[Cdt-l] yellowstone

Matthew Edwards Hetchhetchyman at aol.com
Wed Jan 12 19:40:51 CST 2011

I was NoBo but I spent an hour talking to the Ranger at the B.C. office. They are actually quite interested in CDT hikers
and in particular our gear, trail stories.. anyhow I hammed it up pretty good.
For Southbound hikers the following advice was given to me at the backcountry office in Old Faithful Village.
Since you will enter the Park at Summit Lake you have just a days hike to reach Old Faithful Village. 
(It's friggin downhill the whole way from Summit lake for you SoBo's!)
You do not need a Back country permit for a day hike in Yellowstone.
So your first day would be from the park boundary to the Back country office at Old Faithful Village to negotiate your permit.
I was assured by the Permit ranger that they will do everything they can to accomodate CDT hikers. If we are patient they will work a permit out
up and including finding a place for us to camp overnight in Old faithful Village if neccesary the first night. 
I was assured if we, as CDT hikers, give them a chance they will come up with a schedule as close as possible
to our liking. There was even some talk of allowing us to share certain campsites within the park in order to fit us in.
The catch is that a lot of people get permits and then change plans, don't show etc. So as the day wears on they
get cancellations and reports from rangers regarding vacancies in the park. So if you show up un anounced you
may have to wait until a permit can be worked out.
Not to worry. The Main BC Ranger assured me: They will find accomodations in Old faithful Villaige if neccesary for CDT hikers
depite what the official statement regarding no camping there.
If i were in your position I would call them in advance, even if it's a week before, and just touch base with them.
In my case it made a big difference. 
I was NoBo but i did not go in to Dubois to resupply so i had no way to call them 48 hours 
in advance. 
Because i had called earlier and let them know there was no way i could call from Brooks lake they went ahead and 
issued me a permit a week in advance provided I camp only in the desiganted sites and show up in Old Faithful Village and get the paper copy
on my way through the park. They gave me the permit number over the phone so i had something in my posession should I be stopped.
This is not their official policy and i did have to beg and cajole somewhat over the phone but they admitted they would rather issue us permits
than have us sneaking around the park. It really REALLY helps if you have a plan WITH campsite codes ready to go. J. Ley's maps have some of them on there but according to the map in the BC office there are way more sites.
The easier you make it for the ranger to check availiablity ,the easier it is for them to decide to bend the rules and issue you a permit in advance.
Just for your information when planning.. The Shoshone Lake campsite as well as the very southernmost site on the Snake river are the least used spots.
Heart Lake is almost always full.
The schedule i was able to get was 15 miles from the southern park boundry to Snake river, 28 miles to Shoshone Lake, 30 miles to Summit Lake, and then out. This was a very fast schedule. Of course if i had fallen behind or gotten a sore knee or something.. I suppose i would have simply had to stealth camp.. but of course that is totally against the rules.  ;)  Okay I am undoing all the good karma by putting that suggestion out there so I am gonna pretend i did not write that...
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