San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

General Palm Springs area.

San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

Postby Brian » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:07 pm

I haven't pulled a permit for San Gorgonio in a few years, and today I read there aren't any quotas.

Does this mean day hikes using Vivian TH and South Fork TH, etc. no longer require permits? Is the hiker limit still 12 to a group?
If this is correct, what caused the change?

SGWA.org
"Effective 9/1/17 Day Hikes will not be limited to a quota. All Day Hikes have become available for each date in the calendar. If you were previously denied for a Day Hike, you can resubmit your request to get approval. Self Issue forms will also be available for all open trails."

Thanks,
Brian
User avatar
Brian
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:20 am

Re: San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

Postby zippetydude » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:22 pm

Good question. I inquired at the time and for a few weeks after the change. No reason was ever given to explain the change. I wasn't for or against the permit quotas, so I didn't press very hard for an answer, but I asked several people at several levels and none could/would say. Piecing the vague answers together I came up with a guess (and it's just a guess) that the enforcement wasn't legally tenable. The whole permit quota system seemed to have originated as a means of protecting the wilderness from overuse, which on the surface makes sense, but it apparently had no actual legislative backing. Kind of like someone in forestry said, "Seems like this would work..." and they went with it. When the $5.00 per visit / $30.00 per year "Adventure Pass" was made unenforceable by the courts, I'm guessing that the NFS didn't want to deal with a subsequent lawsuit about permit quotas and just threw in the towel.

In any case, permits are now suggested, not required. I'm hoping that this doesn't have a negative impact on the wilderness, but only time will tell. If hikers "take only pictures and leave only footprints" then the only detrimental aspect I can imagine is that it will be a less solitary experience that it once was. If so, that is a negative consequence, but for those that can find a way to go mid-week, you'll still have the trail almost entirely to yourself.

z
User avatar
zippetydude
 
Posts: 2674
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 5:40 am

Re: San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

Postby futbol » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:23 am

A representative at the ranger station told me that permits were not required for day hikes on Mt San Gorgonio, but recommended. Overnight hikes still require a permit.
futbol
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:06 pm

Re: San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

Postby Brian » Wed May 01, 2019 4:20 pm

Zippety,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

Your guess seems reasonable. But San Jacinto still requires permits for Idyllwild trailheads but not Palm Springs TH.

I'll be able to get my six-pack in according to my schedule rather than working around the Forest Service's schedule, plus a few extra hikes this season, but group sizes will be the issue as you mentioned. I will definitely keep my hiking group to twelve or less. Good thing the average person rather be driving to the shopping mall and beach rather than enjoying 15+ mile hikes, we should okay with the change. I haven't hike San G since '14 so this was a surprise. As a hike leader it actually will make things easier.

zippetydude wrote:If hikers "take only pictures and leave only footprints" then the only detrimental aspect I can imagine is that it will be a less solitary experience that it once was.


I updated the mantra for 2019, "Take only selfies and leave only footprints".

Brian
User avatar
Brian
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:20 am

Re: San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

Postby Brian » Wed May 01, 2019 4:45 pm

Zippety,

Good recommendation from Hiking Guy, "Permits are voluntary and help the rangers understand traffic in the area (and hopefully get more funding to support these trails). I recommend filling out the permit online here, http://sgwa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016 ... 090817.pdf and then emailing it in to the rangers. Print a copy out for yourself and bring it with you."

See you on Skyline,
Brian
User avatar
Brian
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:20 am

Re: San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

Postby pkirkham » Thu May 02, 2019 8:34 am

Actually, San Jacinto has been the same as San G. since last fall. For day hikes permits are not required, just "recommended". I had volunteers asking me for a permit and I kept telling them I don't have one and they're not required...I would nicely tell them to ask their supervisor for the latest information!!
I was very skeptical when I first heard about this last fall and even went to the Ranger Station in Idy to ask them directly and they told me the same as above. This is only for dayhikes though , not overnights!!
pkirkham
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:49 am

Re: San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

Postby pkirkham » Thu May 02, 2019 9:03 am

As an add-on, just found the following on the sgwa.org website regarding permits and quotas, dated May 1 2019:

Here is the scoop:

The Forest Service allowed an order to expire on August 31, 2017 and did not reissue a replacement. This put us in the current situation where Day Hikers could not be required to have a permit to enter the San Gorgonio Wilderness effective on September 1 2017. Since the permit is not currently required, there is no quota to enforce. We recommend a permit as it is a good safety precaution for us to have some details of where people are planning to go, and it gives us a partial indication of how much the trails are being used for day trips.

To be clear – Day hikes do not require permits at this time, but Overnights have always required permits.

The Forest Service is finalizing a new order that WILL bring back permits for Day Hiking into the Wilderness and quotas for the number of permits are expected to be part of the process. We cannot tell you when this will happen, only that they have told us it is being finalized and will be coming soon. When it is released, SGWA will post this PROMINENTLY on our web site, and we will update the Day Hike permit request form to reflect the need for approval. If you are looking at this web site, you should not be confused about whether you need a permit or not.

Today, May 1 2019, Day Hikers do not need a permit.

Quotas: We understand that it causes problems when you want to go somewhere and cannot get a permit. Chris’ point about the overcrowding on San Bernardino Peak trail parking highlights one reason why a quota can be useful. Vivian Creek/Big Falls also had this problem immediately following the expiration of the order. Last Summer, every weekend I would get a call from the Big Falls volunteers to tell me that the parking was already full shortly after 7AM. The lack of parking meant that any family trying to use the picnic area was being blocked out by an unlimited flow of hikers. Some weekends we had between 200 and 300 permitted hikers, and who knows how many without a permit. So, will there be people inconvenienced by a new quota? Sure, but how many of you really want to hike up the mountain with 300 of your “closest friends” all at the same time? That doesn’t sound like an enjoyable Wilderness experience to me.

Ultimately, the Forest Service will dictate to us at the Mill Creek Front Desk what the rules will be and we will operate under them. If you wish to give your input on this topic, I’ll be glad to pass it along to our liaison at the Forest Service.
pkirkham
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:49 am

Re: San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

Postby zippetydude » Thu May 02, 2019 9:33 am

Wow, that was super helpful! Guess I'll get my Vivian ascent in soon so that I don't have to wait several months. And I'll be sure to start before daybreak so that I can get a parking space.

z
User avatar
zippetydude
 
Posts: 2674
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 5:40 am

Re: San Gorgonio Day Hike Permit

Postby Brian » Thu May 02, 2019 2:36 pm

Great information pkirkham.

We'll be able to get in a lot more high elevation hiking.

brian
User avatar
Brian
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:20 am


Return to Mt. San Jacinto & Santa Rosa Mountains

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 7 guests