Yellowstone Backcountry Permits Available Online In 2022

Jackson

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As someone who has only ever bummed off of people who do the permit reserving for Yellowstone backpacking, I have to ask, is this a good thing or will it make it harder to get permits for the places and times you want to go?
 

TractorDoc

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I was having some discussions with @scatman about the new system yesterday.

Personally I think the new system is a bit more convoluted than the old mail in system, but I'm more of a pen and paper kind of guy. I still use my paper maps when travelling to new and interesting areas.

I like the old way better. The new system also limits how many trips you can apply early for. More fair for those that do not plan ahead I suppose.

I'll let Hugh express his own views, but I think its safe to say we are of like minds.
 
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TheMountainRabbit

"Because it's there."
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The new system also limits how many trips you can apply early for.
Yeah. I'm not a fan of this part either. I tend to only request one permit in advance per year and do the rest ad hoc anyway, but I'm not sure I understand the reason for this limitation. Just have people flag requests w/ a priority and clear all first requests before moving onto the seconds - and so on.

Considering my Yellowstone permits are one of the few times a year I put a physical pen to paper, I'm on board with them modernizing the process though. Seems like a lot of unnecessary work to sort through the requests the way they were before.
 

Rockskipper

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Anything run by recreation.gov is a potential disaster.


Some good comments in the above.
 

scatman

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A F#%^&*$ disaster! I've tried to take a couple of days to calm down, but I'm still hot. :mad::mad:

I called the backcountry office yesterday morning to get some clarification. I left them a voice mail to contact me. It's the first time that they haven't returned my call on the same day ever. They are not open today, so I'll give them until Monday afternoon to get back with me, then I'll be calling again.

One big pile of Shite!
 
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Jackson

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I'm on the verge of giving up on the national parks. Or anyplace run by R.gov.
I kind of have, aside from the parts of the parks that don't get visited much, or visiting in the very off season. My forays into the Yellowstone front country last summer, along with them now ticketing almost all of Glacier, really killed the remaining magic for me. I understand some of it is necessary, but I still don't like it. Haha. And I know I sound dramatic.

All the ranges surrounding Yellowstone and Glacier are still (mostly) nice and quiet though. Unless those go to a permit system, there's still lots of quiet walking to be done in the GYE.
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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Lol ... Looked at Grand gulch ...which is on rec.gov. noway to get permit on Sunday ... Called Monticello office... Gal said make the res. Call her and she'd send me the permit. That was nice
 

scatman

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I'll be drowning my sorrows tomorrow night as I try to deal with the insane decision of Yellowstone to go to Recreation.gov for reserving backcountry campsites. I stopped by Epic Brewery yesterday and purchased this for just the occasion:

03.jpg


Brewed with raisins soaked in rum. :thinking:
 

IntrepidXJ

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...insane decision of Yellowstone to go to Recreation.gov for reserving backcountry campsites.

Just remember, it probably wasn't Yellowstone's decision to go with Rec.gov. The Dept. of Interior has a directive that requires the parks start using it, whether they want to or not. Some have been able to hold off longer than others, but eventually they will all fall.
 

Pringles

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Nov 23, 2015
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I’m not a fan of recreation.gov, but at least the costs are reasonable. I saw a post about Rocky Mountain NP, and their reservations are $36. Everytime someone went a little bonkers about the cost, someone from Rocky responded that they’ve been charging a fee since 1969. Um, that didn’t address what people were saying. I must admit, once Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (near where I previously lived) started charging an overnight fee, in about 1998, in a few years, lots of trails were better. If they use the money to take care of the resource I’m using, and it seems an appropriate fee, I’m ok with it, I guess. At Pictured Rocks, they started by charging $15, whether one person for one night, or 20 people for 14 days. If we’re trying to protect the resource, then I think the 20 people at the group site should pay more. Eeventually, things worked out, and there was a per person fee ($4 per person, at that time). As it was initially proposed, I was especially upset because the fee to get a drive in campsite was $7.50. So I was paying $15 for a weekend night, for the opportunity to pee behind a tree, while someone with a 35 foot fifth wheel could park on a flat pad, and have a picnic table, a fire ring, potable water nearby, and an outhouse to use for $7.50. It was like the park service hadn’t noticed that was a little bit unfair.

As to only being able to make one early reservation, I can’t complain much. I live about two hours from the park, and over the last few years, have made four or five early reservations per year. Often, I got exactly what I wanted on the little form. If I didn’t get what I wanted, someone called and we talked, and I got something else—once I just flipped the dates from one trip I had just gotten word about, to another trip where the sites I wanted weren’t available on the dates I wanted. The park service folks have been great. Sometimes I got sites that, in hind sight, I probably needn’t have reserved. But if I was going to spend money in the park, better the $25 for that reservation go to the backcountry folks than the make-a-bigger-RV-parking-lot folks.

I’m also relieved to see that a person can still get walk up permits, and for a reasonable price ($5). I live by this park for a reason, and love that last summer and fall, I spent 12 weekends in a row in the backcountry. Now many of those sites weren’t superdooper. If I had come from Indiana, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to get some of those sites. But driving three hours to get a spot where I could watch steam rise from a thermal area, or eat my morning oatmeal looking at the Red Range, yay. I got to do that for low cost, and will continue to, unlike at Rocky, where the last minute permit is $36. I believe Pictured Rocks is now $24, and the last time I went to the Tetons, it was something like $45 (maybe that included how many nights I signed up for). Understand, if I had come from Indiana, those walk-in sites would have been really nice, but they didn’t lead anywhere—I just hiked back to my car and went home. They weren’t on the way to some big site, and I couldn’t later brag that I had earned a patch for walking the whole Thoroughfare. I tell friends that come out from Michigan and Indiana and wherever, that we’re better off doing two shorter trips, than trying to find one thirty or fifty mile “see it all” adventure. I show them, by walking in and getting a site where we walk by thermals, or a site with beautiful views, or a site with a neat meadow that always has bison. Then a couple of days later, we do a planned (reserved) hike to a waterfall or something that IS a destination. Walk-in permits still let me take people to see special things, but hasn’t kept people trying to do lifetime trips from having the sites they need. They reserved their site long before, I hope that the Yellowstone Backcountry folks get things settled out fairly quickly. And I hope they don’t learn too much from the parks that leave their customer service to recreation.gov. GASP.

Sorry this was so long. And, sorry if it rambled too much. When I first saw that the park was changing their reservation mechanism, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to afford my retirement hobby, and I’m relieved that that is still intact. I hope that people get the permits they truly want.

Hey, does anyone know how the outfitters are getting their permits? Actually, how did outfitters get their permits before??

Pringles
 
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Rockskipper

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I'll be drowning my sorrows tomorrow night as I try to deal with the insane decision of Yellowstone to go to Recreation.gov for reserving backcountry campsites. I stopped by Epic Brewery yesterday and purchased this for just the occasion:

View attachment 106711

Brewed with raisins soaked in rum. :thinking:
Maybe it will be for the best - like new trails in new places for you to explore, like the Grassy Lake Road. I would join you there, as I could bring my dogs.
 

wsp_scott

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I'm not a huge fan of recreation.gov, but I like the idea better than dealing with faxes and mailing applications and other types of permits.

I got a Yosemite permit through the lottery and that seemed to work pretty well, but I have seen complaints about it on HST, though a lot of the complaints seem to revolve around walkup permits.

I think the biggest problem is the huge number of people who want to get into the backcountry all over the country. I've been looking at SEKI permits (actually Inyo NF permits to enter on the east side) and all of the popular trailheads are filling in minutes of opening. This was not the case just a couple years ago. I keep waiting for people to decide to go back to NYC or Chicago instead of backpacking :)
 

kwc

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Mar 31, 2016
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I keep waiting for people to decide to go back to NYC or Chicago instead of backpacking :)
Those NYC people overwhelmed the Adirondacks where there are no permits for backpacking on state land. Then there was outrage when the AMR instituted a permit system to hike on their lands (and limited the number of parking spots in the lot on their land), and the permit was free.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Sep 23, 2016
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Now I hear you Scatman, am not pleased with this whatsoever. Now at least they still have walk-up permits available. This is the only way that I will do it. Like others I do Not Not like Recreation.Gov.

Also as Rockskipper said, there is the Grassy Lake Reservoir Road which is Wonderful! Also there is all all all the incredible wilderness ... National Forest Land and Country all around Yellowstone where with No Fees or Permits required. Now thru the years this is where I have gone so much of the time. I would hike back to the Thorofare thru the National Forest and then camp right outside the park boundary, then dayhike everywhere nearby. And nothing the park could do about it. And in the National Forest ... Teton Wilderness and elsewhere here one is allowed to camp in one spot up to 16 days straight. And there is so much country back in here that if one indeed knows the old skills, they could sooooo easily disappear and live back in there wilds just like the Indians and Mountain Men did.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Also I want to add, glad - soooo glad that I saw the National Parks including Yellowstone when I did. Am 65 now and it seems it has changed and is changing so much now. Don't like these changes with fee permits for backcountry hiking and everything being run by Recreation.Gov. Started wandering and hiking around the west in 1978. Seen sooooo much. There is still soooooo much out there that one can see and experience. But now do think the best places are here in the Rocky Mountain Wilderness Areas or Alaska where no permits or fees are required. And much more freedom to boot to where one wants to go and what one wants to do.
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
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Mar 1, 2015
Messages
425
Just remember, it probably wasn't Yellowstone's decision to go with Rec.gov. The Dept. of Interior has a directive that requires the parks start using it, whether they want to or not. Some have been able to hold off longer than others, but eventually they will all fall.
Yup, I just saw that RMNP is also switching to rec.gov this year (for the first time)
 
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