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Yosemite Trailhead Quotas

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite Trailhead Quotas

Postby archive » Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:49 pm

Trailhead Quotas
Author: Errol Lloyd (---.san.rr.com)
Date: 04-28-01 15:53

Are these published anywhere? Or does anyone know them?
We are a group of 12 wanting to backpack in the park
next July, and we are trying to assess our chances of
obtaining a trailhead permit. The two trailheads of
particular interest are: John Muir trail out of
Tol. Meadows heading toward Yos. Valley, and, the
trailhead leading out of the White Wolf area toward
Pate Valley.

We know that we can reserve up to 24 weeks in advance, but
do not know how competitive it is in obtaining such permits.
For instance, is it like Valley lodging and campgrounds
which fill within hours (minutes?) of when the reservation
lines open?

Thanks in advance!

Re: Trailhead Quotas
Author: Rob Wurgler (66.122.21.---)
Date: 09-10-01 13:21

Half of the permits are reserved in advance, and the other half are withheld for daily distribution on a first-come, first-served basis on the day BEFORE the day you want to hike. Certain trailheads are extremely competitive, i.e., Happy Isles, Glen Aulin, Vogelsang, May Lake, etc. These go like hotcakes as soon as the permit window opens. You have to arrive well in advance of opening time. Thus, the best way to get permits for a large group is via reservations.

But if you are desperate, the next best thing is to go to the less-impacted backcountry offices on the morning before your hike. Each office has its own pool of permits, so if the Valley office is all fresh out, you can go to the Big Oak Flat or Wawona offices and voila they may still have some permits for the trailhead you want! Sometimes at the end of the day, if these remote offices still have permits, they will release them to the offices where they are in demand, like the Valley or Tuolumne offices. It pays to get friendly with the ranger at the backcountry desk, and ask questions (if it's not busy).

Good luck!
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