at the Carson Pass Information Station by 7:30 AM on a Saturday morning looking for a permit for that night, what is the is the likelihood that I get skunked?

Thanks for any insight on this permit issuance in this area.

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:30 am
by rightstar76
The area is so beautiful for day hiking I wouldn't want to wait in line for a camping permit. Personally, I don't think it's worth it. However, in the past when I visited, I talked to some people in their designated camp sites who thought it was worth it.

I don't know if you will get one if you show up early. Maybe somebody here on HST who has can share their experience. If it were me, I would reserve a camp site at Grover Hot Springs State Park. Or car camp nearby at Caples Lake or Woods Lake campgrounds.

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:58 pm
by davidsheridan
Thanks rightstar76, that sounds like a good backup plan or option. I think I will try for the permit with day hike /car camping backup plan

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:02 am
by rightstar76
David, I was just thinking that if you can't get a permit for Round Top or Winemucca lakes, you might be able to get one for Emigrant Lake which is outside of the CPMA but still in Mokelumne Wilderness. The trailhead is at Caples Lake.

If you don't have it already, the phone number to the Carson Pass Information Station is 209-258-8606.

When you get back, let us know how your trip went.

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:19 am
by davidsheridan
Quick Report on my visit to Carson Pass Area including permit beta:

Made it up to Carson Pass on Friday night 7/27 at 8PM. By that time all of the campgrounds were full (Caples, Woods, etc...) Luckily, a nice man told us about free dispersed camping in the national forest (established sites off of Woods Lake road past the turnoff to Woods Lake campground where the road becomes a dirt road)

Got to Carson Pass Information Station at 7AM on Saturday and was first in line (office opens at 8aM). Turned out there were only 2 permits available for RoundTop/Winnemucca/4th of July for Saturday night. I got Round Top site #2.

Had a fun day and climbed Round Top Peak and enjoyed swimming in Round Top lake.

Sunday we packed up early and drove through Markleeville to HWY4 and over Ebbet's pass and to our days destination: Swimming in the North Fork of the Stanislaus River. Found a great spot my buddy had told me about, that was super fun!

Moral of the story: Carson Pass area is very crowded, so expect crowds and arrive early, expect campgrounds to be full and permits hard to get on a Friday/Saturday. The area is beautiful, although you will not have solitude, the day hikers are gone by 3PM.

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:21 am
by rightstar76
David, glad that you had a great time. It seems like everything fell into place i.e. the overflow camping off Woods Lake Road and getting a camping permit for Round Top Lake.

I recommend you start a new thread in this forum for your trip report and pictures (or link to). I'm curious where you went swimming in the North Fork Stanislaus River.

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:10 am
by davidsheridan
We went swimming downstream from the Stanislaus River Campground on Spicer Reservior Rd.

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:21 pm
by RGTPSB
David,

Great to hear about your trip to Round Top. How was the air quality there? I was in Mokelumne a bit south of Round Top the weekend of 7/21-22 and the air was noticeably occluded.

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:51 pm
by davidsheridan
The air quality up at Carson pass and higher seemed pretty good on Friday and Saturday, we could see the smoke holding at lower elevations. When we awoke early on Sunday morning, things had changed and the air quality was poor and you could see and smell the smoke. This was the case as we continued our trip over Ebbets pass and then, it miraculously cleared when went swimming on the N. Fork of Stanislaus.

Re: Wilderness Permit Information

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:33 pm
by dustybottoms21
Are you guys familiar with the twin lakes trail in SEKI? And does anyone know if you can submit an application for a backcountry permit here prior to your trip? Or is this a first come first serve only trailhead? I'm finding conflicting info online.