2019 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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2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby teapot57 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:33 pm

This will be the least stressful March 15th morning that many of us have had since 2015. But as tibber pointed out to me, the anticipation after submitting will be far greater, not knowing where your permit will land in the draw.

If you have any last minute questions, ask away. And share your eventual success with us, but remember not to publicly post your actual permit number.

Good luck to everyone that will be submitting permit applications for summer 2019! May the lottery odds be in your favor.

Off to submit my offering to the backcountry gods. :arrow:
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby joybird » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:12 am

Well, now wasn't THAT painless!? :arrow:
I'm so glad they listened to folks' feedback.

Good luck all!
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby Pack_Mule » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:43 pm

Any idea how long it will take to find out what/IF we got a permit??
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby PeteE » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:29 pm

Pack_Mule wrote:Any idea how long it will take to find out what/IF we got a permit??


It could be well into April. Hard to say since this is another "new system" they are implementing.
Some of it depends on where you fell in the draw and the itinerary you chose.

my 2 cents

pete :wink:

Belly River trip
Date Window--June 15-July 15
Enter CME

Night 1 COS (GAB will work just as well)
Night 2 MOJ (Where I sleep doesn't matter. Just need a "base camp" and prefer to not move around every day)
Night 3 MOJ (for day hikes to Margaret Lake and Sue Lake overlook areas for photos)
Night 4 MOJ
Night 5 GAB

Choice 2 is
Enter Cut Bank
Night 1, 2,3 at Atlantic Creek Day hikes up to Divide Pass and Divide Mt and maybe Medicine Grizzly Lake for photos
Out Cut Bank


On a separate application I put in for this with a window of Aug 10 to Sept 10:

In at BOU
Night 1 UPK
Night 2 BOU
Night 3 BOU
Night 4 KIN
Out BOU

teapot57 wrote:This will be the least stressful March 15th morning that many of us have had since 2015. But as tibber pointed out to me, the anticipation after submitting will be far greater, not knowing where your permit will land in the draw.


In the old manual system you didn't know where you landed in the draw for some weeks. You waited on your email. So similar?

And yeah, it was pretty painless since you weren't watching the stupid clock waiting to click on the hour! 8)
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby teapot57 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:15 pm

It sure was nice to make my way through the process without hourglassing and getting kicked out of the system.

Pete- I bet you get lucky with the really long date ranges you gave them for your permits. I really like that Boulder Pass itinerary you submitted. I always thought BOU would be one of those campgrounds that you could only reserve for one night per trip, but I see I was wrong about that. It would be heaven to spend 2 nights up there, as long as the weather cooperates. I really hope you get your choices, especially that one.

Yep- I agree that the anticipation is similar to what we had with the old manual system. And maybe it was worse back then, because you would submit your permit request weeks ahead of the cutoff date and as a result have a longer wait to hear back from the backcountry office. This new way of processing permits really seems to be the best and most fair system.
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby Fairbanks142 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:00 am

It didn't occur to me to check the availability of the sites before submitting my application yesterday, since yesterday was "opening day" for permit applications. Standard permits. But it occurred to me this morning that since they opened up applications for large group reservations on March 1st....

I just checked the Advance Reservation Availability page (https://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/ ... bcmap.html) and sure enough,it's already showing that some sites aren't available on certain dates.

And sure enough, some of the sites that I requested for the specific dates that we're going in August are already showing as zero availability. Doh!

I guess this was obvious that I should have checked this, and of course it only occurred to me this morning, the day after. Oh well, I checked the boxes saying I can be flexible with whatever is available. And it was already a slim chance (I'd have to be one of the first in the draw) to get my top picks anyway.
Last edited by Fairbanks142 on Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby paul » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:00 am

I didn't apply this year. But I'm wondering if the Park Service let's people know where they stand in the lottery queue. It would be nice if they sent an email stating you are number 200 out of 2100 or you are 1800 out of 2100. At least last year we had a time stamp to kind of go by and we were able to tell about when we might hear back about permit.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby Heff936 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:42 pm

paul wrote:I didn't apply this year. But I'm wondering if the Park Service let's people know where they stand in the lottery queue. It would be nice if they sent an email stating you are number 200 out of 2100 or you are 1800 out of 2100. At least last year we had a time stamp to kind of go by and we were able to tell about when we might hear back about permit.


That would be nice but not part of the system now. My understanding is that they are randomizing all the day 1 submittals to avoid the crashing of the program. We submitted but aren't all that focused on it since it's the second half of September.
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby Pack_Mule » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:04 pm

paul wrote:I didn't apply this year. But I'm wondering if the Park Service let's people know where they stand in the lottery queue. It would be nice if they sent an email stating you are number 200 out of 2100 or you are 1800 out of 2100. At least last year we had a time stamp to kind of go by and we were able to tell about when we might hear back about permit.


Knowing my luck, they would tell me that I’m 2,099 out of 2,100
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby Pack_Mule » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:02 am

The suspense is killing me and it hasn’t even been a week yet! :?
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby PeteE » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:30 am

Pack_Mule wrote:The suspense is killing me and it hasn’t even been a week yet! :?

LOLOLLOLOL
It'll be interesting to see how long this new system takes to get results...so hang in there.
Don't want you to have an anxiety attack!!

pete :wink:
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby teapot57 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:29 pm

If the backcountry availability page is any indication, they haven’t even started processing applications yet. I have been watching a few campsites and there has been no movement.
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby Geode » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:29 pm

teapot57 wrote:If the backcountry availability page is any indication, they haven’t even started processing applications yet. I have been watching a few campsites and there has been no movement.


I've been watching that too and I think I just saw some movement. Some STO campsites have started disappearing, unless I'm going crazy.
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby teapot57 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:20 pm

I've been watching that too and I think I just saw some movement. Some STO campsites have started disappearing, unless I'm going crazy.


I think you're right! Looks like they started this afternoon. :D

I wonder how many applications were filed this year.
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Permits

Postby Fairbanks142 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:38 pm

Yes, I definitely see a change now. There's just one site available at COS on one of the dates that was showing 2 available sites this morning. No other changes for the 10 or so sites I'm looking at....but changes are starting.
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