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  1. #81

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    Just be glad that they aren't making thru hikers fill out their full itinerary through the park, instead of letting you fudge over a 38 day period. The logistics of getting the permit will be easy enough. All ya gotta do is pay the $20.

    I'm with Mags on this one though, at least the site is super convenient. At least they didn't just leave the old phone in procedure in place and just start taking credit card numbers over the phone.

  2. #82
    Registered User Karma13's Avatar
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    +1

    After playing around with the site, it looks like the estimated arrival date is really nothing. You can put any date you want, and the permit's still valid for 38 days from the date the permit is issued. The only date that matters is the date you pay for the permit. I like that. I don't have to worry about a day here or there, or even a week. (At least that's how it looks to me. I didn't actually get a permit, so I don't know if there are any instructions on the actual permit that contradict that.)

  3. #83

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    You should see what people have to do when getting a Yellowstone, Glacier (or even RMNP) permit when hiking the CDT. I understand that paying for a service that used to be free can be contentious, but at least it is MUCH easier than what people have to do for other trails.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  4. #84

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    "...I think I found a glitch. Trying to plan a dryrun of my BMT trip through the GSMNP, I tried to enter Smokemont Campground in my iteinerary and it would not accept it (not a "numbered" site). The system will not allow you to skip a night, so you can't complete the reservation.
    -PapaG"

    "...That is a problem. It probably won't be fixed and will force you to split the reservation. You could just throw in a reservation for some back country site in the area that you don't actually plan to use so you maintain continuity of the permit and thus keep yourself at the $20 max."

    I called the backcountry number today and explained my problem. The ranger suggested I split my reservation as Rock suggested. I told him that would kill my $20 max fee and he laughed and admitted that I did, indeed, find a glitch. I then told him I might just reserve the site to the north or south and stay at Smokemont anyway. He said that might be the best bet and took my phone number and promised to try to find a solution. It seems like they want to work with me to figure out the right way to do it.
    PapaG

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    You should see what people have to do when getting a Yellowstone, Glacier (or even RMNP) permit when hiking the CDT. I understand that paying for a service that used to be free can be contentious, but at least it is MUCH easier than what people have to do for other trails.
    Absolutely. There's no way Glacier could handle on-site AT traffic (or many AT hikers handle Glacier requirements), and if you want to reserve it cost $20 for the reservation plus a nightly fee of $4 for how many nights you're in the Park.

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGarrettP View Post
    I called the backcountry number today and explained my problem. The ranger suggested I split my reservation as Rock suggested. I told him that would kill my $20 max fee and he laughed and admitted that I did, indeed, find a glitch. I then told him I might just reserve the site to the north or south and stay at Smokemont anyway. He said that might be the best bet and took my phone number and promised to try to find a solution. It seems like they want to work with me to figure out the right way to do it.
    PapaG
    Glad to hear they are trying to work things like this out. At least you've got a workaround, one that will work for anyone already hitting the $20 max.

    But I do hope "holes" in the system like this get fixed. Seems pretty simple to allow the addition of an "out of the back country" day to an itinerary.

    For now, you're workaround is good for anyone already up against the $20 limit. For those below the $20 limit, splitting the reservations will work (since there isn't a "reservation" PLUS a "per night" fee. However, splitting means that you can't fully book your itinerary until 30 days before the split.

    Well, we knew there were going to be some glitches once they released it into the wild.

  7. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    I understand that paying for a service that used to be free can be contentious, but at least it is MUCH easier than what people have to do for other trails.
    Anybody whoever made a reservation for the GSMNP in the old days via telephone is jumping for joy over this new system. Now Mt LeConte Lodge needs to enter the 20th century. Down right impossible to get thru on the telephone on the first day that reservations become available for the next year.

  8. #88
    ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    Absolutely. There's no way Glacier could handle on-site AT traffic (or many AT hikers handle Glacier requirements), and if you want to reserve it cost $20 for the reservation plus a nightly fee of $4 for how many nights you're in the Park.
    Glacier and the Smokies are apples and oranges. Glacier as specific areas for tenting while the Smokies have tenting in general as their overflow policy. The tiny number of CDT thrus makes this manageable for Glacier. For the Smokies to have a policy akin to Glacier would pretty much eliminate AT thruhiking as we know it.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    Glacier and the Smokies are apples and oranges. Glacier as specific areas for tenting while the Smokies have tenting in general as their overflow policy. The tiny number of CDT thrus makes this manageable for Glacier. For the Smokies to have a policy akin to Glacier would pretty much eliminate AT thruhiking as we know it.
    But the sheer amount of hikers in Glacer is nothing to sneeze at. The fact that anyone can book a backcountry site at GSMNP *BEYOND AT HIKERS AND THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL* is just awesome.

    It is a PITA to get a back country permit for most national parks.

    I'd love to book my site for Grand Teton, Yellowstone, RMNP , Canyonlands and so on without having to deal with the phone, mail or the hours of the backcountry office.

    Heck, the local state parks in Colorado let you book backcountry sites online.

    Frankly, I'm jealous.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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  10. #90
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    For a lot of trips this will be a lot easier than trying to get a hold of the old reservation number and I'm glad to have the option, though it is sort of a bone in my craw over having to get reservations for sites I didn't need them before. For BMT and MST thru-hikers it is even harder than it use to be and that is unnecessary IMO. Hopefully they work it out where you do not need a paper copy of your reservation at some point in the future.

    As to the split option when staying at Smokemont (or some other front country campsite) and the ranger saying they will look at fixing that. I hope so. We brought this up during the comments time and during the beta of the system and no one seemed interested in fixing it. It would be nice if they could. They are also looking at creating some sort of system so you can get a printed permit at other ranger stations besides Sugarlands, but this creates other issues for them as of now with the system they currently have in place. If they fixed it to where you didn't need a printed copy this would be a non-issue. But since they haven't and don't plan to, I imagine there will not be a fix for the other for some time.
    SGT Rock
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  11. #91
    Registered User Coosa's Avatar
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    Has anyone asked the Park Service why they don't charge the AUTOMOBILES to park at Cades Cove instead of a few hikers on the Appalachain Trail? I know they are not permitted to charge cars to drive on the US Highway aka Newfound Road.

    This idea of a 'tax' or fee to hike the backcountry is going to be counter productive.

    I'm moving to East Tennessee later this year ... guess I'll spend more time kayaking than hiking.

    Coosa
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  12. #92
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    You can still hike for free in the Cherokee National Forest which is next door to the park.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  13. #93

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    You can still hike in the park for free, you just can't spend the night for free.
    "Your eyes will be opened to a world full of beauty, charm, and adventure"

  14. #94
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    I am planning on hitting the town before getting there and printing off the permit then? That should work right?

  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikingirl View Post
    I am planning on hitting the town before getting there and printing off the permit then? That should work right?
    Yes ma'am that should work.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  16. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikingirl View Post
    I am planning on hitting the town before getting there and printing off the permit then? That should work right?
    Yes,that will work but its not necessary. Permits are valid for 38 days from the date paid. You can print it at home the day before you leave. Thats more than enough time.

  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    Glacier and the Smokies are apples and oranges. Glacier as specific areas for tenting while the Smokies have tenting in general as their overflow policy. The tiny number of CDT thrus makes this manageable for Glacier. For the Smokies to have a policy akin to Glacier would pretty much eliminate AT thruhiking as we know it.
    I believe that's what I said.

  18. #98
    ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    I believe that's what I said.
    I guess you don't handle being agreed with well............
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  19. #99

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    It seems to me there will be fewer people making reservations and not showing up. so it may leave more spots open, although there will be some who show up with no reservations as there seems to be occasionally anyway.

  20. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    If you are a thru hiker you can decide THAT DAY what shelter you want to stay at. If you are a section hiker, yes, you have to figure out how far you're gonna hike each day. Same as every other section hiker. If you don't like the rules do what I do -- hike somewhere else.
    THAT'S MY PLAN....The BMT south of twentymile.
    Even if I was hell bent to thru the AT, I would skip the GSMNP cause I have already done that.

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