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Jargon 41: Permits

Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

When the caveat “but you’ll need a permit” follows a glowing recommendation for a backpacking trip, or is noted in a guidebook description or online trip report, what it actually means can vary significantly. For some trips, like backpacking in the Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, getting a permit requires getting lucky in a lottery (with roughly 500 to 1 odds) that occurs months before prime hiking season. Permits for many other “name brand” destinations and trails with high demand – think Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, North Cascades National Park, and the John Muir Trail – are also a matter of chance, although many hold back a limited number to be issued the day of a trip (including the Enchantments).  Submitting applications for reserving sites in some of these parks involves submitting itineraries via e-mail or fax...

@Mark looks at types of permits and the hiking / backpacking permitting process, check out the article in our Issue 41 jargon installment:

Jargon 41: Permits

Backcountry Permits Explained - Jargon 41

Issue 41 Page 1

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