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RodF
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RodF
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 2:44 pm 
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New Reservation System for Olympic National Park Wilderness Camping; Updated Program Begins April 1

Reservation requests for wilderness camping areas with overnight use limits will be accepted by fax or postal mail beginning Monday, April 1, 2013.  Phone reservations are no longer accepted.

Overnight use limits for high-use wilderness camp areas are in effect between May 1 and September 30 to help minimize human impacts and provide a quality wilderness experience. Reservations are recommended.

Reservations for camp areas without overnight use limits are not required and are not accepted.   Permits for these areas are not limited and may be picked up at a permit office just before a hike.

Wilderness camping permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park backcountry areas. Permit fees are $5 to register a group and an additional $2 per person per night for anyone 16 or older. The full permit fee will be charged for all reservations. The fee is non-refundable.

Overnight use limits are in effect from May through September for the following high-use wilderness camp areas:

Ozette Coast
Royal Basin/Royal Lake area
Grand Valley and Badger Valley area
Lake Constance
Upper Lena Lake
Flapjack Lakes 
Sol Duc/Seven Lakes Basin/Mink Lake area 
Hoh Lake and C.B. Flats
Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows
Group and stock camp sites along the Hoh River Trail

Camping is permitted only in designated sites within these areas.

Reservations can be submitted by fax or mail using the form found at http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/upload/wilderness-permit-reservation-form.pdf

Additional information is available online at http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-permits.htm.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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The Lead Dog
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 3:16 pm 
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So you are saying that to take a group of 5 people in for 7 days will cost $75.00??? $5.00 group fee + $2.00 per person fee x 5 people = $10.00 per day x 7 days = $75.00 REALLY?????
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Dane
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 3:39 pm 
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5+2 has been the fee setup as long as i can remember...is the only thing that's changed no calling in permits?

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The Lead Dog
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 3:42 pm 
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WOW! Maybe that's why I stopped hiking in the Olympics. I forgot! doh.gif
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RodF
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 3:56 pm 
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The Lead Dog wrote:
So you are saying that to take a group of 5 people in for 7 days will cost $75.00??? $5.00 group fee + $2.00 per person fee x 5 people = $10.00 per day x 7 days = $75.00 REALLY?????

No, $50 (or less, if kids or seniors).  See http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-permits.htm
"The fee for Wilderness Camping Permits is $5 to register per group (for groups up to 12 people), plus $2 per person per night. There is no nightly charge for youth 15 years of age and under.
"Annual passes are available for frequent wilderness visitors for $30; $15 for each additional household member. Interagency Senior/Access are 50% discount.
"Maximum rates: $50.00 for trips up of to 14 nights with a party of up to 6 people, $100.00 for trips of up to 14 nights with groups of 7-12 people."


Park volunteers also earn free annual Park entrance passes (24 hours of volunteer time?) and free annual Park camping passes (48 hours?).

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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The Lead Dog
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 4:03 pm 
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I have an honest question and I need an honest answer because I really don't know the ansewr. I have led trips into Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming and have paid exactly $0.00 in permit fees, and no trail head pass fees or other pass fees. Why is it that ONP and other Parks charge such high fees? Is it because it's a National Park and funded differently from National Forests?  uhh.gif
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 4:16 pm 
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No because it is a beautiful, interesting area, near a highly paid urban area. It is a question like, why is real estate expensive near Beverly Hills? The simple answer is because they can. Remember if you want you can even go to Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana if you want. So it goes. tongue.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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RodF
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 4:19 pm 
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Lead Dog, it's up to Congress (who established the NPS fee program) and the public (in Olympic, a proposed increase in fees to keep up with inflation was rejected due to public input).  Fees go only to direct visitor facilities, including new restrooms, trail bridges, visitor center exhibits and information kiosks, and picnic tables.

Depending on where you go on USFS lands, you may have need a Northwest Forest Pass, too.

If "we" were willing to fund things fully through taxes, we wouldn't need fees, and that goes for Parks, schools, roads, etc, etc.

Malachai, fees are similar at Glacier, Yellowstone, Big Bend, etc.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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RandyHiker
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 4:40 pm 
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RodF wrote:
Depending on where you go on USFS lands, you may have need a Northwest Forest Pass, too.

Yes very much depending on where you go:

A couple recent court cases have ruled that the FS can only enforce their fees in areas with a certain level of "improvements" -- which the vast majority of trailheads do not have:

http://www.denverpost.com/dontmiss/ci_21027350/forest-service-tweaks-mount-evans-amenity-fees
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The Lead Dog
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 4:44 pm 
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They have those same things (amenities) in the states I mentioned but with out any $$$ needed to hike in. They must get the money from somewhere else to avoid passing their expenses to us. When we were coming back from Idaho last year Mr Gnome and I stopped at a campsite along the Salmon River. There was a picnic table under a shelter with a fire grate for cooking. We saw dozens of these campsites on our way back to Montana. The cool thing about it all was they were free to stay in! The big fancy ones with concrete RV pads, showers, big restrooms and a boat launch, ect did charge, but they were the exception.
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RodF
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 5:00 pm 
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The Lead Dog wrote:
They must get the money from somewhere else to avoid passing their expenses to us

They... their...?
(image feels so appropriate, as it looks much like a trailhead I cleaned up yesterday = two 55-gallon trashbags full)

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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wakerobin
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 6:23 pm 
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I don't hike much in NP's because I hike with a dog, but, really by FAX? Who even has a fax anymore? I bet there are kids who don't even know what a fax is.

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Criminal
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 6:51 pm 
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Wait, what's a fax?

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RumiDude
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 7:15 pm 
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I can fax with either my printer or simply use my computer to fax.  Pretty dang simple really.

Drive to Montana costs waaaaaaaaaaay more in gas than it does to go to ONP.  One could go to NCNP where there is no entrance fee nor any backcountry camping fee.  But just last summer we did a road trip across Washington, Idaho, and Montana.  Except for dispersed camping, every campground charged a fee.  Maybe we were just unlucky in where we decided to stop for the night.

Rumi

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ranger rock
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ranger rock
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PostFri Mar 29, 2013 8:19 pm 
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Well at least they have not switched to the online site that charges an extra fee of $6.00 just to make a reservation.

  I pretty much avoid the park because I have a dog and I don't like being pestered for permits even when I have one.  It interferes with the outdoor experience for me if the ranger who asks to see my permit just happens to be a jerk.

I wish the parks were fully funded by taxes so that everyone could enjoy them.  Grand Canyon and Yellowstone charge a lot more for entrance than ONP does.

Wisconsin and MN charge for day use in state parks and make you pay the fee even if you are camping unless you have the annual pass.  Some state parks in Idaho have no tent sites and force tenters to pay the full RV hook up fee.

DNR campgrounds used to be free but now we have the discover your anus pass and the DNR only honors disabled veterans with free passes.

I stayed in a free campground about 15 miles north of Butte once, that was nice.    Forest service campgrounds are the best in my opinion.  They are more rustic and give a 50% discount for seniors and disabled no matter what state they are from.
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