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Misfits
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PostMon Jun 08, 2020 8:39 pm 
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Hello!
Oregonian here looking for a sense of how feasible getting walk up permits in Marblemount for backcountry camping is at NCNP in late July and August. Particularly backcountry sites on some of the more popular 40+ mile loops. Should I expect madness similar to a Rainier or Leavenworth ranger station situation or are chances more feasible simply being there when they open?

Any info would be appreciated, just trying to get a sense. Thanks!
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Jun 08, 2020 9:20 pm 
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It depends what camps you want, some are more "competitive" than others.  But it's not like Rainier.  If you think your site will be in demand show up 30 - 15 minutes before they open.
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slabbyd
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PostMon Jun 08, 2020 11:05 pm 
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Iím not sure I agree with Cyclopath.  Itís getting crazier and crazier.   I believe two summers ago they started having days where the had no designated-campsite permits left to give.   This summer will only be worse if they actually open.  If possible show up before they open the day before you want to start to your trip.  Get in line at least an hour early.  Make sure to have a plan B and a plan C in case where you want to go just wonít work.   If you want to go to Sahale Arm...well good luck.
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Jeff
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PostTue Jun 09, 2020 2:34 am 
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It used to be walk-ups only, but now that 2/3rds can be reserved in a lottery ahead of time, it has gotten more difficult. Still totally doable though. The key is knowing when the permits are getting released. Don't be discouraged, but have a backup plan.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Jun 09, 2020 9:47 am 
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It's been a couple years since I've done this, so trust the two replies above more than mine.

Where are you wanting to go?  You might get good advice wrt permitting and about stuff to explore too.
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forest gnome
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PostTue Jun 09, 2020 3:58 pm 
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We usually car camp after the permit...

If it is a popular one ?

Just get there early the day before...then we car camp that nigjt..
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slabbyd
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PostTue Jun 09, 2020 4:17 pm 
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Did the reservation process end up happening this year with Covid and all?
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wade63
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PostWed Jun 10, 2020 5:58 pm 
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I called marblemount last week and they were hoping to open up national parks june 11 and could issue me a back country permit over the phone
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Misfits
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PostWed Jun 10, 2020 8:14 pm 
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Thanks for responses everyone! Permits over the phone? Interesting
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puncho
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PostFri Jun 12, 2020 2:55 pm 
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Yep, got my permit reservation.

One really annoying thing is that we tried the walk up permits a few years ago. Slept in the car, was the second in line. They didn't have any permits for the site that day since apparently you can get it a day in advance. I thought they should reserve at least 1-2 sites for day of walk up and emailed them but they didn't seem interested in changing it. Seems pretty unfair for those who are limited on time.
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FiresideChats
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PostFri Jun 12, 2020 6:23 pm 
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I was asking Marblemount about this a few days ago and heard that Sunday night generally has the least backcountry requests.
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dixon
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PostFri Jun 12, 2020 10:14 pm 
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I have attempted to get permits for multiple locations in NCNP over the past 2 years without success both via the online and walk up route. To contrast, in 2015/6 I had no issues with permits prior to the online system.

What is frustrating is that I day hiked to those very locations and saw many people camping without permits. I talked with those people and some were brazen about it saying they can do what they want, its a free country etc. and others just seemed plain ignorant that there was even a system at all. Either way its a system that seems to be breaking down through lack of enforcement since its an "honors" system and if people don't understand or respect the reasons in the first place then its bad for the ecosystem and all of us lose.

Best of luck with your permits.
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Jeff
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PostFri Jun 12, 2020 10:56 pm 
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puncho wrote:
Yep, got my permit reservation.

One really annoying thing is that we tried the walk up permits a few years ago. Slept in the car, was the second in line. They didn't have any permits for the site that day since apparently you can get it a day in advance. I thought they should reserve at least 1-2 sites for day of walk up and emailed them but they didn't seem interested in changing it. Seems pretty unfair for those who are limited on time.

I happen to like the current policy. Take an extra day off from work, get your permit early the day before, have brunch in town, go find a campsite to chill at for the evening, then get a very early start the next day. It's great.

I hate having to delay the start of my trip on the first day because I am stuck at a ranger station in the morning. Even if I am first in line. Seems pretty unfair to those that like to get an early start.
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Foist
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PostSat Jun 13, 2020 1:01 pm 
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dixon wrote:
I have attempted to get permits for multiple locations in NCNP over the past 2 years without success both via the online and walk up route. To contrast, in 2015/6 I had no issues with permits prior to the online system.

What is frustrating is that I day hiked to those very locations and saw many people camping without permits. I talked with those people and some were brazen about it saying they can do what they want, its a free country etc. and others just seemed plain ignorant that there was even a system at all. Either way its a system that seems to be breaking down through lack of enforcement since its an "honors" system and if people don't understand or respect the reasons in the first place then its bad for the ecosystem and all of us lose.

What kind of sites are we talking about here?  Popular ones like Copper Ridge or Sahale Glacier?  Or river valley sites?  I was thinking about taking the kids to one of the sites along the Big Beaver Creek next Friday, but it would be a shame to reserve the boat taxi only to get shut out on camping permits.  Historically I would not expect any problem walking up and reserving the Big Beaver sites so just wondering how different it could be.
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Cyclopath
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PostSat Jun 13, 2020 1:23 pm 
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Foist wrote:
What kind of sites are we talking about here?  Popular ones like Copper Ridge or Sahale Glacier?  Or river valley sites?  I was thinking about taking the kids to one of the sites along the Big Beaver Creek next Friday, but it would be a shame to reserve the boat taxi only to get shut out on camping permits.  Historically I would not expect any problem walking up and reserving the Big Beaver sites so just wondering how different it could be.

Big Beaver boat camps are popular, good swimming.  A friend did the Little to Big Beaver loop a few years ago and said there were almost no people in the camps up the valleys.  He said it's so empty some of the valley camps deeper in don't require permits.  (Really?)
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