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If that’s the case, I wonder why they’ve let the orders expire? How long has the permit system been in continuous operation? Since the creation of the wilderness in 1964? I can’t find any history of the permit system online. I also wasn’t aware that the order requiring permits was something that required renewal…I guess I assumed it was a permanent policy that would have to be actively canceled.
Has the Lake Fire closure order been renewed? I can find no evidence that it has.
I could just be looking in all the wrong places, but it would be nice if the USFS was a bit more transparent about this stuff. A press release or something would be nice.
Yesterday was a fantastic day in the mountains. I saw literally two people; one guy in the distance who was leaving the eastern high point of Anderson as I arrived at the true summit, and one guy going up who I passed on my way out around 9,000 feet.
If I had to guess, the eventual outcome of not requiring a permit for day hikes in the SGW will be increased traffic on the Vivian Creek Trail and maybe the South Fork Trail. This would be accompanied by reduced traffic on every other trail. I’m basing that on the assumption that even with the permit system in place, everyone who set out for a day hike ended up going on a hike somewhere in the wilderness. Lots of them intended to go up Vivian, but had to settle for some other trail. Some of them even had to go up Momyer (gasp!). Now they’ll all go up Vivian.
So it’ll be the same number of people in the wilderness, just concentrated on one or two trails. Is that better or worse for the wilderness than spreading them out all over the mountain? For my money, it sounds like a better arrangement…I’ve long ago given up hiking the Vivian Creek trail except on weekdays and in the winter. Too many people, even with the permits. Fewer people on the trails that I enjoy is fine with me.
I don’t think the San Bernardinos will ever be the crowded San Gabriels. The San Gabriels are too close to LA. I’m thankful for those mountains…they keep the crowds out of the San Bernardinos.