SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

Page 1 of 212>>

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: New permit system in the Smokies< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
pastywhite Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1585
Joined: May 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 7:29 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great Smoky Mountains News Release

Release Date:                 Immediate

Contact:                           Dana Soehn, Dana_Soehn@nps.gov

Phone number:             865-436-1207

Date:                                  January 22, 2013

Park Announces Implementation of Backcountry Changes

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced today that changes to its current backcountry reservation and permitting process will take effect on February 13, 2013. As reported last March, the National Park Service approved the Park’s proposal to begin collecting fees for use of the Park’s backcountry campsites and shelters. The changes include a $4 per person, per night fee for backcountry camping.  The fee will be used to provide increased customer service for backcountry trip planning, reservations, permits and the backcountry experience.

A park-specific reservation and permit system, to which users will have 24/7 access, will allow backcountry campers to make reservations and obtain permits online from anywhere internet access is available. Reservations may be made at any time up to 30 days in advance, allowing maximum flexibility for those making last minute plans. Backcountry users will no longer be required to call the Backcountry Office to obtain reservations. Reservation and permit requests will also be accepted in person at the Backcountry Office, which is located at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Backcountry Office hours will be expanded with additional staff available to provide trip planning assistance both over the phone and in person. In addition, the Park will expand its backcountry Ranger presence to better protect park resources through enforcement of food-storage and other regulations and improved visitor education regarding Leave-No-Trace principles.
For more information about the changes, please visit the Park’s website at www.nps.gov/grsm and follow the Management link on the left side of the page or call the Park’s Public Information Office at 865-436-1207. For general backcountry information or backcountry reservations, call the Backcountry Office at 865-436-1297.  On February 13, backcountry reservations and permits will be available at www.smokiespermits.nps.gov.  




Molly Schroer
Public Affairs Office
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
(865) 436-1203 office
(865) 210-1983 cell
(865) 436-1204 (fax)
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
DeepSouthHiker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 161
Joined: Dec. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 9:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the link...I was particularly interested in the FAQ section on their website and especially in this question:

7. Will there be a reduced fee for children or for residents of Tennessee or North Carolina?

Under FLREA, children younger than 16 years of age are exempt from entrance fees but not other fees, such as those for backcountry use. FLREA does not authorize reduced fees for residents of states contiguous to the national park
.

I had been hoping that they would do some sort of family maximum or an exemption for children as my wife and four children have been slowly working our way toward 900 miler status.

If we stay at any of the front country developed campgrounds, we will pay between $14 - $20 per night ($23 in Elkmont at the riverfront).  

If we camp in the backcountry, it will be $24 per night.  

So, if we get a tent pad, table, fire ring, paved parking spot, flush toilets, and trash cans, the park will charge me less than if they provide me nothing...well, nothing other than the favor of helping them pay for the reservation system and enforcment rangers.

Anybody else see the strangeness of that?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
Hiker01 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1127
Joined: Jun. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 10:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Amen, Deepsouthhiker.  I also hoped for a discount for children or a yearly pass, it fell on deaf ears.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
cgaphiker Search for posts by this member.
Hen Wallow Falls
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11367
Joined: Apr. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2013, 12:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, I really don't get their reasoning. They did a ton of work at Cosby and Elkmont and as far as I know haven't raised the price of a site at either campground. Seems like they could have raised a lot more money charging a couple of dollars more a night for a front country site.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
mossy Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 924
Joined: Aug. 2007
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2013, 9:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Going by how many times I've seen non-reservation hikers show up at reserved sites (and not pay any penalty), I'm highly dubious about the success of this fee. The reason they didn't up frontcountry fees is there would have been larger howls of protests.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
UlightBandit Search for posts by this member.
ROAR!!!
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2624
Joined: Jun. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2013, 10:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(mossy @ Jan. 31 2013, 9:27 am)
QUOTE
The reason they didn't up frontcountry fees is there would have been larger howls of protests.

Agreed.

Auto-touring is the national parks golden calf.  It is what they worship, as well as what will lead to the parks eventual destruction.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
cevans Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 618
Joined: Dec. 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 10 2013, 2:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am not wanting to rain on anybody's parade, but maybe this is a cloud with a silver lining of the charging 4 bucks per person for backcountry camping in GSMNP.  I am figuring with the budget cuts looming over the National Park Service come March 1st at a min. of 100 million dollars, they are going to have to increase fees they charge for everything in the National Parks to make up any kind of losses to keep all these parks going as well as all the services they provide depending on each Park.  And,,it might just keep the trash down as well as vandalism in the backcountry a bit.

--------------
If it can't be done outdoors, its not much worth doing!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
GoWest Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 130
Joined: Apr. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 9:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is all a bunch of crap!
Look at all the money that the federal government wastes on everything from foreign aid to Michelle Obama's security. Its just pathetic that we get charged to go to OUR own parks. Give the NPS more money, Congress and stop nickel and diming us to death while you waste billions!


--------------
Kiss my days, light up my nights.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 9
ashepabst Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1295
Joined: Jul. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 8:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

wow, don't think we should provide security to the first lady, huh?

--------------
      /\    /\/\        / \       / \
 /\/   \ /      \  /\ /    \-^/    \^.   /\
/   \    \        \/  \       \ /       \ \ /  \ /\
     \     \       \    \       /          \/     /   \
                           \    /             \
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 10
mossy Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 924
Joined: Aug. 2007
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 8:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cevans @ Feb. 10 2013, 2:42 pm)
QUOTE
I am not wanting to rain on anybody's parade, but maybe this is a cloud with a silver lining of the charging 4 bucks per person for backcountry camping in GSMNP.  I am figuring with the budget cuts looming over the National Park Service come March 1st at a min. of 100 million dollars, they are going to have to increase fees they charge for everything in the National Parks to make up any kind of losses to keep all these parks going as well as all the services they provide depending on each Park.  And,,it might just keep the trash down as well as vandalism in the backcountry a bit.

1. I seriously doubt the four dollarbucks/night is going to make much of a dent in the cuts the NPS will be forced to implement should sequestration arrive. In any event it will not pay enough to put these rangers-in-the-backcountry we are hearing about.

2. As I mentioned earlier, there will be a lot of non-payers. Should the cuts occur, who will enforce the pay-per-night rules? I will be paying but how many will feel they are getting ripped off because so-and-so and their party giggled all night about how they didn't, "pay squat" to camp?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 11
magicmomma Search for posts by this member.
Wildest Flower in Tennessee
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sep. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 9:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Off the subject, but does anyone know if Campsite Three along the Beard Cane Creek Trail has ever reopened? I guess a better question would be has Beard Cane Creek Trail ever opened back up?

--------------
"My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, chearful meadows, and high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves to view."~~William Bartram
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 12
kevinumberger Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3934
Joined: Dec. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 1:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i don't think beard cane will ever reopen........






http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm


Backcountry Areas Closed Due to Storm Damage
• Chimney Tops Trail
• Deep Creek Trail from campsite #53 to US-441(campsite #53 is open)
• Thomas Divide Trail from the junction of the Sunkota Ridge Trail to US-441
• Kanati Fork Trail
• Kephart Prong Trail (Kephart Prong Shelter is open)
• Beard Cane Trail and campsites #3 and #11
• Hatcher Mountain Trail
• Scott Mountain Trail from campsite #6 to Schoolhouse Gap (campsite #6 is open)
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 13
magicmomma Search for posts by this member.
Wildest Flower in Tennessee
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sep. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 1:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Kevin. I had a feeling that was the case.  While I fought the fee and reservation system and I am still not happy about it I will try to go along and get along.  

My conscience is clear on that matter.

It is really a shame about CT trail since they just completed the work on that recently!  Seems everything about the Smokies is saying NO CAN DO from the weather to the NPS.


--------------
"My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, chearful meadows, and high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves to view."~~William Bartram
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 14
Roger Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2105
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 5:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I see where AT through hikers will have to get a $20 permit which is good for 8 days of hiking and valid for 38 days from the day it is issued. This should not be a major problem as there are a number of places where one could stop and get the permit along the way.  Still it will be a pain.  I am glad I have already passed the park on my way north.

--------------
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 15
pastywhite Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1585
Joined: May 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 5:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The site is still down :)  I guess since this new system started yesterday we either 1) get to camp free without reservation or 2) everyone in the backcountry is a criminal
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 16
gunslinger Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 6408
Joined: Mar. 2007
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 1:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pastywhite @ Feb. 14 2013, 5:07 am)
QUOTE
The site is still down :)  I guess since this new system started yesterday we either 1) get to camp free without reservation or 2) everyone in the backcountry is a criminal

Or, the system was designed to keep people out of the back country, and it's working as designed.

--------------
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 17
magicmomma Search for posts by this member.
Wildest Flower in Tennessee
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sep. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 2:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

LOL@ Gunslinger.  2 funny and 2 true!

--------------
"My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, chearful meadows, and high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves to view."~~William Bartram
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 18
Hiker01 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1127
Joined: Jun. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 10:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pastywhite @ Feb. 14 2013, 5:07 am)
QUOTE
everyone in the backcountry is a criminal

I wouldn't put it past them.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 19
pastywhite Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1585
Joined: May 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 7:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's working now but this could possible be the worst online reservation system I have ever seen.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 20
cgaphiker Search for posts by this member.
Hen Wallow Falls
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11367
Joined: Apr. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 11:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pastywhite @ Feb. 15 2013, 7:10 pm)
QUOTE
It's working now but this could possible be the worst online reservation system I have ever seen.

Seems to be down right now.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 21
pastywhite Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1585
Joined: May 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 7:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The link sent out by the park is was formatted incorrectly and won't load.

Look here https://smokiespermits.nps.gov/index.cfm?BCPermitTypeID=1
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 22
bacpacer Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 8:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I used the permit system for the first time and I found it easier than trying for hours sometimes to reach the backcountry office. It wasn't complicated at all and I had no issues whatever to make the required reservation for the campsites I needed. However,
I don't like paying more money to our government for this privledge, but over time my hope is that it keeps the rif raf out of this national treasure.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 23
ashepabst Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1295
Joined: Jul. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 1:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i like that you can browse around and see how many folks will be at a site on a given night. that is of course if everyone's legal. i'm hoping that they're incorporating some car permit in this process so that even though they can't patrol each site every night they can at least have some accountability that way.

--------------
      /\    /\/\        / \       / \
 /\/   \ /      \  /\ /    \-^/    \^.   /\
/   \    \        \/  \       \ /       \ \ /  \ /\
     \     \       \    \       /          \/     /   \
                           \    /             \
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 24
Tuttle Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 133
Joined: Jul. 2003
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 21 2013, 4:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So how is everyone' experiences been so far?  Going in a month (busy hiking time, I know) and am worried about "unregistered" people showing up at our shelter.  Seems to be filling up quick.  We're staying at Leconte so the thru hikers shouldn't be a problem.  Thoughts?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 25
kevinumberger Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3934
Joined: Dec. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 21 2013, 5:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

havent been in the smokies since the reservation system went into effect.....


leconte has a ranger that stays up there thursday through sunday to check permits and kick people out.......trust me, he checked my permit multiple times throughout the day.....

not sure when the ranger season starts up though (it may just be an early summer to late fall type of deal)....
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 26
pastywhite Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1585
Joined: May 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 21 2013, 7:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(kevinumberger @ Mar. 21 2013, 5:14 pm)
QUOTE
havent been in the smokies since the reservation system went into effect.....


leconte has a ranger that stays up there thursday through sunday to check permits and kick people out.......trust me, he checked my permit multiple times throughout the day.....

not sure when the ranger season starts up though (it may just be an early summer to late fall type of deal)....

It's a short season, education ranger. I'm not 100% sure of the dates but he/she was not there last year in mid May. I have been checked up there in July though. BTW, this is the only place I have actually seen a ranger more than a short distance from a trail head.

I haven't camped since the tax yet either but I cannot imagine the people who didn't bother to get a free permit will suddenly decide to get one at $4/night.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 27
magicmomma Search for posts by this member.
Wildest Flower in Tennessee
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sep. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 21 2013, 9:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

pastywhite wrote:
I haven't camped since the tax yet either but I cannot imagine the people who didn't bother to get a free permit will suddenly decide to get one at $4/night.

I'd have to agree with you on that!

Ya made me laugh. :-D

Pastywhite............ I need to see you in my office. Seriously.


--------------
"My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, chearful meadows, and high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves to view."~~William Bartram
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 28
Tuttle Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 133
Joined: Jul. 2003
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 8:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, we've got our permit so we'll see how it goes.  Done a lot of hiking in the Smokies but this is our first time staying in a shelter.  Think many thru hikers will venture over to LeConte?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 29
kevinumberger Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3934
Joined: Dec. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 3:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

nawwwww........

you wont see any thru hikers at leconte.........not unless they got lost.........

leconte is a bit outta the way of the AT........

especially being in the area of newfound gap----where most people hop a ride into town for a resupply and/or zero day......
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 30
unclehubert Search for posts by this member.
ambivalence!
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 252
Joined: Apr. 2003
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 4:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just looked at the new reservation system, and the only fee I saw was the 4 dollars for the reservation. Is that all you pay to camp in backcountry? I thought there was an additional fee for the campsite or shelter. Is this true?

--------------
Hey!

Ego similis ambulo dudus!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
35 replies since Jan. 22 2013, 7:29 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


Page 1 of 212>>
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply New permit system in the Smokies
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions