SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

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SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

Post by maverick » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:14 pm

SEKI NP:
Beginning in 2021, overnight visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks wilderness areas will be able to make their quota season wilderness permit reservations using the website Recreation.gov. This will replace the old system, by which reservations were submitted by email and processed manually. Recreation.gov provides trip planning and reservation services for public lands nationwide, and using it for wilderness permit issuance will bring the parks into alignment with the adjacent Inyo National Forest.

Effective today, visitors can view the permits that will be available for reservation on Recreation.gov by searching “Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Permits,” or following the direct link https://www.recreation.gov/permits/445857/. Beginning in early January, reservations will become available in a rolling window six months in advance of entry dates. The 2021 quota season will run from May 28 – September 18.

“This new system will provide real-time availability information, as well as instant reservation confirmations, which visitors have repeatedly requested,” says Wilderness Coordinator Erik Frenzel. “Recreation.gov also streamlines the payment process and provides more specific information for different entry points. We hope that wilderness visitors will find the new system makes trip planning a much better experience.”

To cover the costs associated with the new system, the quota season permit fee will increase by $5 to $15 per permit plus $5 per person. Refunds of the per person portion of the fee will now be available in the event of cancellations or party size reductions.

At this time, the parks are also planning to resume in-person, “walk-up” permit issuance for the 2021 quota season. This means that a limited number of first-come, first-served permits will be available daily at permit issuing stations in Cedar Grove, Grant Grove, Lodgepole, Ash Mountain, and Mineral King. The parks are working on safety measures to make this possible while protecting visitor and employee health.

The permit system is an essential part of the parks’ wilderness stewardship efforts, as it provides a limit on the number of people recreating in sensitive ecosystems during the high-use summer months and ensures visitors have the information to protect themselves and the wilderness. Outside quota season, self-issued permits for wilderness use are required. As in the past, these are available at visitor centers near trailheads. No fee is required outside the quota season.

Visitors will be able to begin making wilderness permit reservations on January 5, 2021. In the meantime, the park encourage everyone to explore the new system. Questions can be directed to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Office, at seki_wilderness_office@nps.gov or (559) 565-3766.


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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org






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Re: SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

Post by balzaccom » Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:22 pm

I really dislike recreation.gov---but this might actually be an improvement. Since my timetables are now more flexible, I should be able to find a date for the place I want to go hike.

Thank you, retirement!

On the other hand, I foresee large numbers of reservations being made on-line and then never used....just like campsites.
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Re: SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

Post by LMBSGV » Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:58 pm

Thanks for posting this. Like balzaccom, I have mixed feelings about this. I have to say recreation.gov is slightly better than emailing at midnight for March 1. I also think there will be a large number of unused reservations so I hope they will do as Inyo and hand out the no-show permits if they are not picked up.

I'm curious how many permits for the "limited number of first-come, first-served permits will be available daily." Will it be 40% of the quota or will it be less? The one thing with recreation.gov is if one is flexible about entry date, it's possible to pick a date where there is still a permit available. But then, I'm retired, too, so I can be flexible. Someone who has specific vacation dates does not have that flexibility.
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Re: SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:09 am

Yeah, I'm not a recreation.gov fan. Midnight March 1st wasn't so bad.
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Re: SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:09 am

Marketing spin. The underlying impact of the system, is to discourage use for those with limited budgets other than the casual backpacker who may go in once a year. If you add the reserve.gov fee ($7? or have they raised that too?) it is $27 for a solo backpacker for one trip. The cost favors large groups which I am not sure is good environmentally. And that does not even cover the fee to get into SEKI (although I have a senior pass, many cannot use this as an option). Sorry, no. I will be visiting SEKI from trailheads outside of SEKI whenever possible.

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Re: SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

Post by oleander » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:48 pm

SEKI campground reservations on recreation.gov - for Lodgepole CG, and some others - will now be available starting 3 months in advance, rather than 6 months in advance.

This according to a phone convo earlier this week with a person on the SEKI information line.

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Re: SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

Post by bobby49 » Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:38 pm

oleander wrote:
Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:48 pm
SEKI campground reservations on recreation.gov - for Lodgepole CG, and some others - will now be available starting 3 months in advance, rather than 6 months in advance.

This according to a phone convo earlier this week with a person on the SEKI information line.
Is this now or will it become public information?

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Re: SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

Post by oleander » Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:11 pm

@bobby49 It's current; and it's public information. I have no idea if this info is going to be posted on the SEKI website or on recreation.gov; or if this change is meant to be temporary or permanent. Also not sure which SEKI campgrounds or facilities will now be on recreation.gov (besides Lodgepole).

The SEKI information line is:
559-565-3341

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Update 12/30

Post by maverick » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:05 pm

SEKI NP:
To make sure that the transition to our new wilderness permit reservation system is a smooth one, we are pushing back the date when reservations will be live on recreation.gov. The new anticipated date for live reservations will be February 9th.

As a reminder, these reservations will be for overnight trips to the wilderness during quota season, which runs from May 28 - September 18, 2021.
The system is already available for you to explore! Check it out at https://www.recreation.gov/permits/445857
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: SEKI Wilderness Permit Reservation Moving To Recreation.gov

Post by Lumbergh21 » Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:19 pm

Welcome to the 21st century (or at least the 1990's) SEKI. I hated when I used to need to submit my permit reservation by fax to Yosemite never knowing if they actually got it until I (hopefully) received an email approving it. While the chances of getting a reservation with SEKI were better, so less angst, I still never knew until a week or more after I submitted the application if I actually got the permit or if they even received it.
Marketing spin. The underlying impact of the system, is to discourage use for those with limited budgets other than the casual backpacker who may go in once a year. If you add the reserve.gov fee ($7? or have they raised that too?) it is $27 for a solo backpacker for one trip. The cost favors large groups which I am not sure is good environmentally. And that does not even cover the fee to get into SEKI (although I have a senior pass, many cannot use this as an option). Sorry, no. I will be visiting SEKI from trailheads outside of SEKI whenever possible.
How are you arriving at $27 per permit? Are you including the cost of entry into the Park? Recreation.gov charges a $6 fee per permit. A reserved permit itself is $5 per person for Inyo. I don't know what SEKI charges, or rather will charge. It's still a lot less than the cost of driving to the trail.

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