View Full Version : Cornfused...

03-12-2007, 08:35 PM
about the backcountry permit system!

But first - heyyyyyy, spring's here! :) YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!:)

I need some help though - I'm trying to figure out this backcountry permit thing, and I can't quiet figure it out. I know there are sites that you have to have a reservation, and I know there are sites you don't. What I don't get is - on the sites you don't have to reserve beforehand - if you get to the permit station, is there a way to know if the site you're wanting to use is already taken?

I can just see me hiking 4 miles into the backcountry and getting to the campsite to find that - HEY! COOL! Someone's already set up camp!

Can anyone explain how it works in man-language? ( you know, short and simple!)

Thanks so much - and I wish you all a very happy spring and I hope everyone at LRO is getting to get out and FISH! :)

03-12-2007, 08:40 PM
From my limited experance there are several fire rings at each capsite, so several individual campsite can be had. I will try to ask a ranger if they know if a site has been crowed or not.

David Knapp
03-12-2007, 09:25 PM
ARRRRGGGG....don't remind me about spring. It is killing me...I've got tons of homework to do this week, an exam tomorrow, and BUGS ARE HATCHING!!!! Oh the misery...

Like Vern said, most sites have room for plenty of people. The only concern might be that some only have a couple sets of bear cables and if there are lots of people, you will probably have to share or something... That said, if you are wanting solitude, stay away from the more accessible ones. An example, and I haven't been over there myself but from what I hear, Hazel Creek tends to have people mainly on the lower half at best. If you are on a prime stream, 4 miles is probably not far enough to get away from everyone. I often hike at least that far before I start fishing...:rolleyes:

Oh yeah, the short and simple...:cool: There is no way to really know. When you get to the park, you stop at the nearest ranger station, fill out your backcountry permit and put it in a box. Someone could have put theirs in 15 minutes before you and started hiking, the rangers won't see it for awhile.

03-13-2007, 05:23 PM
Thanks guys. That clears up alot! I was envisioning a single campsite with a fire ring, not a few sites together! I can't wait to spend a couple of nights in the park with the bears....

and we each shall leave the other aloooooooooooone. :)

03-13-2007, 06:17 PM
Speaking of bears, I think it's always a good idea to call the NPS a couple of days before planning a trip. Even if you plan on staying at one of the sites that doesn't require a reservation. Here is a link with the phone# and some other good information.


From time to time certain camp sites are closed due to bear activity. It's no fun to arrive at one of the self-resgistration stations only to find out the camp site you wanted to stay at has been closed due to bear activity.

03-13-2007, 11:03 PM
Hey Fishlicker,

Get a GSM Trail Map from the permit box at all the campgrounds, visitor centers and Fontana Dam. Sites with green numbers do not need to be reserved, red numbered sites do. If you need to reserve a site call (865) 436-1231. This is the Backcountry office. Be sure and ask about closed sites due to bear activity. Last year I walked all the way to Hazel creek to find the lower 4 campsites were closed!

The smaller sites and some of the most popular sites need reservations. Plateau Angler gave a lot of good advice and information. I agree the lower sites on Hazel and Deep creek often have campers, but there is usually room for one more.

I have hiked all the trails in the national park and usually spend the night alone or with one other party (except Hazel Creek, sites 86 and 83, it can be a zoo at these sites, but everyone is nice).