2020 Backcountry Permits

Are you a seasoned hiker, or just starting out? Let us know your questions or experience with the backcountry permit process.

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ohioguy
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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by ohioguy »

Trying for

FRA, BOU, HOL, JAN

or a slight variation

Gave a 30 day window

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by ohioguy »

sbosecker wrote:I took a peek at the Glacier Reserved Campsite Availability Page and I see that campsites are disappearing...

Anybody gotten a Itinerary reservation yet?

Scott
Where is this page at, please?

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by Sue Z »

ohioguy wrote:
sbosecker wrote:I took a peek at the Glacier Reserved Campsite Availability Page and I see that campsites are disappearing...

Anybody gotten a Itinerary reservation yet?

Scott
Where is this page at, please?
https://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/b ... bcmap.html

Click on the campground you want to check.
Sue Z

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by zozeppelin »

Looks like they've paused, or at least haven't updated in 3+ days. Good luck to everyone. Hopefully the uncertainty will lower demand and backpackers like it did two years ago with the fire, that was nice from an overcrowding perspective.

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by teapot57 »

Looks like they've paused, or at least haven't updated in 3+ days.
I noticed this as well. :(

I also read on FB that Pursuit (Glacier Park Inc) has been cancelling mid-June reservations in St Mary Village.

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by teapot57 »

The processing of permit applications is officially on hold:

https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

“Backcountry Advance Permit Reservations

The processing of backcountry permit advance reservations has been delayed due to operational adjustments related to COVID-19. The park does not have an estimated time for processing and completing permit requests at this stage. The backcountry staff appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times. We apologize for any inconvenience or delay in planning. Please check the park website for any significant changes impacting backcountry or boating this summer. Advance reservations, for summer of 2020, can still be made online at Backcountry Permitting Advanced Reservations.“

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by zozeppelin »

Glacier still not issuing permits from what I can tell, but a couple non-glacier permit comments:

Yellowstone approved my dad's permit yesterday, so at least they're working and proceeding like there will be a backcountry season. Admittedly their season starts sooner so they need a head start, but exciting nevertheless.

With a presumably a reduction in CDT hikers, September will be that even clearer on the trails.

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by NDjason »

zozeppelin wrote: Yellowstone approved my dad's permit yesterday, so at least they're working and proceeding like there will be a backcountry season.
Yes, I received a permit for Yellowstone yesterday as well! It was originally a backup plan, but we got the itinerary that I wanted and the schedule (assuming the park is open) is pretty ideal. So for now, tentatively making plans to go that way. We'll see what happens if/when Glacier starts sending out permits again, but exciting to at least have something to plan!
~ jason

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by teapot57 »

Just received the following email :cry: :

We are writing in regard to your request for a 2020 season backcountry camping advance reservation in Glacier National Park.

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and recommendations from state and local public health authorities in consultation with the US Public Health Service, Glacier National Park temporarily closed on March 27. The park continues to assess current operations and anticipated services based on the latest public health guidance for the novel coronavirus. The health and safety of visitors, employees, and volunteers are our top priorities. Although it is extremely difficult to predict the nature of summer park operations, the park continues to assess and adapt its planning efforts as new information becomes available.

Due to current and anticipated staffing and operational limitations related to the COVID-19 outbreak, combined with the uncertainty of trail and backcountry campground availability, all backcountry camping advance reservations for the 2020 season have been cancelled. This cancellation includes reservations previously processed. All advance reservation application fees will be fully refunded by May 31.

We understand how disappointing this decision is and the potential impacts it may have on your summer plans. We, too, are backpackers, and providing visitors with wilderness experiences in Glacier National Park is something we look forward to every year.

The park website will be updated when the park reopens and we can safely provide backcountry experiences. The park plans to issue overnight backcountry camping permits when conditions allow. The park will not resume advance reservations for the remainder of 2020. Please monitor www.nps.gov/glac and park social media channels for updates on current park conditions.

From all of us in the backcountry permit office, please accept our heartfelt apologies and wishes for your continued good health.

Sincerely,



Backcountry Permit Rangers
Glacier National Park
go.nps.gov/backcountry

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by teapot57 »

Sounds like walk ups only if the backcountry opens.

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by tibber »

well this sucks :( . Each year that I get older, this backpacking thing is harder and harder to do. I hate to lose a whole summer. Well the only silver lining, I don't have to worry about training for it as aggressively and Tina doesn't have to worry about 14-day quarantines in Canada and USA. Altho, I had come up with a plan last nite to work around that. I'll still share what I was thinking with you Tina via our email.

and it's not like I can fly up there on a whim and hope to stand in line for a permit. Altho at the current flight fares, it's not out of the realm of possibilities. And it's not like I can't find something else to do if no permits are available....

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing okay. We're going to continue setting heat records here in the Valley of the very HOT Sun. They say the heat☀ is supposed to kill the virus... we shall see.

Take care!
Angela

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by paul »

This is a bummer, I was hoping they would start processing permits again. Seeing that my application was for August, I thought that perhaps I might still get some backpacking in the park this year.
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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by zozeppelin »

Grrr.... it's probably the right call so I shouldn't complain, but wish they would have:
1) Waited a little longer to see how things played out (earliest advanced reservations are 6 weeks away)
2) Processed applications anyways with a disclaimer that due to conditions beyond their control, they may not be issued on arrival or conditions may be primative

That said, too many variables at play, with limited staff. If things open then close then open, that is a lot of system yo-yo'ing they probably aren't setup to support, and with limited staff... too much. Also, the 'per capita' value for getting the back country going (installing bridges, clearing debris, opening camps) vs front country, pretty easy decision:
There are 225 backcountry campsites, so max 900 people per day, and 27k per month. Compare that to July's visitors (1.68m), backcountry max visitors is only 1.6%.
That said, it's the backcountry, c'mon, probably the least risk of any activity to happen there.

Other pinch points may be lodging (already discussed) and shuttles (enclosed public transportation).

May all work out well in the end, but I don't read this as a foregone conclusion of walk-in permitting being available.

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by PeteE »

zozeppelin wrote:Grrr.... it's probably the right call so I shouldn't complain, but wish they would have:
1) Waited a little longer to see how things played out (earliest advanced reservations are 6 weeks away)
2) Processed applications anyways with a disclaimer that due to conditions beyond their control, they may not be issued on arrival or conditions may be primitive.

That's pretty much what Sperry and Granite Park have done. They're doing the "wait and see". If it turns out the park closes, then everyone will get a full refund less 10% for credit card processing.



That said, too many variables at play, with limited staff. If things open then close then open, that is a lot of system yo-yo'ing they probably aren't setup to support, and with limited staff... too much. Also, the 'per capita' value for getting the backcountry going (installing bridges, clearing debris, opening camps) vs front country, pretty easy decision:
There are 225 backcountry campsites, so max 900 people per day, and 27k per month. Compare that to July's visitors (1.68m), backcountry max visitors is only 1.6%.
That said, it's the backcountry, c'mon, probably the least risk of any activity to happen there.

Good point about getting backcountry sites ready for campers. It's a pretty labor intensive job. Brian McKeon and his permanent staff probably have no idea when or if they will be getting more staff. How do they house anyone if "social distancing" is still in effect?


Other pinch points may be lodging (already discussed) and shuttles (enclosed public transportation).
I think the lodging issue may be a big problem for out of town visitors. Local motels could be a problem too. Why work when unemployment pays FAR better? At least as long as the Fed's keep paying the $600/wk on top of state unemployment dollars.

May all work out well in the end, but I don't read this as a foregone conclusion of walk-in permitting being available.
I wouldn't count on GNP if I were a backpacker or a "regular visitor".
I'm curious to see how much interest places like the Wind River, Bear Tooth, Bob Marshall, and other wilderness areas get. Places where permits are not needed.

I have no clue what I'm going to do. I begin working again on Monday, May4th.
I need to see how the casinos are going to fare under the new, silly imo, "social distancing" rules.


later

pete :wink:
"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

George Carlin

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Re: 2020 Backcountry Permits

Post by zozeppelin »

Pete, thanks as always for the insight (and pictures)!

My only request, is that if the park gates are open, let people do walk-in reservations regardless of site and trail status (wildlife and snow hazards aside). Treat them like undesignated permits (in terms of trail and camp condition expectations) - the point being 'clear' trails and 'non-winter status' camps, and the staff/resource needs that go along with it, should not be prerequisites for backcountry camping.

If a person(s) can provide their own transportation and understands the trail/camp status compromise, what good reason is for them not to be able to do it? I see little to no additional resources needed and little to no disease risk, especially considering any other park open related activity.

The only argument I could see is there is an inherent safety risk of having limited resources for evac, but I would argue there would be appreciable less risk of the need for evac due to the pedigree of hiker who would be much better on average due to decreased glamping conditions. I can appreciate it's really easy to punt backcountry to 2021 by assuming standard condition requirements and subsequent staffing requirements, but I'd hope some logic and compromise can be had.

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