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Grand adventure in the Grand Canyon

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Grand adventure in the Grand Canyon
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2018, 08:47:08 AM »
The permit system is old school.  What I did was first go out and buy the Trails Illustrated map of the Grand Canyon.  It has the campsite designations and zone boundaries/call letters on it.   I figured out my route, and when I wanted to go.  We wanted to go in April, so we had to fax in our permit request between Nov 20 - Dec 1. From the web site: 

START DATE                  Send Permit Request IN

January                            Aug 20 and Sep 1 (by 5pm MST)    
February                    Sep 20 and Oct 1 (by 5pm MST)    
March                            Oct 20 and Nov 1 (by 5pm MST)    
April                            Nov 20 and Dec 1 (by 5pm MST)
May                             Dec 20 and Jan 1 (by 5pm MST)    
June                              Jan 20 and Feb 1 (by 5pm MST)    
July                                      Feb 20 and Mar 1 (by 5pm MST)
August                              Mar 20 and Apr 1 (by 5pm MST)
September                       Apr 20 and May 1 (by 5pm MST)    
October                                May 20 and Jun 1 (by 5pm MST)
November                        Jun 20 and Jul 1 (by 5pm MST)
December                         Jul 20 and Aug 1 (by 5pm MST)    

It must be faxed in.  I faxed it in, then called the web site number.  After many attempts to get through, they confirmed my request was in their stack, and it was correctly filled out.  HEB did it for me.  FedEX stores will do it too, but YOU do it on their fax machine.  So there is another chance for operator error  (at least in my case).  They say they take all the permits that arrived during the 11 day period, shuffle them up, then start from the top.  They start filling in the campsite/zone slots until there are no more available for the days requested.  Best idea, of course, is to give them a wide range of start dates to improve your chances.  I got the 2nd day out of my 2 week start date interval that I asked for, so my permit must have been somewhere near the top.

Then you wait.  Just like a student getting accepted into a college. After about 3 weeks, I got the e-mail that started out with "Congratulations".  The actual permit is attached to the e-mail.  You print it up, and go on your trip.  No need to check in at the back country ranger's station.  You carry the hard copy, and that is what you show any ranger who asks for it at the campgrounds.

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit.htm

Two things I found interesting.  Because of the system, if people don't show up, and call to free up their permit spots, they go unused.  Government doesn't care.  They already got paid.  Second, a ranger told me the #1 limiting factor on how many people stay in the designated sites is the ability of the park to remove the amount of Poop from the toilets.    :great:

For us, it took us 3 tries to finally get the permit.  The other 3 trips I have been backpacking below the rim, we went to the back country office every morning and waited in line for the few spots they leave open each day for walk-ups.  We got a number on the first day we got to the park, and each day we were given a new lower number as people dropped out, or got their own walk-up permit.  Then 3 mornings later, we were 3rd in line, and got a walk-up permit.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 09:00:31 AM by elhombre »
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Offline mbender

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Re: Grand adventure in the Grand Canyon
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2018, 04:32:33 PM »
What an awesome trip. And those Ribbon Falls - Wow!
It's always nice when members post reports from places they've been outside of BiBe.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Grand adventure in the Grand Canyon
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2018, 05:58:30 PM »
Wow.  Epic trip.  Thanks for sharing this guys!  Y'all are awesome.

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