Glacier National Park weighs revamped wilderness camping permit system
The public has until Feb. 17 to comment on proposed changes that would alter the way wilderness camping permits are issued in Glacier National Park.
With park officials reporting that applications for advance wilderness camping permits have tripled in recent years, the revamped system would replace the lengthy manual lottery system currently in place using Pay.gov with an automated process employing the Recreation.gov website from March 15 through Sept. 30 for all park wilderness campgrounds open June 15 to Sept. 30.
If implemented, the new system would go live on Recreation.gov on Feb.15 to let visitors get familiar with the wilderness camping advance reservation website.
In the past, successful applicants could obtain single permits for groups of 1-8 and 9-12, but the overhauled system would only accommodate groups of 1-4 campers per permit. Making advance reservations for groups larger than four on the new Recreation.gov system would require that groups of 5-8 campers obtain two permits and select two separate group leaders.
Groups of 9-12 campers would need to obtain three permits and designate three group leaders.
To provide an alternative way of obtaining a permit for groups larger than four, the park would retain the use of the Pay.gov site for a 24-hour application period for mid-size and large group permits on March 1.
During that daylong stretch reservations would be awarded to 30 groups of 5-8 campers and five groups of 9-12 campers. Successful applicants would be booked into Recreation.gov by park staff and notified via email between March 3-7.
Once notified, successful applicants would have five days to make payment or the reservation will be canceled.
The remaining advance wilderness camping reservations would become available on Recreation.gov beginning at 8 a.m. on March 15.
Each wilderness camping permit would cost $10, payable on…