"the 40% they save" Top 5 Page for this destination Hikes / Trails Tip by richiecdisc
Hikes / Trails, Yosemite National Park: 33 reviews and 32 photos
Fondest memory: While Yosemite's vast backcountry is not quite as popular as the Ansel Adams-made-famous Yosemite Valley, it is quite possibly the busiest backcountry anywhere in the world. A complex scheme of permits does its best to keep those numbers down but with 30 million people within a few hours drive, and Californians known for their love of the great outdoors, there are many people vying for those little slips of paper. The park is run very efficiently, almost on a par with Disney World and there are times when you almost expect them to turn Yosemite Falls on and off with the flick of the switch but this is in fact, a large tract of wilderness however hard man has tried his best to tame.
If you are the type that plans your trips months (or years) in advance, you can reserve a spot in the most coveted backcountry areas online, by mail, fax or phone. They charge you $5 per reservation and $5 for each person in the hiking party for the privilege and peace of mind. If you are traveling around the country and have no idea when you will arrive, you can just walk up and hope for the best as they keep 40% of the permits for walk-ins and these are free. Of course, if you want to camp on the most popular trails, you'll have to get up pretty early in the morning and wait till the backcountry offices open. Oh, and be sure to sort out which office to wait at as the ones closest to that particular trail head get more of the permits for that specific area. Getting complicated enough for you? Yes, this park is so big that there are backcountry offices for each section that are sometimes hours drive away. The area is immense and once in the backcountry, you will smile at all those loonies in the Valley that think Yosemite can be done in a day. (continued below in Fondest Memory)
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