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  1. #1

    Default The Perch campsite overcrowding

    The December RMC newsletter has a comment with respect to the Perch campsite that they are monitoring the overcrowding and resultant user created overflow tentsites and will be discussing the situation and possible solutions with the USFS this winter.

    The Perch and the other RMC sites are all on National Forest land and subject to special use permits. They are limited on what they can do by the permit process. I would be curious if they adopt the Guyot approach which is have full time caretaker optimize the spaces available and then have designated overflow areas that the caretaker can direct the overflow?. The alternative used at the other caretaker sites is direct the hikers to a spot outside the 1/4 mile RUA. There are some very obvious signs of those overflow sites at the 1/4 mile boundarynear several of the shelters.

  2. #2
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    The other option is some sort of reservation system or other form of limits.

    May other trail systems have limits in place...
    You want to hike the full classic JMT route from Yosemite to Whitney? Only 45 permits per day are issued for that.
    PCT thru hikers? Daily limits on start date.

    Baxter State Park has already put in place a limit to the number of AT Hiker Permits issued.

    GSMNP gets so crowded at the start of the AT Hiking season that I expect within 5 to 10 years, they will change their permit system to put some sort of daily limit on their permit system.

  3. #3

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    The problem is the Perch is located on a steep hill side near tree line and surrounded by dense spruce trees. And rocks, lots and lots of big rocks. A 1/4 mile from the Perch is on a steep part of the ridge the trail comes up. There just isn't a place to put more campsites. Where people are trying to camp around there is beyond me. It's got to be extremely uncomfortable. You can't even put up a hammock, the trees are too small and too close together.

    The only solution is to build more tent platforms and that would take some serious work and money. Even then, those would fill up and there would still be an overflow problem.

    The Gray Knob caretaker comes by the Perch in the evening to collect fees. If an illegal camper is found, all that can be done is suggest they move to one of the cabins 1.5 miles away. Usually that results in a FU comment, I'm not packing up and moving. Trying to enforce reservations would be a nightmare.
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  4. #4

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    I expect if the FS had their choice they would just close the campsite down. Of late they seem to be real good at justifying taking stuff down and rationalizing that its not needed Sort of reverse of field of dreams, if you remove it they wont come

    RMC is primarily a volunteer organization with the exception of the caretakers, they do not have an office or office staff to manage a reservation system nor do they have the interest.

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    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I expect if the FS had their choice they would just close the campsite down. Of late they seem to be real good at justifying taking stuff down and rationalizing that its not needed Sort of reverse of field of dreams, if you remove it they wont come
    Same thing with NPS... In the years I've camped in GSMNP, only two new trails have been opened while about a dozen have been closed/abandoned.

  6. #6
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    One rainy nite in '96' all the tent pads were doubled up and we had 16 souls in that shelter!


    Hey, but they had this brand spanking newfangled composting privy up there!

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