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Does backcountry ever fill up?

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Offline Lenny

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Does backcountry ever fill up?
« on: October 08, 2016, 03:48:05 PM »
Planning on doing mostly off roading and want to camp at one of the sites off the primitive roads. Planning either Thanksgiving week or the week after Christmas.  These are high traffic times and I wanted to know if you've ever seen all the BC sites full at BBNP?  It's a loooooong drive to show up and have to turn around.  Kind of blows my mind you can't reserve these sites.  Thanks.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2016, 04:51:05 PM »
Take a look at this link to see how full the park was on a particular date in previous years.

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/suggested-itineraries/advice-on-trip-itinerary/msg140972/#msg140972

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Offline Lenny

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2016, 10:01:32 AM »
thank you for that!

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Offline Lenny

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2016, 09:24:00 AM »
Are the permits issued at Panther Junction?  They open at 9, do people start lining up before that.  I'm going to be there Saturday the 19th with is a high traffic time and want a good spot. i'm gonna spend the night in Ft Stockton.  How early would you suggest being there?  Thanks.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2016, 12:38:44 PM »
Are the permits issued at Panther Junction?  They open at 9, do people start lining up before that.  I'm going to be there Saturday the 19th with is a high traffic time and want a good spot. i'm gonna spend the night in Ft Stockton.  How early would you suggest being there?  Thanks.
Panther Junction is the main location. All permits are coordinated through there. If it were me I'd get there well before 9 (8:30 at the latest). If you luck out and are first in line, you can spend the time planning your hikes. :)

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Offline ultra713

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2016, 01:50:57 PM »
Chisos basin opens at 8:30, does that mean I can get a permit there or do I have to go to panther junction?


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Offline badknees

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2016, 02:41:14 PM »
Chisos basin opens at 8:30, does that mean I can get a permit there or do I have to go to panther junction?


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You can get a permit there
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2016, 04:26:21 PM »
Planning on doing mostly off roading and want to camp at one of the sites off the primitive roads. Planning either Thanksgiving week or the week after Christmas.  These are high traffic times and I wanted to know if you've ever seen all the BC sites full at BBNP?  It's a loooooong drive to show up and have to turn around.  Kind of blows my mind you can't reserve these sites.  Thanks.

It could be worse.  Grand Canyon will let you reserve sites 3 months in advance, but it has to be by FAX.  As you can imagine the fax line is constantly busy at midnite when the spots open up for 3 months ahead.  Once your fax FINALLY goes through, you then have to wait to receive your permit BY MAIL about 3-4 weeks later.  You pretty much have to be flexible and be able to alter your entire vacation if you want an overnight backpacking permit in the Grand Canyon.

Who on earth still uses faxes?

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Offline Imre

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2016, 10:45:25 PM »
Quote
Who on earth still uses faxes?
  People who want to go backpacking in the Grand Canyon.  :(

Getting back to the main topic, on the first day of the Memorial Day weekend this year (2016) there were huge lines at Panther Junction and the Basin visitor centers. Must have been an hour long wait.
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 08:33:12 AM »
Yes, the back country can and does fill up over Thanksgiving.  Especially with the current closures of Laguna meadows, Colima, and Boot Canyon campsites.  The loss of use of these sites will put extra pressure on the car camping sites.  I would seriously look at camping sites outside the park , like Stillwell Ranch for a backup.

In years past, they only allow all  permits to be issued from Panther Junction during Thanksgiving.  Not at Persimmon gap, or the Basin.  Even though us taxpayers paid for them to buy a system that doesn't use one book and pencil, they refuse to allow a satellite station to access the electronic system.  You are forced to stand in line at the east side of the building for their Precious to be accessed. 

Show up as early as possible.  I would say at least 1.5 hours in advance.  Log into the system with your phone while waiting.  http://75.41.147.131/permits/welcome.php
Figure out what is already taken, and fill it out.  Ask others in line if they are giving up their spots or changing their permits.  This is the only way to speed up the process.  Save the registration #, and pray that you get a ranger that is in a good mood, and knows how to use the system.  Be prepared for anything.  One year it took 45 minutes for us to get a permit, and we were only 2nd in line.  One year it took less than 10 minutes. 

The reading of the rules is the worst part.  One time we had to wait for the other ranger to issue a permit so that the ranger goddess could read us both the rules in order "to save time".  We were told not to bend one blade of grass, not to wear sunscreen in the hot springs, no water is running at the springs, and don't shoot HER bears.  All stupid crap that made a 2 minute process turn into a 8 minute lecture with her literally standing on a chair over us, throw out pearls of wisdom.  Good Times.

This is the worst part of any trip.  BUT, I always laugh to myself because I get to walk out that door and leave them sitting there inside their own tormented world.   :great:

This past spring, I saw 5 permits, including my own issued at the Grand Canyon Back Country Office in less than 15 minutes of the windows being thrown open.  Only 2 rangers were working the windows too, just like Big Bend.  Info, Rules, Payment, and Printing.  Now that was customer service!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 08:43:27 AM by elhombre »
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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Offline Lenny

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 08:34:36 AM »
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Who on earth still uses faxes?
  People who want to go backpacking in the Grand Canyon.  :(

Getting back to the main topic, on the first day of the Memorial Day weekend this year (2016) there were huge lines at Panther Junction and the Basin visitor centers. Must have been an hour long wait.

Hmm, I wonder if Rio Grande VC would have less traffic.  It opens at 8:30

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Offline Jim

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2016, 09:29:26 AM »
Getting back to the main topic, on the first day of the Memorial Day weekend this year (2016) there were huge lines at Panther Junction and the Basin visitor centers. Must have been an hour long wait.

For May 28, 2016 (Saturday of Memorial Day weekend this year) all Chisos backcountry campsites were taken, and all but one roadside campsites were taken.  Don't know about the improved campgrounds.

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Offline Lenny

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Re: Does backcountry ever fill up?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2016, 09:55:25 AM »
Getting back to the main topic, on the first day of the Memorial Day weekend this year (2016) there were huge lines at Panther Junction and the Basin visitor centers. Must have been an hour long wait.

For May 28, 2016 (Saturday of Memorial Day weekend this year) all Chisos backcountry campsites were taken, and all but one roadside campsites were taken.  Don't know about the improved campgrounds.

Sure is a long way to drive to MAYBE  get a campsite

 


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