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Re: Wilderness Permits

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Wilderness Permits
August 11, 2007 04:45PM
Another stupid question (believe me, I've tried):

The NPS web site says you have to pick up your wilderness permit at the office closest to your starting trailhead. But what if we want to a.) park and camp the first night in Yosemite Valley, b.) take the shuttle to Tuolumne Meadows and then c.) hike back down to YV? (I'm sure I'm not the first person who's thought of this.) Could we pick up a TM permit in YV the first day so we could use the backpacker camp there - are the rangers "flexible" about issuing permits this way? Or is this just too complicated?

(Actually I'm not sure I want to do it this way because of the altitude issues - we are flying in from sea level - but I know my kids will find the high country around TM and Vogelsang spectacular, so that's why I was thinking of starting there. Also, it would be nice to get pizza at Curry Village on the last trail day.)

Has anybody done it this way?
avatar Re: Wilderness Permits
August 11, 2007 04:52PM
I'm pretty sure that you can get a permit for any trailhead at any issuing station in the park. Everything is computerized now and the trailhead allocations that have been used are known at each station.





Old Dude
Re: Wilderness Permits
August 12, 2007 03:31PM
foustmi, have you reserved the permit already and just picking it up? in that case, i think you can pick it up anywhere.

or are you going to try to get the first-come first served permit? if so, they give priority to the people closest to the trailhead the morning before. for example, i don't think you'd be likely to get a little yosemite valley/half dome permit at Tuolumne Meadows.

if you're driving in on 120 in the afternoon and stop at the entrance station, you can probably pick up any number of available permits there.
avatar Re: Wilderness Permits
August 12, 2007 08:50PM
Yes, you can do it. When I hike from Tuolumne to the Valley I do it as you plan on.
avatar Re: Wilderness Permits
August 12, 2007 09:30PM
I've gone from Tenaya Lake to YV. I picked up my permit at the Big Oak Flat permit station. Reserved permits can be picked up at any station the day before or start day. I stayed in the YV backpackers campground and got up early so I could make the hikers bus. Be sure to specifically mention that you're planning on parking in the valley backpackers parking lot. You'll get a parking permit (really just your permit number and name) to put on your dashboard. The other thing is that the sign often says the backpackers parking lot is full, but I was told this was done to discourage many of the day users who park there and leave enough space for the real backcountry users.

I've been told at the YV wilderness center that they put "dibs" on the first-come, first-served permits for the permit stations closest to the trailheads. Someone asked about a FCFS Happy Isles-Little Yosemite Valley permit for July 3 picked up that morning - perhaps at Big Oat Flat to avoid the crowds. Basically nobody thought he's stand a chance for four reasons: A) it's the most popular wilderness starting trailhead in the park, B) one of the highest demand days of the season, C) not able to pick it up the day before (when the quota is likely to fill), and D) hoping to get a jump by going to a less crowded permit station (that doesn't get first dibs on the trailhead in question).

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