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more JMT permit questions
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Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
more JMT permit questions on 05/04/2013 19:27:40 MDT Print View

I just found out that I will have a block of time free starting about the 7-8 of July. I threw out to my 17 year old son that we should do a long hike. So in the matter of a minute or two we decided that we should do the JMT. Since we don't deal with permits here in Idaho, and my permit process for the SHR a couple of years ago was about 10 min worth of time to fill in the blanks, I thought I might want to ask about a specific plan we are looking at, or contemplating.
Our itinerary is something like this:
Leave Idaho on Sunday the 7th, drive to Reno, spend the night with family. On Mon drive to TM and try for a walk up permit out of Sunrise, and access the JMT via Clouds Rest, and HD; all for my son's entertainment. I took the hard way up HD back in the 80's! Anyway, then we loop back up to TM, resupply, and start southbound to Whitney.
So my question; is this valid, and worth pursuing as we can be flexible with leaveing that day, or the next etc....
thanks for some suggestions

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: more JMT permit questions on 05/04/2013 19:48:46 MDT Print View

However convenient the Sunrise trailhead might be to you, it is awfully popular for backpackers going for shorter distance. So, you might get aced out on the walk-up permit. In many cases, it is better to reserve one in advance.


Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
permits on 05/05/2013 08:38:05 MDT Print View

True. If you can get a permit for the day you want, and the trailhead you want, you should get it. That would remove all uncertainty.

On the other hand, there are some trailheads that almost NEVER fill up, and you can access some wonderful parts of the park from them. And some of them even give you an alternative route to reach large portions of the JMT.

For example, Rush Creek, from the east side, gets you to Thousand Island Lake in an easy two days, and allows you to explore all of that area. Nelson Lake out of Tuolumne Meadows puts you right in the middle of the Yosemite backcountry if you are willling to do a little cross country. Polly Dome Lakes is only a few miles from May Lake...and Mono Meadows is almost always available, and gives you access to LYV after you spend in night in Illilouette Canyon.

WE've done hikes from all of those trailheads, and they are all on our website:

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: permits on 05/05/2013 13:43:29 MDT Print View

Looking at the trail reports, looks like every day for July is booked. So I am pretty much committed to trying for a walk up permit.

Does the Nelson Lake access fall under the TM quotas? That would make a difference as well.
So what is the typical strategy to get a walk up permit for the TM area? I would think that would be easier than some of the permits from the valley floor.

Rush Cr might be an option. Where are the permits gotten, and where is the TH accessed from?

Finally, technically it is my understanding that you can get a permit from ANY location, for ANY trail.... ie two years ago I got my Onion Valley/SHR permit at the Mono Lake location. Is there any advantage, or even any chance of getting a walk up permit from one of these other locations instead of battling the lines at the actual TH area? Again, thinking about trying for a permit at the Mono Lake area for TM for the following day kinda of plan....

Edited by idahosteve on 05/05/2013 13:44:31 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: permits on 05/05/2013 13:56:00 MDT Print View

"Does the Nelson Lake access fall under the TM quotas?"

Nelson Lake access is booked from the Tuolumne Meadows permit station. Of course there are many trails booked from Tuolumne Meadows, each with its own quota.

1. The trail to Nelson Lake may not be considered as a continuous maintained trail. Generally there are some disclaimers about it, but I've been over it twice in the last few years, and it isn't too bad. Instead of looking for metal trail signs, you are looking for little rock ducks.

2. Once you reach Nelson Lake, you have a day or two to get back east onto the JMT in Lyell Canyon. Only half of that has a trail.

3. It may be possible to get a permit from Any location, for Any trail... however, that is generally not the case within Yosemite. There are specific permit stations within the park, and each one covers a specific area with specific trailheads. This map is online.

4. If you get a permit starting toward Nelson Lake, the permit has to state that you are continuing over the pass into another wilderness.