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Getting clearance for a Sierra hike.

Getting clearance for a Sierra hike

In a dozen wilderness areas, permits are now needed for day-hikes or overnights It's more complicated to go hiking in the Sierra Nevada. In the last few years, many wilderness--from newly established to well known--have set up permit systems to avoid overloading trails and back-country campgrounds. To keep track of changing rules, you need a good map showing the wilderness boundaries; then, before setting out, make a telephone call or two to check on policy. In brief, here's the 1988 picture. Getting the permit. Wilderness permits are free. Pick them up at U.S. Forest Service or national park ranger stations in the area of travel, along with a California fire permit. USFS stations are open weekdays from 7:30 or 8 to 4:30; many are also open weekends. National park stations are open 7 or 8 to 5 daily; from June 15 to September 15, some stay open later. You can often get permits by mail. For help with this, write or call USFS, 630 Sansome St., Room 521, San Francisco 94111; (415) 556-0122. For the national parks, write to Lassen Volcanic, Mineral, Calif. 96063; Yosemite, Box 577, Yosemite 95389; Sequoia-Kings Canyon. Three Rivers 93271. Specify dates of your trip, number in party, start and finish points, and planned campsites, if known. Sometimes you can reserve by telephone, then pick up a completed permit at the issuing station. If you'll be hiking from one wilderness to another, the permit you get at the starting point can cover both. Some wilderness areas restrict the number of permits issued, or the time of year they're required; ask a ranger. In national parks with trail quotas, half to two-thirds of the permits are reservable; the rest are given out on a first-come basis no more than a full day before you start out. In the following list, "overnighters" means a permit is needed for overnight camping; "day-hikers and overnighters" means all hikers need a permit. The entry stations we specify are the major ones; some other stations also give permits. Elsewhere in northern California, only two other wildernesses require permits at this time: in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, day-hikers and overnighters; in Lassen Volcanic National Park, overnighters.

Tahoe through Yosemite No permits are needed for Granite Chief Wilderness. All the other wildernesses in this stretch require them, as specified: Desolation Wilderness (near southwest Lake Tahoe). Day-hikers and overnighters. East-side entry: South Lake Tahoe, (916) 573-2600. West-side entry: Eldorado NF, Camino (near Placerville), 644-6048. Mokelumne Wilderness (between Carson Pass and State 4). Overnighters. North-side entry: Camino, (916) 644-6048. South-side Hathaway Pines, (209) 795-1381. East-side: Carson City, Nevada, (702) 882-2766. Carson-Iceberg Wilderness (off State 4). Overnighters. West-side entry: Sonora, (209) 532-3671. East-side entry: Carson City, Nevada, (702) 882-2766. Emigrant Wilderness (adjoins north boundary of Yosemite). Overnighters only. Sonora, (209) 532-3671. Hoover Wilderness (near northeast Yosemite). Day-hikers and overnighters. South-side entry: Lee Vining, (619) 647-6525. East-side: Bridgeport, 932-7070. Yosemite National Park. Overnighters only; most trails have permit quotas. From February 1 to May 31, you can reserve by mail (about half the permits are issued this way). Or show up in person, the day your hike starts or the day before, at Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, Tuolumne Meadows Permit Kiosk, Big Oak Flat Information Center, or Wawona Ranger Station. For details, call (209) 372-4461.

South past Sequoia-Kings Canyon No permits are needed for Monarch, Jennie Lakes, South Sierra, and Dome Land wildernesses. All the other wildernesses here require them, as specified: Ansel Adams Wilderness (formerly called Minarets Wilderness). Overnighters. West-side entry: North Fork, (209) 877-2218. South-side: Shaver Lake, 841-3311. East-side: Mammoth Lakes, (619) 934-2505. John Muir Wilderness (connects Ansel Adams to Sequoia-Kings Canyon). Day-hikers and overnighters. West-side entry: Shaver Lake, (209) 841-3311. East-side entry: Bishop, (619) 873-5841. Kaiser Wilderness (usually reached by State 168). Day-hikers and overnighters. Entry: Shaver Lake, (209) 841-3311. Dinkey Lakes Wilderness (abuts John Muir). Day-hikers and overnighters. North-side entry: Shaver Lake, (209) 841-3311. South-side: Sanger, 841-3404 or 855-8321. Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. Overnighters. Pick up permits and information at any park ranger station, or call (209) 565-3341 or 565-3456. Golden Trout Wilderness (near Sequoia's south boundary). Overnighters. North-side entry: Lone Pine, (619) 876-5542. West-side entry: Porterville, (209) 539-2607. South-side entry: Kernville, (619) 376-3781. More information. To order a map of any national forest in California, send $1 per map to U.S. Forest Service, 630 Sansome St., Room 521, San Francisco 94111; (415) 556-0122. Same source, same price: topographical maps of Ansel Adams, Emigrant, Marble Mountain, and Yolla Bolly wildernesses. Also available: map of John Muir Wilderness ($1) and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park ($2). When you write or call, ask for a free wilderness brochure. For a free list of USGS topographic maps ($2.50 each), write to USGS, Box 25286, Federal Center, Denver 80225. For a list of books on hiking, including three on specific wildernesses (Carson-Iceberg, Desolation, Marble Mountain) and two on Lassen and Yosemite, write to Wilderness Press, 2440 Bancroft Way, Berkeley 94704.

PHOTO : Fine view of Sierra grandeur is for a permit holder only. Here you're not farfrom the

PHOTO : Yosemite border, looking west to Mount Ritter and Banner Peak, in Ansel Adams(formerly

PHOTO : Minarets) Wilderness
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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Jun 1, 1988
Words:867
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