Glacier NP to Implement Ticketed Entry for Summer Season

Kmatjhwy

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Gosh, this is interesting! It is all the people going to the front country spots! There are many a place wayyy back in the deep wilds in the different wilderness areas of the West where hardly no one ever gets to. Remember seeing places in the back parts of the Teton Wilderness, old campsites and old trails which were being covered over with grass from no one going there anymore. I live here in Jackson, Wy. And I know places where I can walk out of town, hike and camp for days and never see anyone.
 

Goat

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I think a lot of national parks - including and especially Zion - should outlaw all personal cars forever. If you want to see the park, you can ride on the shuttle (there should be lots more of them) or enter under your own power (e.g., walking or cycling). And there should be more attention paid to trails, campsites and backcountry patrols. Divert the attention away from souvenir shops & food vendors, and return the parks to a focus on education and active recreation. I'd like to see the parks filled with people moving under their own power, backpacking, cycling, running and hiking, instead of endless rows of cars. Imagine Yosemite without a packed line of cars flowing through, with cyclists and hikers on the trails with shuttles on the road. Those who don't want to visit a park they can't drive through are welcome to go somewhere else, and leave the national park quiet, fume-free and focused on the beauty, quiet and natural refuge that it was established to preserve in the first place. Not just a roadside attraction with trees.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Well, one thing for sure in the wilds ... The Grizzly or the Wolf will Not Not give you Covid!

And Remember The Good Old Days as a old Mountain Man would say ....
" Remember when we first saw the Tetons, one could travel a year in any direction with just your rifle, live good and easy, never say 'Sir' to anybody. "
 
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Stickerbumper

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I think a lot of national parks - including and especially Zion - should outlaw all personal cars forever. If you want to see the park, you can ride on the shuttle (there should be lots more of them) or enter under your own power (e.g., walking or cycling). And there should be more attention paid to trails, campsites and backcountry patrols. Divert the attention away from souvenir shops & food vendors, and return the parks to a focus on education and active recreation. I'd like to see the parks filled with people moving under their own power, backpacking, cycling, running and hiking, instead of endless rows of cars. Imagine Yosemite without a packed line of cars flowing through, with cyclists and hikers on the trails with shuttles on the road. Those who don't want to visit a park they can't drive through are welcome to go somewhere else, and leave the national park quiet, fume-free and focused on the beauty, quiet and natural refuge that it was established to preserve in the first place. Not just a roadside attraction with trees.

I think you are forgetting that there are many people that may not be able to hike, bike or run the parks. Think seniors, people with disabilities, or even families with young children. Sure, a shuttle system would get them there, but even that might be quite difficult for some. While I personally prefer avoiding NP crowds, I think it's great that NPs allow everyone to see and enjoy the beauty of nature the way they want (and can). If one prefers beeing on their own, they usually only have to hike a little further, go in the off season, or simply visit one of the many, not so accessible places inside and outside the parks.
But that's just my point of view (I totally agree on the vendors ect.)
 

Goat

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I'm not forgetting those with accessibility concerns. I just think there are better ways to improve access than to rely on cars. Just my opinion. I tend to avoid national parks because of what they've become, and I think they can and should be so much more.
 

Rockskipper

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A hybrid solution might be to allow those with genuine handicaps to drive through, the rest walk or ride shuttles, etc.

Then there are people like me who travel with pets and can't leave them in a car. I saw Carlsbad in 60 minutes because it was almost too hot to leave my dogs. If it's over 75, they'll ticket you (and who wants a sick or dead dog anyway?). It was 70 degrees (March) and the ranger at the parking lot said to go for it, but be back soon. I left all the car windows open and they were fine (they're working dogs and would never get out). You may say leave the pets at home, but my rig is my home. I know that having them limits what I can do, and it's a choice I make, but I can at least drive through the parks as it currently is, though I rarely visit them now anyway.
 
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Jackson

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old campsites and old trails which were being covered over with grass from no one going there anymore.
Ohhh darn! Haha.

I think a lot of national parks - including and especially Zion - should outlaw all personal cars forever. If you want to see the park, you can ride on the shuttle (there should be lots more of them) or enter under your own power (e.g., walking or cycling). And there should be more attention paid to trails, campsites and backcountry patrols. Divert the attention away from souvenir shops & food vendors, and return the parks to a focus on education and active recreation. I'd like to see the parks filled with people moving under their own power, backpacking, cycling, running and hiking, instead of endless rows of cars. Imagine Yosemite without a packed line of cars flowing through, with cyclists and hikers on the trails with shuttles on the road. Those who don't want to visit a park they can't drive through are welcome to go somewhere else, and leave the national park quiet, fume-free and focused on the beauty, quiet and natural refuge that it was established to preserve in the first place. Not just a roadside attraction with trees.
Edward Abbey, is that you?

I largely agree though, with the exception of the elderly and people with handicaps. A shuttle is a good way to provide decent access in larger parks while encouraging people to get out and hoof it a little bit more. Going-to-the-Sun Road is going to be so much more enjoyable for people with this new system in place. My sole experience on that road was in the rain/snow, stuck behind a giant line of stop-and-go traffic, circling the lot at Logan Pass trying to get a spot to park. Definitely was not the highlight of the trip.
 

Rockskipper

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I'm wondering how many permits they're going to give out. From their website:

Visitors with reservations for in-park lodging, camping, wilderness camping, boat rides, guided hikes, horseback rides, bus tours, or park shuttles along the Going-to-the-Sun Road do not need to reserve an Entry Reservation Ticket for the day of your reservation.

Can I expect less crowded conditions along the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Visitors should still expect busy conditions in the park. The online entry reservation system (ticketed entry) will reduce crowding and congestion along the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, but will not relieve visitor demand and congestion in high visitation areas such as Avalanche, Logan Pass, and St. Mary Falls.

Tis doesn't make sense to me, as Avalanche, Logan Pass, and St. Mary Falls are all along the Sun Road.
 
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Jackson

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I'm wondering how many permits they're going to give out. From their website:

Visitors with reservations for in-park lodging, camping, wilderness camping, boat rides, guided hikes, horseback rides, bus tours, or park shuttles along the Going-to-the-Sun Road do not need to reserve an Entry Reservation Ticket for the day of your reservation.

Can I expect less crowded conditions along the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Visitors should still expect busy conditions in the park. The online entry reservation system (ticketed entry) will reduce crowding and congestion along the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, but will not relieve visitor demand and congestion in high visitation areas such as Avalanche, Logan Pass, and St. Mary Falls.

Tis doesn't make sense to me, as Avalanche, Logan Pass, and St. Mary Falls are all along the Sun Road.
I'm guessing it may give people a better shot at finding a place to park (looking at you, Avalanche Lake), but because of the shuttles, those places will still be just as crowded as usual?
 

Bob

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With shuttles and roads closed you get the problem of parking all the cars AND shuttles..... It's too many people.... and will just get worse everywhere.
 

Goat

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The cars are going to be there regardless. My point is to keep them out of the park itself. So, yes, parking lots and staging areas outside the park, where all the communities are already, providing all the services they provide today. I realize this approach isn't necessarily appropriate for all national parks, but the ones that suffer from city-like congestion and pollution during the high season would be good candidates. Zion, Yosemite, Glacier, would be good candidates. Denali, not so much. There could also be hybrid approaches - e.g., maybe you could drive your personal vehicle to a trailhead if you have a hiking or backpacking or camping permit, but not be allowed to just cruise up/down the road. As someone who avoids national parks because of the circus atmosphere of hundreds of cars congesting the roads and turning many of our national parks into nothing more than scenic highways, I'm convinced something has to be done to preserve them. I'm much less convinced that we'll ever see significant changes as long as we view national parks as Disney-like excursions designed and intended as highways with extra scenery thrown in.
 

scoags

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There could also be hybrid approaches - e.g., maybe you could drive your personal vehicle to a trailhead if you have a hiking or backpacking or camping permit, but not be allowed to just cruise up/down the road.

Much much smaller scale than the parks already mentioned, but Bandelier National Monument has this system in high season. Its a good model though since the park has very little parking and narrow, winding roads, which is similar to a lot of parks with congestion (lookin at you Zion).

these threads are kinda full of NIMBYism (Stay Outta My Park!). even though i also despise the congestion in these places, i think the parks are for all people. The parks have to be managed, of course, but they aren't only for people who like to backpack and look down their noses at the boat shoes crowd. Frat Boy Chad can see the park in his Mustang, even if it's not my cup of tea.

besides, anyone going on a backpacking trip in a National Park is really just an amateur. TRUE backpackers only go in Wilderness Areas. \s
 

Jackson

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And you never know, Frat Boy Chad may fall in love and become one of the park's biggest defenders.
I wasn't frat boy chad, but I didn't give a hoot about public land until I was in college. Hiking the fairly busy mountains close by got me going, then I took some trips to Canyonlands and Capitol Reef, and it all spiraled from there.
 
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