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Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS

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JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 10, 2016 06:40PM
Ok- My backpacking partner and I have an opportunity to "throw together" a four night trip over the 4th of July weekend and would like to do something out of Tuolumne Meadows but alas... the JMT folks have booked out all of the permits in advance. I know we can take a chance on a walk up but from what I read there are many JMT folks in line very early each day trying to secure walk ups during the season.

So... I thought some of the creative folks here might have some ideas... we like about 10 miles per day average, staying on trail, and are not afraid of long climbs... any great ideas?

The two we have done recently were the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne loop and the Matterhorn canyon area loop. We have also done a loop leaving from Mono Meadows.

It would be great to enter at some other spot and still get to enjoy a nice loop in Yosemite.
We are not opposed to something on the East side or drifting out of Yos toward Ansel Adams Wilderness but I guess that would be outside the perview this forum...

Thanks for any info!
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 10, 2016 06:59PM
"We would like to do something out of Tuolumne Meadows but alas... the JMT folks have booked out all of the permits in advance."

No, they only booked the 60% advance reservable permits. 40% are still designated as "next day"...still wide open. Factor in all those reserved "no shows"...usually 10 - 20%, and that leaves over half the quota slots still available.
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 10, 2016 07:01PM
By "next day" do you mean walk up?

If so- it is hard to plan a trip and drive many hours with the possibility that a trip will not happen. I know it is possible but it sounds like the lines are very long for walk up permits...
avatar Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 10, 2016 07:42PM
Quote
lilagray
Ok- My backpacking partner and I have an opportunity to "throw together" a four night trip over the 4th of July weekend and would like to do something out of Tuolumne Meadows but alas... the JMT folks have booked out all of the permits in advance.

That is no longer true since there's only 45 exit permits (for 45 people) issued now to backpackers hiking the JMT. And of those 45 permits, only 35 them are reservable in advance. And the "exit permits" are only available for those starting at the Happy Isles trailhead or the Lyell Canyon trailhead. NPS started this exit permit program this year just to avoid the scenario you stated (which was true in years past).


“Over the last several years, Yosemite National Park has noted a significant increase in demand for permits to hike the John Muir Trail (JMT). The increased number of JMT hikers has made it difficult for non-JMT hikers to get wilderness permits for other trails within Yosemite National Park. Also during this same time, the NPS has noted an increase in the number of resource related impacts within the Sunrise Creek and Lyell Canyon areas. Finally, some wilderness campsites along the JMT in Yosemite have seen a sharp increase in overnight users, which negatively impacts the quality of the visitor experience.

Beginning in February 2, 2015, Yosemite National Park will only issue wilderness permits valid for exiting Yosemite via Donahue Pass (the pass over which the JMT exits Yosemite) for up to 45 people per day. Of these, 25 will be available for permits using the Lyell Canyon trailhead (60% reservable, 40% first- come, first-served). The remaining 20 will be available for Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, Happy Isles pass-through, Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley, and Sunrise Lakes trailheads (100% reservable).”


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



Leave No Trace
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 11, 2016 06:44AM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
lilagray
Ok- My backpacking partner and I have an opportunity to "throw together" a four night trip over the 4th of July weekend and would like to do something out of Tuolumne Meadows but alas... the JMT folks have booked out all of the permits in advance.

That is no longer true since there's only 45 exit permits (for 45 people) issued now to backpackers hiking the JMT. And of those 45 permits, only 35 them are reservable in advance. And the "exit permits" are only available for those starting at the Happy Isles trailhead or the Lyell Canyon trailhead. NPS started this exit permit program this year just to avoid the scenario you stated (which was true in years past).


“Over the last several years, Yosemite National Park has noted a significant increase in demand for permits to hike the John Muir Trail (JMT). The increased number of JMT hikers has made it difficult for non-JMT hikers to get wilderness permits for other trails within Yosemite National Park. Also during this same time, the NPS has noted an increase in the number of resource related impacts within the Sunrise Creek and Lyell Canyon areas. Finally, some wilderness campsites along the JMT in Yosemite have seen a sharp increase in overnight users, which negatively impacts the quality of the visitor experience.

Beginning in February 2, 2015, Yosemite National Park will only issue wilderness permits valid for exiting Yosemite via Donahue Pass (the pass over which the JMT exits Yosemite) for up to 45 people per day. Of these, 25 will be available for permits using the Lyell Canyon trailhead (60% reservable, 40% first- come, first-served). The remaining 20 will be available for Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, Happy Isles pass-through, Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley, and Sunrise Lakes trailheads (100% reservable).”


http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/jmt.htm
So the trick would be to go the other way, i.e., Mammoth to Yosemite (so-called north bound) ?
avatar Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 13, 2016 02:42PM
From last year's experience, this results in a huge line of JMT folks at the Tuolumne Wilderness Permit office. Fortunately, rangers did a pretty good job of managing the line during the "JMT crowding" periods, allowing those with reservations to go first and pre-sorting the JMT versus Others lines.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2016 02:42PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 10, 2016 08:32PM
There's been a number of stuff on Ansel Adams Wilderness on this forum... with maps
and trip reports and such... You can go in from Isberg Trailhead... off Beasore road.
Anything Sierra is applicable here...
Thank you for posting a TR in the past. I appreciate it. As do others.
Anywho. There are options. Do you like xcountry? If not... then there are a number of
loops and such you can do... or out and backs...
Sonora Pass, Leavitt Meadows, Green Lake, Virginia Lake, Ten Lakes, Isberg TH,
Quartz Mtn, ... they all provide access to Yosemite...

Not gonna put all my tricks here.

O wait. People say I am a one trick Chick-on. tongue sticking out smiley

The whole quota thing is why I love "off season" just so much.... although I def. see need
for quotas... even if I / we rarely see anyone on trips... (yes, even "in season" )
(i.e. go offtrail... only a bit)

Anywho... um... maybe I didn't help



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 10, 2016 09:18PM
Well now that the Bird has confused you...fear not. He confuses me all the time. Yellow becomes orange, whatever. It all looks doable from here.

I understand the concern that you could spend a lot of time in line and maybe, maybe, not get a permit. Always good to have options. The Bird alludes to the Quartz Mountain trailhead...pick u a permit in Oakhurst. Bird and I did a trip here labor day...busy, right?...never saw another person. OK, maybe a little cross country, but you could make a great loop on trail to Merced Pass, Red Peak Pass, Isberg Pass and Fernandez Pass. Only a wee bit off trail are Red Devil Lake and post & Slab Lakes...well worth it and easy to get to. Our trip report here. You could also get to this area from the nearby Clover Meadow Campground/trailhead.

Crabtree trailhead off of 108 has some good options...our trip report here.

And lots of good stuff out of the Twin Lakes trailhead north of Matterhorn Peak (maybe you already did this...?)

And, yeah, Ansel Adams Wilderness out of Mammoth or June Lake provides all sorts of good stuff as well.

And if you are good with "trails" that aren't fully maintained trails, well, there are a whole bunch of other options, like taking the Elizabeth Lake trail out of Tuolumne up over the pass and getting to the Matthes area, one of my favorites.

Happy to provide more info on any of the above if you wish.
avatar Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
April 29, 2016 01:03AM
Shhh. Don't tell people about Sonora pass, leavitt meadows or Virginia! That's a secret.


In all seriousness though, those are great ways to end up in the park when you started from another jurisdiction and they are all very beautiful hikes.
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 11, 2016 03:43PM
Not to mention the cross-country trailheads like Nelson or Echo...or the through hike permits for Glen Aulin heading North...Murphy Creek..

East side Walker Lake

There are lots of options if you don't want to hike where everyone else is hiking...



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 13, 2016 05:39PM
The closest permit office to the starting trailhead controls the permits for that trailhead.

For example - One hiker gets in line early - 3:00 AM, first in line at the Valley Permit office. He is looking for a "Next Day" permit, starting somewhere out of Tuolumne Meadows.
Someone else gets in line at 10:40 AM at the Tuolumne Permit office...same request. (FYI, Next Day permits go out at 11:00 at both offices.) At 11:00, the Tuolumne Meadows Ranger will come out and ask if anybody in his line wants to go up the Lyell...or up Rafferty...or? Those in line at Tuolumne will get any available permits (including the guy who got in line late) before any open spots are passed down to the Valley and its Permit Office hikers.

If you are a one or a two, it's not a weekend start, and you have a zero day to kill/acclimate in the Meadows...just go.
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 15, 2016 09:35PM
Thanks everyone for the great info... We dug out the maps and books this weekend and are going to shoot for the Isberg Pass, Red Peak Pass area and some of the network of lakes around there. We have been on the Ottoway Lakes side and really loved it so looking forward to exploring the Ansel Adams side. Planning to enter at "Jackass Trailhead" to reduce a little driving. Thanks again- might throw out a few more questions as the details get filled in.

Perhaps we can get out of Tuolumne sometime in the fall which is a great time as well and 'slightly' easier to get permits.

Happy Hiking-
agray
avatar Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
April 29, 2016 01:05AM
Honestly it doesn't get much easier throughout the season. Tuolumne meadows is one of the most popular Yosemite trail heads.
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
May 01, 2016 11:27AM
Actually, I have found that it is easier to get walk ups after the JMT season ends. I have always had success in the fall out of Tuo when there is hardly a line up in the morning.
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
May 01, 2016 11:29AM
Thanks again folks- we got a permit and will be exploring the Southern Boundary. Have already been to the Ottoway Lakes area but will be on the other side of the pass.
Lots of good ideas here- thanks again.
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
March 22, 2016 06:56AM
The Catheral Trailhead is showing available July 5th, if you go a little later
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/fulltrailheads.pdf
avatar Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
April 26, 2016 09:00PM
Quote
lilagray
would like to do something out of Tuolumne Meadows [...] about 10 miles per day average, staying on trail, and are not afraid of long climbs

Dana Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows via Waugh Lake. 35 miles. Extend the loop south for more. Take the free shuttle bus between the trailheads.
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
April 29, 2016 09:05AM
The July 4 holiday is the worst time for walk up permits even a couple days before a Saturday morning. July 4 this year is on Monday. No one has mentioned that walk up permits are available the day before by late morning so if entering on Saturday morning one will need to be in line FRIDAY morning an hour or two before they start issuing.

One option that gets around the quota is to hike into 20 Lakes Basin out of Saddlebag L that has no quota but does require a permit. Permits are issued both at Tuolumne Mdws and Inyo NF Mono Lake RS but NOT at Saddlebag. Of course there will be a TON of groups tenting there then and that basin is certain to be rather soggy with patches of snow and not many wildflowers. Much better in August.

The most certain way to get a permit over the holiday is to go into Hoover Wilderness. There are quotas for those trails but they are much much slower to fill and their permit system is still like it was 2 decades ago, mail in or show up in person. In this era the recreation.gov online quotas fill up much sooner than mail in permits because the effort to make a request discourages. Even on Saturday morning July 2 you ought to be able to get a permit as long as you are there before the office opens. East Lake out of Green Cr or Crown/Peeler out of Twin Lakes are best but there are a lot of other choices. Look at the topo.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=38.06388,-119.30135&z=15&t=T

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=38.12137,-119.44692&z=15&t=T

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com/2016_Trip_Chronicles/2016_Trip-Chronicles-0.html



http://www.davidsenesac.com
Re: JMT PERMIT HOGS
May 01, 2016 11:30AM
Thanks again folks for all of the suggestions. We got a permit and will be exploring the Southern Boundary. Have already been to the Ottoway Lakes area but will be on the other side of the pass.
Lots of good ideas here- thanks again.
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