I believe that is right but it is still required for overnight camping. It is always recommended to get a permit so if any trouble happens then help can account for you but for day hiking it is not required.
The Lytle Creek Ranger Station is just a mile before the turn off to Middle Fork Road where you could get a permit.
12/21 Saturday SGWA volunteers were working on the trail. They removed 11 tree hazards and some tread work to just before the Third Steam Crossing wash.
Here is one less tree across the trail.
Thank you SGWA volunteers