Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
User avatar
Markh752
Posts: 120
Joined: March 18th, 2013, 9:21 pm

Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by Markh752 » March 23rd, 2016, 8:31 pm

There will not be any reservations for back country camps. Everything will be first come, first served.

http://www.nps.gov/mora/learn/news/2016 ... amping.htm

User avatar
drm
Posts: 5292
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by drm » March 24th, 2016, 6:39 am

Markh752 wrote:There will not be any reservations for back country camps. Everything will be first come, first served.

http://www.nps.gov/mora/learn/news/2016 ... amping.htm
Interesting, but temporary, change. They are switching to an online system but it isn't ready for this season. So this is expected to just be for the 2016 season.

User avatar
CampinCarl
Posts: 573
Joined: June 17th, 2011, 7:41 am
Location: Salem

Re: Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by CampinCarl » March 24th, 2016, 7:14 am

What, is recreation.gov not good enough? :? :roll:

User avatar
drm
Posts: 5292
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by drm » March 25th, 2016, 7:15 am

Could be an interesting year for those who want to do the Wonderland loop. Without advance reservations many people visiting from far away probably will not fly here if they cannot be sure they will get a permit, making more space for locals to do the route who might not mind so much doing something else nearby if the permit does not work out. But those permit lines in the morning may be a lot longer since everybody will need to get one there.

User avatar
drm
Posts: 5292
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by drm » March 25th, 2016, 7:29 am

I think the problem with recreation.gov is you make a separate reservation for each camp. In a long backpack with one night in each camp, this doesn't really work. I remember talking to somebody who used it to reserve a backpack in Mt. Margaret backcountry and they ran into this issue, which is not so much a problem there as people doing that loop usually only spend two nights. For the Wonderland you really need to be able to combine all nights into one reservation to be practical. Recreation.gov is okay for the car campgrounds.

User avatar
AAdamsPDX
Posts: 243
Joined: August 6th, 2014, 3:47 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by AAdamsPDX » March 25th, 2016, 8:18 am

drm wrote:I think the problem with recreation.gov is you make a separate reservation for each camp. In a long backpack with one night in each camp, this doesn't really work. I remember talking to somebody who used it to reserve a backpack in Mt. Margaret backcountry and they ran into this issue, which is not so much a problem there as people doing that loop usually only spend two nights. For the Wonderland you really need to be able to combine all nights into one reservation to be practical. Recreation.gov is okay for the car campgrounds.
Interesting perspective. I didn't realize that on the Wonderland you had to reserve where you are going to camp in addition to reserving an entry point. (Or maybe I'm not understanding your point! Sorry if that's the case.)

Recreation.gov seems to work really well for Inyo National Forest trailhead reservations in the Sierras, not just for campgrounds: they just limit per entry point. You have to provide an estimated itinerary but I've never heard of anyone getting ticketed if they are off their itinerary by just a bit. Is Rainier much more crowded than the Sierras, requiring tighter control? (Or maybe there is a high demand for a few campsites but not others...?)

Just curious since I won't be able to do the Wonderland this year - but Recreation.gov has been a lifesaver for our California trips and would love to know more about the Wonderland system for another year. Sounds like they plan to have their new web system operating by next year. Fingers crossed it works this time! :D
"The world begins where the road ends." ~Eddie Vedder
http://www.hriggsphotography.com/

olderthanIusedtobe
Posts: 488
Joined: January 2nd, 2014, 10:45 am

Re: Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by olderthanIusedtobe » March 25th, 2016, 9:02 am

My understanding is that the Wonderland Trail has a fairly limited number of designated camping sites, and you have to stay in a designated site. So you really need to be tied to a predetermined site for each night of your trip.

User avatar
adamschneider
Posts: 3193
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: SE Portland
Contact:

Re: Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by adamschneider » March 25th, 2016, 9:03 am

AAdamsPDX wrote:I didn't realize that on the Wonderland you had to reserve where you are going to camp in addition to reserving an entry point.
At MRNP, I don't think you need an trailhead reservation at all. But the park's backcountry is divided up into 144 clearly defined zones and camps — each with its own quota — and you need a location-specific reservation for each night.
BC-Camps-and-Zones.jpg

User avatar
AAdamsPDX
Posts: 243
Joined: August 6th, 2014, 3:47 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by AAdamsPDX » March 25th, 2016, 11:45 am

adamschneider wrote:At MRNP, I don't think you need an trailhead reservation at all. But the park's backcountry is divided up into 144 clearly defined zones and camps — each with its own quota — and you need a location-specific reservation for each night.
Wow, looks complicated! But given the area's popularity, I can see why it needs to be, to limit impact. After some recent experiences scrambling for campsites along Mt. Hood's Timberline Trail, I expect it's headed in the same direction. :shock:
"The world begins where the road ends." ~Eddie Vedder
http://www.hriggsphotography.com/

User avatar
drm
Posts: 5292
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: Rainier - No Wilderness Camping Reservations in 2016

Post by drm » March 27th, 2016, 7:40 am

The difference is designated site camping. While Rainier does have cross-country zones where you can find your own campsite, the rules for this are a bit onerous for most people since you must travel cross-country off trail. The Sierra for the most part does not have designated site camping, so it is easier to make do with trailhead limits instead. Also, the Sierra is a large area and it would be a huge burden to deal with reservations for camping sites. Rainier, particularly when you take into consideration all the high altitude glaciated areas, has a relatively small areas for backpack camping.

The only area in the PNW that has trailhead limits that I'm aware of is the Enchantments. All of our national parks do whatever limitations they do based on campsite reservations.

And for Mt Hood, I doubt it would go that way just because the Mt Hood NF is very different than a national park. Most national parks have some kind of limits and most national forests do not. Maintaining a reservation system is not cheap and such permits are often free in national parks. I doubt your entrance fee covers that.

Post Reply