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Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
Vermillion Pearl #58760 05/26/21 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Vermillion Pearl
I sent an email a week ago and got no response, sent a follow up a couple days ago and no response. Then I tried calling the line a million times and never got a person.

Thanks for that hint to try the Wilderness line though -- that did it -- then I got my permit!

Vermillion Pearl: Thanks for sharing that.

Can you please share what email address and what phone number you were using and getting no response?

Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
Vermillion Pearl #58764 05/27/21 05:54 AM
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Just got mine via email - exactly 48 hours.
Sure beats having to hit the office when they are open.
THANK YOU Wilderness Permit Office of the Forest Service!

Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
OutdoorsFreak #58925 06/27/21 09:39 PM
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Please read the first post in this thread and follow the links for the current Inyo National Forest permit pickup instructions.

Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
Steve C #58978 07/04/21 03:56 PM
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We picked up our July 2, 2021 permits, on July 1, from the Lone Pine visitor center. I had tried the email route and never heard back.

Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
mahboud #59016 07/12/21 09:13 AM
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I also sent email and did not receive a response. I tried calling today but wasn't able to get to a person after a few attempts. We'll be heading south from Tioga Pass and need to pick up before arriving at Onion Valley to start our trek. Anyone have recommendations on the best pickup spot given that itinerary?

Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
Steve C #59085 07/21/21 01:25 PM
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Hello,
You can pick up permits at the visitor center in Lone Pine as long as you have a reservation for the trail you are hiking.

Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
Steve C #59098 07/25/21 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bobpickering
I just “picked up” my June 5 Whitney day permit. I sent an email, as Steve described. They sent my permit thirteen minutes later. No phone calls, answered or otherwise. No waiting in line. No hassle at all.
Originally Posted by danishclimber
Same here - received May 24 permit within minutes of emailing to "check in". Situation is much improved to earlier this year.
Originally Posted by zoe
6 min to receive my MDW permits!

Just when I thought everything was running smoothly, I sent the email to “pick up” my permit for July 30 (Little Lakes Valley). I emailed again three days later when I didn’t get a reply. I still don’t have a reply a week after my first email, though I did receive a reminder that I should pick up my permit. I double checked all the pick up instructions, just to make sure.

A few weeks ago, you could do everything online. Now that the COVID epidemic is getting out of control again, Inyo National Forest says, “The Preferred Method is to check-in in Person.” They give the impression that email pick up is now the last resort. I sure hope I don’t have to leave home at 1:00 PM on Thursday to get my Friday permit. Does anybody know anything that I don’t?

Edit:

When I reserved my permit, the confirmation email said “Visitor centers are issuing all permits by email and phone for the 2020-2021 season. No walk up service.” It also said “allow two days for processing” when picking up permits by email. Other communication also said they would respond within two days.

Now they say, “Expect to get email permit 1-2 days before the start of the trip.” This means that if anything goes wrong, I won’t know it until it’s too late to do anything about it. In fact, if they send me my permit Thursday afternoon, I will be gone, and the nearest Visitor Center will be closed before I get there. The system was working perfectly, so they changed it!

Last edited by bobpickering; 07/25/21 02:45 PM.
Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
bobpickering #59099 07/25/21 02:57 PM
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Bob: I was in the same situation last week. Called the wilderness hotline 3-4 times between 8-9 AM (didn't hit 0 on the successful attempt). I was issued the permit by email while still on the phone.

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Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
aristotle #59104 07/27/21 08:59 AM
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I was able to get my permit by calling Wilderness Permit Office - 760-873-2483. Last week I could not get through after couple of attempts. Today at around 9:30am, I let it ring till the line dropped the first time and they picked up on the second attempt and issued my permit via email as I was on the phone with them.

Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
bobpickering #59156 08/10/21 10:13 AM
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Glad you guys got your permit in time. They emailed me mine on the day of my hike without any consideration that by then I could be in no internet area already. This new system is not well thought out and brings to mind the Seinfeld episode about car reservation. You pay for a reservation and you get it but doesn't mean much till you get the permit. They never picked up the phone and you keep getting the recorded message to call back in few minutes. I got that about 20 times.

I do understand the chaos brought on by the pandemic but I sure know and hope this system can get better. There is no need for the permit. If you have a reservation and it wasn't cancelled, this should be it. There should be incentive for folks who can't make it to cancel by issuing partial refund for example. There should be high tech approach to this where rangers have updated lists on the trails for example on their smartphones. But as of now, this system can use a lot of improvement and more high tech approach to these not that unusual issues in other businesses.

Certainly the old system was better.

Last edited by Select your Orga; 08/10/21 10:26 AM.
Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
Select your Orga #59160 08/11/21 02:26 PM
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Rangers having updated lists on their smartphones runs into the same problem you could have had - already being in a no cell area ... Many rangers are out for several days/weeks at a time out of cell range so would have no way to get those updates via smartphone.

I do agree that the understaffing had definitely made the process more of a headache than the folks in permit offices can adequately deal with. The real solution is to properly staff the offices so it's not just one or two people managing ALL of the permits that need to be sent out.

Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
Steve C #59161 08/11/21 03:28 PM
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Thanks for all the info here! Just wanted to report that I just emailed to check in for my trip on the 24th and got a response back in 6 minutes. Does anyone know where we pick up our wag bags in advance?

Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
katrina #59165 08/12/21 05:18 PM
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There was a box of wag bags in that structure thing at the start of the Main Trail. At least when I was there a couple months ago.

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Re: Permit Pickup - Inyo National Forest
Steve C #59234 08/29/21 05:03 PM
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Thanks for the good info. On Inyo national forest site, it states "Wilderness Permits must be reserved through www.recreation.gov. Once reserved, permits can be received one of three ways - see these Pick up instructions. Please note that Wilderness Permit Pickup is not currently available at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center." When people cancel their reservation, does recreation.gov update the site in a timely fashion so people can reserve permits couple of days before the trip for example or last minute reservations may be picked up by walk ins?

I ask cus I remember seeing slots there marked with 'W' and there was no legend to explain what this W really meant other than walk in.

Last edited by Select your Orga; 08/29/21 05:09 PM.
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