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Re: Strange permit problem

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Strange permit problem
August 16, 2010 08:36AM
FYI: Yosemite will apparently not issue you a permit for more
than two weeks that begins & ends in the Park. This spring I
applied (by mail) for a three-week trip that was to begin at
Hetch Hetchy and end at Happy Isles. The plan was to hike north
from Hetch Hetchy, through Emigrant Wilderness to resupply at
Kennedy Meadows. From there I planned to head south, back into
the Park with another resupply at Tuolumne Meadows, then over
Vogelsang Pass and out at Happy Isles.

The permit-issuing folks phoned me to work out an alternate plan
as they would not issue a permit for that length of time (permit
application made no mention of the resupplies at Kennedy &
Tuolumne Meadows). I was told they would not issue a permit for
more than two weeks as it was obvious I could not legally (bear
can) carry enough food for longer than that. When I explained
that I had a resupply after the first week at Kennedy Meadows,
and again after the second week at Tuolumne Meadows they still
refused me the permit and suggested two alternatives to legally
make the proposed trip:

1) The Yosemite Permit would be from Hetch Hetchy to Kennedy
Meadows. I would need to get another permit from Stanislaus
National Forest to re-enter the Emigrant Wilderness from Kennedy
Meadows and exit in Yosemite at Happy Isles. I did not pursue
this alternative as it appeared I would have to hitch a ride from
Kennedy Meadows to the nearest Forest Service office at Pinecrest
(about 50 miles) to pickup a permit in person (they would not
mail it ahead of time, as far as I could determine).

2) The Yosemite Permit would be from Hetch Hetchy to Tuolumne
Meadows. I would need a second permit to proceed from Tuolumne
to Happy Isles. I was unable to get the second permit as there
were none available for any appropriate trailhead on the day(s) I
expected to be in Tuolumne (this was about 8 weeks before the
start of the trip). I would have to line up at the permit office
and take my chances with an unreserved permit. I would have
tried this, but other things intervened to make me have to cancel
the whole trip.

I think it is interesting that I could exit the Park and re-enter
for an ultimate exit inside the Park on a single permit as long
as the trip was two weeks or less in length. This makes so
little sense to me that I wonder if I may have misunderstood what
the permit folks told me, or perhaps they themselves had the
facts wrong. The Yosemnite Website pretty clearly states "If you
are starting at a trailhead in Yosemite and wish to camp outside
of Yosemite during your Wilderness trip, you will only need to
get a single wilderness permit from Yosemite." I could find no
mention of the two-week limit, nor any reference to any
difference between "..wish to camp outside of Yosemite.." and
leaving the Park temporarily for resupply purposes.

Anyone have an comments?

. . . Kurt

Grants Pass, Oregon
avatar Re: Strange permit problem
August 16, 2010 11:38AM
Regardless what they said about the 2 weeks or how you interpreted it, the simple fact is that your hiking plan calls for multiple permits due to exit and re-entry, especially inside Yosemite when crossing over a road such as Tioga Road. That is the crux of the problem and it had to be addressed early before trailhead quotas filled up. It really has nothing to do with total time on the trails. This kind of plan is certainly doable but generally requires advanced reservation permits (up to 24 weeks in advance). Admittedly, the Forest Service permit would be a bit of a hassle for you and may by necessity call for a revision of your plan anyway. Trying to put this kind of plan together in the summer is pretty tough as far as Yosemite trailhead permits go. Good luck with whatever you decide to attempt.

Kurt, you did not say exactly when you wanted to do this or when they actually phoned you. Perhaps your window of opportunity for this trip has already expired. I don't know.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2010 11:46AM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: Strange permit problem
August 16, 2010 02:09PM
Two things;

I would ask for a cite that prohibits a hike of longer than two weeks even without a resupply on a long trip in the park. You could depend on fish for food etc. You would be hard pressed for a four week trip as there is a 30 day limit per year on plain camping in the park. I suppose that limit could be foisted on you. You can leave and renter the park on a multiday hike but I doubt you could be lounging at Kennedy Meadows for days and days and then expect to call it one trip. (the people that issue the permits do have bureaucratic power though)

You can cross over any road with your permit. There are just some rules about being sure that you do indeed follow your route as described when you get the permit. You can't get a permit for a less popular trailhead and then drive to a popular trailhead and start hiking. You have to actually start the hike there via the route you have proposed at the time you get the permit and spend at least one night in the wilderness before you arrive at the popular trailhead. It probably wouldn't work if you rode the shuttle from an exit point to a second entry point. I'm sure you could legally hike it though.

You could always "plan" for two weeks and then due to unforeseen circumstances take three weeks.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2010 02:25PM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: Strange permit problem
August 16, 2010 03:47PM
Quote
mrcondron
there is a 30 day limit per year on plain camping in the park.

Isn't that just for campgrounds?
avatar Re: Strange permit problem
August 16, 2010 03:54PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
mrcondron
there is a 30 day limit per year on plain camping in the park.

Isn't that just for campgrounds?

And probably hard to enforce if staying at a campsite reserved by someone else.
avatar Re: Strange permit problem
August 16, 2010 03:59PM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
eeek
Quote
mrcondron
there is a 30 day limit per year on plain camping in the park.

Isn't that just for campgrounds?

And probably hard to enforce if staying at a campsite reserved by someone else.

And hard to enforce at non-reserved campgrounds as well.
avatar Re: Strange permit problem
August 16, 2010 04:02PM
After some searching I think I found the problem:

Quote
Superintendent's Compendium

• Camping is permitted for not more than a total of 30 days in any calendar year, provided that during the period from May 1st through September 15th inclusive, camping within Yosemite Valley and Wawona is limited to not more than a total of 7 days, and camping within all other portions of the park, during the same period, is limited to not more than a total of 14 days.

Could it be the Chick-on is in violation of this limit?
Re: Strange permit problem
August 16, 2010 05:34PM
They don't advertise the two week limit because they usually don't need to. I have heard it before, tho - a ranger mentioned it over the phone once when I asked what would happen if one were delayed past the exit date on the permit for some reason (not much, apparently, as they are much more concerned about the entry date). Not a lot of people doing backpacking trips more than two weeks long within the park - the PCT and JMT hikers are the general expected exceptions, and thru-hikers are allowed to stay at TM backpacker campground all the time despite the lack of a valid wilderness permit starting the next day or ending the previous. But they won't be coming back into the park so don't have your problem...

Crossing the road is not a problem for anyone with a wilderness permit. Hiking along the road is. Roads are not part of the wilderness. If you are using one (either on foot or on wheels) you have exited the wilderness. You are allowed and within the permitting regulations to cross the road and re-enter the wilderness on the other side, per a ranger I asked about this while investigating a long hike.

This is why I usually call the rangers in the various jurisdictions prior to even applying for a permit - it gets confusing. The way you describe the hike, I would have expected to need two permits if you stayed the night at Kennedy Meadows. You exit at Kennedy Meadows, you get another permit going back into Emigrant Wilderness. Just like if you exited at Tuolumne Meadows and stayed the night - you left the wilderness. Crossing the road at TM and heading north on the JMT would not be exiting the wilderness, it would be continuing a hike.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2010 05:36PM by AlmostThere.
avatar Re: Strange permit problem
August 16, 2010 07:47PM
Quote
AlmostThere
They don't advertise the two week limit because they usually don't need to. I have heard it before, tho - a ranger mentioned it over the phone once when I asked what would happen if one were delayed past the exit date on the permit for some reason (not much, apparently, as they are much more concerned about the entry date). Not a lot of people doing backpacking trips more than two weeks long within the park - the PCT and JMT hikers are the general expected exceptions, and thru-hikers are allowed to stay at TM backpacker campground all the time despite the lack of a valid wilderness permit starting the next day or ending the previous. But they won't be coming back into the park so don't have your problem...

They don't publicize it well, but all the backpackers campgrounds are open to people who arrive by bus, on foot, or by bicycle. It's in the superintendent's compendium of park regulations. Obviously a person hiking in meets the definition of "on foot".
avatar Re: Strange permit problem
August 26, 2010 06:01PM
Just an add-on note. When I departed the area Tuesday I stopped at the Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest permit station in Bridgeport for general permit info for Hoover Wilderness, particularly Robinson Creek TH at Twin Lakes. For those not aware, it is possible to reserve a permit up to three weeks ahead of time, either in person or by mail (not via FAX) for anywhere in the Hoover Wilderness. The "24-hours before" is not the only way to get one.
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