Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Crescent (18% of Full)


Advanced

Re: Yosemite trail permits

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

avatar Yosemite trail permits
November 11, 2008 08:50AM
I'm aware of the 60% (advanced reservation) -vs- 40% (same day or day before) quota system for wilderness permits and plan to use the advanced reservation option for a trip in July.

Best made plans can sometimes unravel for reasons beyond one's control. If this happens, the "same day or day before stand in line" process would have to suffice. Aside from July weekends, what has been some of the experiences amoungst regulars regarding getting your trailhead of preference or getting one at all. I am referring specifically to Tioga Road trailheads during July on weekdays. Also, regardless whether you were picking up an advanced reservation permit or a short notice permit, how much time should one allow for the Wilderness Center, including bear cannister rental?

This is all new for me and I would like to avoid unwelcome surprises at the Wilderness Center. Thanks.

Jim

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 11, 2008 10:40AM
Jim,
If you need to stand in line then the best bet is to be there by 7-8 in the am the day before. Have your two to three hike options ready and you will be sure to get a permit. If that fails to get you a permit out of a Tioga Road trailhead don't overlook trailheads out of Wawona and out of Hetch Hetchy. Both have spectacular hikes and are less traveled.





Old Dude
Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 11, 2008 05:05PM
There are 5 wilderness offices for the park, Valley, Wawona, Tioga, Hetch Hetchy and Big Oak Flat. The trails in the vicinity of those offices receive priority than requests from other areas. So if you want a permit for a Tioga area trail, you should line up outside the Tioga office. People begin lining up between 4 AM and 5 AM. You are not allowed to camp out overnight outside the office. Last year July 4 was in the middle of the week and we were able to easily get the trailheads we wanted at the last minute. But it did seem to us that overall traffic in the park was down, perhaps due to high gas prices.
avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 11, 2008 08:50PM
ssarka wrote:

> There are 5 wilderness offices for the park, Valley, Wawona,
> Tioga, Hetch Hetchy and Big Oak Flat. The trails in the
> vicinity of those offices receive priority than requests from
> other areas. So if you want a permit for a Tioga area trail,
> you should line up outside the Tioga office. People begin
> lining up between 4 AM and 5 AM. You are not allowed to camp
> out overnight outside the office. Last year July 4 was in the
> middle of the week and we were able to easily get the
> trailheads we wanted at the last minute. But it did seem to us
> that overall traffic in the park was down, perhaps due to high
> gas prices.

Just to avoid confusion, that's the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center (not Tioga). Here's a list of the permit issuing stations and which one to go for "first dibs" at each trailhead. My understanding of the process is the exclusive rights that a permit station has to issue first-come, first-served permits (for the next day) exists for maybe 1-2 hours from when it opens. After that time, any permit station (if open) can issue that trailhead's permit.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/trailheads.htm

I remember when there was someone adamant (couldn't arrive earlier) on getting an unreserved July 4 weekend Happy Isles-LYV permit on the day of trailhead entry AND at Big Oak Flat. That wasn't going to happen. His only chance was the day before at the Yosemite Valley Wilderness Center. Those are generally gone quickly for any summer day.

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 12, 2008 05:26AM
I presume Ten Lakes comes under Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center. Is that correct? Anybody know where the cut-off is between jurisdictions of Tuolumne and Big Oak Flat?

Jim

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 12, 2008 08:30AM
You can get a permit from any wilderness station for any trailhead. Period.

Yes, there is priority... they will call and ask if someone is waiting in line for the trailhead you are asking for. The nps.gov site really is chock full of info.
Ten Lakes has priority for the Tioga Rd. (big oak entrance).

Here is the info right from the nps.gov/yose site:

"Permits are also available at any permit issuing station starting one day prior to the beginning of your hike. All wilderness permits must be picked up in person by a member of the hiking group. Priority for permits for a particular trailhead is given to the closest permit issuing station, though it is possible to obtain a permit for any trailhead at any permit issuing station. This mainly affects the most popular trailheads that fill up quickly each morning, such as Little Yosemite Valley trailheads, Lyell Canyon, Cathedral Lakes, among others."

Jim, if I recall correctly you are soloing it. If that is the case you probably
don't need to worry too much. Just get there when the station opens
and hopefully the wait isn't too much. Everyones experience is different
but in the literally 100's of time we've gotten permits the maximum wait
has been about 1 1/2 hours. That was inevitably due to having maybe
6-7 people in front of us, trailheads being full, and people being
unfamiliar with the park and not having alternate options ready...
If have your heart SET on 1 trailhead then you already know to just
reserve. Sunrise, Lyell, Cathedral, LYV ... for sure. Or you will
probably be burning a day.

Anyway, have fun and don't stress too much about the permit.
avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 12, 2008 10:07AM
1 more thing with the priority scheme.

Say you want 10 Lakes and you show up at Tuolumne.
TM opens at 7am and Big Oak opens at 8am.

They are not suppose to even give you a 10 Lakes permit until 8am since
Big Oak doesn't open until 8 and there could be people waiting there...

However, your experience may vary as they don't always call to the
"priority" office either. (we've run into this where the ranger was not
pleased that the TH was full and so and so didn't call to see if anyone
was waiting...)

Anyway, it's all good. At least they don't charge for the permit like they do in SEKI!
avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 12, 2008 01:28PM
Thanks for all the replies. I'm still going with the advanced reservation system but just wanted a peak at the short notice process if plans had to change unexpectantly. If that were to happen I will now know enough to show up early with a list of alternate choices and wired for flexibility.

I'm traveling from the east coast so it's not like I can come back another weekend to cover lost ground. Of the three overnight trailheads in my present plans, Cathedral is the only really busy one.

Jim

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 14, 2008 11:36AM
bill-e-g wrote:

> 1 more thing with the priority scheme.
>
> Say you want 10 Lakes and you show up at Tuolumne.
> TM opens at 7am and Big Oak opens at 8am.

I think your hours are off, but yeah - some permit stations open earlier than others, but it seems to vary depending on the time of year. For July, Hetch Hetchy seems to be the earliest opening at 7 AM. Hetch Hetchy does it at the entrance station, so I don't know how keen they're going to be about issuing a permit for a non HH trailhead if there's a line to get in.

> They are not suppose to even give you a 10 Lakes permit until
> 8am since
> Big Oak doesn't open until 8 and there could be people waiting
> there...
>
> However, your experience may vary as they don't always call to
> the
> "priority" office either. (we've run into this where the
> ranger was not
> pleased that the TH was full and so and so didn't call to see
> if anyone
> was waiting...)

I'm pretty sure that Happy Isles or Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley is a trailhead that no other permit station would dare try and book without checking with the Valley Wilderness Center first. Those are the most sought after permits, and I'd think they go quickly in the summer.

> Anyway, it's all good. At least they don't charge for the
> permit like they do in SEKI!

The $5 reservation fee isn't bad. If I could get a reservation, I certainly wouldn't worry about the cost enough to risk using the FCFS system just to save $5.

You should what some Forest Service charges are like. In Desolation Wilderness, they charge $5 per person, per night. If you're talking 3 nights with a party of two - that's $30. It get's bigger with larger parties or more nights. At least SEKI has a flat-rate.

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 14, 2008 12:23PM
y_p_w wrote:

> In Desolation Wilderness, they charge $5 per person, per night.
> If you're talking 3 nights with a party of two - that's $30.

Sheesh. When the permit system started they promised the permits would always be free. Somebody must have forgot.

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 14, 2008 02:15PM
eeek wrote:

> y_p_w wrote:
>
> > In Desolation Wilderness, they charge $5 per person, per
> night.
> > If you're talking 3 nights with a party of two - that's $30.
>
> Sheesh. When the permit system started they promised the
> permits would always be free. Somebody must have forgot.

I got that wrong. It's $5 per person for the first night, plus $5 more for between 1-13 additional nights. They do cap the permit fees at $100 if you've got a large party. So what I said would have been $20, plus a fee of $5 if reserved.
avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 17, 2008 07:20AM
Since you did it to me:

>>I think your hours are off

Um, I don't think so for the summer.

>>I'm pretty sure that Happy Isles or Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley is a trailhead that no other permit station would dare try

Um..., ah..., that is what they did.... Glacier Point.

>>The $5 reservation fee isn't bad

I ain't talking about the reservation fee... Just to get a permit ...

For SEKI it's $15. For me... $15 * 15 (non-self reg) = 225.
Guess it pales in respect to the gas ... although it was only $2.11 on Sunday coming back...

>Sheesh. When the permit system started they promised the permits would always be free. Somebody must have forgot.

eeek, can you remind them in Yose so they too don't forget. smiling smiley
avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 17, 2008 08:23AM
bill-e-g wrote:

> Since you did it to me:
>
> >>I think your hours are off
>
> Um, I don't think so for the summer.

You said TM opening at 7. I looked it up and it was 7:30. That's all I meant by "off" - 30 minutes.

> >>I'm pretty sure that Happy Isles or Glacier Point to Little
> Yosemite Valley is a trailhead that no other permit station
> would dare try
>
> Um..., ah..., that is what they did.... Glacier Point.

Really?

> >>The $5 reservation fee isn't bad
>
> I ain't talking about the reservation fee... Just to get a
> permit ...
>
> For SEKI it's $15. For me... $15 * 15 (non-self reg) = 225.
> Guess it pales in respect to the gas ... although it was only
> $2.11 on Sunday coming back...

Yeah - I know. I remember talking to the kid manning the Roads End Permit Station. As I waited for someone to finish using the facilities, I chatted with him. He didn't seem to have any problem talking. I guess they barely get any business there. When I asked about their bear cansiters, he was eager to show me all the kinds they had. The Bearikade looked rather overengineered.

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 17, 2008 12:35PM
I thought they only carried the one regular size Garcia cannister.

Jim

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 17, 2008 12:49PM
Regarding the Bearikade canister, apparently the greatest feature of value to backpackers is the Weekender model is 1/2 pound less than the standard Garcia. They sure are pricey to buy. I wonder if Yosemite has a much larger deposit requirement on these for rentals.

If these are really available at TM that's what I want. Anything to save weight is a plus.

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 17, 2008 09:41PM
tomdisco wrote:

> Regarding the Bearikade canister, apparently the greatest
> feature of value to backpackers is the Weekender model is 1/2
> pound less than the standard Garcia. They sure are pricey to
> buy. I wonder if Yosemite has a much larger deposit
> requirement on these for rentals.
>
> If these are really available at TM that's what I want.
> Anything to save weight is a plus.

The discussion diverged into talking about Sequoia/Kings Canyon. The place that did have them was the Roads End Permit Station at Kings Canyon. I was waiting there while a friend was using the "facilities" and just started chatting with the kid manning the station. They had a picture of the Half Dome cables (when crowded) with a caption, "Be glad this isn't Yosemite". I mentioned that I had gone up there a week before, and it wasn't that crowded. We talked about their bear canisters. He showed me what they had, including Garcia 812s as well as the Bearikade Weekender. They had Bear Vault BV400, and just got in some BV350s. He was eager for someone to talk to since there were barely any people showing up except backpackers picking up their permits and people asking where the bathroom is.



Apparently they have an exchange program for older Bear Vaults. Some bear at in the Rae Lakes area managed to open them by stomping on them in a particular manner. The redesign was to make a triangular shaped "bump" that resists opening unless pressed, as well as a little more material in the area.

http://www.bearvault.com/bearvault_productnotices.php

Yosemite doesn't carry the Bearikade. All I've seen are the Garcias, including some of the older cylindrical versions. The newer ones are tapered.

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 17, 2008 04:05PM
I have only seen the Garcia rented at Yosemite.

Of course I could be wrong since I've never rented one.

Own the Garcia (old and new), Ursuck (no mis-spelling here), and Bare Boxer.

The Ursuck (ok, Ursack) .. used to be allowed, but what a piece of poo.
If you really do have a bear come across it, it WILL grab it.
On the VERY FIRST time I used it a Lyell Canyon bear put a bunch of
holes in it and the Aluminum Liner. Luckily I tied it to a stump so I
didn't have to go look for it. No food loss, but geez, I do not want to
go hunting for my "can".

I HIGHLY recommend the "Bare Boxer" (www.bareboxer.com).
It is 1lb less than the garcia. (right around 2lbs)
It is very small but big enough for 3 days easily. $50 after shipping.
avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 17, 2008 09:53PM
bill-e-g wrote:

> I have only seen the Garcia rented at Yosemite.
>
> Of course I could be wrong since I've never rented one.

It's not rented at Yosemite. Apparently Wild Ideas made some rental agreement with Northwest Interpretive Association (Olympic National Park) and the Sequoia Natural History Association (SEKI) to rent them out. I think the ones they still have are only $5 rental. The whole arrangement was so that they could have them tested to determine what improvements were needed. I'm guessing most of them went back to the company, but they still have a few of them for rental.

http://www.wild-ideas.net/about.html

> Own the Garcia (old and new), Ursuck (no mis-spelling here),
> and Bare Boxer.
>
> The Ursuck (ok, Ursack) .. used to be allowed, but what a piece
> of poo.
> If you really do have a bear come across it, it WILL grab it.
> On the VERY FIRST time I used it a Lyell Canyon bear put a
> bunch of
> holes in it and the Aluminum Liner. Luckily I tied it to a
> stump so I
> didn't have to go look for it. No food loss, but geez, I do
> not want to
> go hunting for my "can".

I posted this last year:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/3801/index.htm



> I HIGHLY recommend the "Bare Boxer" (www.bareboxer.com).
> It is 1lb less than the garcia. (right around 2lbs)
> It is very small but big enough for 3 days easily. $50 after
> shipping.

Seems a little bit tiny. I've got a Bear Vault BV350, which sort of bridges the gap between size and usability. I've seen how small the Bare Boxer is (sort of like a small Garcia) and it looks hard to reach into.

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 18, 2008 07:07AM
You really don't need to copy everything I write.
Just state that you have the BV350 and love it.

I love the little itty bitty tiny bare boxer. Its 1lb 12oz and works a
treat for me when I run around for 3 days. Others may hate it.
The BV IMO are too big. I WANT something this small to fit in my smaller
pack... the opening is 6 inches. I don't buy Mountain House type food
so my caveman hands and food fit just fine...

Have a nice day
avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 18, 2008 10:13AM
bill-e-g wrote:

> You really don't need to copy everything I write.
> Just state that you have the BV350 and love it.

I usually use attributions. I find that when I don't there can be misunderstandings (i.e. "Were you responding to me?"winking smiley.

avatar Re: Yosemite trail permits
November 18, 2008 07:36AM
When I did Roads End to Mt. Whitney and back this year Roads End was
DESOLATE on Tues before Labor Day. When I got back on Saturday the
place was an absolute ZOO! Every single campground on the way out
was Full. Gas was ridonkulous and it was Labor Day...
Even so I saw only a handful of people coming out from Lake Reflection.
(took the trail south of the river)
Also, nearly everyone I talked to once I got on the JMT when I said I
came from Roads End just looked perplexed. (Whitney was a Zoo too)
The other point (is there any point?) is that the place is NOT Yosemite.
Yosemite is much gentler with many many "easy" options. On the Whitney
out and back every day was +5K except the last... yummy

smiling smiley

Yosemite IS the Best. smiling smiley
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login