PCT Flip Flop & SOBO Restrictions coming

Discussion in 'Places & Planning' started by Lempo, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Lempo

    Lempo Ultralighter

    Perhaps the most surprising change for the incoming class of PCT hikers is the addition of a required southbound hiking permit. Previously, only northbound hikers needed one, but now, so will those who wish to hike 500 or more continuous miles starting anywhere from Canadian border through Stehekin, Washington. Every day, 15 permits will be available for thru-hikers for start dates between June 15 and July 31.

    But hands down, the biggest change to hit the PCT next year will be the requirement that all hikers travel the 250-plus miles between California’s Kennedy Meadows South and Sonora Pass in one continuous trip. In other words, hikers can no longer skip the Sierra Nevada due to high snow or bad weather, fly north to hike in Oregon or Washington, and then zip back down south to finish the Sierra in late summer, when conditions are more favorable.

  2. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    And that will be regulated by.....
    Lempo likes this.
  3. Lamont-Cranston

    Lamont-Cranston Section Hiker

    Pepe La Chump?
  4. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    Motel owners will refuse to book rooms for hikers without a valid permit.
  5. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    So they will end up with "hiker trash" camping out around "town" on any bit of unoccupied ground.
    And motels loose business too.
    How to prove they are not hiking less than 500 miles ?
  6. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    The motel comment was made in jest. ;)

    I ain't no expert on the PCT but the way I understand it, the trail goes through loads of national parks and similar (from the PCT website: the PCT passes through five national monuments, five state park units, six national parks, seven BLM field offices, 25 national forest units and 48 federal wilderness areas.), all of which require permits and have stout people in yogi bear hats to hand out hefty fines to offenders (which is how they enforce regulations on bear canisters etc).

    The PCT permit acts as an overall permit valid in all regulated-access parks. With the new rules, flip-flop and the permit is no longer valid in the Sierra so you have to apply for each individual park as relevant.

    How do they know you are hiking less than 500 miles? Because you also need one or several permits (year round) to overnight in any of the above areas.
    edh and cathyjc like this.
  7. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Crumbs !! - red tape galore. :wideyed: And they call it the "Land of the Free" :eek:

    Makes me grateful my stomping ground is Scotland. Go where and when I please - with only a few restrictions. :thumbsup:
    oreocereus and WilliamC like this.
  8. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    Aye. But you'll not find any fenced off grouse-shooting estates there. ;)
  9. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    But the Grouse shooters are required to install gates in the fences.
    - And their "doings" are coming under increaseing scrutiny - their exploits will hopefully be more regulated/limited in future.
  10. Lempo

    Lempo Ultralighter

    Yes. It's a shame inland fishing and hunting are very restricted in the UK, I can understand the reasons why, but still it'd be nice to at least do some wild fishing if that was at all sustainable in a small country with so many people.

    When I grew up, we'd get most of our protein from the lake by our summer house. Mostly perch, pike or pikeperch. All that with a price of an annual license.
  11. Daymoth

    Daymoth Ultralighter

    Thats an odd restriction? What is the logic behind it?
  12. DuneElliot

    DuneElliot Section Hiker

    All hikers, whether SoBo or NoBo have been required to have a permit...that has been around for years. The permit is basically a catch-all permit for every area that needs a permit...and those are needed no matter which direction you travel in.

    I'm not sure how they are going to legislate bypassing the Sierras and coming back later...no way to know if someone did that. And that stipulation is also dangerous and will end in injury and fatalities as people push beyond their limits and abilities and try to go through snow they aren't experienced enough or don't have the right gear for.

    I understand they are trying to protect a delicate environment (and I'm all for that) but I don't think this is the right way to do it.
    tom, cathyjc, WilliamC and 1 other person like this.
  13. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    Perhaps more will be tempted to do the Great Divide Trail where there appear to be less restrictions. I think I’d rather do the GDT.

    edh, WilliamC and cathyjc like this.
  14. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    One of my mates has just done it - it sounds like a beast :D:thumbsup:
    Robin likes this.
  15. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I really liked Dan Durston's videos of his and his girlfriend's yoyo of it.
    edh and Robin like this.
  16. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    I did too.
  17. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I think this is one to perhaps buddy up on looking at some of the navigation and river crossings....
  18. DuneElliot

    DuneElliot Section Hiker

    Just confirmed. Nothing new about the NoBo vs SoBo permit...no matter which direction you travel you need a permit. Now whether they mean to starting using a quota on those going SoBo...that might be the thing they are talking about.

    As far as the Sierra issue...gonna wait and see. I think it's asking for trouble and injuries/fatalities...seen so many responses along this line on the PCTA page
    edh and fluffkitten like this.
  19. Lempo

    Lempo Ultralighter

  20. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    We have a grouse moor a mile from home and I quite like it when I find a patch of heather that was burnt 3 or 4 years ago. Makes the going much easier when off the beaten path.
    cathyjc likes this.

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