Quick Yosemite permit/camping question
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Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 08:24:53 MST Print View

So no luck with a reserved permit for the JMT this year...I guess I'll be waiting in line at 3a to get one.

So my question is about the backpackers camp...last year we had to show our permits to camp there. Where do you "walk-up-permit" people sleep the night before you stand in line at 3a?

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 11:12:42 MST Print View

call the Park Service and ask them. That would be the definitive source.
billy

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 12:59:44 MST Print View

I've spent a lot of hours waiting at a permit station, typically with a thick down jacket on. That way, I can doze off for hours at a time and retain my place in line.

--B.G.--

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 13:15:09 MST Print View

Jennifer, why no luck? On all 3 choices? Though early to mid August is probably the hardest time so if the number were sufficient I guess they would have had a lottery.

You could possibly stay at the famous camp 4, with the dirtbags and rock climbers. I much prefer this to the regular campgrounds, and I usually have no problem getting in there. If you like the movie Woodstock you will love camp 4.

Ironically enough, my reservation just came through, and was emailed to me about half and hour ago - today was the first day to apply, and I mailed my app two weeks ago. Guess I got lucky this time as it was as painless a possible, and with near instant gratification. LOL

But my real "trick" was starting at White Wolf, I think - that is a stealth reservation. Also my reservation is for so long (45 days) that I could walk from there back to Yosemite Valley and start at the "official" place. Have you considered the alternate last ditch method of trying to make a reservation for a different start point? At this point you could try phoning it in.

Edit: Just looking at my map here, here are some other possible stealth starting points:

(1) Tenaya Lake/Olmsted point - hike over Clouds rest (way better than half dome IMO)back towards the "real" JMT. Or blow it off and just connect up with the JMT right away.

(2) Porcupine Flat: same as (1) with more zig-zags.

(3) Mono Meadow: this one is actually the super-stealth one as you would get on the JMT the first or second day near half dome. LOL

(4) Toulumne Medaows (not as stealthy, but much less that happy isles or glacier point.)

(5) Possibly even Dana Meadows

The above are all on bus routes.

Edited by millonas on 02/27/2014 16:26:00 MST.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 17:05:16 MST Print View

Yep. No luck on all three points. My first was actually Tuolomne…. And I was rejected on three different days. Three overnight faxes, three rejections.

I hope to get a walk up for the Tenaya Lake start…
Where is Mono Meadow?? That could be a cool one. I'll have to look at my maps when I get home. I could care less about a HI start…I just need to make the logistics work. As a matter of fact, I'd kind of like something a bit different anyway.

Thanks for the suggestions Mark…could be good!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 17:58:44 MST Print View

"Where is Mono Meadow??"

It is along the Glacier Point Road, somewhat near where the road makes a big 90 degree bend.

--B.G.--

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 19:23:25 MST Print View

I have no idea if I got lucky on White Wolf, or if it is really below the radar I did get first pick, so that is somewhat hopeful. A lot of people go to the G.Canyon but maybe most start from TM. You could try there. The route from there to TM is only 6 miles more that the JMT, and should be different. It doesn't hurt that there is a nice restaurant at the start. :-) You would be about 4-5 days in front of me I think.

Mono meadows is something to try - just a wild guess on may part. Olmsted point and in that area may be good since the traffic there is often for day hikes to Clouds rest.

Anyway, good luck. It nice not to have to wade hip deep in bureaucracy just before you start.

Edited by millonas on 02/27/2014 19:25:20 MST.

Robert Perkins
(rp3957)

Locale: The Sierras
Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 20:58:51 MST Print View

Jennifer, if you don't mind starting at an alternate spot, or a minor detour, there are plenty of open spots for the following options:

Glacier Point to Iliouette Basin, JMT to Whitney Portal.
Happy Isles to Illiouette Basin, JMT to Whitney Portal. This one requires about a1 1/2 - 2 mile side trip, but still works.
As Bob mentioned, Mono Meadows is also a great alternative if you take the Glacier Point Shuttle.

Glacier Point is a great starting point for the JMT as you avoid the larger crowds of Happy Isles and you get a chance to ease into your hike without the immediate uphill.

Here is a link to the Yosemite Full Trailheads report:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/fulltrailheads.pdf

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 21:46:20 MST Print View

If you don't mind some off-trail travel, you can start at Dana Meadows, go up to Helen Lake and over the saddle to the south of it, then you contour around past Donohue Peak to Donohue Pass and away you go. Guy I know did it that way last year or the year before, nice way to go.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Quick Yosemite permit/camping question on 02/27/2014 23:27:26 MST Print View

Nice Robert! I think I have seen that link on the reservations page hundreds of times, but somehow I never clicked on it before.

Jennifer, I think its all there - click through the pages a few times. White Wolf to Pate Valley - almost empty atm. Surprisingly mono meadows, equally empty. I suggest at least one more fax for your date, with your three choices being three of the stealth ones with hardly any filled up. Based on the (somewhat outdated) full lists, you can definitely see the relative popularity.

If you want something different maybe try White wolf. I am offering a limited time, money-back-if-you-are-not-satisfied guarantee on the Canyon. :-)

Edited by millonas on 02/27/2014 23:28:50 MST.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Facepalm on 02/28/2014 15:26:59 MST Print View

I have to withdraw my boneheaded suggestion that Tuolumne meadows might be an alternate place to start (facepalm). I was guessing, but that turns out to have been dead wrong! Looks like Lyell Valley is actually one of the few starting point that fills up the first day of application during August - probably with overflow. Mea Culpa.

Guess there are not as many people who think the official route is sacrosanct as I thought. Especially when it involves an immediate elevation gain.

Edited by millonas on 02/28/2014 19:25:11 MST.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
call on 02/28/2014 15:36:43 MST Print View

CALL
CALL
CALL
CALL
CALL

Put the # on speeddial and keep redialing it nonstop until you get thru.

Then ask for a permit to get you on the JMT for the date range you want
Take ANY permit to get you on the JMT for the dates you want

Then go and get in line, and try to get a better one.

Do not assume the trailhead report is correct
Do not assume anything. Call and ask.

HI and GP to Illiloutte as well as Mono meadow options may be available
People in groups get multiple permits because they all submit, and then cancel the ones they dont want. Keep calling and asking.

Edited by livingontheroad on 02/28/2014 16:00:36 MST.

Arn Aarreberg
(aarrebea) - M

Locale: Northern Bay Area, CA
Mirror Lake TH on 02/28/2014 17:05:57 MST Print View

I was o for 3 on my JMT permit attempts this year so I went to alt routes. Look at the mirror lake TH. Only a few days booked so far. This is where I went and got a permit for 4 on the original day in July I wanted to start. Much better than standing in line for permits at 3am, imo.

I plan on cutting back to the JMT at Tenaya Lake and staying at Sunrise Lakes night 1. Day 2, back on the JMT at Sunrise High Sierra camp. This route only adds a few miles to the trip compared to starting from Happy Isles. Plus you avoid the masses on the Mist trail and LYV.

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Long first day on 02/28/2014 17:24:35 MST Print View

Up the snowcreek trail and all the way to Sunrise lakes is 16 trail miles with 5000 feet of elevation - pretty ambitous first day.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Long first day on 02/28/2014 19:16:07 MST Print View

I was chatting with a neighbor who is a backpacker this week (all this was on our minds because of the "lottery") and we were debating the pros and cons of the system. We couldn't decide if the Yosemite Conservancy was just behind the times in terms of the technology (as it seems most people believe) or whether they are crazy like a fox. Do you think maybe they have decided that something like an online registration system would be too "easy" and people would resister "just in case", clogging up the system? I guess they could make an argument that making you "you have to want it" *prevents* some problems. Having more easy, up to date technology might require making you have to want it in another way, like with higher fees, and then that would bias against people with less money. You could definitely make things worse, not just better, by making changes.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
permit on 02/28/2014 19:48:59 MST Print View

Yosemite permit process is similar to Grand Canyons. Only you have a better chance of getting a permit in Yosemite than a corridor permit in the GC.

I think it works. Likely about as well as a process can where the applications outstrip the permits by a wide margin. The lottery is fair.

Hate to say it, but they should at least give priority to US citizens, but dont.

Edited by livingontheroad on 02/28/2014 19:49:55 MST.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: permit on 02/28/2014 20:04:03 MST Print View

"Put the # on speeddial and keep redialing it nonstop until you get thru."

The probably even have an app for that! :-)

Yeah, you are right I think. As much trouble as it is, maybe auto-dial is the best since when you are done you're done.

Most of my trips I just go to a nexus like TM and try to be flexible. June and September are you friends. Been thought the GC process a few time as well. Nothing I know about compares to them. I forget what the waiting time for a river trip is (someone told me in the park last year) but isn't it a sizable fraction of a decade?

Still I managed to go backpacking in the GC so I think you are right. If I had to guess I'd bet that the subject come up all the time in NPS discussion. Its not like people don't whine enough to make themselves heard. If I had to chose I'd put my money on the "crazy like a fox" theory.

Anyway, good luck everyone.

Edited by millonas on 02/28/2014 20:15:06 MST.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: permit on 02/28/2014 20:18:22 MST Print View

all of this begs the question. If you're going to the mountains to get away from the city things and all the people why on earth would you continue trying to get a permit where there are so many people. Perhaps it would be good to think in other directions. There are plenty of places in the mountains just as beautiful as the busy spots. With far fewer people. I suggest we get creative and don't be adding to the congestion of these heavily used trails.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: permit on 02/28/2014 23:35:05 MST Print View

>"The probably even have an app for that! :-)"

Pre-apps, a classmate at Berkeley set up autodialers on his computer to call the scheduling line on campus. Calling every ten seconds on multiple lines and only alerting him when it connected, he'd always get the classes he wanted each semester.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: permit on 03/01/2014 08:39:57 MST Print View

Well thanks guys....

Especially for reminding me to head to my maps and look at some lesser-known trailheads. Frankly, I didn't want to start in the valley anyway, but I had just asked for the more well-known TM trailheads. So now I am the proud recipient of a sunrise lakes permit, starting on the date I wanted.....and I can have a look at clouds rest this time.