Yellowstone Backcountry Permits Available Online In 2022

Jackson

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Definitely some kinks to be worked out of the new system - was quite a hassle getting my September trip booked since the system didn't like some of the campsites I wanted to link up. Shorter trips were easy enough though. Overall it wasn't too bad, I guess.

How was everyone else's luck/experience?
I was fortunate and drew April 3, so pretty much everything was available when I was booking. That was good for me since I was just going for spots in the Heart Lake area around Labor Day. Didn't have any technical issues, but I wasn't putting together a long trip covering a ton of ground. Just a 2-nighter to Heart Lake then south out the south entrance.

My friend set up another 4-night fall Bechler trip like we did last year, and I think his date was April 12 or something like that, and he got all the sites we wanted except for the one closest to Dunanda Falls. Not bad.
 

TractorDoc

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My lottery date was April 19th but still managed to get the sites we wanted at Wrangler Lake, Joseph's Coat, and Wapiti Lake in September.

It is a good thing no one else wanted to visit those areas as everywhere else I would have wanted to go in my time frame was already taken. . . but I'm sure I could have managed to come up with something.
 

scatman

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Definitely some kinks to be worked out of the new system - was quite a hassle getting my September trip booked since the system didn't like some of the campsites I wanted to link up. Shorter trips were easy enough though. Overall it wasn't too bad, I guess.

How was everyone else's luck/experience?

So how did you get around having campsites in multiple areas/regions when you booked your campsites?
 

TheMountainRabbit

"Because it's there."
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So how did you get around having campsites in multiple areas/regions when you booked your campsites?
I booked separate itineraries and then contacted the Backcountry Office to merge them. Still waiting to see if I get any of my duplicate fees back (doubtful), but it was worth it to me to lock in particular sites. The office was obviously very busy when we spoke, but I'm hoping to get some better info from them before next year.
 

scatman

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I booked separate itineraries and then contacted the Backcountry Office to merge them. Still waiting to see if I get any of my duplicate fees back (doubtful), but it was worth it to me to lock in particular sites. The office was obviously very busy when we spoke, but I'm hoping to get some better info from them before next year.

So one of your itineraries was done in the lottery, and your second one was done on April 25th, or perhaps today?
 

TheMountainRabbit

"Because it's there."
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So one of your itineraries was done in the lottery, and your second one was done on April 25th, or perhaps today?
Yeah, which was annoying, but wasn't too bad due to my dates/sites. Might not have been possible if I was up against higher demand; I did pick what I thought were the highest risk sites first though. Seemed like a really unnecessary restriction; just let me pick the sites I want - I'll worry about how to get there (and rangers can still admonish me if they think it's not realistic when I pick up the permit).
 

Jackson

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Yeah, which was annoying, but wasn't too bad due to my dates/sites. Might not have been possible if I was up against higher demand; I did pick what I thought were the highest risk sites first though. Seemed like a really unnecessary restriction; just let me pick the sites I want - I'll worry about how to get there (and rangers can still admonish me if they think it's not realistic when I pick up the permit).
It really is puzzling that they have those restrictions on the site. If you can't even trust people to read the map correctly and pick their sites to link a trip together, how can you trust them to actually go out and safely spend multiple nights in the backcountry?
 

scatman

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Thanks for the info @TheMountainRabbit . I don't like it one bit. :( The rangers won't say anything to you. I've put together all kinds of quirky strings of campsites in order to do loops that the official trails don't lend to doing, and they have never said a word to me about reaching one campsite from a previous one. I guess if one campsite is 30 miles from the next one, then that might raise an eyebrow. :)

So what have you stung together for your trip?
 

Jackson

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they have never said a word to me about reaching one campsite from a previous one. I guess if one campsite is 30 miles from the next one, then that might raise an eyebrow. :)
When I told the ranger at Bechler that I was going from the trailhead to 9D2 in a day, she stopped to make sure I knew the mileage and that there were four river fords on the way. Haha. Kind of surprised me though because I'm sure people very routinely bust out tougher, far higher mileage days than that. Maybe I just looked clueless :geek:
 

scoags

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we booked 4 sites in 8 nights on two-ocean and the snake river area, and didn't have any problems. like others said, ours wasnt really big mileage or different areas or anything, so probably a relatively simple itinerary.

maybe next year they will have some changes for those who are booking more complicated itineraries. it seems though that most people (81%) use the Yellowstone backcountry for three or fewer consecutive nights, from a 2016 study (source, p. 53). this number is up from a 1999 study which suggested about ~70% if I'm reading it right.

hopefully there is a comment period or something about it, so some of the kinks can be worked out for more complicated itineraries, but the system seems to be working for people doing short trips.

i hope everyone's itinerary works out!
 

LarryBoy

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When I told the ranger at Bechler that I was going from the trailhead to 9D2 in a day, she stopped to make sure I knew the mileage and that there were four river fords on the way. Haha. Kind of surprised me though because I'm sure people very routinely bust out tougher, far higher mileage days than that. Maybe I just looked clueless :geek:
I had to do some 30's in Glacier on the CDT because of permit issues - which was fine, since I obviously had trail legs at that point. Shortly after I left camp one morning, a ranger asks me "so, are you headed to [whatever campsite 30 miles away] tonight?" I looked at him kinda startled, and he said "yeah, you thru-hikers all end up doing 30's through the park".
 

scatman

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When I told the ranger at Bechler that I was going from the trailhead to 9D2 in a day, she stopped to make sure I knew the mileage and that there were four river fords on the way. Haha. Kind of surprised me though because I'm sure people very routinely bust out tougher, far higher mileage days than that. Maybe I just looked clueless :geek:

My theory is that the rangers that man the station on the Bechler are real backcountry rangers. In other words, they spend time (maybe a substantial amount of time) in the Yellowstone backcountry. Other permit pickup stations seem to be manned by what I would call customer service backcountry people for the most part. Not to say that a real backcountry ranger doesn't sometimes man the backcountry permit offices, like the ones at Old Faithful or Canyon. I used to have to deal with a real ranger at the south entrance ranger station, but the last couple of times that I picked up my official permit there, it wasn't a ranger issuing my permit. I could be totally off the mark here, but my scat senses tell me this is somewhat true. :)
 

CodyL

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Jan 23, 2018
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Permits went smooth for me so I'm happy. Had one small issue with an assigned walk up site but they resolved it easy enough.

@Jackson and @scatman - It was so nice last year to get our permit emailed to us before the trips started to avoid stopping in the backcountry office!! Looks like we have to stop in in person again this year.
 

scoags

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@Jackson and @scatman - It was so nice last year to get our permit emailed to us before the trips started to avoid stopping in the backcountry office!! Looks like we have to stop in in person again this year.
For what it's worth, I think you can stop early to get them, I talked to the backcountry office yesterday. We are planning on going in from fox park, so the ranger just said call sometime before the trip to let them know when you'll be stopping into your particular permit station.

I asked, well is like two weeks early ok lol? And he said yeah so long as we give them a heads up. So I think they will be flexible with your pickup if you call them up. But I was also bummed he didn't offer to email it to me! Oh well.
 

scatman

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Permits went smooth for me so I'm happy. Had one small issue with an assigned walk up site but they resolved it easy enough.

@Jackson and @scatman - It was so nice last year to get our permit emailed to us before the trips started to avoid stopping in the backcountry office!! Looks like we have to stop in in person again this year.

It was nice to be able to have the official permit emailed to you after a phone conversation as opposed to going to a backcountry office to pick it up.
 
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It was nice to be able to have the official permit emailed to you after a phone conversation as opposed to going to a backcountry office to pick it up.
Will we all need to sit down and watch th grizzly video this year?
 

Rockskipper

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While you guys are gallivanting around Yellowstone, I'll be sitting by the shores of Kintla Lake. I scored a one-day driving permit for the North Fork. It took several tries and I can't believe how fast they go each day, like in seconds. I've been up there various times but never had to get a permit.
 
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