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Sequoia / Kings Wilderness Permits on Recreation.gov
#58249 12/01/20 09:42 PM
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks News Release


Wilderness Permit Reservations for
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Moving to Recreation.gov


December 1, 2020 --
Beginning in 2021, overnight visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks wilderness areas will be able to make their quota season wilderness permit reservations using the website Recreation.gov. This will replace the old system, by which reservations were submitted by email and processed manually. Recreation.gov provides trip planning and reservation services for public lands nationwide, and using it for wilderness permit issuance will bring the parks into alignment with the adjacent Inyo National Forest.

Effective today, visitors can view the permits that will be available for reservation on Recreation.gov by searching “Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Permits,” or following this direct link  www.recreation.gov/permits/445857.   Beginning in early January, reservations will become available in a rolling window six months in advance of entry dates. The 2021 quota season will run from May 28 – September 18.

"This new system will provide real-time availability information, as well as instant reservation confirmations, which visitors have repeatedly requested," says Wilderness Coordinator Erik Frenzel. "Recreation.gov also streamlines the payment process and provides more specific information for different entry points. We hope that wilderness visitors will find the new system makes trip planning a much better experience."

To cover the costs associated with the new system, the quota season permit fee will increase by $5 to $15 per permit plus $5 per person. Refunds of the per person portion of the fee will now be available in the event of cancellations or party size reductions.

At this time, the parks are also planning to resume in-person, "walk-up" permit issuance for the 2021 quota season. This means that a limited number of first-come, first-served permits will be available daily at permit issuing stations in Cedar Grove, Grant Grove, Lodgepole, Ash Mountain, and Mineral King. The parks are working on safety measures to make this possible while protecting visitor and employee health.

The permit system is an essential part of the parks’ wilderness stewardship efforts, as it provides a limit on the number of people recreating in sensitive ecosystems during the high-use summer months and ensures visitors have the information to protect themselves and the wilderness. Outside quota season, self-issued permits for wilderness use are required. As in the past, these are available at visitor centers near trailheads. No fee is required outside the quota season.

Visitors will be able to begin making wilderness permit reservations on January 5, 2021. In the meantime, the park encourage everyone to explore the new system. Questions can be directed to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Office, at seki_wilderness_office@nps.gov or (559) 565-3766.

Re: Sequoia / Kings Wilderness Permits on Recreation.gov
Steve C #58250 12/02/20 07:14 AM
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Maybe the Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center will also issue "walk-up" permits in 2021.

Re: Sequoia / Kings Wilderness Permits on Recreation.gov
RenoFrank #58251 12/02/20 08:57 AM
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Also note that SeKi and Rec.gov will be giving refunds for cancellations -- something Inyo has always refused to do. It's time they started doing so.

Re: Sequoia / Kings Wilderness Permits on Recreation.gov
Steve C #58253 12/02/20 12:17 PM
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Inyo did as long as you did it before the specified cancellation period (2 weeks/10 days? i can't remember) you didn't get your 'processing fee' back but you got the permit fees back as long as you cancelled in time - with the exception of Mt. Whitney permits of course.

Re: Sequoia / Kings Wilderness Permits on Recreation.gov
tif #58254 12/02/20 02:18 PM
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I got a refund a few years ago after releasing 2 participants from our group a couple of weeks in advance. It took over a month or two to arrive -- but I wasn't expecting it.

I forget which trail it was in Inyo NF, but I posted it somewhere on this forum.

Re: Sequoia / Kings Wilderness Permits on Recreation.gov
futbol #58255 12/02/20 08:00 PM
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Well, y'all proved me wrong! I was always in contact with Cindy at Inyo N.F. in Bishop, who ran the lottery, way back when it was the "hard-copy and leaf-blower in the stair case" version. She always said there was no way they would ever do refunds, due to the danger of losing money. Now that rec.gov handles all the money, it is a different set of rules.

I am not surprised they were giving refunds this past year due to the completely different (COVID) environment. But that is really news that futbol got a refund before this year.

Thinking about it, it is to rec.gov's advantage to give refunds, because they can sell the permits again, and collect that non-refundable part.

Re: Sequoia / Kings Wilderness Permits on Recreation.gov
Steve C #58256 12/03/20 11:34 AM
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futbol, I found your posts about refunds. They are in this thread:
http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/54567/all

In your case, you phoned in to cancel, and I'l bet the Inyo person somehow got rec.gov to do the refund. Sounds like they have that option now. Other refunds appear to be returned due to trails being closed due to COVID or shutdowns.

So we need to try to get Inyo to change the policy so online cancellations get some sort of a refund. That would spring loose a bunch of permits for people to pick up during the hiking season.

Re: Sequoia / Kings Wilderness Permits on Recreation.gov
Steve C #58257 12/03/20 12:03 PM
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Yes Steve, that's the one.

Funny how I said years ago this happened and it was only in 2019. That's the thing about 2020, and not the first time I've accidentally considered it more than just one year. confused

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Re: Sequoia / Kings Wilderness Permits on Recreation.gov
Steve C #58258 12/03/20 02:56 PM
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I've gotten several refunds from recreation.gov for permits I cancelled online for trailheads in Inyo. Whitney Permits are the only fully non-refundable ones. Everything else they refund the per-permit fee if you reduce your size or cancel outright, and just keep the $6 processing/admin fee. Been like that for a few years now (ever since I recall making permit reservations on rec.gov).

=)tif

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