July 2013 Southwestern Kings Canyon NP - bryanlallen
Now we're into the National Park, which unfortunately means poorer trails with minimal maintenance, and overgrown uncared-for forests. The contrast between the National Forest and the National Park is quite striking. In the Forest, you can camp and hike for free, but in the Park you need a Wilderness Permit, which costs $15 and which is a bit difficult to obtain, especially in this era of budget cutbacks. The Park website said that Permits could be obtained the previous day until 5 PM, but at Lodgepole the cutoff time was 3:30 PM and at Grant Grove the cutoff time was 4 PM. Lodgepole would not write us a permit, even though where we went was less than 20 miles away as the crow flies.

Now we're into the National Park, which unfortunately means poorer trails with minimal maintenance, and overgrown uncared-for forests. The contrast between the National Forest and the National Park is quite striking. In the Forest, you can camp and hike for free, but in the Park you need a Wilderness Permit, which costs $15 and which is a bit difficult to obtain, especially in this era of budget cutbacks. The Park website said that Permits could be obtained the previous day until 5 PM, but at Lodgepole the cutoff time was 3:30 PM and at Grant Grove the cutoff time was 4 PM. Lodgepole would not write us a permit, even though where we went was less than 20 miles away as the crow flies.